PRESS RELEASE: New Delhi, October 18, 2018
ASHA Stands In Solidarity with Greenpeace India
In the first week of October, the Enforcement Directorate of the Ministry of Finance raided the office of Greenpeace India in Bangalore, without any warrant, and confiscated documents. During the past week, we learnt that Greenpeace India’s bank accounts were frozen without due process.
The Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) expresses its alarm at these developments, and stands in solidarity with Greenpeace India as the Government makes repeated attempts to go after an organization that is playing a crucial positive role on environmental issues such as climate change, air pollution, forests and sustainable agriculture, which need urgent attention of governments and society. We are very concerned that the raids on Greenpeace and freezing of accounts are part of a broader pattern of intimidation of organizations and individuals that are raising difficult questions for the government.
Greenpeace India has already issued clear statements that all donations received by the organization are from Indian sources and that they have not received any foreign contributions since they were stopped from doing so in 2014 under FCRA. They have also raised concerns that information about those who made donations to Greenpeace may be used as a tool for harassment. The repeated actions from the Government seem designed to undermine the financial support from more than 55,000 Indian citizens who support Greenpeace to ensure a sustainable future for future generations.
ASHA places great value on the work of Greenpeace India and its approach of taking up challenging, emerging issues related to environmental justice even when the situation requires confronting government policies and actions or the actions of large corporations, which may be detrimental to ecology and common people, that too through a uncompromising emphasis on non-violent means. Furthermore, Greenpeace India has been playing a valuable role in raising awareness among citizens about these issues and rallying the support of lakhs of people who express solidarity or make donations for work on such causes. In India, Greenpeace India has been able to establish sustainable farming and renewable energy solutions convincingly, which governments have picked up for scaling up. Globally, Greenpeace’s contribution to numerous international environmental frameworks is well known, and India has been a signatory to such international agreements.
ASHA stands by Greenpeace India at this critical time, and demands that the government refrain from using coercive methods and heavy-handed force to silence such organizations. We urge the government and its agencies to understand that Greenpeace and several such organizations and movements are essentially acting as a medium for tens of thousands of citizens to contribute to conserving the environment for our next generations, and such work is an essential part of nation-building and public service. The duty of the government is to engage with the dissenting voices, even those which are highly critical of the very development model being pursued by the government, rather than trying to shut down such organizations. Therein lies our national interest.
Issued by National Steering Group, Alliance for Sustainable & Holistic Agriculture (ASHA)