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.
Quit India anniversary strikes many chords
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.
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.
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.