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It’s About Time

May 8, 2012

by IO

Its about time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Plan-panel-suggests-bringing-NGOs-under-RTI-Act/articleshow/13027247.cms

NEW DELHI: The Planning Commission has suggested that the voluntary sector be brought under the umbrella of Right to Information Act, along with developing a code of conduct to ensure “greater transparency and accountability”. At present, only those voluntary organizations which receive public funds come under the ambit of the RTI Act.

The plan panel’s steering committee also suggested bringing voluntary organizations with a corpus beyond a stipulated amount under the purview of state Lokayuktas. The panel also supported the move for promotion of an apex body, empowered to govern the entire voluntary sector, by laying down certain norms and standards for self-regulation which could be termed as ministry of voluntary affairs along the lines of ministry of corporate affairs.

The argument for regulation of the sector stems from the fact that voluntary organizations use public funds and are exempted from tax and work in the public domain and their actions have a direct impact on people and society.

“The code of conduct should deal with issues of responsible governance practices, adhering to existing laws and also address issues like harassment of human rights activists, whistle blowers and those who express their dissent against the state,” the committee said.

It was argued that a system needed to be developed to examine the adherence to the code by voluntary organizations and a mechanism for dealing with complaints and grievances of various stakeholders could be framed within the terms of a code of conduct.

Further, it could help resolve disputes and grievances amicably and quickly, the panel noted, adding that there should be performance measures that would allow for fair application of incentives and disincentives to mould behavior in alignment with the desired code of conduct.

The panel also emphasized the need to encourage a ‘self-regulatory mechanism’ within individual organizations. It said every voluntary organization shall put its audited statement and annual report in the public domain, follow the policy of proactive disclosure of information under RTI Act and follow all mandatory rules such as registration, taxation, FCRA etc.

The panel supported single window system for registration of voluntary organizations (based on the recommendations of the task force report on proposed law for registering such bodies).

“The multiple forms of registration needs a composite review and it needs to be assessed whether a single window system for registration can be created,” it said, adding that the move will enable all stakeholders to find out if registered voluntary organizations were following rules or not.

“While giving due recognition to the autonomous nature of voluntary organizations, processes ensuring respectful engagement between the government and voluntary organizations must be institutionalized,” the committee said.

The following will be nice (Will make some noise as well I am sure ) to know when this happens……

  1. Is there a company officially called the Art of Living which is an NGO ?
  2. What is the relationship between VVMVP and the SSRVM Trust ?
  3. Then what is the relationship between Sumeru Travels, Sumeru Ayurveda, ….and so on.
  4. Has money ever been transferred between these companies.
  5. Can we have a detailed expenditure statement of VVMVP and the official donor contributions every year since inception. How much has this come as contributions from outside the country ?
  6. How much money has gone into public service projects from VVMVP and the rest ?
  7. Pl name the people on the Trustee Board on each of the above companies.
  8. What are the salaries and benefits paid to the trustees in each of the above Trustee boards.
  9. What are the salaries paid to the employees ? Volunteers ?
  10. Who are their auditors ?
  11. Please furnish their audited statement for the last 20 years ?
  12. How much assets in land do each of these entities have ?
  13. Do any of these entities have branches anywhere outside India ? If so who are the trustees there ? If they are not wholly owned subsidiaries, what is the relationship between the entities? Pl furnish respective agreements.
  14. Pl list the names of all the accountants and their telephone numbers that have kept your books of accounts since inception. (In some entities that may run in the 100s…may many volunteers each season). If they dont have this record thats even worse.

All of the above when filed…the official cost will be just 10 Rs for filing the claim….

The lawyers who have already filed against AOL(especially on the land grabbing issues.) are going to have a field day……..

Does Sri Sri have enough clout at the centre to stop this…..lets wait and see……Cleaning up is going to be virtually impossible……it will only lead to more of a mess. Even if he stops it at the centre the price will be very heavy.

I heard that many full time paid volunteers in Germany have been told that their services cannot be paid for anymore. Much infighting has happened after the disastrous losses with the Berlin festival. (This information has to be verified). I got this from an European volunteer that worked for the Berlin fest since its inception. Also, according to him, he said that many of the regular volunteers at times were treated like trash when the difficulties started to surface. And when organising folks realised that it takes more than GRACE to fill up a stadium.

Me thinks : Perhaps…maybe it was at that time many came to realise…. Grace in India works differently than Grace in Germany. Many of them had volunteered from all over the world. So they did not realise that they needed to say Heil gurudev when in Berlin. Big mistake. They kept on saying Jaigurudev. No wonder the grace did not work.

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21 Comments
  1. Bangalore Banjaara permalink
    May 8, 2012 10:54 am

    643,086 hits on 3rd-May-2012. 10:54 PM. I spreading it and loving it.

    648,552 hits on 8th May 2012.

    That is 5466 Hits in 5 days. Approx 1100 people per day.
    I Likes. Awesome.

    • Anonymous permalink
      May 8, 2012 6:35 pm

      where do you get this data from? Can we cut the data per country?

  2. Nithin permalink
    May 8, 2012 12:17 pm

    I am glad to see this new law by the goverment..
    These kind of cheeters will be exposed
    By the way Ravi is not a fool too.. he has not transfered the large amount of course fee collected in Middle east for many years to India VVMP, not sure this has been misused for any other pupose like buying/constucting the Orisa university..etc.
    All Foriegn money is utilised outside so that this will not be audited in India.
    One of ravis biggest achivement is to buy all those big buildings owned by MMY in foriegn country, one of that he achived by buying a big building and land.

    Very Important: There is no independant Auditing/report in AOL (My understanding only)

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      May 9, 2012 6:44 am

      Very Important: There is no independant Auditing/report in AOL (My understanding only)

      I think there is some auditing in the US . .but confined to that country only … in India too they claim they are 80G certified hence it means they are clean in India. Now finance is not my subject .. so I cannot as such interpret whether they are right or are they wrong .. Does 80G certification means you are audited and clean?

  3. Nithin permalink
    May 8, 2012 12:51 pm

    One day before berlin “Cult Torture Festival” (Cultural festival)
    Ravi meditated in that stadium with the working team member and said.. This place is going to be filled and overflowed…
    What happened Ravi.. not even 30% where there.

  4. May 8, 2012 10:30 pm

    All you Guru-debunkers, I love this site, here is blog/vids, I did about Sri-Sri, debunking my former guru.

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X21aC5SAyUU
    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h80ZbVdcTWM

    enjoy, if you can, please share those 2 vids with all here, thanks. Anton

  5. Saleem Rizvi permalink
    May 9, 2012 9:48 am

    One of the Comments that the guru is spreading these days in Maharashtra is that the new year is going to change the face of this country. Revolution is comming soon and it will start in Maharashtra. Also I heard a teacher from Bangalore say that Guruji was saying that “there are going to be so many people asscociated with AOL in the near future that the I wont have time to even meet people and all I can do at that time is just wave to them from the top and greet them”.

    • Rayster permalink
      May 9, 2012 12:39 pm

      *sigh*. Still using the same classic cult techniques, Ravi. No originality, eh? Always dangling the carrot of imminent worldwide takeover in front of the brainwashed members. Nothing new to see here, folks. Move on.

  6. VSS permalink
    May 9, 2012 1:48 pm

    I always look forward to your posts, IO. Your knowledge of AoL is encyclopedic. If I was in AoL, and one of the engineers of the web that has been designed to make the money trail almost invisible to the less intelligent, your 14 questions would terrify me — they would twist my insides and make me squirm. I believe in the power of words — particularly your words — and — particularly your questions. You see, it’s not about whether one of those engineers arrives on this blog and answers your questions — it’s about the fact that these questions have reached them through one or more of the 1100 hundred people reading this blog every day. And, it’s about the fact that they know the answers. It’s about the fact that they know that if nothing was wrong with the way they handled money, then no one would be asking questions — least of all someone as rational and as sensible as you — your credentials cannot be doubted in any court of law — I can bet on that with my eyes closed. There is a Latin legal maxim — res ipsa loquitur — I dunno if you’re familiar with it — it means essentially that the act is evidence in itself. These 14 questions personify that maxim — enough to warrant, at the very least, a prima facie case. However, I realize that this is not enough and I do hope that there are enough systemic changes to include NGOs etc. under the ambit of the RTI Act and each one of us has the opportunity to file that RTI application. The best part about the RTI Act, as many say, is that it makes a Lokayukta out of every citizen. Thanks to you, even the less intelligent — such as me — would know exactly what information to ask for. You always empower, IO. I so wish you would post more often.

  7. Freedom Found permalink
    May 10, 2012 1:26 pm

    Recently , One of RS’s Secretary was terminated off his post at the Bangalore ashram and Guess what and how it happened. !!!

    The secretary managed to loot this Master looter himself, by handling all the land issues of RS and thus becoming rich (by about 5 crore rupees ) in a span of few months. SSRS was planning to launch him in to politics through the garb of seva , but all this back backfired when RS realized that he had been looted . HEE HEE !!!! what goes around , comes around.

    But Alas, SSRS couldn’t catch him , not take any legal action against him. After all ,How can one thief expose another fellow thief .

    The great Yogi duped 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Original Anonymous permalink
      May 11, 2012 8:12 am

      lol … can you name the secretary …. may be just the initials probably .. I am sure it cudn’t be JD .. she is just too timid to do anything like this . .it cud either be GG .. he does have the brains and the power … cudn’t have been DV .. he hs the power but does nt have the guts . .. this is sure so funny 🙂 …

  8. belle permalink
    May 10, 2012 4:22 pm

    This is what I suggested quite some months back. But why only in India? These governing bodies need to be set up for every country.

  9. May 11, 2012 12:37 am

    In Canada, the financial statements of all charities have to be published on the appropriate Canadian Government Internet site.

    Here is the URL for the Art of Living Foundation : http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/ebci/haip/srch/basicsearchresult-eng.action?s=registered&k=Art+of+Living&p=1&b=true

  10. VSS permalink
    May 11, 2012 8:41 am

    It’s nice to see that information about AoL’s activities in Canada exists online — that’s 1 out of 150 countries in which AoL does business. We just need 149 more links and we’ll know if AoL’s “financial statements of all charities” exist online. I’m willing to wait patiently for the remaining 149 links. Patience always pays. When people in all 150 countries in which AoL does business start reading this blog, they will post the links specific to their respective countries. Of course, the countries also need to have their processes online. It’s just a matter of time.

    People and countries are moving closer to technology. Soon all information that affects a large number of people will have to be shared in a public space. That is the general direction in which civilization is heading. I won’t be surprised if there comes a time when organizations are required to have a blog in a public space in which people can post the issues they face with the organization in the interests of the benefit of all who are associated with the organization and all who might be associated with the organization in the future. If AoL had any foresight whatsoever, they would start such a blog. Then, at least some of us would express our concerns on that blog and someone from AoL would have the chance to address each and every concern expressed.

    I wonder why no one in AoL is realizing that the Iron Curtain Policy is harming AoL the most. AoL is self-destructing. I am also surprised why Sumeru Software has not designed a site exclusively for AoL members — something like a wordpress which is dedicated to AoL members — so that they can get to know each other better — connect with each other — blog about their wonderful experiences — discuss their concerns etc. etc. AoL can only gain from celebrating each voice. Every voice matters. Human beings always learn from each other’s experiences and from sharing their lessons. The site can even allow ex AoL members to host blogs and those who are interested in joining AoL (in the future) to host blogs. The URL can be something like AoLblogs.com. And, AoL should be the one to say — please discuss any and every concern — and please discuss any and every good experience. When that happens, no one will say that AoL exercises an Iron Curtain Policy.

    AoL needs reforms. It is not connecting with those who can provide inputs that point to the reforms it needs. It has surrounded itself with people who keep saying it is perfect. By dragging this blog to court, it has sent out a very wrong signal to its members. None of them will feel free to express themselves within AoL and none of them will feel free to express any criticism whatsoever. AoL needs to wake up now and do some damage control. It needs to stop self-destructing. It needs to celebrate each voice — each individual — each perspective. Only then can it evolve. Right now it seems like an archaic and regressive organization which cannot tolerate anything but 100% praise — either it’s odes and eulogies or nothing.

    How can the pursuit of any spiritual goal thrive in such an atmosphere?

    How can a human being’s spirit evolve if there is no freedom of expression — no opportunity to express doubts and concerns — no answers that address those doubts and concerns — no open communication? Why doesn’t Mr. Ravi Shankar have the courage to say “Please post all the manuals. Criticize them as much as you can. We will learn from your criticism. We are receptive to feedback. We will incorporate feedback as much as possible. We care for feedback. We don’t want only positive feedback — we want the complete picture. We value your opinion. We value your perspective.”Instead of that all he seems to be saying is — keep quiet — doubt the doubt — remove the manual — criticism is bad — criticism is negative — shut down this blog — don’t ask questions — suppress your questions — suppress your emotions — shut up and smile — don’t think.

    How is criticism negative? Criticism is positive. It helps identify shortcomings. It helps identify areas of improvement. Criticism facilitates growth. How is open communication bad? Why is discussion bad? Why are questions bad? Why doesn’t AoL have a blog that allows people to post whatever they feel about their AoL experience? What is wrong with that? Is AoL afraid that the number of negative experiences posted will outweigh the number of positive experiences posted? Is AoL afraid that they will have to bring about reforms to address those concerns? What did AoL gain by taking this blog to court? How was that a sensible decision? Does AoL’s core team think that it will ultimately squash the human spirit of enquiry and the quintessential human quest for greater freedom all over the world? Is that what it means to be a family? Have all voices silenced and ready to obey orders from the head of the family? Since centuries educationists, writers, thinkers, poets, philosophers, leaders, artists etc. etc. have spoken about the importance of the freedom of expression. According to AoL, were they all fools or were they all anti-AoL?

    Does Mr. Ravi Shankar’s consciousness outweigh the collective consciousness of all those people in the world who advocated greater freedom of expression for human beings all over the world? Why is he taking the world towards lesser freedom of expression? That’s en-darken-ment not en-lighten-ment. IMHO.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    May 14, 2012 12:57 am

    I remember some years ago a very renowned Part II teacher -who travels all of the time teaching in different countries- told me about a short-spiritual conversation she had with SSRS while waiting for a plane in an airport. She was there making a connecting flight, but she never knew -nor asked him, of course- what was RRSR doing there… it was the Cayman Island, one of those places where rich people hide their fortunes to avoid taxes and not properly certified money incomes….

  12. VSS permalink
    June 6, 2012 11:58 am

    @ IO

    Posting this specially for you. The authorities shall get to AoL too. I have a feeling that Mr. Ravi Shankar is not seen with Anna Hazare these days as he is afraid of attracting such action (as in the article below). Yet, I don’t think he will be able to avoid it forever.

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/service-tax-department-slaps-rs-4.94-cr-notice-on-ramdevs-trust/957700/0

    After Income Tax, it’s now the turn of the Service Tax department to issue a notice of Rs 4.94 crore dues to Yoga guru Ramdev’s trust for alleged duty evasion on its income raised through country-wide ‘yog shivirs’ (camps).

    The department’s snoop and investigation wing, Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI), has also launched a scrutiny of accounts of various activities conducted by the trusts run by Ramdev across the country post-2006.

    The latest tax notice, after the Income Tax department had slapped a notice of Rs 58 crore against Ramdev’s trusts, has been issued against the Haridwar-based Patanjali Yog Peeth for “sale of coupons” of different denominations for organising ‘yog shivirs’, both residential and non-residential.

    Thousands of people have participated in these camps conducted across the country in the last five years.

    In his reaction, Ramdev’s spokesperson S K Tijarawala said they will counter the Service Tax department’s action.

    “We are replying to the notice. Yog shivirs are classified under the category of providing medical relief which cannot be termed as earning commercial profit,” he said.

    Sources said income generated from Ramdev’s yoga camps, in which people participate after buying coupons, is liable to be brought under the service tax domain.

    Under service tax provisions, Yoga is in the taxable list of health and fitness services.

    Sources said agency sleuths, during the investigation, recorded country-wide price tags of coupons which were sold in an increasing value order from the back row to the front during these ‘yog shivirs’.

    The DGCEI has also recorded that while the coupons for non-residential Yoga camps ranged from Rs 51-Rs 7,000, the rates at residential camps for facilities like air-conditioned tents would cost between Rs 8,000-Rs 12,000.

    The agency has now launched a scrutiny of the balance sheets and ledgers of all the ‘shivirs’ conducted by Ramdev’s trusts in the last five years, following which, sources said, the I-T department will also be informed about the income from these avenues which could have escaped the Income Tax net.

    Recently an I-T notice, for the assessment year 2009-10, on Haridwar-based Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, Divya Yoga Mandir Trust and Bharat Swabhiman Trust have been slapped on the income of Rs 120 crore which the I-T department has held as “commercial activities”.

    Ramdev’s trusts have challenged this I-T order saying they have nothing to hide.

    Ramdev, who is leading a campaign against black money in the country, heads an organisation that runs the trusts which manages the manufacture and sale of ayurvedic medicines in India and abroad.

    His trusts have been enjoying tax exemption under the provisions relating to charitable organisations for the last few years.

    Ramdev’s trusts are also under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged contravention of foreign exchange rules.

    Ramdev had last year declared his business empire to be worth more than Rs 1,100 crore. The capital involving the four trusts run by him totalled Rs 426.19 crore while the expenditure incurred on them amounted to Rs 751.02 crore.

    While the Divya Yoga Mandir trust has a capital of Rs 249.63 crore, Patanjali Yoga Peeth trust has Rs 164.80 crore, Bharat Swabhiman trust Rs 9.97 crore and Acharyakul Shiksha Sansthan Rs 1.79 crore — all totalling Rs 426.19 crore.

    • Anonymous permalink
      June 6, 2012 12:12 pm

      I hope you are right, VSS. He should be caught and held accountable for all his financial/land dealings for the past 25 years. And it should go back to the original acquisition of the ashram land itself. It was given by the government to be a school for the poor and has turned into his personal playground and place of business, with a tiny section dedicated to schooling the poor. All the beautiful structures, saving the temple, which I think because of what it is must not be moved or changed, should be turned into free schooling for the poor from Bangalore and all surrounding areas. Completely free. And everyone else, excepting Ravi Shankar, who should have to live there with perhaps one attendant, should not be able to stay there. Or maybe they could allow schoolteachers for the poor to live there as well? Imagine what a nice, huge, free school the ashram would make? VSS, do you know a way to get this blog to the press or Revenue Offices without you yourself being identified (you don’t know which of them is in his pocket and you could be harrassed)?

      • VSS permalink
        June 7, 2012 5:37 am

        @ Anonymous [June 6, 2012 12:12 pm]

        Shall respond to your comment in detail in a bit. Meanwhile, here’s the link to a video I’m posting for all — but especially for you. Do share your thoughts on this when you can. (There’s a brief mention of Mr. Ravi Shankar in this too.)

        http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/india-decides-9/baba-ramdev-now-a-legitimate-political-figure/235100?hp

      • VSS permalink
        June 7, 2012 7:54 am

        @ Anonymous [June 6, 2012 12:12 pm]

        It will happen. The truth will prevail. If you look at this entire situation in a completely issue-based way, then you will be able to separate Mr. Ravi Shankar’s actions from Mr. Ravi Shankar, the human being.

        Several attempts were made to find proof of Anna Hazare’s wrong actions. No proof of financial misappropriation or land-grabbing has been found thus far. That’s because it doesn’t exist. Whatever be my opinion of him or his methods, I believe that he is an honest man. I do not associate any materialism whatsoever with him. What has been said about him is that flogging alcoholics is illegal. This is a fact. But no one — absolutely no one has found that he has engaged in any other activity that is illegal. He doesn’t even have a bank account. He doesn’t even have access to the money that was collected in his name. I don’t know if he has the power to decide what it is to be spent on.

        However, I cannot say the same about Baba Ramdev and Mr. Ravi Shankar. The lifestyle of a person reveals many things — the manner in which the lifestyle has been acquired also reveals many things.

        Mr. Ravi Shankar is very intelligent. When India Against Corruption was formed — and he is one of the founding members — he brought Anna Hazare to the fore — by making Anna Hazare the face of India Against Corruption along with all other founding members. So, he avoided attracting attention.

        Baba Ramdev can’t lie low and not attract attention. So far, Mr. Ravi Shankar can. It’s to be seen whether he will continue to lie low. If he does, then he will be able to avoid the attention of tax authorities and the media for some more time.

        However, he will not be able to avoid them forever. Society is waking up. I have posted another comment about this. Here’s the link to that comment:

        https://aolfree.wordpress.com/2012/06/06/questions-sudarshan-kriya-practitioners-should-ask-themselves/#comment-12896

        You see, those of us who have seen through AoL are ahead of society and the media. Skywalker and Klim are pioneers. The media investigates someone only when that someone is in the public glare for one reason or another — such as when Mr. Ravi Shankar made a comment about government schools being the breeding ground for Naxalism and later modified his comment under pressure.

        Take the case of Baba Ramdev. Till he attracted attention to himself, everyone was ignoring him. Human beings notice things when those things affect them personally. This is true for journalists as well. Now that Baba Ramdev and Nitin Gadkari are affecting them, they’re talking about it. Once they have started talking about it, they will transcend the individual and land up on the issue. If you see the video I linked you to, you can see that they start talking about Baba Ramdev but also discuss the issue — which is the issue of living godmen and how seriously they should be taken.

        From this, the logical progression will be towards investigating living godmen as well as towards investigating the issue further.

        You and I know something before society has found out. We need to be a little more patient without losing hope. Societies take time to learn but they do and that’s why societies evolve. Please don’t lose hope. Please don’t stop posting on this blog. Remember that it will be discovered soon and the day it is discovered — your contribution to this blog will be read and re-read — by millions of people — and not just people who are connected to AoL but all those people who study society and social evolution.

        Meanwhile, if you bump into anyone, mention this blog to them. That’s what I do. I don’t know any journalists personally. I don’t know anyone in the tax department personally. I follow the basic principle of “do what you can until you can do more”. This is all I am able to do at the current time. I also follow the core message of the Gita — I do what I can and not get bogged down with whether or not I gained something from the action. I focus on momentum rather than milestones. I am a mere mortal. I can only do what I can do. If the universe has to bless me, it will.

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