Sunday, November 30, 2008

British Charity & Hindu Extremism - 2

Awaaz — South Asia Watch Ltd, 2004


Section summary

1 - In the aftermath of the devastating Gujarat earthquake in 2001, the RSS attempted to control relief work and attempted to prevent other NGOs from providing relief. RSS cells (shakhas) were initiated in relief camps. Serious allegations of discrimination in earthquake relief to Muslims and dalits were made. Serious allegations of violence and intimidation by the RSS of other NGOs undertaking relief work were made. Earthquake relief work was accompanied by Hindutva hatred and violence against Christians.

2 - SIUK became a high profile fundraising organization after the Gujarat earthquake. SIUK raised around £2.3 million for its India Quake Appeal from the UK public, though it also claimed to have raised £4.3 million.

3 - In key Gujarat earthquake fundraising appeals, SIUK did not disclose its associations with the HSS UK and the RSS, it did not state that it was fundraising exclusively for RSS affiliates, and it did not state the sectarian or political agenda of the RSS or its affiliates

4 - SIUK misled donors and the general public who wanted simply to contribute to humanitarian causes in India. It even mislead its own patrons of the earthquake appeal who were kept unaware of the link between SIUK and the RSS.

5 - Funds raised in the UK by SIUK for earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation were for a major RSS affiliate, Sewa Bharati Gujarat. Like all RSS affiliates, Sewa Bharati is explicitly committed to building a Hindu nation based on Hindutva extremist ideology, recruiting for the RSS and using service work to expand the network of RSS physical and ideological training cells.

6 - About a third of funds sent for earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation were for building sectarian, highly controversial RSS schools. These are primarily run by Vidya Bharati, the RSS educational affiliate. RSS schools are intended to inculcate RSS ideology among schoolchildren and recruit them to the RSS. Vidya Bharati’s teaching material was condemned by India’s statutory National Council for Educational Research and Training as blatantly promoting bigotry, fanaticism and hatred. The funding of RSS schools by SIUK is a key example of the financing of hatred in India.

7 - Some funds for earthquake reconstruction were for the RSS’s Lok Kalyan Samiti in Chanasma village, which has been directly implicated in the violent ‘cleansing’ of all Muslims from the village and the illegal occupation of premises and land belonging to the statutory Muslim waqf board.

8 - Another RSS project, Jankalyan Samiti, was a recipient of SIUK earthquake funds. The Jankalyan Samiti’s Maharashtra branch has been involved in violence against Christians and Christian organizations.

9 - A medical project funded by SIUK is named after the RSS founder and run by the RSS medical affiliate.

10 - SIUK claimed to fund the rebuilding of anywhere from 10 to 25 villages. It also claimed to have ‘totally funded’ the rebuilding of 10 villages. However, records show six villages in which SIUK funds were used for reconstruction and rehabilitation. In these villages, there was also at least one other agency sharing the financial burden.

11 - British donors unwittingly gave funds that were channelled by SIUK to the RSS’s Sewa Bharati and used to build RSS schools, fund RSS organizations implicated in violence, and promote the RSS’s political and ideological agenda.

The state of Gujarat in western India experienced a devastating earthquake on 26 January 2001. The Gujarat earthquake was one of the two most violent earthquakes to have affected India in recorded history. A month after the earthquake, the official death toll was put at almost 20,000, with almost 170,000 injured, 600,000 people displaced, about 350,000 homes destroyed and over 840,000 homes damaged. These figures increased considerably as the actual scale of the disaster became known. The earthquake resulted in a massive national and international disaster relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation effort involving numerous Indian and international NGOs, governments, groups and individuals. The main phases of activities were immediate rescue and relief, temporary rehabilitation of victims, a massive process of reconstruction of destroyed homes, businesses and villages, and finally, the permanent rehabilitation of victims. The focus of these operations was mainly Kutch district, particularly around the town of Bhuj, near the earthquake epicentre.


The RSS in India was very keen to promote itself as the key organization that provided relief and assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake. Similarly, both SIUK (tacitly) and Sewa International India (explicitly) promoted the role of the RSS and its members during the relief operations, but failed to mention the work of organizations that are unrelated to the RSS family. Moreover,

…a greater aim and effect of these rescue and relief operations…is to create the impression among the people that [the RSS] are practically the only ones who are active on this front and implicitly as well as explicitly discredit the work of other organizations, local and national. Another aim is to actually penetrate the government rescue efforts in a manner in which the activity becomes part of an RSS patronage machine.[1]

The RSS’s Sewa Bharati was the main recipient of SIUK’s earthquake-related funds. We do not wish to minimize any of the sincere relief efforts by non-sectarian volunteers and donors who raised funds entirely in good faith for SIUK. However, since it often appeared to many people in Britain that SIUK, and thus Sewa Bharati, were the main organizations doing anything regarding the relief operations, we want to briefly highlight the larger context of relief operations. The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) was the main body for coordinating and overseeing and managing relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts following the earthquake. As at 3 September 2001, it showed the involvement of 77 secular and religious NGOs in planning to construct some 46,000 permanent shelters[2]. Sewa Bharati is listed as planning about 620 permanent shelters. A further survey[3] in Kutch district showed 76 NGOs, including several UK-based NGOs, working in Bhuj (the earthquake epicenter); of all these we were able to identify four that were directly RSS-affiliated. The pattern that emerges from these surveys is mainly of the involvement of RSS organizations in education work, some shelter reconstruction and some health projects.


How did the RSS-affiliates operate on the ground during the relief operations and later reconstruction? Reports claimed that the RSS was distributing relief selectively to higher caste victims and neglecting dalits and Muslims[4]. The RSS was also organizing training cells (shakhas) in relief camps. A team of human rights organizations found that:

The role of the RSS in getting relief to the upper castes among the Hindus in particular has been blatant. In Anjar, for example, the well-tended RSS camp which houses only Hindus and barring a handful of exceptions, only caste Hindus, sits cheek by jowl with another in which the far poorer population of the homeless Anjarites – Muslims mostly and a substantial number of lower caste Hindus – live. All of this is being accepted without question and rationalized on the basis that we cannot expect anything other than that people will ‘naturally’ help ‘their own’. [5]


Further reports alleged that RSS organizations were hijacking relief supplies donated by other agencies[6]. Reports also claimed the RSS was violently preventing other international NGOs from undertaking relief operations in Kutch. Ironically, the RSS accuses these organizations of receiving foreign funds.

RSS does not want any organization from outside to come and carry out any relief work in Kutch. It does not want any NGO that received foreign funds to work in Kutch. It has decided to send all the NGOs out of Kutch within 15 days resorting to physical violence if they do not leave the place voluntarily. RSS has already begun using violence. In Adhoi, Kotada and Ratnal villages where Gantar [an NGO] is doing relief work, RSS workers (a large crowd of 2000 or more) went and threatened the volunteers…RSS accuses NGOs of receiving foreign funds [for] converting people to Christian religion.[7]

In our interviews, village representatives in Gujarat were surprised that anyone would be interested in distinguishing between Sewa Bharati and the RSS, the VHP, Bajrang Dal and other sangh parivar organizations, since locally the same people were often involved in each. The relief and rehabilitation work of Sewa Bharati was intimately associated with promotion of the RSS’s sectarian agenda. In relief work at Adhoi village, VHP priests were giving nightly lectures to villagers on the need to be vigilant against Christians and Muslims.


We were told about the following incidents of intimidation by the RSS and its allied organizations against other NGOs:

BSC [a voluntary organization] decided to carry the work forward through the rehabilitation phase and hence set up its rehabilitation base camp at a village named Rajansar in Bhachau taluka. In the course of our visits to various villages we did find voluntary organizations of various kinds, some of them secular and many of them overtly religious. We did observe to some extent the communalization and casteization of relief. But what was more intriguing was the presence of some ‘preachers’ from the Sangh Parivar who were spreading communal poison in the villages. They were providing relief to those who needed it but were also holding ‘religious discourses’ in the evenings, in which they were using extremely provocative and derogatory language against the Muslims and warning the people to beware of Christian missionaries in the guise of relief workers. Rumours of conversions, distribution of bibles and crosses had started doing the rounds; and people were getting restive. Some of the BSC staff members in fact listened to one such speech in a village named Adhoi in the month of April, and were worried about the provocative language used and the exhortation to oppose the ‘evil designs’ of the minorities. The local RSS and VHP activists spread the rumour that the volunteers who came under this programme had been trying to convert people into Christianity. They collected a sizeable mob and went looking for Christians among the relief workers camping in Adhoi. Soon afterwards an unruly mob of almost 2000 people ransacked the relief tent set up by ActionAid India in Adhoi under its Sneh Samudaya (a programme to provide relief and trauma counseling to the victims from the most vulnerable groups like widows, orphans and the handicapped). Unfortunately they identified the sole Christian youth named Denis in this group of student volunteers and abducted him. Denis…came through a network of NGOs in Gujarat called...and was not even remotely connected with any Christian agencies. Just because he had a Christian name, [he] was accused of trying to proselytize and was threatened with lethal weapons, locked up in a room, assaulted and terrorized by the leaders of the mob…Denis was released after sometime by the mob, but only after ransacking the Sneh Samudaya tent and warning the volunteers to leave the village immediately.

On 27 January 2001, the day following the earthquake that struck Gujarat…the first task [Citizen’s Initiative] undertook was to fan out all over Ahmedabad to assess the rescue operations and see to it that technical and expert help was made available as fast as possible. I was with the team that visited a number of collapsed buildings in Maninagar area of Ahmedabad City. To our surprise we found all the collapsed buildings cordoned off by the RSS volunteers. They were ostensibly trying to control the inquisitive crowd; but in spite of informing the RSS leaders present there that we could coordinate the availability of sophisticated equipment, we were very curtly told to leave the place and that everything was being taken care of. This happened in three housing complexes that had collapsed. We learnt that the actual rescue operations were being done by the army personnel still struggling in their operations with limited equipment, but we were prevented from meeting the army officers to get a first hand understanding of the needs. The irony of the situation was that finally the rescue in some of the most difficult cases was possible only after the Citizen’s Initiative managed to get the Swiss Rescue team into the area with the help of senior Government officials.

On 30 January 2001, a team of volunteers from Citizens’ Initiative … reached Bhachau town in Kutch District to offer relief assistance wherever required. The Government machinery was functioning from the traffic island at the main junction and the team was headed by…a senior IAS officer. The leaders of the CI team approached him for assistance and information and to their shock they were told that the RSS was in complete control of the rescue and relief operations in Bhachau town, and there was no more assistance needed. They objected to this observation of the officials and demanded precise information; this seemed to have brought them back to their senses and subsequently they provided information as to the relief and rescue needs in the rural areas. A perfunctory round of the ill-fated Bhachau town (where almost 8000 people died) was enough to establish the same pattern we saw in Ahmedabad; the army at work and the RSS volunteers cordoning off the areas where such operations were going on.

Volunteers from Janpath [a voluntary organization] were running a helpline service for children in distress called ‘Child Line’ from a tent in the traffic island in Bhachau. Activists of the VHP abused them and shouted that they were Christian missionaries trying to proselytize. They threatened the volunteers and asked them to vacate the place within 24 hours. The volunteers in Child Line happened to be quite tough; they refused to be cowed down by the threats and dared them to carry out their threat.


Many British NGOs and individuals were involved in fundraising efforts around the earthquake. However, one UK organization achieved a particularly high profile: Sewa International UK. It dominated much of the publicly visible fundraising work for the earthquake in the UK. It launched a national appeal for funds, the Gujarat Earthquake / India Quake Appeal, and a website through which online donations could be made. It coordinated, through the HSS UK network, numerous community-based fundraising activities, ranging from street collections to independent events organized by other groups and institutions in order to raise money. SIUK’s India Quake Appeal received the patronage of four members of the House of Lords (Dholakia, Parekh, Patel, Bagri), two Members of the House of Commons (Barry Gardiner, Gerry Sutcliffe) and several prominent Asian business people, including Nat Puri, Laxmi Mittal, Manubhai Madhvani and G. K. Noon. Numerous large corporations donated money to the appeal. We are not implying that patrons, non-sectarian supporters and any individual or corporate donors were aware of the RSS connections of Sewa International UK or the HSS UK, nor are we implying that patrons, non-sectarian supporters or donors acted out of any considerations other than humanitarian concern following the earthquake. We have seen statements from local councillors, business people and students which show that during fundraising events SIUK was presented to community groups, companies and student bodies simply as a Hindu or Indian charity and the nature of its links with the HSS UK or RSS were not disclosed. These donors would not have given funds if they knew the links and associations with extremist hate politics. Our focus is not therefore on donors but on the use of SIUK funds to promote the hate-driven political agenda of the RSS.

The message given by SIUK through its website ( and its publicity material was that fundraising was for humanitarian aid. This included pictures of injured children and adults, village devastation, and slogans such as ‘rebuilding lives and homes’. Few well-meaning people could object to giving funds for what appeared to be a neutral humanitarian cause. What few donors and even patrons of the India earthquake appeal were aware of was that:

1 - SIUK was not a registered charity but used the charity registration number of the HSS UK to raise funds.

2 - The association between SIUK and the HSS UK was often not stated. While SIUK did state it was a ‘service project of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK’, this was often in non-prominent places and sometimes absent entirely. The SIUK homepage in December 2002 stated ‘registered charity’ without mentioning the HSS UK. Similarly, the HSS was not mentioned at all in SIUK’s fundraising video for the earthquake[8], which simply gave the charity registration number of HSS UK, implying that SIUK was itself a registered charity.

3 - The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK is a Hindu supremacist organization having a close, long-standing association with the RSS.

4 - The RSS and its affiliated organizations are implicated or have been involved in some of the worst anti-minority violence India has seen over the last fifteen years. They have a hate-driven agenda and their aim is to turn India into an exclusive Hindu nation.

Figure 4: SIUK homepage from 15 December 2002 which makes no mention of the fact that it is a project of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, and simply states 'REGISTERED CHARITY'.

Figure 5: SIUK homepage from December 2003 which now states that it is a ‘service project’ of the HSS UK, after increased media attention and the investigation by the Charity Commission.

SIUK’s Gujarat earthquake fundraising video also claims that what it calls ‘dedicated Sewa International volunteers’ were the ‘first on the scene to coordinate the relief operation’ after the earthquake – but fails to mention that any such volunteers would have been RSS members and not members of SIUK[9]. Neither of the two fundraising videos[10] on SIUK’s website mention the HSS at all. Individuals raised funds and donated in good faith to the Gujarat Earthquake / India Quake appeals of SIUK, but many would not have done so had they known that SIUK was an HSS project or that it was associated with the Indian RSS. Lord Adam Patel, former patron of SIUK’s earthquake appeal resigned in shock after the connections between SIUK and the RSS were made public. That a patron of the SIUK’s largest ever appeal did not know the nature of SIUK’s links and agendas says a great deal about the way SIUK conducted itself.


SIUK’s first anniversary report on the Gujarat rehabilitation[11] was produced to show SIUK’s achievements one year after the earthquake. The report states that SIUK worked in action with Sewa Bharati, but does not mention that Sewa Bharati is an RSS organization, in fact one of the most important RSS affiliates in India. Of the four messages of support in the report, one is from the RSS supreme leader in India, K. S. Sudarshan and another is from SIUK’s chairperson, who is also the service head of the HSS UK. Included in the list of SIUK contacts across the UK are HSS trustees, HSS activists and VHP UK activists.

SIUK states a figure of over £4 million raised in the earthquake appeal, and said elsewhere that it raised £4.3 million. The report shows that £1 million was a single donation by the Puri Foundation, and another £1 million was collected by the Shri Kutch Leva Patel Community (UK), a Kutchi patidar organization in the UK also said to be working closely with Sewa Bharati in India. SIUK directly raised around £2.3 million for Gujarat earthquake relief; the other £2 million related to two single donations from separate organizations.

SIUK’s fundraising video stated that ‘Sewa International are adopting and reconstructing twenty five villages, providing each village with houses, schools, community halls, shops, water tanks, hospitals, road and other facilities’[12]. In its anniversary report, under the title ‘Progress so far’, the report provides a detailed list of the villages reconstructed or planned to be rebuilt. The report states that ‘house construction in 8 villages has already started, with 2 more villages on the cards’. A list of ten villages is given, detailing the number of houses created and the value of the project in Indian rupees and US dollars. It also provides further details of village halls, community centres, health centres and schools, including the state of construction of schools in six Gujarat districts[13]. This information from its anniversary report is given in Appendix 2. Exactly the same data are presented in Sewa Bharati Gujarat’s progress report for the period ending 30 September 2001[14]. However, Sewa Bharati Gujarat received funds not only from SIUK but other international RSS-related bodies, including the US-based India Development and Relief Fund (IDRF)[15]. Indeed, another report from September 2002 by Sewa International India lists the funding agency for two villages (Jivapar and Visnagar) as only ‘IDRF’, though these are in SIUK’s progress report. In fact, in this Sewa International India report, only two villages, Mithapasvaria and Chapredi, are listed with SIUK as the funding agency[16]. However, nothing in the anniversary brochure tells us that funds used or earmarked for village reconstruction by Sewa Bharati may have been raised by organizations other than SIUK, or that government contributions were a significant part of the costs. Most important is SIUK’s claim made on its website in May 2001 which states that:

Sewa Bharati in partnership with Sewa International are rebuilding twenty-five villages along with fifty primary schools and one hundred community centres. Ten of the villages are totally funded by Sewa International (UK).[17]

A document we obtained from sources in Gujarat shows how approximately £1.9 million raised by SIUK was to be used by Sewa Bharati in Gujarat[18]. We also have grounds for believing that all of the approximately £2.3 million raised by SIUK during its India Quake Appeal was for Sewa Bharati, an RSS organization.

This Sewa Bharati document shows six villages funded by SIUK, not the ten claimed in its anniversary report or the ten it claimed to be ‘totally funding’ on its website or the twenty five it said it was adopting and reconstructing in its fundraising video. The six villages are Chapredi, Mithapasvaria, Sayan, Badanpur, Rapar and Rampura and five of these are discussed in detail later. Two ‘schools projects’, a Bhunga project (bhunga is a house structure used in some regions of Kutchi Gujarat), an emergency relief medical centre, a mobile hospital in Kutch, a mobile dispensary and a proposal for a ‘disaster management institute’ are also listed.

One of the recipients of SIUK funding is the Dr Hedgewar Rugnalay. Given SIUK’s denials that it is backed by the RSS and its claim that it is not sectarian, it seems strange that one of the key projects it has funded under earthquake relief is named after Keshav Hedgewar[19], the founder of the RSS and promoter of a hate politics of Hindu supremacy. The Rugnalay is a project of the National Medicos Organization, the RSS medical affiliate founded in 1977 and having a strongly ideological purpose. The National Medicos Organization is described by Sewa International India as:

Working with close relation and ideology of RSS having nodal point medical/dental students and doctors. The students and doctors work in co-operation of sewa vibhag [RSS service wing] and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram [a violent RSS affiliate working among ‘tribal’ groups].[20]

A report[21] by Sewa International India states that Jivapar village, listed in SIUK’s anniversary report, was renamed ‘Keshav Nagar’, ‘Keshav’ being the first name of the RSS cult founder.[22] The renaming of villages after the extremist RSS cult founder is part of a larger political agenda that seeks to normalize and habilitate a dangerous organization. We are aware that SIUK also funded homes for some Muslim families. SIUK makes much of this, celebrating the eight homes given to Muslims in its rebuilt Chapredi village[23]. However, this does not alter the primary aim of SIUK fundraising: to fund RSS affiliates and promote the RSS’s dangerous and divisive Hindutva activities.


Set in a quiet forest, the private institution [in Waghai, Gujarat] appears to be an ideal place to study – except that its 28 pupils don’t seem to be getting a very fair education. Many of the boys are too young to realize it, but near Shivaji’s image are paintings of several leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Hindu chauvinist organization that runs the school. A short Hindi poem inscribed under Shivaji’s portrait affords a glimpse of what the students learn. ‘If it weren’t for Shivaji,’ the ballad goes, ‘we would all be circumcised.’ The message: Shivaji saved Hindus from being forcibly converted to Islam.[24]

The Sewa Bharati document shows that two schools projects make up about 31 percent of SIUK funds (approximately half a million pounds) and village reconstruction makes up about 56 percent of SIUK funds (approximately a million pounds). The medical projects make up about 4 percent, and the disaster management institute about 9 percent of all allocated funds.

The proportion allocated to schools appears to be high, making up almost a third of all funds by SIUK for Gujarat earthquake reconstruction and rehabilitation, though it would seem that permanent shelters and capital infrastructure should have been key priorities. SIUK school funding is listed in the Sewa Bharati document under ‘Schools Project 1’ and ‘Schools Project 2’. 'Schools Project 1' included government contributions and made up about 7 percent of SIUK’s funding. The information we have so far on 'Project 1' shows three Jodiya schools having large RSS boards and plaques that confirm SIUK involvement. However, revealing information from Sewa Bharati Gujarat on the much larger ‘Schools – Project 2’, amounting to almost a quarter of SIUK funds, is given in Table 3. Unlike Project 1 schools, these are said by Sewa Bharati Gujarat to be independent of any government funding.

Table 3: Sewa Bharati Gujarat Schools - Project 2.
Source: ‘Details of New Projects to be taken up by Sewa Bharati Gujarat. Schools – Project 2’, Sewa Bharati Gujarat, Ahmedabad, not dated.
Name of School Village Taluka District Sewa Int's Contribution (Rs. 100,000)
1 Shri Sarasvati Vidya Mandir Mandvi Mandvi Kutch 11.85
2 Shri Sarasvati Vidya Mandir Bhachu Bhachu Kutch 15.00
3 Shri Sarasvati Primary School Kalavad Kalavad Jamnagar 5.00
4 Lok Kalyan Trust Chanasma Chanasma Patan 10.00
5 Shri Sarasvati Shishumandir Chakarkotda Anjar Kutch 23.86
6 Shri Sarasvati Shishumandir Ratnal Anjar Kutch 21.65
7 Shri Sarasvati Vidya Mandir Adipur Anjar Kutch 11.30
8 Shri Sarasvati Shishumandir Antarjal Anjar Kutch 12.00
9 Shri Sarasvati Shishumandir Gadpadar Anjar Kutch 19.30
10 Shri Sarasvati Vidya Mandir Radhanpur Radhanpur Patan 15.00
11 Shri Sarasvati Vidya Mandir Thara Kankrej Banaskantha 5.00
12 Shri Sarasvati Vidya Mandir Surajkardi Dwarka Jamnagar 15.00
13 Maharashtra Shikshan Mandal Saijpur Ahmedabad Ahmedabad 21.30
14 Shri Sarasvati Shishumandir Middle Section Bhuj Bhuj Kutch 28.00
15 Shri Sarasvati Educational Complex up to High school For land 5000 Sq.Mt. For Building Bhachu Bhachu Kutch 70.00
16 Border Jankalyan Samiti Madhapar 'Bani’ West Bhuj Kutch 20.95
TOTAL 305.21

Every single school under its Schools Project 2 was an RSS school, financed by funds raised in the UK in the name of earthquake rehabilitation and reconstruction. Sarasvati Shishu Mandirs and Sarasvati Vidya Mandirs are names for RSS schools, usually run by Vidya Bharati, the RSS’s educational affiliate. Vidya Bharati describes its purpose as:

To develop a national system of education which may mould the posterity into such a youthful generation as fully saturated with the feelings of Hindutva and patriotism.[25]

A common curriculum and literature is used throughout Vidya Bharati schools[26] which systematically promotes RSS ideology among schoolchildren. Vidya Bharati’s website states:

The message of Hindutva has worked wonders. During the birth centenary year of Dr. Hedgewar [RSS founder], the students prepared his biography in 18 tribal languages and these were published in book form by Vidya Bharati. In due course of time, this project will bring many people of that area into the main stream of Hindutva and prepare them to stand once again as sentinels of Bharatiya Sanskriti [the RSS view of Indian culture][27].

Vidya Bharati is similarly open about the need to ideologically indoctrinate children from as young an age as possible.

In India formal education of the child starts at 5+…Seeds of English way of life and conversation are sown at this very tender age. Vidya Bharati has started ‘Shishu Vatikas’ in large number to protect the initial stage of children from getting vitiated with the virus of western culture. There is a psychological endeavour to reduce the weight of the bag and encourage play-way methods of inculcating Hindu ideology in the tiny-tots.[28]

In 1993, India’s National Council for Educational Research and Training, a statutory body charged with producing, supplying and evaluating textbooks and teaching materials, issued a report on Vidya Bharati materials used in Saraswati Shishu Mandirs. The report said that much of the material in the so–called Sanskrit Jnan (‘cultural education’) series was ‘designed to promote bigotry and religious fanaticism in the name of inculcating knowledge of culture in the young generation’ and that Vidya Bharati schools are being ‘clearly used for the dissemination of blatantly communal ideas’. The report went on to state that:

The Committee recommends that the educational authorities of Madhya Pradesh and other states should disallow the use of this series in the schools. The state governments may also consider appropriate steps to stop the publication of these materials which foment communal hatred and disallow the examinations which are held by the Vidya Bharati Sansthan on the basis of these materials.[29]

The report also noted that Vidya Bharati textbooks: promoted Aryan supremacy; claimed that ancient Greek, Chinese and other major civilizations were all Hindu-Aryan; celebrated the destruction of the Babri mosque; claimed that the stone in the Kaaba at Mecca was originally a Hindu object of worship (Shivalingam); claimed that Islam was spread by means of ‘rivers of blood’; and claimed that Christian conspiracies existed that aimed to divide India.

The link between RSS schools and RSS recruitment was highlighted in an investigation by the UK Financial Times which reported a commissioner for Dhar (a town in Madhya Pradesh) as saying:

…dozens of Sangh Parivar schools funded by foreign donations have been opened up in his district over the past 12 months. Volunteers who teach at such schools frequently organize Shakhas, or RSS paramilitary training sessions, he says. The drills, modelled on those devised by Benito Mussolini, Italy’s dictator in the 1920s, often take place on school premises. ‘The schools are part of an integrated RSS attempt to split the community along communal lines so that Madhya Pradesh will go the same way as Gujarat,’ Mr Dubey says.[30]

Similarly, the national Indian daily, The Hindu reported:

Vidya Bharati is, says its head Dinanath Batra, one of the ‘organizations through which the Sangh’s vichardhara [RSS ideology] is propagated’. Its aim is to provide an education which will turn out ‘self-less citizens... suffused with the spirit of Hindutva’…The walls of Vidya Bharati’s schools do speak, to those willing to listen. They are lined with calendar art images of ‘mahapurush’ [great men] – RSS gurus, M.S. Golwalkar and Baliram Hedgewar, Shankaracharya, Dayananda Saraswati, Vivekananda, Shivaji, Rana Pratap, Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandrashekhar Azad, sometimes Sardar Patel, but not Mahatma Gandhi…’[31]

British donors were unwittingly providing funds for Gujarat earthquake relief that went to the RSS’s key affiliate Sewa Bharati, and of which a large proportion went to fund the expansion of the RSS’s hate-driven schools in Gujarat. About half a million pounds went towards the two schools projects, of which the vast proportion (around £450,000) went to RSS schools. This is a key example of way that overseas funds are used for furthering hatred in India.


Two other earthquake projects shown by Sewa Bharati as funded by SIUK need noting. The Lok Kalyan Trust in Chanasma village is an RSS affiliate. Chanasma, formerly a peaceful village in Patan district, witnessed a period of considerable violence by Hindutva mobs against Muslims from 1999. By 2002 this violence had escalated and become a ‘cleansing’ by Hindutva and Bajrang Dal mobs of all Muslims in the village. The Lok Kalyan Trust allegedly illegally obtained land in the village that was previously used as burial grounds by Muslims. Muslim graves were dug up, bodies removed and saffron flags planted. The takeover of Muslim land was done by intimidation and subterfuge, illegal entry, constructing a ‘temple’ on the land, and getting a resolution passed in the local municipality in December 1999 to transfer land and premises belonging to the Muslim waqf board (a statutory agency) to the Lok Kalyan Trust. SIUK funded an RSS organization directly implicated in the forcible religious 'cleansing' of a Gujarati village and responsible for the illegal occupation of statutory premises formerly under the charge of Muslims.

The Border Jankalyan Samiti is also listed as an organization funded by SIUK. Jankalyan Samiti is the name for an RSS network of health and service organizations that emerged after 1989. In Maharashtra, the Jankalyan Samiti has been responsible for violent attacks on Christians – Jankalyan activists attacked Shruti, a voluntary group in Nandugarh, Latur district which is run by the Catholic Health Association of India[32]. Gujarat state shares a border with Pakistan, and the border areas have become a focus of considerable RSS-and especially VHP activity in recent years.


The following are extracts of a fact-finding team’s report[33] on the events at Chanasma village (our translation, original in Gujarati).

In the wake of the Bajrang Dal [VHP youth wing] onslaught, around 550 Muslim men, women, children and old people have been forced to flee the town of Chanasma in Patan District and the town’s Navgaja Pir burial ground has been occupied and saffronized. Muslim graves in the burial grounds have been dug out and the earth leveled. Green sheets covering the pir’s [revered Muslim preacher] grave (Dargah) have been replaced by white sheets. The square structure for lighting lamps on the Dargah has been converted into a temple by building a typical temple dome over it, painting it saffron colour and adorning it with a trident and a white flag. An iron birdhouse for pigeons has been erected in the middle of the vast waqf-owned burial site…Numerous saffron flags are fluttering over the Dargah, the ramparts and the birdhouse. The slogan ‘Victory to the Holy Motherland!’ is scribbled all over the Dargah. A new four-foot wall construction without plaster, built to annex the waqf land, is in full view. It is obvious that high caste Hindus conspired to seize the land because situated in their midst the waqf land was both an irritant and a precious resource in the growing town. Intent on gang rape and with swords drawn, the Bajrang Dal mob surrounded Indiranagar, the Muslim quarters of the village. If the Dalits of Chanasma had not given refuge to Muslim women in the Dalit quarters for the whole night, Chanasma would have seen a repetition of gang rapes on the scale of Surat (1993). ‘We are not prepared to go back to the town. Our mothers, sisters or daughters are not safe there’, say the frightened migrant Muslims of Chanasma. Only a few days prior to our team’s visit Muslims from the nearby village of Vadavali were attacked at the bus stand in Chanasma town, a town where more than eighty percent of the population is Patel by caste. Chanasma municipality passed a resolution on 12.2.1999 to donate the Muslim waqf-owned land to the high caste Hindus’ Lok Kalyan Trust, Chanasma. How can Chanasma Municipality resolve to pass the waqf’s land to others? You can imagine the situation of the minority community in a town where the municipality can pass with impunity such resolutions outside its jurisdiction…Right now some 550 powerless and frightened Muslims from 130 families are living under the open skies in scorching heat. Neither social workers nor friendly organizations have so far come to their aid.


[1] Radhika Desai, Gujarat Earthquake of January 26, 2001: relief, rehabilitation and discrimination, Indian Social Action Forum, 4 June 2001, p.10.

[2] Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, Coming Together, September 2001. This issue of Coming Together, compiled by the Kutch Nav Nirman Abhiyan and the United Nations Development Programme, contains extensive information and data on the work carried out by NGOs across a very wide range of fields in Gujarat. Sewa Bharati primarily emerges through the education projects.

[3] Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, Coming Together, August 2001.

[4] Earthquake Affected Relief and Rehabilitation Services, ‘Earthquake Relief: Issues Of Concern’, EARSS Documentation Centre, Ahmedabad. For further details, see EARSS documentation at See also: Indian Centre for Human Rights and Law, Gujarat Earthquake, January 26, 2001 - Background for the Indian People’s Tribunal, August 17-20, 2001, pp. 26-27.

[5] Radhika Desai et al, ‘Human rights investigation team finds rampant discrimination against dalits and Muslims in quake-hit Kutch and Saurashtra’, Press Release, 2 April 2001.

[6] Amit Sengupta, ‘Dalits, minorities cry discrimination’, Hindustan Times, 7 February 2001; Sheela Bhatt, ‘Tents now decide the social hierarchy in Bhuj’,, 5 February 2001.

[7] EARRS Documentation Centre / Fr. William Macwan, ‘RSS creating havoc in the name of conversion with Quake relief – Abhiyan NGOs in Kutch’ 10 April 2001.




[11] Sewa International UK, Gujarat Earthquake – 26 January 2001 Anniversary Issue. One Year After, undated.


[13] One item on its website from 21 July 2001 (six months after the earthquake and associated fundraising) states that ‘Sewa International UK will fund 5 villages and that it will be supporting the reconstruction of Mitha Pasvaria (Anjar), Chapredi (Bhuj), Rapar (Morbi), Bhadra (Bhuj), and Chawbari (Bhachau)’ – though some of these villages are different from the ones finally chosen. However, the same item also mentioned construction activity having been launched or was starting in the following other four villages: Devgarh, Mayapur, Jakhotra and Jivapar. Another item from May 2001 refers to adopted villages being conditional on agreements reached with the state government and mentions government contributions – Nevertheless, the argument stands, since the anniversary report detailing ten villages was produced after these statements.

[14] Sewa Bharati Gujarat (Poornavasan), ‘Progress report for period ending 30.09.2001’


[16] Rajesh Sinha, ‘Rehabilitation work near completion: ,a visit report by Rajesh Sinha’, 10 September 2002, The same two are also listed by the Gujarat RSS media outfit, Vishwa Samvad Kendra, with Sewa Coventry UK, and Sewa Nottingham UK named as the donor agencies,


[18] Sewa Bharati Gujarat, ‘Costing Summary for Projects Financed by Sewa International UK’, Sewa Bharati Gujarat, Ahmedabad, not dated.

[19] Buried in SIUK’s website is a report that states that ‘the hospital is run by the National Medicos Organization, which is another one of the many arms of the RSS organization, along with SEWA Bharati’,


[21] Rajesh Sinha, ‘Rehabilitation work near completion: a visit report by Rajesh Sinha’, 10 September 2002,

[22] Mithapasvaria, adopted by SIUK, was renamed after reconstruction to ‘Ramnagar’ (loosely translated as ‘the god Ram’s town’). Another village, Badanpur, was renamed as Siddhnath (a reference to the Hindu deity Ganesh). Another village, Chapredi, was renamed ‘Atalnagar’ after the BJP prime minister of India.

[23] Sangh Sandesh September – October 2003, p.11.

[24] Ajay Singh, ‘A real textbook case’, Asiaweek, 26 March 1999.





[29] Extracts of NCERT’s report are reproduced in Communalism Combat, October 1999.

[30] Edward Luce and Demetri Sevastopulo, ‘Blood and money’, Financial Times, 20 February 2003.

[31] Anjali Mody, ‘Manufacturing Believers’, The Hindu, 10 February 2002.

[32] Asian Age, 11 July 1998.

[33] Chanasma na Musalimo ni Hijrat, Council for Social Justice, Ahmedabad, 2001.

British Charity & Hindu Extremism - 1

Awaaz — South Asia Watch Ltd, 2004


Section summary

1 - The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – National Volunteers Corps) is a paramilitary, all-male political organization founded in the 1920s and dedicated to turning India into an exclusive ‘Hindu nation’ based on ‘Hindu strength’ and ‘Hindu unity’. RSS founders were strongly inspired by Fascist and Nazi ideas and the RSS was modeled on Fascist youth organizations. The RSS and its allies have been repeatedly named by judicial inquiries for their role in religiously-motivated violence over several decades. The RSS has been banned three times in India, twice for its role in fomenting religious hatred and serious anti-minority violence. M. K. Gandhi’s murderer was an RSS activist.

2 - The RSS’s world-view is ‘Hindutva’, an extremist anti-minority ideology of Hindu supremacy formed in the 1920s. Hindutva has little relation to Hindu religions. Rather, it is based on the claim that India only belongs to those who ‘share the blood’ of Vedic-Aryans and who consider India as their holyland. Hindutva claims that Indian citizens who are Muslim or Christian are not ‘true’ Indians. If they do not swear allegiance to the RSS’s ideology, they should be treated as foreigners and potential enemies. According to RSS followers, India has to be turned from a secular democratic state in which all citizens are equal into a Hindu nation-state in which Hindus have absolute supremacy.

3 - The RSS has a large ‘family’ (sangh parivar) of closely related organizations that share its aims and world-view. RSS affiliates, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP – World Hindu Council), have been involved in large scale anti-minority violence or hatred, including riots and pogroms in which thousands have died.

4 - The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK (HSS UK) is the UK branch of the RSS and shares the RSS’s aims and ideology. The HSS UK is a registered charity. Sewa International UK (SIUK), though not a registered charity, is the fundraising arm of the HSS UK.

5 - SIUK is directly linked with the RSS and its affiliates, including Sewa International India and Sewa Bharati; the latter is a key recipient of SIUK funds. SIUK’s claim to be a non-sectarian, non-religious and non-political organization that ‘does not provide funds for anything other than humanitarian relief’ is false. Its main purpose is to raise funds for and support a distinct family of organizations associated with the extremist RSS.

6 - Sewa International India and Sewa Bharati are dedicated to building a Hindu nation based on Hindu extremist ideas, glorifying the RSS, recruiting for the RSS and expanding RSS physical and ideological training cells (shakhas) in India.

7 - Sewa Bharati has been openly involved in Hindutva extremist political work in India, including promotion of RSS ideology and politics. The state government of Madhya Pradesh revoked its license because of alleged violence against Christians. Allegations of violence by Sewa Bharati against Christians in Madhya Pradesh continue.

8 - We do not think it is a coincidence that the two Indian states where Hindutva networks, hatred and violence have grown phenomenally in recent years both had natural and human tragedies (the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, the Orissa cyclone in 1999) followed by massive amounts of funding to Hindutva organizations under the guise of humanitarian charity.


I am the first enemy of the Muslims…Killing Muslims was necessary. All Muslims had to be taught a lesson…If the Muslims do not learn, it will be very harmful for them. Harish Bhatt, Gujarat state vice president, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, describing the killing of 2,000 Indians, almost all Muslims, in Gujarat during 2002.

Virtually every judicial commission of inquiry officially appointed to investigate communal riots since Independence and Partition has indicted organizations affiliated with or allied to the RSS/VHP/BD/BJP combine, including the Maharashtra-based Shiv Sena, for their role in violent crimes against India’s minorities. Concerned Citizens Tribunal on the Gujarat 2002 massacres, led by former chief justice of India, V. R. Krishna Iyer.

In India since the early 1980s, there has been a massive growth of violent Hindu extremist political movements and organizations. These organizations follow a supremacist ideology called Hindutva. Hindutva has little relation to the religion of Hinduism. Instead, Hindutva is an ideology formed in the 1920s and 1930s and influenced by Fascism and Nazism. It claims that India belongs only to Hindus and that Hindus are a single ‘race’, people, culture or nation. India has to be turned into an exclusive Hindu nation-state in which minorities have limited or few rights of democratic citizenship. Minorities are viewed by Hindutva organizations as enemies, traitors, polluters and alien foreigners. From their beginning, Hindutva organizations have opposed secularism, freedom of belief and the democratic and tolerant values of the Indian constitution.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, National Volunteers Corps), formed in 1925-1926, is at the core of the family of Hindutva organizations operating in India.

The RSS is modelled on Italian Fascist youth movements that were growing at that time. Its founders (K. B. Hedgewar and B. S. Moonje) and its second leader (M. S. Golwalkar) were all strong admirers or supporters of both Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

The RSS is not a democratic organization but based on obedience to and veneration of its supreme leader.

The RSS is not a formally registered society in India and is not regarded as a charity. It claims not to keep any bank accounts and it does not have to pay income tax. The RSS, its women’s and student affiliates, and the VHP are notified under section 5 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 1976 (FCRA) as organizations of a political nature. The Act bans such organizations from receiving any foreign funds, unless they receive prior permission from the central government on a case by case basis.

The family of RSS-spawned organizations is known as the sangh parivar or just sangh (meaning ‘organization’).

The key sangh parivar belief is that India belongs only to Hindus; all other religious communities, and those Hindus who refuse to accept RSS leadership, are considered enemies of the country. The ideology of the sangh parivar is ‘Hindutva’. This is a rejection of the secular and civic idea of Indian nationhood and citizenship in favour of an extremist and discriminatory idea of an exclusive ‘Hindu nation-state’, called a Hindurashtra.

The RSS’s key method of recruiting and organizing cadres is called sangathan – the consolidation of all Hindus under its hate-driven ideology in order to create a Hindu nation-state. RSS volunteers working to build the ‘Hindu nation’ are called swayamsevaks and RSS workers / activists are called karyakartas.

The RSS is organized through cells called shakhas in which uniformed members undergo military drills, physical, ideological and weapons training, and prayers to its saffron flag. In RSS shakhas, images of Hindu Gods or Goddess are absent. The ‘god’ of the RSS is the ‘Hindu nation’ and members are required to venerate the RSS’s first two supreme leaders, K. B. Hedgewar and M. S. Golwalkar.

Hindutva organizations have repeatedly flouted the law, acted illegally, undermined judicial processes and the criminal justice system, infiltrated the federal state, and systematically targeted and massacred Indian citizens who are Muslims or Christians.

Since the late 1960s, the RSS has been repeatedly named in judicial commissions and enquiries into serious incidents of religiously-motivated violence in India. This included the murder of M. K. Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, an RSS propagator. The RSS has been banned three times in independent India, twice because of its association with violence and hatred. Over the past two decades, there have been very serious incidents of violence against Muslim and Christian communities by Hindutva organizations, including the VHP, the RSS, the Gujarat BJP and the Bajrang Dal. These incidents include the killings in Bhagalpur in 1989, in Bombay in 1992–1993 and in Dangs district, Gujarat from 1997 and 1998-1999. Over 5,000 Indians were killed in these various events.

Table 1: Sangh parivar and violence[1]

Location / Date Estimated number killed, where known Sangh parivar indicted by:
Bhiwandi 1970 78 Justice D.P. Madon Commission: ‘The organization responsible for bringing communal tension in Bhiwandi to a pitch is the Rashtriya Utsav Mandal [an arm of the Jana Sangh, the then RSS political wing].’
Jalgaon 1970 43 Justice D. P. Madon Commission, as above.
Tellicherry 1971 251 Justice Joseph Vithyathil Commission: ‘It was only after the RSS and the Jana Sangh set up their units … that there came a change in the situation. Their anti-Muslim propaganda, its reaction on the Muslims … and the communal tension that followed prepared the ground for the disturbances.’
Jamshedpur 1979 127-137 Commission of Inquiry: ‘The dispute on the route of the procession became sharp and agitated reactions from a group of persons … who systematically distributed pamphlets to heighten communal feelings and had organizational links with the RSS.’
Kanyakumari 1982 Justice Venugopal Commission: ‘The RSS methodology for provoking communal violence is: a) rousing feelings in the majority community by propaganda… b) deepening fear in the majority community by a clever propaganda that the [minorities’] population is increasing… c) infiltrating into the administration… e) spreading rumours to widen the communal cleavage…’
Bhagalpur 1989 At least 918 Commission of Inquiry, Majority Report of Justice Ram Chand Prasad and S. Shamshul Hasan: ‘The climax was reached when the BJP and VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) workers led by their leaders demonstrated…’
East Delhi 1992 19 People’s Union for Civil Liberties: ‘The December 11 incidents… [were] a vicious police operation carried out with communal bias, with so-called Hindutva activists and local [thugs] with a view to unleash terror on members of the minority community.’
Bombay 1992 – 1993 At least
1,700 Human Rights Watch: ‘The violence in Bombay emerged out of an organized and systematic ideological campaign directed primarily against India's Muslim minority… During the preceding months, a movement … including the BJP, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Shiv Sena, had called for the construction of a temple on the site of the [Babri] mosque as an integral move in their struggle for Hindutva, or Hindu rule.’
Gujarat 2002 2,000 Concerned Citizens’ Tribunal (chaired by former Chief Justice of India V.R. Krishna Iyer): ‘The leadership of large mobs running into thousands was provided by easily identifiable elected representatives of the BJP (including cabinet ministers), and others from the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and the RSS...’

The Gujarat pogroms in 2002 were the most chilling illustration of the rise of Hindutva. From 27 February 2002, at least 2,000 Indian citizens, the vast majority Muslim, were killed – most over the course of three days – and over 200,000 displaced in the worst violence seen in India over the last decade. The pogrom was concentrated in the towns and villages of Gujarat. The violence continued for several months and involved the active cooperation of RSS leaders that head the Gujarat state government. It followed the killing of 58 Hindus on a train just outside Godhra town in Gujarat, reportedly by a Muslim mob. The Gujarat carnage was unprecedented in its brutality, its planning and methodical execution. The violence included the systematic rape and mutilation of women and girls, the killing and burning of adults and children and the destruction and arson of homes, businesses and property.

The carnage was condemned by numerous governments, the European Union and human rights organizations worldwide. Numerous Indian and international human rights reports directly indicted the RSS and its affiliates in the violence. In April 2002, a Human Rights Watch Report concluded that:

The groups most directly involved in the violence include the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council, VHP), the Bajrang Dal, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that heads the Gujarat state government.[2]

A survey in 2002 by Citizen’s Initiative, Ahmedabad of almost 2800 Muslim families affected by the violence named these same organizations as involved in the carnage[3]. Similarly, in 2002, a Concerned Citizens Tribunal headed by Justices V.R. Krishna Iyer, Hosbet Suresh and P.B. Sawant detailed extensive eyewitness testimony that named these same organizations for involvement in the atrocities[4].


British citizens were victims of RSS and VHP-inspired violence: three members of the Dawood family from Yorkshire, on holiday in India, were killed during the Gujarat carnage in 2002. The Indian RSS also has highly active organizations working in the UK. They have spread RSS ideology, provided extensive financial and political support for Hindutva organizations in India, and attempted to gain influence among Hindus in the UK, especially among youth. They have received support from political parties, local authorities, education authorities, MPs and members of the royal family. The UK organizations pretend to be simply religious or cultural organizations that represent Hindus and they attempt to disguise their links with political extremism in India. Several UK organizations raise funds from the general public in the name of charity and channel them to RSS front organizations in India. UK organizations linked to the RSS include:

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS UK, a registered charity, charity number 267309), the UK branch of the RSS.

Sewa International UK (SIUK, the fundraising and ‘service project’ of HSS UK) which raises funds for RSS projects in India.

Kalyan Ashram Trust (KAT, a registered charity, charity number 261327) which raises funds for RSS ‘tribal’ projects in India.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK (VHP UK, a registered charity, charity number 262684), the UK branch of the Indian VHP.

Overseas Friends of the BJP (OFBJP UK), which provides support in the UK for the BJP political party which is part of the RSS family.

The close relation between the HSS UK, the VHP UK and the Indian RSS is described in Section
5. The following table shows how the HSS UK family of organizations exactly parallels the Indian RSS and its affiliates.

Table 2: The UK & Indian sangh parivar

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK

Initiated 1966, registered as charity in 1974, charity registration number 267309
Key decision making bodies are annual Akhil UK Pratinidhi Sabha, and three monthly Central Executive Committee (KKM)
Key training event for workers is annual Sangh Shikshak Varg
Has around 75 weekly shakhas, attended by around 1500 members called ‘swayamsevaks’
Reverence and devotion to saffron flag, K. B. Hedgewar and M. S. Golwalkar
Has same hymns and prayers, and celebrates same festivals as RSS
Considers Indian RSS head as its supreme leader
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (India)

Formed in 1925-1926 as paramilitary male organization
Key decision making bodies are Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha and Central Executive Committee (Kendriya Karyakari Mandal)
Numerous Shikshak Vargs (training camps for instructors)
Branches are called ‘shakhas’ – daily physical and ideological training cells attended by several million members called ‘swayamsevaks’
Reverence and devotion to saffron flag, K. B. Hedgewar and M. S. Golwalkar

Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK

Formed 1971, acquired charitable status in 1972, charity registration number 262684
Branch of VHP India operating in UK, part of Vishwa Hindu Parishad international section
Has 12 UK branches
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (India)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad India – Overseas section
Vishwa Hindu Parishad International

VHP formed in 1964 as RSS ‘religious’ affiliate
VHP at forefront of anti-minority campaigns and violence in India

Hindu Sevika Samiti UK

HSS UK women’s affiliate formed in 1975
Structure mirrors HSS UK
Key training event for workers is annual Samiti Shikshak Varg
Has about 30 weekly shakhas attended by around 500 women and girls
Rashtra Sevika Samiti (India)

RSS women’s affiliate, formed 1936
Structure mirrors RSS
Organizes Samiti Shikshak Vargs

Overseas Friends of the BJP UK

Formed 1991
Lobbies for UK support of Indian BJP
Friends of India Society International

Formed in mid-1970s during ‘emergency’ period in India
Supports various sangh parivar-linked political projects
Bharatiya Janata Party (India)

Political party formed in 1980 by RSS activists
Senior leaders are RSS members

Sewa International UK

Formed 1991, became private limited company in 2002, company number 04482628
Uses the charity registration number of HSS UK, 267309
‘Service project of HSS UK’
Key fundraising for Indian RSS affiliates
Sewa Bharati (India) / Sewa International (India)
Gram Bharati (India)

RSS ‘service’ & rural project wings
Vidya Bharati (India)
Saraswati Shishu / Vidya mandirs
Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation (VHP)

RSS / VHP education projects / schools
Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (India)

RSS adivasi (‘tribal’) projects

Kalyan Ashram Trust UK

Registered as charity in 1970, charity registration number 261327
Established to raise funds for Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram projects in India

National Hindu Students Forum UK

HSS UK student affiliate, formed 1991
Shares address of HSS UK, key activists also HSS UK members
Largest body of Hindu students in UK
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (India)

RSS student affiliate
Largest body of Hindu students in India

Hindu Sahitya Kendra

Formed in 1984
HSS UK literature dissemination outfit
Hindu Vivek Kendra (India)

Hindutva literature dissemination

Deendayal Research Institute

Ideological unit
Named after senior RSS worker, ideologue and founder of a Hindutva political party in 1950s
Deendayal Shodh Sansthan (India)

Ideological unit
Publishes journal Manthan
Named after senior RSS worker, ideologue and founder of a Hindutva political party in 1950s

Hindu International Medical Mission

HSS UK medical affiliate
National Medicos Organization (India)

RSS medical affiliate

Figure 1: HSS UK annual training camp 2001. Images of RSS founder Hedgewar, RSS second supreme leader Golwalkar and RSS map of India at front


Yet another development is the establishment of an international organization titled SEWA INTERNATIONAL which now has branches in many countries. Sewa International will look after the interests of seva [RSS service] related issues not only in the respective countries where they have chapters but also take up GLOBAL level care of sewa [service] work carried out under the Sangh [RSS] ideology [5].

Hindusthan is Hindu Rashtra—K.S. Sudarshan. The Sarsanghchalak [supreme leader] of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Shri K.S. Sudarshan has chalked out a systematic approach to be adopted by Sangh swayamsevaks [RSS members] to reach out to the last person in the village through various developmental programmes and bring them all within its organizational fold…The Sarsanghchalak [RSS head] emphasised the need for special efforts to expand the Sangh [RSS] network in the remote parts of the country. He pointed out that various political parties realised the significance of Hindus getting united, which could ultimately change the very contour of the nation’s polity.[6]

Sewa International UK (SIUK), formed in 1991, is the ‘service project’ of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, the UK branch of the RSS. SIUK has become in a short space of time a high profile organization that raises funds for what it says are welfare, education and development projects in India. It claims to be a non-sectarian, non-religious and non-political humanitarian organization. It presents itself as working for the good of humanity, focusing on education, poverty and natural tragedies in India. It is widely presented as simply an Indian or Hindu charity. SIUK has received the support of royalty, MPs and councillors, lord mayors, many local authorities, schools, large companies, prominent individuals, voluntary and community groups and members of the South Asian communities. SIUK received considerable coverage in the UK in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that centred on Gujarat state in 2001. It said it raised £4.3 million for Gujarat earthquake relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction. It has also raised funds for various other service and educational activities in India. SIUK is not a charity, but uses the charity registration number of the HSS UK (267309) to collect donations from the general public. It is also a limited company (company number 04482628, date of incorporation 11 July 2002.) The company registered address is the Leicester office of the HSS UK[7].

Our point is not about whether SIUK funded service activities in India, or whether or not these have benefited individuals. Nor does our argument concern the detail of the financial accounting procedures of SIUK. We show in this report that the main purpose of SIUK is to raise funds in the UK for RSS projects in India in order to directly help the expansion of the extremist RSS’s networks across Indian society in line with the long term political and sectarian aims of the RSS. SIUK was established primarily to raise funds for one clear, distinct political family of organizations entirely related to the RSS. The vast bulk of SIUK efforts are directed to the principal aim of furthering the extremist RSS’s goals. One of SIUK’s slogans is ‘service to humanity is service to God’. We think a much more accurate slogan would be: ‘fundraising for RSS service networks to create a Hindu nation’.

In response to a Channel 4 News report in December 2002 which said that SIUK had raised funds for an organization, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA), that was directly involved in the Gujarat carnage, HSS UK and SIUK stated:

HSS and Sewa International denies all the allegations and will whole heartedly continue to help the Charity Commission with its on-going enquiries, in order to clear its name of ALL the biased and malicious allegations that have been raised. HSS and Sewa International confidently and unequivocally states that it does not provide funds for anything other than humanitarian relief and rehabilitation. Sewa International has never sent money to any parties with the intention of spreading communal violence or hatred, either directly or indirectly. Recent reports which centre totally on the communal violence in Gujarat bear no relevance to any of the relief work or projects supported by Sewa International.[8]

HSS / SIUK denied they had the intention of funding organizations for the purposes of hatred and violence. This is an easy denial to make. However, given the seriousness of the Channel 4 allegations, HSS / SIUK did not make the relevant denial – that organizations they fund and support have not been involved in hatred or violence. HSS / SIUK also state that the violence in Gujarat during 2002, which directly involved the VKA, bears no relevance to projects it supports and funds, which include the VKA. HSS / SIUK do not make the important denial – that the VKA has not been involved in violence or hatred. We do not think it is a coincidence that the two Indian states where Hindutva networks, hatred and violence have grown phenomenally in recent years both had natural and human tragedies (the Gujarat earthquake in 2001, the Orissa cyclone in 1999) followed by massive amounts of funding to Hindutva organizations under the guise of humanitarian charity.


…Sewa International is not an RSS-backed organization. The allegation is totally false and misleading, Sewa International is a Sewa Project of HSS. A malicious propaganda is going on against Sewa international by the Left wings of UK[9].

In an interview in 2002, the vice-chair of SIUK denied that it is ‘backed’ by the RSS. However, this interview was from Organiser, the main Indian weekly of the RSS. In fact the Indian RSS considers SIUK to be an integral part of work and mission. There are numerous strong ties between SIUK and the Indian RSS that occur through:

Direct links between SIUK and the RSS
Strong, extensive links between the HSS UK and the RSS (described in Section 5)
Links with Sewa Bharati, the RSS service affiliate in India
Links with Sewa International India, which coordinates international fundraising for and publicises RSS and VHP projects
Various other ties between SIUK and other RSS affiliates
The former Indian RSS supreme leader, Rajendra Singh gave a talk titled ‘code of guidelines to workers’ to HSS members in north London on 24 April 1995. The first guideline is to Sewa International on its areas of priority[10]. If SIUK is not backed by the RSS, why would the most senior RSS figure in the world consider it his remit to provide codes of guidance for it?

RSS publications list SIUK and the Kalyan Ashram Trust UK as examples of the RSS (sangh) organizations the UK or as ‘sangh work abroad’[11]. An RSS brochure published on the occasion of the World RSS Camp held in Gujarat in December 1995 describes the activities of the HSS UK, Sewa International, Kalyan Ashram Trust UK, the VHP UK and other UK organizations as part of the RSS’s Hindutva mission in the UK[12]. One article in this RSS publication is authored by the SIUK vice chair who discusses the Ayodhya temple campaign in the UK. (The Ayodhya temple campaign is a political VHP/RSS project which led to the illegal destruction by Hindutva mobs of the Babri mosque at Ayodhya in 1992 and which led to bloody riots throughout India.) The RSS’s ‘service department’ similarly states that Sewa International is an RSS project working under the sangh’s ideology[13].

The former HSS UK full-time worker, Ram Vaidya, one of two sons of M.G. Vaidya, a senior RSS figure and media spokesperson, came to the UK in 1999 to evaluate the work of HSS UK and expand and consolidate HSS work in Europe. In a report to the HSS UK central executive committee on 13 May 2001 in Coventry, he made recommendations regarding SIUK work around the Gujarat earthquake that stressed the need to expand HSS physical and ideological training cells (shakhas) and undertake charitable work with ‘detached involvement’[14].

The VHP UK Manchester branch newsletter also stated ‘Sewa International (UK) is a service project of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK) which is working closely with the RSS and VHP in India to provide aid to the victims of the earthquake.’[15] SIUK’s anniversary report on its earthquake work includes a message of support from ‘Mananiya K. S. Sudarshanji’ – the ‘venerable’ K.S. Sudarshan, who happens to be the supreme leader of the Indian RSS[16].

The SIUK vice-chair also co-wrote a report on the Gujarat earthquake of 2001 with two very senior RSS officers. This celebrated the RSS and its members, and stated that:

It is indisputably impossible to fathom the import of the training being imparted to the Swayamsevaks [RSS members] through RSS shakhas [cells]. Challenges faced during the natural or other calamities provide the right testing ground for the thus trained Swayamsevaks. The disaster management skills exhibited by the Swayamsevaks [RSS members] and Karyakartas [RSS activists] during the most difficult and painful hours in Gujarat right after the dreadful tremors, is an excellent case in study.[17]

SIUK’s website shows extensive associations with RSS projects, though the RSS itself is rarely mentioned. The email address listed for the contact person for Sewa Bharati Gujarat, a key recipient of SIUK funds, begins ‘rssgujarat@’[18]. Similarly, Sewa Bharati Gujarat’s letterhead states it is ‘Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Inspired’. SIUK’s address is the HSS UK Leicester office, which was itself inaugurated by the former RSS supreme leader, Rajendra Singh in 1995. The SIUK / HSS headquarters is called ‘Keshav Pratishthan’, named after the Indian RSS founder, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar.


SIUK is closely associated with Sewa International India. On the latter’s homepage (, SIUK and the US-based India Development and Relief Fund, and only these two, are listed as ‘associated organizations’[19].

Sewa International India, based in New Delhi, is an openly ideological and political project that promotes RSS and Hindutva ideas. It was formed by the RSS, promotes international fundraising activities for RSS and VHP projects in India, and promotes RSS projects among Indians outside India. The main purpose of Sewa International India is to organize all Hindus under RSS ideology. Its website states that the ultimate aim of all its work is Hindu sangathan – the ‘consolidating and strengthening of Hindu society’ and the need to ‘constantly seek unifying factors and jettison divisive factors’[20]. Its website extols the RSS and its leaders and celebrates the work of RSS members. It is very closely related to Sewa Bharati, the RSS’s service wing, and its website is virtually exclusively focused on Sewa Bharati and RSS projects. The general secretary of Sewa International India is Shyam Parande, who is also in charge of the RSS external affairs cell. His mailing address is listed as the RSS headquarters in Nagpur[21]. In December 2000, he confirmed that HSS UK and therefore SIUK are branches of the Indian RSS[22].


Sewa Bharati is the main recipient of funds from SIUK. It is the RSS service affiliate, founded in 1979. It became very important after 1989, when the RSS decided to expand its service sector. The senior vice president of Sewa Bharati, New Delhi, D. V. Kohli said, ‘We make no secret of the fact that we are members of the RSS’[23]. Sewa Bharati Madhya Pradesh was implicated in violence against Christian communities, leading the state government to revoke its license to operate there[24], and its role in violence against Christians continues[25].

Figure 2: Homepage of Sewa Bharati showing RSS founder Hedgewar and the RSS map of ‘India’ with the RSS saffron flag held (bizarrely) by the goddess ‘Bharatmata’,

Figure 3: Another Sewa Bharati website showing RSS founder Hedgewar and second RSS supreme leader Golwalkar.

Sewa Bharati runs a very large network of RSS service projects in India. These often overlap with those of Vidya Bharati (the RSS education and schools network), the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (the violent RSS affiliate working among ‘tribal’ groups), ekal vidyalayas (VHP-organized ‘one-teacher schools’) and other projects of the VHP. The key question is not whether RSS affiliates provide services to groups, some funded from the UK and US, but about the aim, nature and ultimate political purpose of such services. The fundamental aim of these projects is to penetrate communities through service activities in order to promote RSS ideology and organization. For example, Sewa International India’s website[26] shows how work undertaken by Sewa Bharati is explicitly based on political recruitment for the RSS, expanding the RSS physical and ideological training (shakha) network and training new workers for the RSS. Its work in a slum in Uttar Pradesh is described in the following way:

The Sangh has a tradition of converting strangers into friends, friends into Swayamsevaks [RSS volunteers], and Swayamsevaks into karyakartas [RSS activists]…Soon some fifty students from ten Bastis [slums] also started attending. Different classes had to be organized. After the day’s tuition, the Bhagwa Dhwaj [RSS saffron flag] is hoisted and the Prarthana [RSS prayers] too takes place. On Sundays, a regular full-fledged Shakha [RSS cell] is conducted… Sewa, Sangh and Hindutwa [service, the RSS and Hindu supremacism] could thus enter the Basti [slum]. After this, the karyakartas [activists] of Sewa Bharati and Sangh started visiting the Basti frequently. As a result, two residents of the Basti have now become full-time karyakartas [activists] working with Vanvasis [the RSS term for adivasis, the ‘tribal’ peoples]. Even when the Bahujan Samaj Party [Dalit-Muslim political party] fever gripped the neighbourhood, hundreds of youths of this region held aloft the flag of Hindutwa [Hindu supremacy]. Even now, a daily Shakha [RSS cell] takes place in the AmbedkarPark, where the attendance averages 30-35.[27]

Similarly, Sewa Bharati Madhya Pradesh, speaking about ‘tribal’ groups, said:

I hope you will kindly agree that, even one girl taken over today by us and brought up in environment prevailing in our institutions will not only bring herself above, but also surcharge the atmosphere in her tribe besides her own family. It may appear unbelievable, but it is even numerically true that one single such girl, will grow in to 500 or more such males and/or females, having the precious ancient culture of this divine land i.e. BHARAT, endeared at their hearts.[28]

Sewa Bharati’s work is openly linked to the need to build a ‘Hindu nation’. The former all-India head of the RSS service wing said:

Bharat is a Hindu Nation…The deprived masses of poor and ignorant of our society also have an inherent strength and ingenuity in them to contribute to the all round development of our Nation. Once they are awakened they get back their lost personality. They are to be welded together to form the backbone of the nascent Nation.[29]

Sewa Bharati has also openly engaged in political activity with the RSS and the VHP. For example, on 17 January 2002 at Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, a large Hindu gathering aimed at ‘tribal’ groups was attended by the supreme leader of the RSS, K.S. Sudarshan who warned ‘Christian missionaries’ to halt their activities. Sadhvi Rithambara, the inflammatory VHP representative also attended this meeting. An RSS publication stated that ‘As a result, on 17 January the whole area was filled by the upsurge of Hindutva-inspired Vanavasi [‘tribal’] brothers, sisters and mothers’[30]. Sewa Bharati described how the purpose of this event was to convert ‘tribals’ into RSS followers.

Sewa Bharati started its activity at about 5 years back with a single OTS (One Teacher One School)…Behind the success of Hindu Sangam is the devotion and hard work of 350 Ekal Vidyalayas [one-teacher schools], and 250 whole time workers of Sewa Bharati. They travelled continuously to practically every village for 3 months and visited about 3 Lakhs 25 thousand [325,000] families and established a place of worship by putting a photo of Bajrangbali (Shri Hanumanji). They also taught them how to worship and also made them learn and sing Bhajans [Hindu hymns]…Similarly, Bhagwa [RSS saffron] flags were also hoisted on practically each and every Tribal house…The gathering, in agreement time and again encouraged the speakers by shouting slogans such as ‘Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman, and Keshav ki jai jai [victory to the RSS founder] – Madhav ki jai jai [victory to the RSS’s second leader]’ etc. The patriotic feeling was also quite evident as the slogan Jai Bharat Mata ki [Victory to the Holy Motherland!] was also frequently heard from the crowd…The whole environment in and around Jhabua was pervaded with the enchantment of the slogans in praise of Shri Ram, Shri Hanuman and Bharat Mata. The whole city was full of saffron flags.[31]

The political importance of Sewa Bharati’s work among ‘tribal’ groups also became clear through the involvement of the BJP in this same event.

The much publicised congregation - the idea of which is said to have been conceptualised at the RSS meet in Nagpur in early 2001 – was organized by Sewa Bharati – an RSS outfit…Though initially, the BJP kept away from the campaign, later it joined hands with Sewa Bharati and the top BJP leaders including its state president Vikram Verma attended a meeting at Jhabua on January 6 to work out arrangements for the Hindu Sangam [gathering]. The BJP's interest in the campaign is seen as an attempt by the party to get a foothold in the tribal areas of the state something which has been eluding it so far.[32]

Sewa Bharati has also been involved in political campaigns with the VHP.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today demanded that foreign missionaries working in India should go back to their respective countries as they were involved in forcible conversions and also in stoking insurgency in the North-East…In a simultaneous development, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today decided to fully back the nationwide campaign launched by Swadeshi Jagaran Manch [RSS ‘nationalist’ development affiliate] to raise public awareness among the people about the threat posed by multi-national corporations. As part of this campaign, the RSS and its frontal organizations such as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh [RSS labour affiliate], Bharatiya Kisan Sangh [RSS farmers affiliate], Sewa Bharati, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad [RSS student affiliate] and the VHP will join the Chetna Yatra organized throughout the country by the SJM.[33]


[1] Our purpose here is to demonstrate that the RSS and its family have repeatedly been indicted for violence over several decades; this is not to exonerate the police or other political parties who played a major role in several of these incidents.

[2] Human Rights Watch, ‘We have no orders to save you’: State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat, Human Rights Watch, New York, April 2002 Vol. 14, No. 3(C). Human Rights Watch, Compounding Injustice: The Government's Failure to Redress Massacres in Gujarat, Human Rights Watch, New York, July 2003 Vol. 15, No. 3 (C).

[3] Citizens Initiative Ahmedabad, Ten hard facts: survey of victims in Ahmedabad, (Period of survey: 4 – 13 March, 2002), Citizens Initiative / Centre for Social Justice, 2002.

[4] Concerned Citizens Tribunal, Crime Against Humanity: an inquiry into the carnage in Gujarat, volumes I and II, Concerned Citizens Tribunal / Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mumbai, 2002.

[5] K. Suryanarayana Rao (All-India RSS Service Head), Seva Disha – Building an Integrated and Self-Reliant Society, Chennai, 1997,

[6] Manik Madhukar Kher, ‘Hindusthan is Hindu Rashtra’, Organiser, 1 February 2004. The three-day camp at Raipur was attended by the VHP, Bajrang Dal, the RSS student affiliate, ABVP, and the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram.

[7] As at December 2003, the status of this company at Companies House UK was listed as Proposal to Strike Off’. Current Appointments Report for Sewa International Limited, Companies House, London, compiled 29 December 2003.

[8] Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK & Sewa International UK, ‘Statement’, 4 March 2003,

[9] AL Sharma, ‘Sewa International encourages social integration, not social division’, The Organiser, 29 December 2002.

[10] S. Tattwawadi, Sarsanghchalak Goes Abroad: a collection of lectures delivered by Prof. Rajendra Singh on foreign land, Suruchi Prakashan, 1995, p.9.

[11] S. Tattwawadi, Sarsanghchalak Goes Abroad: a collection of lectures delivered by Prof. Rajendra Singh on foreign land, Suruchi Prakashan, 1995, pp. 77-78.

[12] Sanghshaktih Vijetreeyam, Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Pratishthan, Ahmedabad, 12 December 1995. The other organizations listed are Hindu Sevika Samiti UK, FISI, NHSF, OFBJP, the Hindu Marathon, Bharat Vikas Parishad International UK and the Hindu International Medical Mission (HIMM UK).

[13] K. Suryanarayana Rao (All-India RSS Service Head), Seva Disha – Building an Integrated and Self-Reliant Society, Chennai, 1997,

[14] Sangh Sandesh, May – June 2001, vol. XII, no. 3, p. 20.

[15] VHP UKManchester Branch, VHP Newsletter, April 2001, Issue 20, p. 4.

[16] Sewa International UK, Gujarat Earthquake – 26 January 2001 Anniversary Issue. One Year After, undated, p. 5. The other three messages of support were from an SIUK officer, a member of the House of Lords and a UK Gujarati organization.

[17] ‘Report of the visit to Earthquake struck Gujrat by Sewa Team comprising of Dr. Yashwantji Pathak, Sah-Sanyojak Vishwa Vibhag, Shri Arjun Lalji Sharma, Sewa International UK and Shri Shyam Parande on 5-7th February 2001’,

[18] GujaratState Disaster Management Authority, Coming Together, September 2001.




[22] Deepshikha Ghosh, ‘Rediscovering their Religion’, India Abroad, 8 December 2000,

[23] Edward Luce and Demetri Sevastopulo, ‘Blood and money’, Financial Times, 20 February 2003.

[24] Sudha Ramachandran, ‘US firms linked to extremist Indian cause’, Asia Times, 10 January 2003.

[25] T. J. Rajalakshmi, ‘Terror in Jhabua’, Frontline, 14–27 February 2004.

[26] is the Indian site, is the UK site.


[28] Vishnu Kumar, ‘Sewa Bharati Madhya Pradesh’, 25 July 2000,

[29] K. Suryanarayan Rao, ‘Concept of service – sewa and worship’, Sanghshaktih Vijetreeyam, Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Pratishthan, 21 December 1995, p.30.

[30] RSS Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (RSS general council) resolution, Bangalore,17 March 2002, reprinted in J. Dayal (ed.) Gujarat 2002: untold and retold stories of the Hindutva lab, volume 1, Media House, Delhi, 2003, pp. 1139-1140.

[31] Vishnu Kumar, Sewa Bharati Madhya Pradesh, ‘Adarniya Bandhuwar’, 23 January 2002,

[32] Sanjay Sharma, ‘Stop conversions, RSS chief warns missionaries’, Sify News, 18 January 2002.

[33] ‘Quit India, VHP tells missionaries’, Indian Express, 1 October 1998.

American Funding of Hindutva - 12

Appendix H

Following the Money Trail
An Analysis of Charities Funded by the IDRF

Over the past 7 years, IDRF has disbursed more than $ 5 million for development and relief work in India. This appendix analyses the charities that the money has been disbursed for and the type of activity that these charities are involved in.

The data has been compiled from the Annual Reports issued by the IDRF which are published on its website [147]. The six annual reports (from 1994/95 to 2000/2001) detail the disbursement of $ 4.5 million of the $ 5 million that it claims it gave to Indian development and relief organizations during this period.

H.1 Classification of Organizations

In order to do the analysis of the funds disbursed, all IDRF grantees listed in the annual reports have been classified according to their ideology and according to the activities they are involved in.

Ideology: The organizations have been classified according to whether they can be easily identified as an RSS-affiliate or a religious organization. These classification category is listed in the third column of the table below. The different categories are:

RSS-affiliated or ‘R’: These organizations, such as Sewa Bharati, Akhil Bharatiya Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, are those that can be easily identified as RSS-affiliated charities through their own literature or other secondary sources.

Hindu/Jain religious organizations or ‘H’: These are organizations that can be easily identified as having a Hindu or Jain religious affiliation. These include organizations such as Yoga Satsanga Samiti, and the Shanti Sewashram Jain Dharmartha Trust. Hindu organizations involved in secular work are also included in this category.

Secular organizations or ‘S’: These organizations can be clearly identified as having secular credentials, and include the Army Central Welfare Fund, and well-known developmental NGO’s such as the Saath Charitable Trust and Janpath/Janvikas in Ahmedabad.

Unknown: The third column is left blank in cases where it has been difficult to obtain relevant information regarding the ideological orientation of the organization in question. This category includes organizations such as Makhan Lal Charitable Hospital Trust & Research Institute in Delhi and Om Prakash Soni Charitable Trust, Jagraon, Punjab.

Activities: The organizations have been classified according to the main type of activity that they undertake, and this category is indicated in the fourth column of the table below. In cases where one NGO undertakes several types of work, the aim has been to classify it according to its predominant activity. In other cases, where the IDRF funds were given for a specific activity/project, the charity has been categorized according to the activity/project funded. These categories are listed in the fourth column and are:

Hinduization/Tribal/Educational or ‘e’: These organizations include organizations such as the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram which work primarily for Hinduizing the tribals, and the Saraswati Vidya Mandirs which impart ‘Hindu’ Education to children. The two seemingly distinct categories of tribal welfare and education are merged together because many of the IDRF funded charities operate at the intersection of both. An excellent example are the Ekal Vidyalays (One-Teacher-Schools), which are primarily based in tribal areas with a goal of bringing the tribals into the Hindu fold.

Religious or ‘rel’: These organizations are primarily focused on religious or spiritual work, such as the Matrimandir Land Fund in Auroville, Pondicherry.

Developmental or ‘d’: These organizations are those primarily involved in economic development work, such as the Mahila Swavalamban Kendra in Gujarat.

Welfare/ Health or ‘w’: These organizations are organized around principles of welfare and service, such as the Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission in Nagpur.

Relief or ‘r’: This category includes the various relief organizations that were funded during such calamities as the Gujarat Earthquake, 2001 and the Orissa cyclone in 1999.
H.2 Listing of the IDRF funded Organizations

The following table lists the 184 different organizations funded by IDRF that are available from its annual reports. The second column lists the total amount of money the organization received during the years for which the data is available. The third and fourth columns list the category in which the particular organization is placed, as per the definitions given above.

Organization Total Type Activity

Andhra Pradesh

Annapurnamma Vidyarthi Vasathi Gruham $500 R e

Association For The Care Of The Aged (Hyderabad, AP) $6,000 S w

Development & Welfare Association of the Blind (Nalgonda, AP) $8,400 S w

Grama Bharathi, Hyderabad, AP $26,530 R e

Jana Sankshema Samiti (Vijayawada, AP) $28,500 R r

K.B.C. Zila Parishad High School (Vijayawada, AP) $2,100 e

Keshava Seva Samithi (Hyderabad, AP) $49,825 R e

P.P.P.R. Abivrudhi Samskhema Sangam $6,300

Satya Vishnu Charitable Trust $8,250 H w

Sewa Bharathi (Hyderabad, AP) $3,560 R e

Smt. Misri Bai Kedia Charitable Trust (Hyderabad, AP)- for Education in Rural Areas in Rajasthan $55,385 e

Sri Saraswati Vidya Peetham (Hyderabad, AP) $2,900 R e

Vaidehi Seva Samithi (Hyderabad, AP) $17,250 R e


Seva Bharati Purvanchal (Guwahati, Assam) $21,000 R e

Uttar Purbanchal Janajati Seva Samiti (Guwahati, Assam) $2,500 R e
Vikas Bharati Bishnupur, District Gumla, Chhattisgarh $88,885 R e
Yodada Satsang Society $2,000 H rel
Lions Club of Mehsana (Mehsana, Gujarat) $33,190 S
Lokniketan Ratanpur $17,425 R e
Mahila Swavalamban Kendra (Ahmedabad, Gujarat) $24,475 R d
Manekben Punamchand Shantidas Trust $1,360
Muni Seva Ashram $1,500 H w
Sewa Bharati Gujarat (Rajkot, Gujarat) - For Rehabilitation of Victims of Cyclone $30,000 R r
Shree Banaskantha Anjana Patel Kalawani Mandal (Palanpur, Gujarat) $24,240 R
Arpana Research & Charitable Trust (Karnal, Haryana) $2,350 H rel
Sri Sathya Sai Gramin Jagriti (Darwa, Haryana) $2,800 H d
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Shiksha Samiti (Simla, HP) $5,700 R e
Jan Kalyan Nyas, Dharamsala, HP $8,090
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu Kashmir Sahayata Samiti $10,100 R r
Sanjeevani Sharda Kendra, Bohri, Jammu , J&K $31,600 R e
Birsa Seva Prakalp Bihar, Hazaribag, Jhharkhand (Bihar) $44,710 R e
Aid the Weaker Trust $1,500 S w
Atma Darshan Yogashram (Bangalore) $2,000 H rel
Bharateeya Shikshana Prasar Samiti $1,450 e
Center for Development of Advanced Computing $3,000 e
Hindu Seva Pratishthana (Bangalore, Karnatka) $30,655 R e
Keshava Smrithi Samvardhan Samithi(Mangalore) $12,950 R
Krishi Prayog Parivar (Bangalore, Karnatka) $14,640 R d
Mangala Sewa Samithi Trust (Mangalore, Karnataka) $9,500 R e
National Education Society of Karnataka (Bangalore) $8,775 S e
Nrityagram $1,500 S
Prabodhini Trust (Bangalore, Karnataka) $21,000 R e
Prajaka Seva Trust (Bangalore, Karnataka) $1,900
Rashtrotthana Parishat (Bangalore, Karnatka) $35,500 R d
Samskrit Bharathi (Bangalore, Karnataka) $31,850 R e
Sewa-in-Action, Bangalore, Karnataka $29,030 R w
Sri Chennakeshava Trikutachala, Banglore, Karnataka $7,730 H rel
Sri Kottal Basaveshwara Bharateeya Shikshana Samithi (Sedam, Karnataka) $2,400 H e
Sri Rama Vithala Trust (Bangalore) $2,000 H rel
Vivekananda Girijana Kalyan Kendra(Mysore, Karnataka) $2,710 S d
Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission (Mutil, Wayanad) $5,420 R w
Yogakshema Trust (Cochin, Kerala) $30,490 R w
Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad (Mumbai) $3,615 R e
Anuradha Engineering College $1,550 e
Chhapra Gram Sahayak Samiti (Mumbai, Maharashtra) $3,800
Devi Ahilyabai Smarak Samiti (Nagpur, Maharashtra) $14,500 R e
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Vaidyakiya Pratishthan, Aurangabhad, MS $74,730 R e
Educate the Children-India, Mumbai $49,050 S e
Eye Bank Coordination and Research Centre (Mumbai, Maharashtra) $2,000 S w
Gopal Navjeevan Kendra $290 R e
International Centre for Cultural Studies (Nagpur, Maharashtra) $4,000 R e
Jnana Prabodhini-Solapur Maharashtra $22,935 R e
Keshav Shrishti (Mumbai) $6,000 R e
Miraj Medical Center $2,800 R w
Shree Ganapati Devasthan, Janbhulpad $1,525 H rel
Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission, Nagpur $17,200 R w
Swa-Roopwardhinee $1,000 R e
Vanavasi Kalyan Kendra, Mumbai $36,280 R e
Vatsalya Trust (Mumbai) $3,000 H
Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
Akhil Bharatiya Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram, Jashpurnagar, District Jashpur, Chhatisgarh, MP
$262,175 R e
Bhartiya Kushta Niwarak Sangh, Champa, Distrtict Janjgir, MP $26,860 R w
Chattisgarh Shabri Sewa Sansthan $9,000 R e
Deendayal Research Institute(Chitrakoot, MP) $19,450 R d
Saraswati Vidya Mandir, Piplani (Bhopal, MP) $2,200 R e
Sewa Bharati Madhyakshetra, Bhopal, MP $274,650 R e
Viklang Sewa Bharati (Jabalpur, MP) $3,000 R w
Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust (Delhi) $2,860 S w
Bhao Rao Deoras Saraswati Vidya Mandir (NOIDA, UP)) $1,400 R e
Bharat Kalyan Pratishthan,New Delhi (in 2000/2001 for Uttar Purbanchal Samiti, Haflong,
Assam) $86,750 R e
Bharat Vikas Parishad (Delhi) [For Viklang Center, Paldi, in 1998/99] $7,410 R w
Bharatiya Cattle Resource Development Foundation $30,355 d
Bhaurao Deoras Rashtriya Seva Nyas, New Delhi $72,310 R e
Ghasi Ram Charitable Trust (Delhi) $6,650
Makhan Lal Charitable Hospital Trust & Research Institute $63,500 w
Poorva Sainik Seva Parishad (Delhi) - for Kargil Relief $25,000 R r
Samskrit Bharati, New Delhi $21,335 R e
Sanatana Dharma Sabha Charities $430 R
Sewa Bharati (Delhi) (Sewa Dham) $74,880 R e
Sewa International (Delhi) - for Drought Relief & Rehabilitation in Rajasthan. $51,330 R r
Shri Bhartu Ram Memorial Charitable Trust (Delhi) $40,000
Sri Aurobindo Education Society (Delhi) $44,165 H e
ANANYA, Rourkela, Orissa $20,900 r
Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust - Utkal Branch (Dist. Cuttack, Orissa) $24,775 S r
Orissa Dance Academy $1,500
Shri Shri Abhiram Anandashram Seva Sangh, Bhubaneswar, Orissa $42,520 H r
Sookruti, Bhubaneswar, Orissa $90,660 R r
Sri Aurobindo Progress Trust, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa $16,460 H e
Sri Ramakrishna Vivekananda Bhava Prachar $460 H r
Swami Bichitrananda Kalyan Ashram $6,000 H e
Uchabali High School, Bhubanaswar, Orissa $40,000 e
Vanavasi Seva Prakalpa, Kalahandi, Orissa $7,025 R e
Loksevak Yuva Mandal $5,000 d
Open Learning Systems $9,410 S d
Orissa Cyclone Rehabilitation Foundation $23,255 r
Ramakrishna Vivekananda Bhava $5,000 H r
Sri Aurobindo Srikshetra Trust $7,530 H e
Unayan $6,000 r
Utkal Bipanna Sahayata Samiti $37,560 R r
VAK Trust for Ichchapur School $4,200 H e
Auroville--for Matrimandir and Auroville Land Fund $301,420 H rel
Sri Aurobindo Action (Pondicherry) $4,750 H rel
Sri Aurobindo Ashram/Matrimandir (Pondicherry) $2,500 H rel
Bharat Seva Nyas (Chandigarh) $5,000
Om Prakash Soni Charitable Trust, Jagraon, District Ludhiana, Punjab $34,950
Peedit Pariwar Sewa Samiti $650 R e
Shri Ram Shri Durga Mandir Charities $200 H rel
Arya Samaj Bhadra (Hanumangarh, Rajasthan) $2,850 H rel
Bharoo Gram Sikhsha Vikas Samiti (Bharoo, Dist. Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan) $2,410 R e
Bhartiya Jan Sewa Pratishan, Raati Taali, District Banswara, Rajasthan $24,820 R e
Chaudhry Charan Singh Girlís Hostel (Sikar, Rajasthan) $2,675 e
Dayanand Mahila Shikshan Sansthan Samiti (Jhunjhunu) $19,275 H e
Dr. Ghasi Ram Verma Samaj Seva Samiti, Chirawa, District Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan $9,005
Gvernment Secondary School (Nibipura, Rajasthan) $1,450 S e
Grameen Mahila Shikshan Sansthan (Sikar, Rajasthan) $17,695 e
Gramotthan Vidyapeeth Didwana (Hanumangarh) $9,025 e
Jhunjhunu Zila Awasiya Kalyan Samiti (Jhunjhunu) $2,950
Kisan Chhatrawas Nawalgarh (Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan) $5,525 e
Mahatma Gandhi Kushta Ashram $1,100 w
Seva Bharati Rajasthan, (Jodhpur, Rajasthan) $13,000 R e
Sewa Bharati Rajasthan (Jaipur, Rajasthan) $8,490 R e
Sewa Sangam (Jaipur, Rajasthan) $6,000
Village Service Trust (Sardarshahar, Rajasthan) $1,450 S d
Tamil Nadu
Bharath Cultural Trust, Trichirappalli, TN $45,980 R
Grama Kovil Poojarigal Peravai (Chennai, TN) $2,250 R rel
Naya Jyoti Charities Trust (Chennai, TN) $14,700 R rel
Sevalaya (Chennai, TN) $6,550 R e
Sri P. N. Narayana Sastrigal Meru Trust (Chennai TN) $9,500 H rel
Sri Rama Dhanushkodi Abhaya Anchaneyar Seva Trust (Rameshwaram, TN) $5,110 H rel
Swami Vivekananda Rural Development Society (Chennai) $82,290 R e
The Ayurvedic Trust (Coimbatore, TN) $2,410 H w
Unique Mountain Trust (Thiruvannamalai, TN) - for Arunachal $9,035 R e
Vergal Charitable Trust (Chennai, TN) $11,500
Vivekananda Kendra and Rock Memorial (Kanyakumari) $74,885 R e
Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal
Devi Shringarmati Intermediate College (Dist. Azamgarh) $6,000 e
Dr. Ram Kumar Gayatri Devi Shiksha Association (Etah) $24,100 e
Dropadi Devi Saraswati Vidya Mandir $870 R e
Girivasi Vanavasi Sewa Prakalpa (Ghorawal, UP) $5,500 R e
Gurukul Prabhat Ashram $940 R e
Jeevan Dhara Rakt Foundation, Meerut, UP $45,930 R w
Mahamana Malvia Mission $290 R
Maharishi Valmiki Seva Sansthan (Naogarh, District Varanasi, UP) $24,110 R e
Ramakrishna Mission Sevashram (Hardwar, UP) $13,310 H rel
Saraswati Shiksha Mandir $37,350 R e
Saraswati Vidya Mandir (Mawana, District Meerut, UP) $12,000 R e
Shanti Sewashram Jain Dharmartha Trust (Meerut, UP) $17,000 H rel
Shiksha Bharati, Hapur, UP $24,465 R e
Shri Bhagwat Mission Charitable Trust $800 H rel
Sri Aurobindo Yoga Mandir (Haridwar, UP) $9,700 H rel
Sri Ram Gram Vikas Samiti Nagauri, District Meerut, UP $85,635 e
Uttaranchal Daivi Apada Peedit Sahayata Samiti, Uttarkashi, Uttaranchal $62,335 R w
Yog Satsang Samiti, Allahabad, UP $88,000 H rel
West Bengal
Bastuhara Sahayata Samiti (Calcutta, West Bengal) - For Rehabilitation of Victims of Tornado
$1,200 R r
Friends of Tribals Society (Calcutta, West Bengal) - For One-Teacher School Project in Orissa
$14,110 R e
Lokenath Divine Life Mission (Calcutta, West Bengal) $3,300 H rel
Manav Seva Pratisthan $1,200
Oral School for Deaf Children $1,000 S d
Voice of People (24 Paraganas, West Bengal) $2,720 S d
Army Central Welfare Fund - for Rehabilitation of Kargil Victims $141,600 S r
Gujarat Earthquake
Anoopam Mission, Morgi, Dist. Anand, Gujarat $25,530 H r
BAPS Swaminarayan Gujarat $10,000 H r
JanPath/JanVikas Ahmedabad $10,000 S r
Saath Charitable Trust, Ahmedabad $10,000 S r
Sadhu Vaswani Mission, Pune $25,265 H r
Sewa Bharati Gujarat, Ahmedabad (for two villages and several schools) $360,000 R e
Sheth Vakhtawarmal Deopural Charitable Trust, Gujarat $10,000 r
Shree 5 Navtanpuri Dham, Jamnagar, Gujarat (for reconstruction of schools) $31,580 H e
Shri Ramakrishna Ashrama, Rajkot, Gujarat $10,000 H r
Bochasanwasi Swaminarayan Sanstha (New York, USA) $5,000 H rel
Chinmaya Mission (Orlando/Cassellberry, Florida) $18,000 R rel
Hindu Society Of Central Florida (Casselberry, FL, USA) $2,500 H rel
Hindu Students Council (Boston, MA, USA) $3,000 R rel
Medi-Send International, Dallas TX, USA $7,500 S w
VHP of America (USA) - for Support-A-Child Project $3,500 R rel
Hindu Society of Ottawa-Carleton Inc, Kanata, Canada $29,200 H rel

Total Listed $4,467,605
Not Listed but acknowledged (donations of less than $2,000 each) $77,680
Not Listed NOT acknowledged (Missing..) $486,885
Total disbursements claimed $5,032,170

Figure 4 – Amounts Distributed To Charities By IDRF
* The funds that appear in bold in the second column are to donor designated charities.

H.3 Types of Organizations Funded by IDRF

Of the total of $ 4,467,605 disbursements accounted for in the above table, a little over a quarter are donor-designated funds. Donor designated funds are those monies that are directed to a specific charity by the donor and thus are funds that IDRF has no control over vis a vis its disbursement. Therefore, only $ 3.26 million is under the direct control of IDRF and is disbursed to charities identified solely by it.

The following table shows the break-up by ideology of the organizations directly designated by the IDRF.

Ideology Total Money %age
Sangh (R) $2,684,915 82.4%
Religious (H) $264,660 8.1%
Secular (S) $70,620 2.2%
Unknown $239,785 7.4%
Total $3,259,980 100%

Figure 5 – Amounts Distributed Based on Ideology

Sangh-affiliated organizations account for a whopping 80% or more of the total disbursed at the discretion of the IDRF. If we are to take the two categories of Sangh and Hindu Religious organizations together, it becomes clear that in excess of 90% of IDRF’s funds were given to sectarian religious organizations. In contrast, only 10% of the donor-designated funds were earmarked for Sangh charities. These figures of 80% (Sangh) and 90% (Sangh+Hindu religious) would probably be larger but for the “Unknown” category that accounts for 7%.

Similarly, the table below shows the activities that are being most promoted by IDRF’s beneficiaries.

Activity Total Money %age
Ed/ Tribal/ Cultural (e) $2,250,685 69.0%
Religious (rel) $58,890 1.8%
Developmental (d) $128,330 3.9%
Welfare/ Health (w) $247,935 7.6%
Relief (r) $494,730 15.2%
Unknown $79,410 2.4%
Total $3,259,980 100%

Figure 6 – Amounts Distributed Based on Activities

147. The IDRF’s annual reports are available at The annual reports provide a listing of organizations that received the IDRF funding for the fiscal years 1994/1995 to 2000/2001, but it should be noted that the report for the year 1995/1996 is not present.

The Foreign Exchange of Hate IDRF and the American Funding of Hindutva © 2002, Sabrang Communications & Publishing Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India, and The South Asia Citizens Web, France