Simbly Bored

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BT Brinjal February 16, 2010

Filed under: My Political Stand — The Goddess @ 11:15 am

I’ve been following the story of the BT Brinjal for a while now and the government’s decision is great news. Most agriculture in the US is controlled by a handful of companies who decide how many varieties of seeds are planted, how much is grown, and what foods finally find their way to the supermarket and to the dinner table.

Monsanto owns around 90% of IP on seeds in the US. Farmers not using Monsanto seeds could be found guilty of stealing protected property even if their crops happen to be cross pollinated by Monsanto crops! Given our record of dealing with MNC’s – Union Carbide anyone? – I don’t think small farmers need to be jointly owned by crushing debt and MNC’s. We have driven enough farmers to suicide without having to add a Monsanto to their list of worries. You can find a few more examples here..

I am not against bioengineering itself. G.M. foods (unlike GM cars, ha ha terrible joke) are most likely the way of the future. We do need stronger IP laws protecting our music, movies, software, and novels (after the way Aamir Khan and his friends ripped off 5 Point Someone). I’m not sure having a company own the IP on all our food is the right way to go. The solution I’m imagining involves heavier government intervention, indigenously developed seeds and more education and freedom for our farmers to grow what they choose and for consumers to know more about what they’re eating.

At the end of it all, it’s consumers who must fight for their own interests. And it’s people like us who need to be aware of what’s happening and fight not just for ourselves but also for those who can’t read a newspaper let alone understand the issues that impact them. We seem to think that all protests and rallies are evil indicators of a government not doing it’s job right. We seem to forget that we can’t outsource thinking about important issues that affect us to a bunch of people in parliament (or the assembly) and spend our time in the pursuit of money and multiplex movies.

The more I see what capitalism in America, the more I feel pure capitalism is not what India truly needs. Wal-mart, Big Banks, Monsanto, the fast food industry, a fee for everything and reality television may be right for America. But our roadside chaat stands, the State Bank of India and Ekta Kapoor serials might just be good enough for us.

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2 Responses to “BT Brinjal”

  1. Bilboy Says:

    Brinjal rules!! No contamination of brinjal. What will happen to the peoplr who rely on “gurthi vankaya kura” for replenishing their wounded souls? Let them GM cabbage, capsicum, but not vankaya. I am all for this protest.

    On other note, corporations may be becoming the new zamindari systems. Different companies use IP to fight, just like factionism. There is no difference. We have reached a time, where collective wrong doing can be justified by firing a CEO/CFO, but where no one questions the motive of a company, Profit making. Is there anything like a “good profit making”. Answer is no. At some level profit harms some one or something. The argument is simple.

    proof: consider all the people of earth living as a system. If the system is self dependent (ie, we dont require anything out of the system), and the value (profit) of the system raises, there are two posibilities:
    1) The profit is fictitious.
    2) Some one is being exploited.
    In both the cases the claim is verified.

    On the other hand, if the system depends on external entities, which in the case of human beings is Earth. We plunder it and make profits.

    So one can ask, what about renewable sources? The answer is it requires further studies. So people fund me :p

    – Bilboy

  2. Joy Forever Says:

    I agree with you on the BT Brinjal issue… our farmers have enough things to worry about without MNCs trying to exploit them, so normal brinjals are good enough for us at the moment.
    But I do not agree on the Aamir Khan thing. I have both read the book and seen the movie. The movie is loosely based on the book. I have also seen the contract between the author and the producers. It clearly mentions that they will pay the author Rs. 11 lakhs (which they did) and put his name in the ROLLING CREDITS (which they also did). Now if Chetan Bhagat, despite being an IIT/IIM graduate, pretends not to understand what signing a contract means, and goes crying to the media, I do not sympathize with him. Seriously dude, if you wanted your name in the beginning, you should have asked for that on the contract! It’s a market out there – nobody is out to do anybody any favour.


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