The latest home ministry crackdown on non-compliant non-government organisations (NGOs) might have hit some holy cows. The list of some 5,922 units that have not filed their annual returns
and have been served a show cause notice includes several institutions working for cow protection.
Business Standard went through the list to find at least nine such NGOs
that had "Gau" or "Cow" in their names. These nine NGOs
are Shri Haryana Gaushala, Gauv Sevva Trust (Gst), Shri Gaushala Kathar Jungle, Ratanlal C Bafna Gau Seva Anusandhan Kendra, Shri Pinjara Pole Gaushala Sewa Trust, Shri Dayalu Gau jeav jan parmarthseva sansthan Kherapa, Shri Harihar Maharaj Kamdhenu Gaushevashram Dharmik Trust, Sri Panch Dev Mahamandir Gau Sewa Ashram Samiti, and Care For Cows Public Charitable Trust. The list could have other such organisations, without an express giveaway in their names, that are serving the cause of the bovine considered holy by a section of Hindus and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
Protection of cows and creating gaushalas was part of the party’s manifesto in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. The spurt in 'cow love' has fuelled the rise of vigilante groups indulging in lynchings across various parts of the country. Besides these, there were about a dozen organisations in the list whose names suggested that they worked in the area of animal welfare. Among minority institutions, over 100 organisations with Islamic or Arabic names have been issued the show cause notice. These included at least five institutions named after Dr Zakir Hussain. Several Madrasas and Islamic educational trusts also received the show cause notice. NGOs
with Islamic names accounted for about 1.7 per cent of the 5,922 institutions that received the notice. This is slightly lower than the 1.96 per cent figure recorded in a similar analysis, done by Business Standard last year, of nearly 14,000 NGOs
that had been banned since 2012.
The ministry has warned these entities that their FCRA
(Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) licences would be cancelled if they did not furnish financial records pertaining to a five-year period beginning 2011. The cancellation would mean that these NGOs
cannot receive foreign funds. The NGOs
have been given time till July 23 to reply to the show cause notice issued on July 8. "As a one-time measure, all associations were given an opportunity by way of a public notice requiring the associations to file their missing annual returns
pertaining to FY (financial year) 2010-11 to 2014-15 within a period of one month time, starting from May 15, 2017, to June 14, 2017, without payment of penalty for filing of annual returns.
However, in spite of sufficient and adequate notice, it has been observed that 5,922 associations have not uploaded their annual returns
for three or more than three years within the stipulated time given in the notice," the show cause notice said.