Replication of Bhartiya Kisan Union and the Shetkari Sanghatana press release.
Press Release 5, June 2, 2019 [PDF including Hindi version here]
By Bhartiya Kisan Union - Khetkari Sanghatan, Fatehabad / Hisar, Haryana:
A cotton farmer in Haryana, has decided to join the Kisan Satyagraha by symbolically sowing HTBt cotton on his field in village Sarangpur, tehsil Agroha, district Hisar, Haryana, on July 5, 2019, at 9 am.
Shri Bhupinder Singh Mann, former MP, National President, Bhartiya Kisan Union, will preside over the proceedings. All are invited.
The Kisan Satyagraha demands freedom for farmers' to access the latest technologies, including GM crops, to help improve farmers' income, and thereby contribute to national well-being.
The Kisan Satyagraha was initiated by Shri Lalit Bahale of Shetkari Sanghatana, in Akoli Jahagir village in Akot tehsil, Akola district, Maharashtra, on June 10, 2019. Inspired by the idea, Shri Chiranjeelal Bishnoi from Sarangpur village, in Hisar district, has decided to publicly support the call for access to new scientific advances.
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) in Haryana, and the Shetkari Sanghatana, Maharashtra, have expressed their strong support for Shri Chiranjeelal Bishnoi, and all the other farmers who have come forward to join the Satyagraha in the past few weeks.
Over the past three weeks, over three dozen farmers, spread over 15 districts of Maharashtra’s cotton belt, have publicly sown HTBt cotton. Although none of them can be sure that the seeds they have procured from the grey market are really the Herbicide Tolerant (HT) genetically engineered Bt cotton that they desire.
The Kisan Satyagraha, with its unique form of peaceful protest, where farmers are sowing at their own cost, on their own fields, acknowledging the attendant risks to their own livelihood, have sent a clear message across the country. The Indian farmers are no longer willing to wait for the government to approve technologies that have been proven and adopted for years, in many countries across the world.
Across the world around 60% of cotton is HTBt. In 2017, a field survey done by government of India had found that in major cotton growing states of Gujarat and Maharashtra 15% of cotton were HTBt, and in Punjab and Haryana it were around 9%.
On behalf of Kisan Satyagraha, the Shetkari Sanghatana has submitted a memorandum with six key demands to the central and state government.
Two months ago, Jeevan Saini, a small farmer, whose half acre of brinjal crop was destroyed by the local administration in Fatehabad district. Jeevan was accused of growing GM brinjal, although the farmer had no idea of what genetic modification meant. He had paid much higher price to purchase the brinjal saplings in the belief that these are a new hybrid that attracts less pests. Brinjal is particularly vulnerable to pest attacks.
Farmers and other friends of Shetkari Sanghatana and Bhartiya Kisan Union have generously contributed to aid Jeevan Saini and his family to partly compensate for their loss.
Bt Brinjal, which was developed by an Indian company, was approved by the regulatory body, GEAC, in 2009. But Government of India put an indefinite moratorium on it in 2010. However, the same Bt Brinjal had been approved in Bangladesh, in 2014, and so far over 50,000 farmers have successfully adopted it so far, and consumers have enjoyed better quality fruits.
Kisan Satyagraha is not against either organic or natural farming, zero-tillage or zero- budget agriculture, intensive agriculture or hydroponic farming. All these practioners of diﬀerent methods of agriculture enjoy their freedom. Kisan Satyagraha demands that the farmers who want to adopt genetically modified crops should also enjoy the right to same freedom.
Indian farmers are no longer prepared to silently bear their losses, and Indian consumers are being denied the pleasure of enjoying healthier and better crops.
• Bhartiya Kisan Union, Thakur Guniprakash, Haryana Pradesh Adhyaksh. Mob. 8901032721.
• Bhartiya Kisan Union, Baldev Singh Miyapur, Punjab Pradesh Adhyaksh. Mob.
• Shri Chiranjeelal Bishnoi, Sarangpur village, Hisar. Mob. 8708966060.
• Shetkari Sanghatana, Ajit Narde. Mob. 8668864685
For comments and communication:
Shetkari.Sanghatana.firstname.lastname@example.org , kisan.Satyagraha.email@example.com
NOTES BY SWARNA BHARAT PARTY
Details regarding the technology and its safety at http://swarnabharat.in/gm
Endorsement by some of the most eminent scientists and journalists: http://swarnabharat.in/gmsupport
Record of ongoing civil disbodeience at: https://www.sabhlokcity.com/2019/06/continuing-civil-disobedience-by-farmers/