29th of January 2010: Subject: Solidarity with India, Jan 30th
Reply-To: "GMWatch" < gmwatch-weekly(a)gmwatch.eu >
NOTE: People anywhere in the world can register to fast tomorrow (Jan 30), or light a candle, in solidarity with Indian resistance to the imposition of GM brinjal (eggplant/aubergine). More info and sign up at http://www.brinjal.org
State govt of Kerala and Agriculture Minister of Orissa to join the National day of fast
We've signed up. Let's take it worldwide...
India observes a Day of Fasting on Jan 30th against Bt brinjal
Date: 30th January 2010 | Time: 3-6PM
Venue: Jantar Mantar, Delhi & other cities in India
In the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, thousands of people all over India and the world are joining the National Day of Fast on Jan 30th. From Kerala to Delhi and Bengal to Gujarat in India, and Baton Rouge to Boston in the US (see list of events/locations below), they are opposing the introduction of genetically modified (GM) Bt Brinjal into the Indian markets. GM foods like Bt brinjal pose a large threat to health, agriculture and environment, and they need to be strongly opposed in order to preserve farmers' self-reliance and control over seeds and agriculture, and protect the consumers' access to safe healthy food.
Bt Brinjal is made by inserting a toxin-producing gene from the Bt bacteria into the brinjal plant. India is the first country where the seed companies are trying to introduce Bt brinjal, and indeed the first time a directly consumed vegetable is being modified. Animals grazing in Bt cotton fields have died or faced serious illnesses, and introducing this technology into our own food is very risky for health, bio-safety and environment.
As BT Brinjal public consultations, led by the honorable Min. Jairam Ramesh, happening across the country come to its final stages, several state governments representing the bulk of the brinjal growing states have already decided to say no to Bt Brinjal.
More than 800 people have already joined online, in addition to the thousands who cannot access the web but plan to join on the street. Consumers, scientists, medical community, public servants, and even government agencies are joining at this historic juncture. Same day events have been planned at 64 different cities across 14 states in the country.
Schedule of event at Delhi on 30th Fast
1500hrs Assembling time at Jantar Mantar, Delhi
1500 - 1630hrs Peaceful gathering at Jantar Mantar, Delhi
1630 - 1700hrs Light up candle at Jantar Mantar, Delhi
1700 - 1800hrs Walk towards Rajghat
Selva Ganapathy: 9891358457 aid.selva(at)gmail.com
Arun Raj: 09910908774 arunraj.connect(at)gmail.com
Other Venues & Details can be found at http://bit.ly/dgcJmo
Why January 30th?
January 30th is Martyrs' Day. Its 62 years since we lost Mahatma Gandhi. Every year, the nation remembers him on this day, reminds itself on the struggle that the Mahatma led to free us from the clutches of colonial powers, reminds itself of his philosophies and values and his dreams about a self-reliant and Independent India. About Hind Swaraj. Through Satyagraha.
Today, India's Sovereignty is at stake again. Bt Brinjal, a poisonous genetically modified (GM) food crop that can threaten life itself, cripple the environment and economy and destroy India's national biodiversity as well as self-reliance has been given regulatory approval. The colonial powers that kept us in control have reassembled themselves to destroy and take control of our most precious strength - our food. This is the new Food Weapon against which a Nation must respond now, in the same emotional and spiritual manner that the Mahatma taught us.