Yesterday the courts were to decide if Greenpeace India’s international funds blocked by the Ministry of Home Affairs would be released or not. Arundhati, a Greenpeace campaigner, had been at the Delhi High Court all day waiting for our hearing to come up. We were all waiting with baited breath for the verdict huddled inside the video conference rooms at Delhi and Bangalore offices, our ears glued to the speakers.
My heart was racing as we finally received a call from Arundhati in the afternoon. Her voice broke as she conveyed the news: WE WON!! Our funds were unblocked!
It was an unbelievable moment, a ray of light after months of struggle.
It all started in June 2014 when Greenpeace was singled out through a “leaked” IB report full of half-truths and innuendo! For me it was not about the money but the need to establish that a different view point exists. That a point of view which reflects the interest of a marginalized adivasi or the endangered tiger does NOT make me anti-national! It was to be able to go home and reassure my family and friends that standing up for the voiceless and the minority does not make me “foreign”!
Fittingly, the Delhi High Court went further to say that NGOs are entitled to have their viewpoint and merely because their views are not in consonance with the Government’s views it does not mean the NGO is acting to the detriment of the national interest.
The court noticed that the action of the MHA is arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional. Talk about regaining our legitimacy!
Divya Raghunandan is a Programme Director at Greenpeace India.
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