Clearly there is much more at stake here than a choice between over 98 varieties of our freely available native baingan and one genetically modified version promoted by a multinational company.
This is a battle about the politics of knowledge.
For about six decades private companies, governments and international food experts have focussed on increasing the volume of food production. Thus, any technology that gave higher output was deemed to be progress and those who challenged its side-effects or proposed alternatives which could produce as much or more at lower ecological and social costs were denounced as being regressive.- Bt brinjal and the politics of knowledge Rajni Bakshi
Sastry Garu responds:
Jai Ram Ramesh’s moratorium should be treated as only a Dunkirk : the real battles are ahead, with outcomes not too certain unless civil society improves and marshalls its strength in a more focused way.
Ultimately, the matter needs further broadening, to cover several fronts. In the kind of world we have, what else can be expected but eventual verdicts tilting towards Bio-giants ? There is already fatigue in Indian civil society because of this single Bt. Brinjal struggle !
The more one thinks, the more one turns to Gandhi and his Oceanic Circles. If you aggregate a problem globally, there is a global giant to be faced. Food should be produced locally and self sufficiency attained locally. The reconstruction of polity on Gandhian lines also needs to be made part of discourse even on matters like Bt. Brinjal, as that distinguished scientist Dr. Shiv Chopra did in his illuminating presentation only day before yesterday, which I had the privilege to attend. Such broadening of the front may win more adherents to the civil society, whom we need badly as we are too few now.