London: Britains charities watchdog today asked a UK-based Hindu charity to maintain its distance from the RSS as it was found in a sting operation that a speaker having formal links with the right-wing group had made remarks against Muslims and Christians at a camp.
The Charity Commission issued the warning as part of its inquiry report into the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS-UK) after an undercover television investigation showed a speaker making anti-Muslim and Christian remarks to some students during one of its camps.
The commission concluded there was “mismanagement” in the administration of the charity by failing to effectively monitor the speaker seen in the TV programme but said there was “insufficient evidence to show that the views of concern expressed by the speaker were endemic or systematic in the charity”.
“The inquiry found no evidence other than the comments made by the speaker of formal links with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). However, the inquiry has advised the trustees that they need to take proactive steps to ensure RSS has no control or influence over the charity and its affairs and that if links arise due to any personal links individuals may have, that these are separated from the charity and do not damage it or its reputation,” said the report titled Inquiry Report: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK).
“The commission questioned the trustees on a number of matters on the relationship between the charity and RSS,” the report said.
“The trustees response was that HSS neither funds nor is funded by RSS? The two entities are completely separate and independent from one another and are accordingly not inter-dependent,” it said.
In a documentary by Hardcash Productions entitled Charities Behaving Badly broadcast on Britains ITV Network on February 18, a speaker at an HSS youth camp in Herefordshire is seen making controversial remarks against other religions when responding to questions.
It led to the Charity Commission opening a statutory inquiry to investigate comments made by the individual invited to speak at the charity event.
The inquiry, which concluded today, said there was mismanagement in the charity evidenced by “failures to follow the charitys own policy and guidelines, lack of adequate procedures on speakers participating at events, not ensuring that the appropriate number of adults were present in the classroom with the speaker during his presentations and lack of appropriate oversight and monitoring”.