NEW DELHI: Greenpeace today termed as part of "relentless onslaught" by the government cancellation of its FCRA registration that barred the environmental organisation from receiving foreign funds and said those in power cannot "muzzle" dissent in a democracy.
In a fresh crackdown on the international environment protection organisation, the government had yesterday cancelled its registration under Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) for allegedly working against the country's economic interests.
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As a result of the cancellation of its FCRA registration the NGO will not be able to receive funds from abroad which constitute upto 30 per cent of its overall cost of operations.
"The cancelling of our FCRA registration is part of the government's relentless onslaught against the right of all Indians to speak up and demand a healthy environment, good governance, and transparency in public processes," said Vinuta Gopal, interim co-Executive Director of Greenpeace India.
"Similar clampdowns have been seen all across the country but we are confident that people will join our campaign and send a clear message to those in power - you can't muzzle dissent in a democracy," she said.
The environment NGO said that although the court hearing was originally scheduled for today, it has been deferred to the September 17.
"Cancelling our ability to receive foreign money? That changes nothing. We have enough support from thousands of ordinary Indians to continue our work," said Nirmala Karunan, Political Advisor, Greenpeace India. "Its ridiculous to see the government trying every pressure tactic they can get away with but the support for Greenpeace only increases," she added. The NGO said it has launched a new campaign to "reclaim freedom of speech" by recreating Bollywood movie posters highlighting real life stories.
"The NGO launched a new online campaign recreating Bollywood movie posters to highlight real life stories about reclaiming freedom of speech," Gopal said. She said that while the NGO's continued existence has been no less dramatic than the best of Bollywood with twists and turns every day, its story is far from unique.