Special Edition : Monstanto Quit India (August 9)

First Report:

A wake-up call: On the occasion of Quit India Day, hundreds of farmers, NGOs and social workers took out a procession demanding ‘Monsanto, Quit India!’ in Bhopal on Tuesday calling for ouster of the multinational seed and agro-chemical giant from the country and an end to all kind of trials on GM crops. – Photo: A. M. Faruqui

Ahmedabad remembers Quit India, in many ways
Published: Wednesday, Aug 10, 2011, 19:40 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

Gujarat NGOs Bhartiya Kisan Sangh and Jatan Trust, Baroda, carried out a rally in Ahmedabad on Tuesday to make public aware of the ill effects of Monsanto seeds, chemicals used for pest control and how tribal farmers are allegedly becoming a vanishing tribe. They also held a press conference and sent a letter to chief minister Narendra Modi in this regard.

“Across 15 states of India, NGOs working for the welfare of farmers are demanding the government scrap various agreements that it has singed with Monsanto, Mahyco, Bayer, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont and the like in the name of PPP (public private partnership),” Kapil Shah, founder of Jatan Trust, said. He alleged that state and central governments are actually facilitating the build-up of monopolistic markets for these corporations.

Events under the banner, ‘Monsanto, Quit India’ were carried out pan India. The objective of this campaign is to force the government to scrap its agreements with Monsanto and others in the name PPP. In their demands submitted to Modi, the NGOs have asked that seeds sold to farmers by the companies operating under the aegis of Monsanto should be taken back and their production should be stopped immediately.

They have further demanded that there should not be any GM crop trials and facilitation of bio-piracy of invaluable germ-plasm that belongs to farmers of this country in the name of collaborative research.The NGOs have also demanded that the government should make efforts to improve farmer’s research institutions, which for some reason, are unable to come up with new varieties of seeds that are friendly to farmers and soil.

Additionally, an agriculture policy safeguarding farmer’s land and water resources should be formed at the earliest possible, they said. They have appealed to the government to promote local-level solutions that Indian farmers have pioneered.

Second Report:
Quit India anniversary strikes many chords
Staff Reporter

From corruption to biopiracy, several issues come to the fore
Farmers gave a call, ‘Monsanto, Quit India’, in Bangalore on Tuesday. — PHOTO: Sampath Kumar G.P.
Several programmes were held across the city to mark the 69th anniversary of the Quit India Movement on Tuesday. Early in the day, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) organised an all-religion prayer meeting at the Mahatma Gandhi statue on M.G. Road here where students paid floral tributes.

Mayor Sharadamma, who participated along with Deputy Mayor S. Harish, Commissioner Siddaiah and Ruling Party Leader B.R. Nanjundappa, said that the BBMP had been organising programmes every year to mark the movement’s anniversary to create awareness among people about its significance. She said that the country won Independence when its citizens came together as one to support the movement.

Speaking at an event organised by Gandhi Bhavan, Karnataka Human Rights Commission Chairperson S.R. Nayak said that politicians and bureaucrats indicted in corruption cases should quit.

Pointing out that both the Union and State Governments are mired in scams, be it 2G or illegal mining, he said that “elected people who don’t follow the Constitution should leave their positions”.

‘Quit India, Monsanto!’

At another event, several farmers gathered and called for scrapping of any partnerships, deals and projects with Monsanto, the largest seeds corporation in the world. Around 300 farmers gathered and gave a call: “Monsanto, Quit India”.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) president Kodihalli Chandrasekhar said that State agencies such as the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, were facilitating biopiracy in the name of collaborative research.

The protesters demanded the scrapping of the development of BT brinjal varieties. They demanded that agencies going against the legal provisions of the Biological Diversity Act be penalised for such violations.

Against humanity

In a memorandum submitted to the State Government, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA) and the KRRS pointed out that the Government should be aware of Monsanto’s long history of crimes against humanity.

They claimed that Monsanto used several strategies, including deploying technology that reduces possibility of farmers re-using their seeds, legal frameworks that prevent farmers and researchers free and open access to seeds, and aggressive, monopolistic market manoeuvres that suppressed competition. The protesters were assured by senior officials that projects with Monsanto and other companies will be reviewed.

Third Report

Social bodies launch campaign against agri MNC

TNN Aug 9, 2011, 01.29am IST

NAGPUR: On the occasion on Quit India Day on Monday, NGOs and social activists launched a campaign called ‘Monsanto, Quit India.’ To be held simultaneously at various places across 15 states of the country, the aim of campaign is to raise the demand of turning away big multinational seed and agro-chemical companies from domestic markets.

The movement is heralded by Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), an all-India network of about 400 organizations of farmers, agricultural workers, consumers, social activists and academics, ‘working to promote ecologically sustainable agriculture and secure livelihoods for farmers, and stop corporate domination of our agriculture and food system’. The organizations claim that the government seems to have an agreement with Monsanto, Mahyco, Bayer, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont and other such companies.

They also wish that Monsanto be blacklisted. The corporation had recently hit the headlines because of alleged violations of some biosafety norms in its GM maize plot in Bijapur, Karnataka.

7 responses to “Special Edition : Monstanto Quit India (August 9)

  1. Rhonda Varsane
    Kheti Khurak Azadi Jatha

    Recap of Day One on 9 August
    A seminar held at Pensioners Bhawan, Ludhiana in which Nature Human Centric People’s Movement, Bhartiya Kisan Union Dkaunda, Mahavir Jain Chetna Sabha, Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, Art of Living, Bharat Swabhiman joined and other social organizations took part.

    Representatives of the several organizations spoke on the occasion. They gave a call to fight against Monsanto and to expand the ‘Monsanto Quit India’ movement to each and every village. National leader of Nature Human Centric People’s Movement Sh. Sukhdev Singh Bhopal along with other Senior Leaders launched the ‘postcard campaign’ by writing a message to Monsanto – ‘Monsanto Quit India.’ ‘We don’t have any need of your seeds and pesticides’.

    After the seminar, Yatra continued to its next destination – Village Chak Des Raj district Jalandhar. Jatha which consists of twelve yatris having few veteran activists, on arriving a small group of farmers and villagers welcomed the Yatra and everyone joined in with a small group discussion on the purpose of Yatra, and the issues of ‘Monsanto Quit India’ campaign.

    After which, Azadi Jatha, went on a march in the streets of Chak Des Raj Village along with Villagers, Farmers, a Theatre group and School Children. The streets of Chak Des Raj was covered and exploded with the slogans “Monsanto Quit India’ “ “Beej Hmara – Haq Tumhara Nahi Chalega” which means – “Seed Ours – Patent Yours -Not accepted- Not accepted”.
    In the night, a large gathering (250+ which includes 60% women ) assembled in an open public program where local theatre group enacted plays depicting issues of environment and organic farming. Yatries shared their thoughts with the public. Balwinder Singh gave a brief introduction of the Yatra to the people. He explained the Yatra would be starting in the morning at Ludhiana and Chak Des Raj being the first village which Yatra reaches. And now to continue on to the different villages of the Punjab.

    In 1930, on the same day, Gandhi raised a slogan of ‘Britishers Quit India’ and on the basis of this day Yatra raised this slogan- ‘Monsanto Quit India.’ it will be reached to its final destination in Malerkotla on 17 August.

    Gurdyal Singh Sital with the Nature Human Centric People’s Movement explained the tactics of MNCs and how farmers were motivated to use pesticides, fertilizers and hybrid seeds by MNCs, by the Punjab Agriculture University through organizing seminars and public programmes. But now, farmers have become dependent totally on the MNCs for seeds.

    Monsanto has introduced Bt cotton, a non-food crop in India and now is ready to introduce other Bt/GM seed food crops. If this happens, farmers will lose their seed sovereignty and it will also affects the environmental and ecological system. He [Gurdyal Singh Sital ] made an appeal to stand against the giant company of Monsanto so we can save our seeds, food and agriculture for future generations.
    Umendra Dutt explained Monsanto is a Big Giant for farmers. Monsanto has a criminal background. Before the business of pesticides and seeds, it made weapons for wars. He also described how farmers are losing their choice of seeds. Monsanto has IPRs on its seeds which means no one can grow or save those seeds, otherwise action will be taken against them.

    So, it is not only a danger for present generation, but, also, for our future generations by losing control over their seeds. He urged the villagers to join the movement against food and agriculture imperialism. He asked elderly mothers to raise their voice against contamination of food through pesticides and genetic modification.

    Umendra Dutt then made an appeal to the audience to send postcards to Monsanto by writing what they want to say to Monsanto. Everyone present in the meeting wrote a message on postcard to Monsanto- ‘Monsanto Quit India.’
    On the appeal for donation people contributed as they could. In the end village people honored the Yatries and Yatries thanked villagers for their love and support.
    Readers can also join the “MONSANTO QUIT INDIA MOVEMENT” today August 9th by writing a postcard to Monsanto with a simple message: “Monsanto: We do not need or want your hazardous & unsustainable technologies in agriculture; we will not allow you to control our agriculture and seed resources; we refuse to have your poison served to us. MONSANTO, QUIT INDIA!”

    Post cards with this message can be sent to:
    Monsanto India Limited, Ahura Centre, 5th Floor, 96, Mahakali Caves Road, Andheri (East), Mumbai 400 093. Phone: 022-28246450/67029851; Fax: 022-28244707.

  2. Part One of ‘Monsanto Quit INDIA’ Rally Day One: Amanjot Kaur reporting from rural India
    tells of the start of ‘Monsanto Quit INDIA’ Rally. Thousands of farmers commit
    suicide monthly due to the lies from the United State’s
    info@seedsofdeception.com Kirk Azevedo whistle blower.

    Stanley B. Prusiner The National Medal of Science (2010)


    Company Monsanto. India’s history was of 200,000 differing
    seed of food. Now the government has disallowed traditional
    seeds. The farmer is put in a positions of purchasing Monsanto’s seeds
    which are a MAGIC seed. They take twice as much rain, the
    cost 100 times more, the yields are few, if at all, and the
    remaining seeds are sterile and illegal to gather, even
    though the Round-Up gene is engineered into each cell. This
    herbicide [Round-Up] causes the need for exponential increase of pesticides.
    The combination results in the poisoning of the earth, birds,
    bees, and butterflies. When the end of the season comes the
    only thing which the farmer has left is large amounts of debt and
    expensive pesticide which they drink and die.

    Part Two of ‘Monsanto Quit INDIA’ Rally Day One: Yesterday a planned March of Flags from Tiranga found a full day’s
    worth of heavy rain and postponement with three to five feet of rain
    on the roads due to the rainy season.

    Today August 9 at 10:00 A.M.
    their yatra starts. A yatra is a planned walk, a procession,
    a pilgrimage, a cause, this to criss-cross the country to meet farmers,
    seeking to lift their sagging morale, inviting them to march, teaching the
    people of the villages and thecountryside about Monsanto. “No Food
    Grown Which Is Not Our Own.” Their steps will leave Ludhiana India at the
    NW Court of the Pensioner Hall, with passion and resolve and
    end in Chak Desraj at 6:00 P.M.

    Amanjot Kaur, our correspondent for the rally, is twenty three, and is the only woman.
    She is the hostess of Facebook site: womenactionforecology@groups.facebook.com
    She explains, “The story of the [yatra] should focus
    on the purpose, the movement, because people come and go, but movements always remain.”
    Before the rally [yatra] they visited the site of Amar Jyoti, a flame, symbolic of the
    battle of British Rule. Next moving village to village with the yatries. The ‘yatries’ are made
    up of ten to fifteen people who are consistant throughout the march, leading the way
    as they share and announce the meaning of the yatra: ‘Monsanto Quit INDIA’. Some villages
    are welcoming with early knowledge of the rally other villages do not yet know.

    A new town will greet them each morning and the nights offer a place to sleep at Inns and at villagers homes.
    If you support this cause please post on Amanjot Kaur’s Facebook page.

    Questions contact:
    Rhonda Varsane

  3. Amanjot Kaur reporting from India
    • Day 2, 10 August – Monsanto Quit India
    • On the day 2nd the Yatra reached the village of Gunachaur where Yatries interacted with a small group of thirty plus young people. Most of them belong to farmer families and they practice chemical farming. First of all, Balwinder Singh, a Yatri gave a brief introduction of the Yatra. Darshan Singh talked about the contamination of the environment and our natural resources. Umendra Dutt undertook a close interactive discussion with youth allowing the young farmers to get heavily involved in the discussion on food, agriculture, and the environmental health crisis. They pledged to adopt natural farming in their village. A follow-up programme was chalked/laid out right on the spot. The young farmers participated with enthusiasm and with keen awareness.
    • When the Yatra continued to the next village of Jariwal the Yatries had a lunch at an Organic Farmer’s home. It was in a small village with only a hundred homes. Five women and thirty plus farmers participated in the meeting. Master Madan Lal, an organic farmer from nearby village of Bullowal, gave the introductory speech. He explained why we need this organic farming and tells of the present situation of Punjab’s farming and environment. Then Nariderjeet Singh Sodhi shared his views on the environment and why it is important to be involved with joining this movement against Monsanto.
    • Umendra Dutt also had an interaction with farmers, the farmers told us most of their young people from this region migrated to Australia, Canada, England and other countries so only the aged farmers are left behind in the villages.
    • In this meeting Yatra came to understand the farmers who sew “hybrid Maize of Monsanto” had to bear heavy losses from lack of return. After the village had an interactive session the Yatries moved on to meet one of the farmers who sewed “hybrid Maize of Monsanto”.
    • The farmer told us he sewed Monsanto’s maize on seven acres of his land. Following the recommendations of the company’s agent he found all to be in vain. For, he spent ten thousand rupees per acre, on the seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, along with paying a rent on the land of twenty five thousand per acre. He expected fifty thousand per acre income from the maize but now he did not even meet his expenses. The farmer is now eager to file a complaint in Consumer Court against the company of Monsanto. Umendra Dutt and other Yatries assured him of help getting compensation from Monsanto.
    • In the evening the Yatre reached it’s last destination of the day, the village of Muradpur Naryal where the Yatries discussed the purpose, the thought and the issues of Yatra. One farmers asked why the Yatra targeted only one company, Monsanto, Umendra Dutt replied because Monsanto is the leader of the MNC gang indulging in the looting and exploitation of farmers and all people at large. Monsanto also happens to be a key member of a host of alliances built to take over food and the agriculture of the whole world. So opposing Monsanto is opposing the ‘Kingpin’ of this exploitative regime.
    Amanjot Kaur
    Women Action Coordinator,
    • JAITU-151202
    Phones:Resi – 01635-503414
    Office – 01635- 503415
    For local information please contact:
    Rhonda Varsane
    Managing Editor
    Blog: http://goodnewpressnet.wordpress.com
    Email: editor@goodnewpress.net
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/hdf7kc
    SKYPE: rhonda.varsane
    “Good News – Let’s Build It Together”

  4. Day THREE, 11 AUGUST Kheti Khurak Azadi Jatha
    The ‘Monsanto QUIT India’ Yatra reached Hariana at 9 A.M. at the local gurudwara.Master, Madan Lal who gave a brief introduction about the yatra. Then Rajbir Singh, Pingalwada, Amritsar addressed the gathering. He shared his experience about organic agriculture at the Pingalwada farm. He also told how we can succeed in organic farming. He also took questions which were asked by the farmers.
    All farmers shared they were maize grower. One farmer asking about his own maize seed, they shared there was not even one single farmer who had his own seed, they had to get the seed from the market and it is hybrid seed.
    Umendra Ji learned the Monsanto’s Hybrid Maize completely failed in District Hoshiarpur when the Yatra visited the farmer yesterday. We told the story how Monsanto loots farmers and makes them slaves in the area of seeds.
    At the end of the gathering there was a pledge which was taken by all farmers, to save seeds, and boycott Monsanto!!
    Our next destination was Baghpur Sator and Yatries where we interacted with farmers about the Monsanto’s wrong deeds in farming. There the Yatries had a productive interaction with farmers. They wanted to know what will be the benefit of this Yatra at this time when Monsanto has already dug deeply their routes in the India with its [Monsanto’s] Bt Cotton. Yatries explained up till now we have we still have things, our farms, our crops, our seeds which we can save, even now if we put forth our efforts, work together to build a strong movement against Monsanto, the Yatries then to a break for their lunch.
    The Yatra met with a small group at Lambra and in the evenings, at Shahkot, a march was organized and we walked through the streets of the market against Monsanto. Local people joined the march. Handbills and other literature was distributed among the people as the Yatries addressed the gathering of local people and they discussed the coming danger involving and about our food and loss of agriculture freedom, and discussed the very real dangers of GM/ Bt food. Amanjot Kaur
    Women Action Coordinator,
    • JAITU-151202
    Phones:Resi – 01635-503414
    Office – 01635- 503415

    For local information please contact:
    Rhonda Varsane
    Managing Editor
    Blog: http://goodnewpressnet.wordpress.com/
    Email: editor@goodnewpress.net
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/hdf7kc
    SKYPE: rhonda.varsane
    “Good News – Let’s Build It Together”

  5. Thank you Rhonda! Fantastic account of the days events. “He urged the villagers to join the movement against food and agriculture imperialism.” Jai Ho! Inshallah..

  6. Awesome post dude I have found some cool ideas from your post that might help me to increase comments on my blog

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