Friday, June 13, 2014

World Vision is not India's vision

Cultural Threats of NGOs

“The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen.” -― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
The most seductive part of popular knowledge gathering is, the ease with which it is harvested, notwithstanding a possibility that it could possibly be misleading; in most cases it is, unless it is right by accident and not design. In this fast paced world, where the literates outnumber the educated, possibly by few thousands to one, ideas however shallow, deceptive or insidious are propagated at tremendous velocity. Before an idea is even given perfunctory look-over, it is part of accepted popular culture, folklore and commoditized that one is compelled to accept it in his/her life. The same method is employed by organizations with nefarious intent to propagate ideas to erode the culture of indigenous people who fall for the immediacy of the appeal.  This is about it.
With the advent of printed book, one could reasonably say the ‘information age’ began. Prior to advent of the printing machine, the books were painfully and individually scribed, along with the errors that were in original in addition to those introduced by the scribe. From there to the current era, when errors are intentionally introduced to induce desired response from the recipient of the audience, the science of information has progressed much or degenerated, depending upon how you see it.
With the advantage of mass produced information, the western world could control of the ‘knowledge Industry’ with ease. As much as science and technology used it to its vantage, other institutions like the ‘proselytizing industry’ also gained a lot by skillfully managing information. In that process, it also decimated the indigenous knowledge, to put competition away, not by fair means but by domination, threat and any available means.
Times have changed. The invaders this time do not come with the swords and guns to rule India. Nor do they keep the intent easily visible to the literate lot, for whom, the bold letters on the wrapper matter more than what is being shipped. They still do everything they did earlier, but in a politically correct way.
The organization ‘World vision’ is very active in India in running units that ‘Focus on Children’ in about 174 districts as the count stands today. It also declares itself as a ‘Christian Humanitarian Organization working to create lasting change in the lives of Children…”
There are many people in India who contribute substantially to ‘World Vision (WV)’ without questioning the intent of the organization because the package has nice, politically correct brand name ‘World Vision’ and it apparently takes care of Children’s welfare. There is an implicit trust in the noble cause ‘World Vision’ seems to have taken up; to change the world for the better. Whose vision does WV share as ‘World Vision’ seems ?
 WV International has a certain level of control over WV India, a point that is at best glossed out in the ‘About Us’ page of WV India. At the outset, there is no dispute that WV India is being controlled by WV International and hence it follows that the policies of WV India is directed and dictated by WV International.
In WV International’s page, the first of its commitments is “the organisation’s Christian Commitments” and not its commitment to serving children, which is the second in order. It is not clear if WV International pursues ‘Serving children’ to fulfil its ‘Christian commitment’ or the other way around. Having stated the first of the commitment to ‘the organization’s Christian Commitment’ one would be inclined to delve deeper into this matter.
The WVs “subscribes to the Core Values, the Mission Statement, and the Statement of Faith of World Vision. The Statement of Faith corresponds to the Statement of Faith put forward by the National Association of Evangelicals”.
That is WV India is controlled by WV International which is guided by the ‘Statement of Faith” by National Association of Evangelicas.
That mission is "to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians.
The WV India has an appearance of a selfless organization in the area of taking care of orphaned and economically challenged children.
You peak that and you find WV International, which has ‘Christian commitment’ as its objective.
You peal that and you find ‘Statement of faith’ of the National Association of Evangelicals.
It would seem reasonable that operations of WV are vehicles to achieve the mission of evangelical Christians.
“The thing that is important is the thing that is not seen.” -― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
With about USD 3 Billion revenue for the year 2011, WV’s money talks and when it talks people listen. It is very interesting to note that the founder of WV made movies not too charitable to Hinduism or any non-Christian religion, going as far as stating that only Christianity can stand against Communism, hence conversion of Hindus and people of ‘false religion’ is a protection against Communism.  WV’s intent is clear and it is incumbent on every true Christian to bring the ‘other’ to His path. There is no ambiguity that committed Christians have to engage in proselytization as a matter of duty. (We will come to Islam in some other time, not here)
In other words, WV was in search of its pursuit of its objective of proselytization using anti-communism sentiments. Post-cold war politics makes the fear of communists less threatening and hence less appealing. In the liberal ideological blithe, where those who are economically well-off can wash away their guilt of not contributing to social causes are in great numbers, these organization harvest the guilt to continue what anti-communism sentiments have ceased to propel. Proselytization is still the goal and the fuel has gone eco-friendly and approved by liberal ideology.
 When Indians contribute money to WV, they are contributing to building a Christian mission. But they do not know that because the façade is ‘welfare of children' which the contributors find so difficult to decline to help; which hides the true core values for which WV stands. While WV talks to the contributors about feeding a child, internally, it has taken an oath to of ‘Statement of Faith’ and is still a religious organization which is committed to proselytization. Christian organizations such as World Vision have not conceded the corrosive nature of its proselytization on indigenous culture and have not agreed to cease conversion activities. It still is the stated goal. That is the goal that collects money to ‘catch ‘em young’ and make Christians of children from economically backward section. There is no commitment that there will be no ‘religious activities’ within the orphanage. In fact that is guaranteed by our constitution and cannot be challenged.

While people in India are rightly talking about the roles of NGOs in India posing a heinous threat to national economic threat, I believe, in the coming years, Indian politics will be determined by the demographic composition.

It is not only the visible part of the iceberg like ‘Greenpeace’ that is a threat but the invisible and humongous ones which will turn the indigenous cultural compositions on its head that also need to be addressed. Countries in East Asia are already destroyed by the intrusive Christian evangelism and the people of many such countries do know nothing of their history.

Do we want India to become another Philippines? South Korea? With all connections to our glorious past cut off? I do not claim to have an answer but at least want to raise a question that I trust will echo in many.

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