Afroz Alam Sahil and S.Z. Saleem
New Delhi: The recent hue and cry raised about the “foreign hand” in the Anna Hazare-led ‘mass’ movement seems to have got answers in reply to a query filed by BeyondHeadlines under the Right to Information (RTI) to Manish Sisodia’s brainchild Kabir. Kabir had revealed that it had received funding from various sources, including the controversial Michigan (United States)-based Ford Foundation.
It may be recalled that the Congress party has questioned US unusual and unexpected stand on the ongoing anti-graft movement in India. Also the Ford Foundation allegedly has links with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
In reply to an RTI query that questioned the funding and expenditure of Kabir, the organisation has disclosed that they have received funds from the Ford Foundation (Rs 86,61,742), PRIA (Rs 2,37,035), Manjunath Shanmugam Trust (Rs 3,70,000), Dutch Embassy (Rs 19,61,968), Association for India’s Development (Rs 15,00,000), India’s friends Association (Rs 7,86,500), United Nationals Development Programme (Rs12,52,742) while Rs 11,35,857 were collected from individual donations between 2007 to 2010.
Interestingly, a major part of the funding to an organisation that is prominent in the “War against corruption” has come from abroad and mainly from the United States. Apar from the UNDP, Ford Foundation and the India Friends Association are US-based organisations, while PRIA and Association for India’s Development are headquartered in Asia.
The funding of the anti-graft movement has gained prominence after the exhorbitant amounts being spent on campaigning for the movement in the form of bulk SMSs, t-shirts, caps, flags and the other means adopted by the civil society activists, demanding their own version of the Lokpal Bill.