Convention on Third Freedom Struggle for Peoples’ Right over Natural Resources
Sunday, 21st September, 2008; Khatkarh Kalan, District: Nawanshahar, Punjab
Say No to GM Crops, Say No to Pesticides, Say No to new legal frameworks responsible for legalizing corporate control over Biodiversity, Water and Seeds
Resist and revolt against this onslaught on our sovereign right over natural resources and our knowledge system
Dear Eco Warriors,
September 28 is Birth day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. To remember him along
with his compatriots is to rededicate to the concerns that young group had
about humanity in general and Indian toiling masses in particular.
During post 1857 war for Independence his Uncle Sardar Ajit Singh has raised
a slogan of "Pagri Sambhal' which became symbol of peoples struggle against
British colonial and Imperial rulers. The “Pagri" symbolises the self honour of the working people and particularly of Peasantry. This was a call to peasantry to stand tall and fight for honourable life.
Khatkarh Kalan, the ancestral village was the birth place of Sardar Ajit Singh who won the peasants rights and honour in 1907 but had to live exile for forty years. He kept the flag of fight against British Imperialism through out the world. He returned to India in 1947 to see the triumph of his commitment of seeing British direct rule end on 15th August, 1947 and he breathed his last on the twilight of Free India i.e morning hours of 15th August, 1947 at Daulaosie . His last message that part of the aim of our struggle started in the beginning of this century is fulfilled but now the implementation of its benefits to the toiling masses is the responsibility of the youth.
Shaheeds Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev also had written in their last
letter to Governor Punjab that:
"*That we were sentenced to death on 7th October 1930 by a British Court, L.C.C Tribunal, constituted under the Sp. Lahore Conspiracy Case Ordinance, promulgated by the H.E. The Viceroy, the Head of the British Government of India, and that the main charge against us was that of having waged war against H.M. King George, the King of England.** *
* The above-mentioned finding of the Court pre-supposed two things: Firstly, that there exists a state of war between the British Nation and the Indian Nation and, secondly, that we had actually participated in that war and were therefore war prisoners.*
* The second pre-supposition seems to be a little bit flattering, but nevertheless it is too tempting to resist the desire of acquiescing in it. As regards the first, we are constrained to go into some detail. Apparently there seems to be no such war as the phrase indicates. Nevertheless, please allow us to accept the validity of the pre-supposition
taking it at its face value. But in order to be correctly understood we must explain it further. Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist so long as the Indian toiling masses and the natural resources are being exploited by a handful of parasites. They may be purely British Capitalist or mixed British and Indian or even purely Indian. They may be carrying on their insidious exploitation through mixed or even on purely Indian bureaucratic apparatus. All these things make no difference."*
The exploitation of toiling masses and Natural resources has been the deeper concern. So the freedom struggle was concerned with the future of Indian masses.
But today we are faced with much more sophistication of the tools of exploitation of Indian masses. Where 80 crore people are living on less than meager Rs twenty per day. The GDP is increasing not due to our manufacturing or agricultural production but due to consumption of foreign goods and exploitation of natural resources by foreign companies who are mining natural resources.
The past agricultural practices have pushed the farmer into debt trap and have virtually pushed him to brink of living. The corporate oriented agriculture system has ruined the fundamental right of our farmers - the right to honorable living.
The current realities demand that we should put our heads together and recommit our selves to the cause for which freedom struggle was fought. Remember we will only be doing our Fundamental Duty as per constitution
* " To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our
national struggle for freedom."*
* *The imperialist forces are at play in more sophisticated way. The Ecology is the sustainer of life. The way it is under attack is our deeper concern. The toilers are under threat of extinction. Our culture , our way of life which sustained Indian life for centuries is under attack. The trees which symbolises our cultural life, Shesham , Kikar , Shatoot are dying. Is not that warning that our cultural reference it self will be extinct and our whole heritage will be beyond comprehension for future generations.
The result is in front of us. Socio-economic conditions of the ordinary people remain miserable. Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, ill health and squalor remain rampant in the society. Health and education for common man is in shackles. The reverse has happened. The already existing institutions of health, education and social welfare have been systematically and knowingly murdered. They are fast being replaced by corporate sector who is concerned about their profits in a callous and greedy way. The exploitation of man by man is at its climax.
The greed of the vested interests has crossed all limits of decency. Now the greed is not limited only to economic exploitation of people only. The nature is being exploited, ruined and damaged beyond an extent from where it can’t recover itself. The whole nature has been put to ransom just to increase their profits and multiply their wealth. The use of highly poisonous and non bio-degradable synthetic chemicals in agriculture and industry is playing havoc with nature and life. All the components of environment-air, water and soil have been poisoned beyond permissible limits. These poisons have already reached the food chain, all living beings and humans to an extent to cause serious damage. In Punjab the gross ill effects are already obviously visible on human, animal ant plant health.
Now, they have come up with even more dangerous technologies, like genetically modified crops. The experts and well informed people are saying that the genetically modified foods, other agricultural products and organisms are going to prove the worst environmental disaster in the whole history of mankind. The whole of life is slowly moving towards death. The combination of chemicals and genetically modified crops will enhance the speed of this disaster.
The neo-liberal policies being imposed on the people of the world under the garb of science and general human good are the latest tools of these exploiters. All the natural resources including land and water are being snatched to make them tools of economic exploitation. The plant and animal biodiversity which is a common heritage of nation and humanity at large are being destroyed to enslave us. Our seeds are being snatched very fast. The science and technology has become the slave to serve the narrow vested interests. It is very obvious that the vested interests are so blind to the truth that they are unable to see the damage they are causing to the whole of the life and the humanity including their own families. The multinational corporations (MNCs)-foreign as well as national along with politicians and bureaucrats are holding the whole humanity to ransom.
Unfortunately these are the people who are leading the whole world and are playing a decisive role in the lives of crores of people. We have to think seriously if we can go on accepting their leadership and risk the fate of our families-our mother and father, sister and brother, son and daughter, and wife and the husband. This is a new form of slavery, where in addition to the extreme economic exploitation, whole of the environment, nature, humanity, all living beings and natural resources are being endangered to the extent of risk of extinction. We can’t wait any more. We must act before it is too late.
The private control of natural resources is an invasion on our livelihoods and our sovereign right to live with dignity. The people at the helm of affairs, are more eager to serve corporate interests, and are pushing legal frameworks which will legalize robbery, which will make this act of aggression on our ecological heritage a legal act and opposition to this will be termed as illegal. We already have notifications like Environment Impact Assessment, and laws like Plant variety protection and Farmers' Right Act, Patent Act are directed towards interests of the industry. Legislations like the Biological Diversity Act are being turned over from their original intent to only regularize access to “resources” with the conservation objectives being deliberately ignored. And then there are new frameworks in the offing in the form of the proposed Seed Bill and are National Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill or the Coastal Management Zone notification. All these in their text and/or intent of implementation are anti-people, anti-farmer and anti-nature and making easier the takeover of nature, entire legislation and Judiciary is going the corporate way , thus paving the way for hijack our ecological heritage and its destruction.
It is now or never situation. It is do or die now.
Let us forget our political, religious and regional affiliations to work on these common issues untidily because these are issues not only of whole of the humanity but all living beings who inhabit the planet. The life of humans and other living beings is one united whole and we have to fight this struggle of life and death on behalf of all living beings.
Let us declare a full fledged war of liberation and take the third phase of independence movement to a logical culmination. We want independence where all natural resources, human resources and science and technology will be used for common good of all humans and other species and not to fulfill the greed of few highly rich—where all human activities and development will be in accordance with the laws of nature and nature as whole will be nurtured with love and compassion for all its creations. There will be no poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, squalor or misery of any kind. Every living being will get clean air, pure and sweet water, balanced food and all other necessities of graceful life. Every body will live a life full of happiness, love and oneness with nature and God.
The deaths of farmers and workers must call us to awake. This is just an initiator towards a greater debate and commitment to action to address the fundamental maladies.
Kheti Virasat Mission-KVM, Jaitu and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Centenary Foundation, Khatkar Kalan with support of farmers ‘organizations, peoples’ movements, environmental groups, Writers’ forum, Intellectuals are organizing a Convention on Freedom Struggle for Peoples’ Sovereign Right on Natural Resources at Khatkar Kalan, - ancestral Village of Shaheed Bhagat Singh on Sunday, 21st September, 2008 at 10.00 AM
It is convention of pro-nature and pro-people concerned citizens.
You are invited to join this new freedom movement
Your suggestions are welcome.
Prof Jagmohan Singh Dr Inderjit Kaur Dr Surjit Patar Dr Daljit Singh
Dr Amar Singh Azad Balbir Singh Billing Umendra Dutt Dr Nirmal Singh