On February 16, George Soros, the billionaire, accused Prime Minister (PM), Narendra Modi, of crony capitalism and insinuated collusion between Modi and Gautam Adani, Chairperson of the Adani Group, claiming that Modi and Gautam Adani have a good relationship and that “their fate is intertwined.”
He predicts that Gautam Adani’s woes will weaken Modi and lead to a ‘democratic revival’ in the country. He further stated, “Modi is silent on the subject, but he will have to answer questions from foreign investors and in parliament.”
He alleged that “Adani Enterprises tried to raise funds in the stock market but failed. Adani is accused of stock manipulation, and his stock collapsed like a house of cards.”
George Soros’s comments come during the Adani-Hindenburg row, where Hindenburg Research, a US-based short seller, published a 32,000-word report accusing the Adani Group of stock manipulations and casted doubts over the group’s financial health.
Following the publication of Hindenburg’s report, Adani Group’s companies suffered a significant decline in their stock price. On January 29, the Indian infrastructure giant slammed Hindenburg’s report and published a 413-page report dismissing the allegations against them.
George Soros saw an opportunity in the Gujarati businessman’s decline and attacked Modi insinuating collusion between the Adani Group and the government. He claimed that the ‘shakedown’ caused due to Hindenburg’s report and the subsequent fall of Adani Group companies in the stock market would lead to a ‘democratic revival’ in India.
He also claimed that the alleged anti-Muslim violence in India spearheaded Modi’s “meteoric rise.” However, this is not the first time the billionaire has used his position to cast aspersions against a democratic leader’s integrity. He has a distinguished reputation for interfering in countries’ internal affairs, attacking their sovereignty, financing anti-government activities and his hate for nationalism and nationalists.
Given George Soros’s recent comments, BJP leader and Union Minister, Smriti Irani replied, “The man who broke bank of England & is designated by nation an economic war criminal has now pronounced his desire to break Indian democracy. George Soros an international entrepreneur has declared his ill-intention to intervene in democratic processes of India.”
George Soros’s War Against Nationalism
Soros has a keen interest in meddling with the internal affairs of democracies, attempting to use his funds and political influence to shape a narrative in accordance with his personal beliefs. He was born in a Jewish household, and during Hitler’s invasion of Hungary, his family survived the holocaust by assuming Christian identities. He studied at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he met Karl Popper, a radical positivist, who had a significant influence on shaping his anti-nationalist ideology, ultimately forming the Open Society Foundation.
In 1984, Soros established the Open Society Foundation (OSF) to “work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.” But instead, he uses his funds and political influence to interfere with the internal affairs of countries he deems run by “would-be or actual dictators.”
The OSF is known to fund various political NGOs worldwide, including certain Israeli NGOs that deny Israel’s legitimacy. The organization also funded Palestinian NGOs Al-Haq and Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terror organization. In December 2015, Russia banned two foundations funded by George Soros, claiming that the foundations posed a “threat to national security” and undermined the Russian constitution.
In addition to the NGOs, George Soros has a keen interest in propagating his narrative and ideologies through the media. He contributed the initial seed investment to set up the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which claims to provide funding to support “independent media companies.” The MDIF’s clients, according to the fund’s website, are “companies who continue to hold the powerful to account, protect the rights of the individual and provide a platform for debate.” MDIF’s Indian beneficiaries include the far-left website Scroll, Graam Vaani and Josh Talks. Besides funding media companies through MDIF, the George Soros funds, through the OSF, the International Committee of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), an international organization with worldwide reach, including India.
George Soros’s India Operations
George Soros’s Open Society Foundation started its India operations in 1999. The OSF offered scholarships and fellowships to students pursuing studies and research at Indian institutions. However, with the emergence of Modi and the rise of his political stature on the world stage, George Soros and the OSF have ramped up their propaganda against India’s nationalist ideology and Modi.
In 2020, while speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, George Soros committed $1 billion to the Open Society University Network, an international grant-making network, for fighting nationalists, referring to them as “authoritarian governments” and for climate change. He pledged the fund to battle the erosion of civil society as he claimed that countries are increasingly being run by “would-be or actual dictators.”
It is pertinent to note that while George Soros claims to fight authoritarian regimes, he met with Pakistan’s ex-PM, Imran Khan, despite Pakistan’s image as a terror state and their continued human rights violations in the Baluchistan region in 2019.
Furthermore, George Soros accused Modi of creating a “Hindu Nationalist state” and claimed the same as the “biggest and most frightening setback” that occurred in India. He further claimed that Modi is “imposing punitive measures on Kashmir, a semi-autonomous Muslim region, and threatening to deprive millions of Muslims of their citizenship.”
The billionaire peddled false information to propagate his narrative to undermine the Indian government. The billionaire showcased an enabling legislation, the Citizenship Amendment Act, which aimed to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities in neighbouring countries as legislation designed to deprive Muslims of citizenship, fuelling hatred against the regime.
George Soros and the OSF have tried to interfere with India’s internal affairs for a long time and funded a vast interconnected network of organizations for the same. The Soros-funded organizations are vital players in manipulating the anti-nationalist, anti-Modi narrative and take the media’s help to hinder India’s national interest.
George Soros’s Open Society Foundation has funded various organizations in India peddling an anti-nationalist narrative to undermine Modi’s legitimacy. The OSF-funded organizations often shape the mainstream narrative, and among these are Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and Sherpa, a French NGO.
HRLN has been involved in prominent campaigns, such as a campaign against ISKCON’s Akshaya Patra, and India’s sedition laws and provided free legal aid to Rohingya Muslims in India. While the French NGO, Sherpa, also funded through George Soros’s OSF, filed a complaint against the Rafale Deal in France.
However, the Indian government put the OSF on their watchlist in 2016. Therefore, since 2016, the OSF has needed prior sanction from Home Ministry to fund India’s FCRA-registered organizations, essentially curbing their influence to a certain extent.
George Soros has been successful in weaponizing his political influence and giant fortune to cultivate an ecosystem of anti-nationalist media and NGOs that propagates his ideologies, pursuing his aim to undermine nationalist government across the world. In addition, the billionaire has weaponized misinformation to formulate a false-biased narrative against the nationalist ideology and Modi. It seems like as long as the billionaire’s fortunes last, he plans to continue to wage his war against the world’s nationalist leaders, including Modi.