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‘No Country for Radicals’: India Fights Back Against Obstructionist Nonprofits

By Vijay Jayaraj -- January 17, 2019

The statement from India and other nations is clear: “This is no country for radical environmentalism.” And it is not just India. China has always maintained its sovereign rights for development, and the new Brazilian government is moving towards reclaiming its energy independence.

Mark Scialla, a freelance journalist based in the United States, was deported from India two weeks ago for reportedly documenting a controversial case surrounding the operations of a copper smelting factory.

So why are countries like India becoming increasingly wary of foreign elements and their growing involvement in domestic developmental issues?

The news of the journalist’s deportation did not come as a surprise to many here in India, as we are aware of our government’s intention to weed out foreign nonprofits and journalists who seek to sabotage developmental projects. It is a well-known fact that nonprofits from the West intentionally disrupt many developmental projects (both in the developed and developing nations), citing environmental concerns that really do not exist.

Development a Priority

Elitist, imported environmentalism is a growing concern for developing countries who are running a race against time to achieve economic growth and thereby alleviate acute poverty. The energy sector is essential to economic progress in developing countries like India. But the nonprofits have targeted this industry, stifling development not only of conventional energy sources like coal but also of nuclear.

Coal generates nearly 75 percent of India’s electricity. The country is also keen on nuclear energy, as it helps meet energy demand without using up natural resources.

The Indian government’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) concluded that environmental nonprofits actively disrupt developmental projects across the country. In 2014, the IB joint director Safi A. Rizvi alleged that the nonprofits were involved in anti-coal, anti-nuclear, anti-GMO protests to stall numerous mining, dam, and oil drilling projects. In many cases, they were found to directly fund protestors and even sponsored private environmental research reports to discredit the developmental projects.

Greenpeace and More

Among those guilty was the well-known international non-profit Greenpeace, which has campaigned against coal mines, GMO crops, and nuclear power. In 2015, Greenpeace was found to have involved in financial fraud and falsification of data. The Indian government suspended its funding license, eventually shutting down Greenpeace India’s operations.

The most recent exploit by these nonprofits is the “sterlite protests,” in which foreign nonprofits funded locals to protest against the operation of a copper smelting factory owned by the Vedanta group.

Scialla, the deported journalist, was covering the conflict on this issue. At this point, it is still unclear if he colluded with nonprofits or media that espouse a radical environmental agenda. However, he was found to have violated his visa norms, which prohibit a foreigner on a tourist visa from doing journalistic work.

Besides the violation of visa norms, the Indian government could have expelled him as a precautionary measure, considering the infamous and dubious history of nonprofits in sabotaging energy developmental projects.

The copper factory in focus was accused of causing environmental damage, and the case was brought to court.

The National Green Tribunal, a special tribunal formed by the Indian Government to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues, declared that the copper factory was safe to operate and has directed the state government to re-open the factory.


The anti-progress nonprofits continue to mislead the public and fund the protestors, encouraging them to take siege of the factory operations. These interlopers have successfully managed to thwart natural gas exploration and extraction projects in the southern part of the country, proving to be the biggest clog in India’s plans to strengthen its energy sector.

The war against developmental projects is a worrying state of affairs not just for developing countries, but for the rule of law itself. Radical environmental nonprofits continue to bypass the laws of sovereign countries, showing persistent contempt towards the judiciary.

The people of developing countries have the right to access to conventional energy sources, technological innovations in agriculture, and every environmentally safe (as adjudged by the judiciary) developmental project.

The statement from India and other nations is clear: “This is no country for radical environmentalism.” And it is not just India. China has always maintained its sovereign rights for development, and the new Brazilian government is moving towards reclaiming its energy independence.

The developed Western nations never could have achieved their current economic success without the very same energy developmental projects that the developing nations are implementing.

It is important to remember that even the developed West needs ongoing innovations in the energy sector to sustain what they’ve already achieved.

The radical nonprofits seem to have got a foothold even in the developed nations of North America and Europe. They colluded with Russia to disrupt the fracking industry in the United Kingdom and the United States.

They are a growing cancer in both the developed and developing nations. It is time to weed them out and protect national interests, before they cause permanent and lasting damage to the nations of the world.


Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), is Research Associate for Developing Countries, Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. He lives in Chennai, India.


  1. Steve Borodin  

    An excellent piece Vijay. I am reminded of the part NGOs played in the banning of DDT. They completely failed to understand the way DDT worked to eradicate the parasite that mosquitos transfer (and not kill the mosquitos). Arrogant and Confident in their scientifically illiterate beliefs, despite huge amounts of evidence against, they persuaded the UN WHO to effectively ban the chemical. The result was immediate resurgence of malaria (dengue fever as well) and the needless death of tens of millions in the developing world.


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