“He Who Pays The Piper Calls The Tune”- The Arvind Kejriwal Saga

In light of the latest episode in the long-running Arvind Kejriwal saga – the sit-in dharna at the LG’s residence – we thought it pertinent to republish this 2011 piece written when Kejriwal first burst on to the national scene as a member of Team Anna during the landmark ‘India Against Corruption’ movement  –


The Ramlila ground that had been spruced up at public cost for a private groups public tamasha, has now been cleaned up again at public cost. However, during the tamasha, while its principal nayak ostensibly fasted, his followers feasted – and questions were and are and continue to be asked about where the money came from, not just for the food and the festivity during the tamasha, but for all the expense to organize it and keep this going.

“Inside the historic Maidan, the agitators had their appetite for agitation whetted by loads of puree-sabzi, chole-chawal, kadhi-chawal, cartons of biscuits, truck-loads of bananas, crates of water, soft drinks and nimbu pani. In my two decade long career as reporter, I have not seen such felicitation for the delegates to any public rally of any political party. We repeatedly raised the question of funding of political rallies, I hope we all gather the courage to audit the expenditure incurred on the jamboree recently witnessed at Ramlila Maidan.

When I talk of audit, I do not mean just auditing the well-kept account books of the organisations run by members of Team Anna, but those organisations which put up the public kitchens etc. It should be explained how come in a nation where crores fail to get two square meals a day, so much money was spent on food to keep an agitation going. Make public the names of these organisations and the names of the people behind them and vouch that the money spent by them was all clean, free of any taint.”[1]

“Well-kept account books”?

Earlier analyses established that the accounts for the Arvind Kejriwal-promoted IAC/PCRF omitted much more than they declared – and this from someone who not only has an income-tax background and who still has an intimate connection to the sarkari income-tax service, but who crusades for transparency and accountability in government. Indeed, his PCRF’s accounts that showed nothing after 31/3/09 continued that way till at least 29/8/11. [2]

Would Anna Hazare allow to public servants hauled up before his Jokepal the same excuse of “a mistake” he expects the public to accept for the corruption and illegalities exposed in his own NGOs?

Would Kejriwal allow to public servants hauled up before his Jokepal the same excuse of “oversight” he trotted out for the opacity of the accounts of his own NGOs?

Kiran Bedi fancies the ghunghat as a dramatic prop.  Like the ghunghat that coyly conceals, the Kejriwal and Bedi and (Medha) Patkar NGOs hide more than they show. And the earlier analyses showed the interesting connections to foreign and foreign-funded organizations of the Bedi, Patkar and (Prashant) Bhushan NGOs. This essay updates that with the Kejriwal NGOs.[3]

Kejriwal accuses Bharatiya policy of being dictated to by the World Bank. Arundhati Roy accuses the Kejriwals of being led by a World Bank agenda, and funded by the Ford Foundation. And that brings us to the foreign hand at which the ruling party officially pointed.

Yes, indisputably there is a foreign hand. The experience of West-funded NGOs instigating so-called Flower/Coloured revolutions is too recent to ignore, especially in the destabilization and break-up of the Soviet Union. The Vigil book gives irrefutable data of Western money flowing into Bharat to promote and support the anti-nation industry of many well-known “civil society activists,” including the ones Dr. N.S. Rajaram calls the “Sonia Gandhians” and this data has been updated on sites like vijayvaani.com & vigilonline.com

Our Western donor du jour, courtesy Arundhati Roy, is the US-based Ford Foundation (FF).[4] So, let us look at the Ford Foundation’s kripa in Bharat.

Click on http://www.fordfoundation.org/grants/search. Open “Regions” and select “India, Nepal and Sri Lanka”. Continue down (below “Regions”) and tick “Include Non-Initiative Grants”. You’ll get a list of 320 grantees.

Even a cursory look will impress with the rivers of money that the Ford Foundation is pouring into the organizations it favours in our country.

I’ve picked just a few grantees, mainly connected in some way or other with this so-called “civil society war against corruption” and primarily from the FF-funded initiative in “Promoting Transparent, Effective and Accountable Government” and “Strengthening Civil Society”. There are some others too but, really, the entire list merits study, especially the FF interest in tribal communities and areas (where, as it happens, there is a powerful Christian conversion apparatus at work).

1. AMAN Public Charitable Trust  $450,000 (2008, 2010)

(It gets influential Bharatiya and foreign support)

2. Centre for Budget Governance and Accountability  $650,000 (2007, 2010)

(Governing Board includes Sandeep Dikshit, MP, who was active in the negotiations to get Hazare back to the dining table – http://www.cbgaindia.org/about_board.php).

3. Centre for Communication and Development Studies  $480,000 (2007, 2010)

(Headed by John Samuel, with links to National Centre for Advocacy Studies. He has helped to establish more than 10 organisations and networks at the national and international level, including the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability above, Social Watch India, Asia Media Forum and CCDS – http://www.ccds.in/team.htm . He has links to IAC founder-member Devinder Sharma, Binu Thomas formerly of Action Aid, and Kalpana Sharma of The Hindu – http://infochangeindia.org/about-us.html).

4. Centre for Policy Research (CPR)   $687,100 (2008, 2009, 2010)

(A strong presence of former bureaucrats; president is Prof. Pratap Bhanu Mehta http://www.cprindia.org/page/governing-body ).

5. Centre for Study of Society and Secularism   $301,000 (2007, 2009)

(Headed by Asghar Ali Engineer; other secular worthies include Ram Puniyani, and is linked to Harsh Mander’s ANHAD, and Admiral Ramdas who features prominently in the Vigil book – http://www.csss-isla.com/governingbody.htm.

CSSS’ listed donors are mainly American, German, Dutch – and the notorious ActionAid.)

6. Centre for the Study of Developing Societies   $599,000 (2008)

(Its “faculty” includes Ashish Nandy, Madhu Kishwar, Yogendra Yadav and it sponsored a very controversial seminar on J&K at the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi).

8. Dalit Foundation (DF)   $3,510,000 (2007, 2008)

9. Christian Dalit Liberation Movement   $400,000 (2008, 2010)

10. Indian Institute of Dalit Studies   $450,000 (2007, 2010)

(Note that Udit Raj, national chairman, All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, called “the ongoing protest against corruption by Anna Hazare unconstitutional… and a Bahujan Lokpal Bill would soon be presented to the Parliament’s Standing Committee, which will be representative of Dalits, Muslims and other minority communities” – “’Save reservation’ rally”, The Hindu, Delhi, Aug 24, 2011, p.3;

http://theindianawaaz.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3618&catid=12&Itemid=63;

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/article2391133.ece

Already there are strong demands for caste- and religion-based reservations in the Lokpal system –http://www.dailypioneer.com/city/3083-sharad-yadav-paswan-spar-over-anna-stir.html).

11. Council for Social Development   $300,000 (2007)

(Headed by former Foreign Secretary Muchkund Dubey; includes R.K. Pachauri, Amit Bhaduri and has influential links to government and government NGOs.)

12. Jagori Rural   $100,000 (2008)

(Kamla Bhasin is a founder and also a trustee of Harsh Mander’s ANHAD. Jagori’s Executive Committee includes Martin Macwan who features in the Vigil book)

13. Jamia Millia Islamia   $150,000 (2009)

14. Jawaharlal Nehru University   $400,000 (2010)

15. Kabir   $397,000 (2008, 2011)

(Has Manish Sisodia as founding-member and Kejriwal in its Governing Body. Has received crores from foreign agencies.)

16. National Centre for Advocacy Studies   $435,000 (2008, 2011)

(Website doesn’t tell you who founded it – John Samuel? – and who heads it, but its “partners” include the Aman Trust (above), the Centre for Social Justice whose trustees include Upendra Baxi, Vijay Parmar of Janvikas (also a Ford Foundation grantee – $200,000 in 2007), Syeda Hameed of the Planning Commission, and retired high court judge RA Mehta.)

17. National Foundation for India   $2,500,000 (2007)

(This features in Appendix 11 of the Vigil book; its trustees in 2006 included N Ram of The Hindu, Syeda Hameed, Mallika Sarabhai, an FF representative – and Mr. Manmohan Singh! It records that “The Ford Foundation provided pioneering support to set up NFI as an independent Indian Foundation to promote civil society action and public deliberation for social change.” Its website includes Ratan Tata and S.P. Godrej amongst its former trustees and there is no longer specific mention of an FF representative. Its current trustees include Nirmala Lakshman of The Hindu, former bureaucrat Probir Sen who was also managing director of Air India, Mihir Shah of the Planning Commission, and Ramchandra Guha.)

18. National Social Watch   $200,000   (2010)

(http://socialwatchindia.net/about-us/about-us is flowery prose but no names).

19. OXFAM India   $200,000 (2010)

(Features in Appendix 11 of the Vigil book; receives huge amounts from the British government as a tool of British foreign policy in Bharat).

20. People’s Education and Rights Trust (PERT)   $250,000 (2009)

(http://pertindia.org/ ; primary supporter is a Christian “international development agency” called Signpost International )

21. Sabrang Trust   $250,000 (2009)

(A Teesta Setalvad enterprise. Google “Sabrang Trust” – you get Sabrang Communications which calls itself Trust but then shows itself as a private limited company at the same website.  The Trust is claimed to have been founded in 1933.

The private limited company is also claimed to have been founded in 1933 which also makes the Trust c/o Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

There’s also http://www.sabrang.com/ which, in its “About Us”, says nothing about a Trust. Setalvad does this kind of one organization fronting for another with her CJP too –http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=305; so does Harsh Mander in fundraising for the US-based Indian Muslim Relief Committee/Indian Muslim Relief and Charities – Appendix 11 of the Vigil book).

22. Society for Participatory Research in Asia   $400,000 (2007, 2010)

(Headed by Rajesh Tandon who features in Appendix 11 of the Vigil book. Its Governing Board includes Lalita Ramdas and Bibek Debroy and has extensive and very influential foreign support .)

23.  South Asia Centre for Policy Studies   $153,603 (2010)

(Lists partners that include CPR above and its executive committee includes Muchkund Dubey as co-chair. Amartya Sen and Gowher Rizvi (former FF head in Bharat) are international advisors .)

And this is just a sample. And this is just one foreign donor.

Note the interconnections. It is a hunter’s net cast over our nation. Are we to believe it is out of blessed altruism that all these fortunes from abroad are being poured into Kejriwal and associated coffers? Are we to be so naïve as to forget about the realpolitik of Western foreign policy?

To take just this Ford Foundation, is it sheer coincidence that it gives such vast amounts in tribal areas where there is powerful Christian evangelism? Have we already forgotten the missionary-colonial policy of divide-and-rule to which we were subject? Never heard of the US government-supported Joshua Project?

Is it coincidence that, for example, so much money has been given to the Kejriwal NGOs when the Kejriwalas are openly and rabidly anti-democratic? Is it coincidence that the Ford Foundation’s own country, for all its pro-democracy propaganda, has a history of propping up dictators all over the world? Has the Ford Foundation no agenda behind the money it doles out? It has given millions of rupees to Kejriwal NGOs. Do you seriously believe it expects nothing in return from them?

Recall the saying: “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. Missionary-neocolonial foreign agencies pay and the Kejriwalas and Sonia Gandhians sing (and dance) to the foreign tune.

This tune is called the destabilizing and break-up of our nation.

Caveat – certainly corruption must be battled. But, if we believe in democracy, then it must be fought by strengthening the institutions of our democracy, not undermining them. “There are three very public figures who are fighting corruption at three different levels and in three different ways. One does it as head of the administration he heads. The second does it by arousing mass awareness against (particularly, black money) corruption [janajagruti – till regrettably he over-reached himself]. The third does it by using the judicial route to enforce the anti-corruption law. All three are doing it from within a parliamentary democracy – and doing it effectively.

Tailpiece

* For all his many, much-touted virtues, Anna Hazare (and Team Anna) had little time and compassion for those who took the threatened fast-unto-death seriously. In village Janapanka, Patna, a young and emotional Arun Das died fasting on 24 August. Team Anna expressed no regret. He hailed from Kamira village, district Boudh, Odisha. Worse, as youthful enthusiasts following the Anna fast noted, no formal notice was taken of his death and the report quickly vanished from the IAC update, though the IAC page on Facebook and @Janlokpal on Twitter had both announced the death.

Arun Das was actually a follower of Baba Ramdev, and it was the Yoga Guru who first announced his death from Ramlila Maidan. Baba’s organisation also made a formal announcement. IAC followed on Facebook and Twitter, and then lapsed into inexplicable silence.

* A similar amnesia occurred in the case of Dinesh Yadav who, shouting pro-Hazare slogans, burnt himself alive at Kisan Ghat, Delhi. He was survived by his wife and five children.

Team Anna expressed no regret. Team Anna, for all its foreign resources, is not known to have offered any support to the families of Arun Das and Dinesh Yadav.

* Contrast this with the case of Rajbala Malik, a victim of police brutality at Ramlila Maidan in the wee hours of June 4, 2011. As soon as his externment order from Delhi ended, Baba Ramdev visited Rajbala in hospital and offered all assistance by his Delhi Mahila Patanjali Yoga Samiti. “All medical expenses of Rajbala and other people injured during police action at Ramila Maidan will be borne by the Patanjali,” said Ramdev.

Notes

1. http://www.crdj.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55:living-in-times-of-national-disorder&catid=35:slideshow by Siddharth Mishra;  More than 144 metric tonnes of waste daily ; During both fasts, at night, Hazare always retired from the public gaze, and government doctors, notwithstanding a Supreme Court direction, were not allowed by Team Anna to examine him – http://www.scoopnews.in/det.aspx?12430 ; http://www.vijayvaani.com/FrmPublicDisplayArticle.aspx?id=1940;

2.  An opinion in The Hindu: It’s also part of the reason why the discourse has had almost no shades of grey. Where it’s turned into an “either you are with us or against us” space and the room for anyone to manoeuvre has been increasingly difficult… this team has become less and less tolerant of dissent. You cannot ask questions like — what about the right of Parliamentarians who represent the country, to choose whether they want this version of the Bill or not?… is the right to say “No, we disagree”, no longer available?….. if no political party is willing to support the Jan Lokpal Bill outright, does that mean the Parliament must be cast aside… Parliament and the rest of Bharat be damned” – Revati Laul,

In this story covered in Tehelka, note the characteristically Abrahamist attitude of Team Anna – Luke 11.23, Matt 12.30.

The earlier analyses are in Jai ho, Jan Jokepal,

http://www.vigilonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1513&Itmid=1 (this appeared on June 15, 2011 and seems to have introduced “Jokepal” to the public vocabulary);

Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”;

“The ox calling the donkey horned : Il bue che dà del cornuto all’asino”;

A Frankenstein’s monster that will devour all of us”;

Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”,

3. http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article2412658.ece?homepage=true ;

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/half-of-our-mps-anpadh-ganwaar-some-gems-from-very-civil-society/837886/ and

Rakesh Ranjan/Vikash Lata, “Parliament, MPs mocked, berated at Ramlila Maidan” (The Pioneer, Aug 27, 2011, p.1, the print edition – the web edition omits most of the colourful details, but you can get their flavour from http://www.dailypioneer.com/363717/Hysterical-histrionics.html).

4.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tqaLMOgPH0&feature=share;

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2412518.ece?homepage=true;

http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/article2379704.ece;

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-08-17/india/29896225_1_anna-hazare-exercise-appropriate-democratic-restraint-anti-graft-movement.

The Vigil book is by Radha Rajan and Krishen Kak, eds., “NGOs, Activists and Foreign Funds: Anti-Nation Industry” (Chennai: Vigil Public Opinion Forum, 2nd edn, 2007).

Of course, it is neither here nor there that Roy herself is a financial beneficiary of profits of the UK-based Booker Prize Trading Ltd and of the US-based Lannan Foundation that is funded from the ITT Corporation earnings of the late J. Patrick Lannan, Sr –

http://www.themanbookerprize.com/legal ;

http://www.nytimes.com/1983/09/27/obituaries/j-patrick-lannan-ex-director-of-itt-and-backer-of-arts.html.

5. Read with VK Shashikumar.

6. This has been noted in the earlier analyses. See also “Anna is not India nor India Anna” (editorial in The Hindu, which quotes Kiran Bedi as claiming, “Anna is India and India is Anna”;

The Government has to either pass the Jan Lokpal Bill or go. There is no alternative” – Anna Hazare,

I have made the decision of my life. It is up to the government to pass the (Jan Lokpal) bill. If it is not passed in this session, I will continue my fast till my last breath.” – Anna Hazare

Recall MK Gandhi’s bold declaration that he would allow Partition only over his dead body. He then broke his word. Likewise, the current media-manufactured mahatma, after a like bold declaration, broke his word. There was at least one Bharatiya who took Gandhi’s threatened fasts-unto-death seriously – and himself fasting too, died – B Punj, “Remember Jatindra Nath Das?” The Pioneer, Sept 10, 2004 and Gandhi expressed no regret.

-Krishen Kak

HinduPost Staff Note

This article has been reproduced from the author’s blog. It was first published in 5th September, 2011 on vijayvaani.com. Since the information was collected and collated by the author way back in 2011, so a few links might be broken. The links for Ford Foundation grants, in particular, do not work anymore – for a breakdown of organizations which received FCRA funds from Ford Foundation in the 2006-12 period, interested readers can visit this blog here )

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