India: KRRS Observes black day on August 15th

August 15th is a special day for the Indians , as Indians were celebrating their 59th year of their freedom from the colonialism , the farmers ironically observed this day as ” Black Day”. There  was an air of discontentment among the farmers against  the government for  having neglected their pathetic situation completely. Farmers led a huge rally in Bangalore protesting against the anti-farmer policies of the government and questioned ” where is the Independence? Who has received it?”

Karnataka Rajya Raitha  Sanga and The  Green Brigade( the youth wing of KRRS) jointly held a huge rally and protest against all the government policies which are against the farmers. The policies included from WTO to local issues like electricity Act. The  farmers in their visibly ire against the government policies and as symbol of the outright rejection against unwanted technologies like the Genetically modified food in agriculture burnt the bt.cotton at the protest and vowed to fight till all the genetically modified food and MNC’s are kicked out of the country.

The KRRS voiced their protest against those inhuman policies which were framed by multinationals , for multinationals and  of multinationals  making the mockery of democracy and claimed the legitimacy of the government which listens the MNC’s and not the people. The farmers questioned “if this is the fate of the government then where is the Independence.” They were of the opinion that that there was no freedom in the real sense and the governments were still the slaves of the  multinationals. The seed bill and the GM food were the   issues which were high on the agenda of the rally and protest.

“Seed Bill 2004”:- The seeds bill 2004 is death -knell attack on the food sovereignty and seed sovereignty of the farmers. The entry of Multinationals into the seed sector is totally unacceptable. Vow to make all the effort to garner huge support from all the corners to not tao allow to make this bill , an Act  because if did,  this would prove disastrous to the farmers. The Indian Seed bill has a provision to arrest the farmers I found selling the unregistered seed and the punishment includes 6months imprisonment and also penalty up to  Rs  25000/-. This is an attempt to the criminalization of the farmers and efforts to distance him from agriculture and his land.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD:- Indian farmers are being taken for ride by the MNC’s and the government with an illusionary hope of high yields and higher profit if they grow GM food. The first GM crop to enter into the fray   was the BT.Cotton .In 1998 Monsanto company started the field trials in India, with the permission being given in 5 states only, with the approval of the Genetic engineering Approval Committee (GEAC , an authority under the Environment protection Act ). In 2002 the company started the commercial sale of this GM variety. Since 2002 , of the total  farmers who committed suicide most of them are the Bt.cotton growers and the cotton belt of India  Vidharba getting affected the most. In 2006 the Minister of Agriculture stated in the parliament that the bt.cotton is a failure . Inspite of that the government has given permission for Bollgard II. Bt. Brinjal:- After having known the result of Bt. Cotton the GEAC has given the approval for the field testing of BT.Brinjal the first edible crop to go GM in India.A complete ban on this variety of GM crop and also on any further induction of GM Variety.

Resolution adopted by the farmers:_
1)    Keep WTO out of Agriculture. Uphold food sovereignty
2)    In our federal democracy the agriculture comes under state subject and thus keep agricultural policies under the state government& based on the local necessities let the state government frame the agricultural policies.
3)    Reinstate Quantitative Restrictions on cheap agricultural imports and thus prevent Dumping. Cheap imports are harming the local agricultural market.
4)    Minimum Support price and Minimum procurement policy should be reinstated.
5)    Strengthen agricultural co-operatives.
6)    Waive the crop loans of the farmers. Crops have failed due to faulty policies of the government and thus government  is duty bound towards the farmers to waive the debt
7)    No patent on life forms.  Patents curb the sovereignty of the farmers by inducing exclusive monopoly on the  patent owners
8)    Complete ban on GM food which is not only destructive of the bio-diversity but also poses untold health hazards on the consumers. Inspite of the lack of the comprehensive legal  policy on the GM issues government has given a nod on GM field trials and import of GM food.
9)    Also because of the vacuum in the legislation in  the aspect of genetic contamination has  gone unnoticed. The farmers who had used bt. Cotton seeds have not only incurred huge losses but also have polluted their fields. The Government must effectively implement the polluter pays principle and make companies pay the compensation for the losses.The government should strengthen the crop insurance policies.
10)    No privatization of Water, Electricity and education. The farmers ought rightly opposes the policy of the government which inserts meters at the distribution centers so that the farmers has pay high electricity charges.  No privatization of Electricity supplies and the electricity should be subsidized.