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War And Green Peace

‘Development’ gets thumbs-up as a well-timed ‘leak’ seeks to discredit the stumbling blocks NGOs are seen to be

War And Green Peace Dinodia (From Outlook 30 June 2014)

His favourite quote, says Greenpeace International’s executive director Kumi Naidoo, is from Mahatma Gandhi, whose photograph has always adorned his family home in South Africa. The man who fashioned civil disobedience as a mode of protest here had said: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.” It is these words Naidoo takes heart from as governments fight Greenpeace in courts, invade the organisation’s privacy and prevent its activities. They are fighting a losing battle, says Nai­doo. “When governments respond with force, they help us grow the movement,” he told an interviewer in London.

He might have another chance now, as he prepares to respond to charges that Greenpeace stands in the way of India’s growth. A sustained campaign in the media, triggered by an inspired leak of what is claimed to be a report submitted by the Intelli­gence Bureau (IB), has called for suitable action against NGOs like Greenpeace, ActionAid, Amnesty International and cordaid. The report has pointedly recommended that the government choke the flow of foreign funds to these entities.

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