The merit-based actions against some civil society groups are necessary but some opine it as curb on dissent. Analyze.

The Civil society refers to those non-governmental actors that work as non-profit actors for humanitarian causes. They are so well recognized that their participation is extensive in UN & its associated bodies.

Impact of actions on civil society:

  • If action is too much – results in persecution, freedom issue, rule of law not followed, welfare approach reduces.
  • If action is too little – Internal security issues, Hidden agendas, Anti-development activities.

Challenges in civil society:

  • Lack of following of audit rules and lack of transparency.
  • Disregard for FCRA & FEMA.
  • IB report (2014) stated that foreign funded civil societies have cost of 2-3% of GDP.
  • Vested interests and working for foreign nations.
  • Stall development projects by PIL & RTI overdoses.
  • Forced conversion by luring with monetary benefits.

How excessive action is bad:

  • Targeted and specific actions must be taken & targeting must be avoided.
  • Large fraction of civil society is honest; thus need to differentiate all.
  • Rationalization of the compliance laws needed.
  • Coercion and agenda-driven approach to be avoided.
  • Their rights under the constitution and laws are harmed.

Way Forward:

Civil society works in expressing state excesses, voices people’s concerns, improves scheme implementation. Hence, a collaborative approach is the need of the hour.


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