February 28, 2010
Jairam Ramesh was left standing alone by the rest of the Indian government after his recent comments against Bt Brinjal. His stance that Bt Brinjal (India’s potential first GMO) is dangerous until proven safe seems to be at odds with the corporate-centric Indian government.
I admire Ramesh for having the courage to stand up to the multinational private sector to ensure that India’s seed sovereignty is intact. India has a long history of big industry dominating traditional farming. For example see the green revolution where higher yields meant life-time reliance on water and chemical companies, and the virtual end to harvesting of wild green plants that the local population depended on for nutrition.
There needs to be a balance between progress and the eradication of local traditional ways and knowledge. In the end, the large companies vying to do business in blooming India are in it for the money and not for the good of the people. While they may be a necessary evil in the modern age, they must be tightly controlled to ensure that they don’t become more powerful than the government representing the people.