China funding and the Indian Foreign Minister’s son: What is actually cooking?

The Opposition Congress has been urging the Centre to break its silence on ORF, Jaishankar’s son, and the Chinese funding; but nothing seems to be forthcoming

Chinese incursions on Indian terrain have been widely written about, but the Union government hasn’t come out with any details on its stance over the issue. The Opposition Congress party has been urging the Centre to break its silence on the issue but nothing seems to be forthcoming, as yet.

It is amidst all these that Pawan Khera, chairman of the Congress party’s media department, has dropped a bomb that would keep the BJP strategist scurrying for cover in the coming days. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the Bharat Jodo Yatra as it traverses Rajasthan, Khera revealed that the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) has received funding from the Chinese Embassy in India. Significantly enough, the Observer Research Foundation has a high profile official closely connected with the Union government.

Chinese funding to ORF

According to Khera, Dhruva Jaishankar, who works with the ORF, is External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s son. An organisation which has an official so closely associated with the External Affairs Minister receiving funds from the Chinese Embassy is of course a cause for concern. But it defies all logic as to why the Union Government is not forthcoming on its details even after the Opposition has been clamouring for an explanation.

With ORF, initially set up with support from Reliance Industries Ltd, has now grown into a critical player in India’s diplomatic and foreign policy-making. Significant is the fact that Dhruva Jaishankar came on board as the director of the foundation’s US unit, soon after his father took over as India’s foreign minister in 2019.  

Khera revealed that the ORF, whose unit in USA is headed by son of the Foreign Minister, has received funding from the Chinese Embassy, thrice, recently. Questions as to why was such a funding was received, and the reason for the government’s silence over China have all been posed.

Not stopping at that, the Congress Media Department chairman also dropped info on yet another policy research organisation called the India Foundation, which is manned by people from the Sangh. The India Foundation often visits China, he said.

Why is the Centre silent?

Though the press statements made by Khera is currently being ignored by the Union Government, it would have to be seen as serious issues, considering the fact that Chinese incursions are happening.

The government could be downplaying the threat, but the people of the country deserves a detailed explanation on all the issues highlighted by the Congress party in this regard. As Rahul Gandhi stated last week, the government is actually sleeping while China gears up for war. This is indeed serious, to which the government needs to break its silence.

Will that happen any time soon, however, is a question that demands an answer.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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