So yesterday this cropped up in suggested news to read. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/amritsar/rs-1-crore-monsanto-package-for-lpu-agriculture-student/articleshow/68715851.cms
I immediately clicked the link to see what Monsanto was up to now! I finished reading the article and tried to gather my thoughts. My emotions ranged from anger to disgust to worry.
For an unassuming, unknowing young girl, this seemed like a dream come true. For her family this must have been everything they had ever hoped for.
For Monsanto though, to me, this seemed like one big leap towards scheming their way into the country, again. Something they have been desperately trying to do on repetitive occasions illegally and legally. What better way to appeal to a normal middle class family than to the promise of a bright future for their child! And what better way to redeem yourself in a State where the biggest worry is pesticide poisoning.
The green revolution of 1970 turned Punjab into the prosperous bread basket of India. But if the people who are growing your food are dying such painful deaths, shouldn’t you be worried about the bread you are eating.
The boom in production that saw India become the second largest producer and exporter of cotton, Punjab becoming the prosperous flag bearer of agriculture is now beginning to show its ugly side in the form of toxins accumulating within water, soil and food. Finally it is the people of the region who pay the price.
Punjab is among the highest users of pesticides per unit of cultivated land. The groundwater is undrinkable because of the Nitrate contamination. Since 1995, and the introduction of BT Cotton, the number of cancer patients, children born with neurological issues, reproductive issues in woman have seen a staggering incline.
Passenger Express 339, is now called the Cancer Train. It runs from Bhatinda to Bikaner carrying more than 100 cancer patients daily for cheaper treatment options. Most of these are farmers from the Malwa region.
Am I the only one that sees the irony that this job offer has been given to someone based in Punjab? To me it seems like a way to worm into good books with the one thing Monsanto is all too flush with, Money. Apparently now you can buy your way to goodwill too. Newspaper articles will also help you garner the same. I guess money does talk.
What’s a few crores in Rupees to an organisation that owes trillions in Dollars to farmers in India (and not to mention their lives back). Seems like Monsanto thinks it can wipe it’s slate clean with lucrative offers. I hope Indians can see through this scam and call it out for what it really is, Bribery.
If you want to read in depth about Monsanto and how they squirreled their way into the Indian Agriculture system I would urge you to read the article below by Dr. Vandana Shiva.
Also spend some time researching more into the Punjab Pesticide Crisis, Farmer Suicides across India and Monsanto across the world. Its time we educate ourselves, food is not a commodity, seed is not an invention.