7 June , Bangalore
More than a 1000 Karnataka farmers tried to cease the venue of the Global Investors Meet this morning by blocking the main road and disrupting traffic. The police has arrested about a 1000 while the others are still protesting. KRRS farmers have committed to a jail bharo – they are undertaking mass voluntary arrests.
The Karnataka government is laying a red carpet for investors to come and invest in Karnataka in areas like agriculture, tourism, infrastructure etc. they want to sign atleast 300 MOUs in the two days meet of 7 and 8 June 2012. In agriculture, they want to intensify biotechnology research capacity, set up SEZs for food processing with MNCs like Coca cola, Pepsi and Nestle, intensify contract farming. The Chief Ministers of most other BJP ruled states are present at this meeting.
Farmers are opposing this model of development based on foreign investments, large scale projects that are geared towards exports, profiteering and elite consumerism. Land banks are being set up by the karnataka government for SEZs and alll kinds of incentives like cheap uninterrupted electricity, tax cuts etc are being provided to investors while farmers are being uprooted off their lands, committing suicide and have to beg for drought relief measures, electricity, fair prices for their produce. It is clear that Pepsi and Coca Cola are not interested in feeding people or protecting nature, and neither are they going to solve the serious hunger crises of our country. We need the peasants and people of the land to feed our country. Resources, government incentives and the model of development need to geared towards them.