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30th January: A Nation Wide Fast to Protect Our Food Sovereignty

National Day of Fast on January 30th

The Indian Government is considering approving genetic modification of our fruits and vegetables starting with Brinjal. While a rigged up “Expert” Committee has recommended clearance to genetically modified Bt Brinjal, due to concerns raised by independent scientists and farmer groups, Minister Jairam Ramesh has requested public feedback before making a decision in February.  Let us make our voices heard and democracy work! This is perhaps the last call to save our Brinjal!

On January 30, the day that took Mahatma Gandhi from us, a day that also happens to be the last day of the official national consultation hearing on Bt Brinjal, we are planning to gather in different locations across India in prayer and fasting to stop Bt Brinjal. The call for a National Day of Fast is being given by several individuals, groups and people’s movements including members of the Coalition for GM-Free India and National Alliance for People’s Movements.

We request everyone both individually and from various groups and coalitions to sign up to participate on the day by either fasting or lighting a candle either at your homes, or in groups at locations across India.

Here is what you can do:

Over 100 years ago, the Father of our Nation, Mohandas K. Gandhi produced his central work, his key-text, his seed-text, the Hind Swaraj. This small 91-page booklet today reads almost like a prophecy that predicted all of 21st century India’s ailments. Gandhi clearly realised that the British continued in India as colonial masters not because of their superior military strength but simply because we Indians kept them “for our base self-interest.” Gandhi was clear that “India is being ground down, not under the English heel, but under that of modern civilisation (that makes bodily welfare the object of life).” He repeated, in different ways how “(modern) civilisation’s deadly effect is that people come under its scorching flames believing it to be all good.”

The approval for commercial sale of Bt Brinjal seeds developed by Mahyco, the Indian partner of Monsanto, the world’s most powerful and sinister agro-business company, tragically reflects how they achieved this goal. The fact that the approval of a crop that will threaten life itself, cripple the environment and economy and decimate India’s national biodiversity of brinjals was not based on hard, scientific grounds or vision for sustainable development for all vindicates this. In prophetic terms that warn us of the perils of globalisation the Mahatma said: “They wish to convert the whole world into a vast market for their goods…They will leave no stone unturned to reach the goal.”

For action leading up to January 30, please attend the national consultations and also write your views to the Environment Minister even if you are not able to attend personally.

Message Received from AID India

Previously on Delhi Greens:

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Dr. Govind Singh is Co-Founder of Delhi Greens organisation and the Editor-in-Chief of the Delhi Greens Blog.

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