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Archive for January 2010

Letter to Sonia Gandhi – in Italiano

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Cari Ms.Gandhi
Sono Sudarshan. Scrivo a voi per quanto riguarda le consultazioni in corso tra il ministero e il popolo dell’India per quanto riguarda la coltivazione commerciale di BT. Brinjal.

Signora, melanzana è un ortaggio celebrata indiano e con più di 2500 varietà, esso rappresenta la ricca bio-diversità che simboleggia l’India. È un peccato che il governo sta cercando di interferire con il re di verdure con l’introduzione della versione geneticamente modificata del raccolto.

Signora, vi è una convinzione vera e propria tra la gente dell’India che il governo indiano si affaccia per la loro sicurezza e il benessere. Con l’introduzione di un alimento, di raccolto che non è completamente testato e non ci sono domande riguardanti la sua sicurezza, potrete mettere un sacco di vite a rischio – molti di coloro che hanno scarso accesso alle informazioni circa i potenziali effetti negativi della coltura e molti altri, senza l’accesso alla qualità di assistenza sanitaria.

Il Comitato di esperti del Ministero dell’Ambiente e delle Foreste ha certificato che questa coltura non si incrociano con le altre varietà geneticamente modificate dopo aver assunto una distanza di impianto di 300m. Ad una distanza di grandi dimensioni sembra molto poco pratico per un’azienda indiana dove terriere sono piccole ei campi sono adiacenti gli uni agli altri.

L’industria sostenuto i gruppi di pressione si utilizza la loro dollari di pubblicità per dire al mondo che c’è un enorme risparmio in movimento a Bt-vareities del raccolto. Questa è una bugia assoluta appartamento perché gli agricoltori si spendono molto di più per l’acquisto di semi di proprietà, da queste aziende e sarà guidato più profondo nella debt.If GM è una pillola magica per i mali degli agricoltori, perché è possibile che gli agricoltori sono sempre più suicidio e molti altri sono in miseria, anche dopo aver piantato Bt.Cotton. Signora, io la domanda di proteggere la sovranità alimentare di India calci le società alimentari multinazionali, i cui profitti solo approccio ha messo molte comunità a rischio.

Signora, la maggior parte dei governi in Europa hanno vietato la coltivazione di varietà geneticamente modificate e hanno assunto posizioni forti contro multinazionali come Monsanto e Syngenta dirottamento gli interessi degli agricoltori e public.I generale, vi esorto ad ascoltare le voci delle persone che hanno partecipato alla le consultazioni e la stragrande maggioranza hanno parlato contro Bt.Brinjal.

Grazie
Sudarshan –

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 30, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

MOEF: REJECT Bt.BRINJAL

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Dear Mr. Ramesh
I am Sudarshan.  I am writing to you with respect to the ongoing consultations  between your Ministry and the people of India regarding commercial cultivation of Bt. Brinjal. At the outset, I would like to commend you for seeking public opinion on this key decision while your fellow colleagues have been very keen to rubber stamp the approval of Bt. Brinjal.

Sir, Brinjal is a celebrated Indian vegetable and with over 2500 varieties, it represents the rich bio-diversity that symbolizes India. It is unfortunate that your Government is trying to tamper with the King of vegetables by introducing the genetically modified version of the crop.

Sir, there is a genuine belief amongst the people of India that the Government of India looks out for their safety and well-being. By introducing a food-crop that is not fully-tested and there are questions regarding its safety, you will putting a lot of lives at risk – many who have little access to information about the potential negative effects of the crop and many more with no access to quality to health-care.

The Expert Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests has certified that this crop will not cross-pollinate with other non-GM varieties after assuming a planting distance of 300m. Such a large distance sounds very impractical for an Indian farm where landholdings are small and the fields are adjacent to each other.

The industry backed lobbying groups are using their advertising dollars to tell the world that there is a huge saving in moving to Bt-vareities of the crop. This is an absolute flat lie because farmers will spend a lot more on buying proprietary seeds from these companies and will be driven deeper into debt.If GM is a magic pill for the woes of the farmers, why is it that more and more farmers are committing suicide and many more are in penury even after they planted Bt.Cotton. Sir, I demand you protect the food sovereignty of India by kicking out the multinational food corporations whose profit-only approach has put many communities at risk.

Sir, most of your counterparts from Europe have banned cultivation of GM varieties and have taken strong stands against corporations like Monsanto and Syngenta hijacking the interests of the farmers and general public.I urge you to listen to the voices of the people who have attended the consultations and have overwhelmingly spoken against Bt.Brinjal.

Thanks
Sudarshan–

PS: If you need references for any of these facts, kindly feel free to write back and I can provide them for you

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 30, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Kurushetra of words…

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The Dean of Anna University had responded with a letter to everyone who wrote to him expressing their angst over their association with Dow Chemicals. I have shot back a letter to him.

==============================================
Dear Dr. Sekar
Thanks for your reply. If you had written to me before the festival had begun and opened a channel for communication, I would have called you and explained you in chaste Tamil why this partnership is disastrous. It is a little disheartening that you chose to write after the festival is over but “better late than never”.

The tone of your letter is very patronizing and you want to wash away your responsibilities. Sir, if Dow has been associated with your University for four years and you still continue to take money from them, as the head of the institution you are supposed to be hang your head in shame for not doing the due diligence on a human rights violator. It is even more painful that you have heard Gandhian speak about the disaster and you still did not connect the dots with Dow. It makes me think that the whole approach of the University in knowing about the disaster is very superficial – an obligation to the syllabus book and not a genuine concern for the survivors.

Sir, if the Central Government and State Government err, is Anna University going to keep its mouth shut and toe the line of the Governments? I am sure Mr. C.N. Ayynnadurai, from whom your institution derives its name and his mentor Periyar would have disapproved of such cowardly behavior. Also, please let me school you on the facts of the disaster – The Central and State Government have always acknowledged the disaster. Elected Representatives from the U.S. [similar to MPs in India] have written to Government of India repeatedly asking them to hold Dow accountable.

The industry university collaboration is very important but it just should not blindside the university society trust and commitment. By legitimizing Dow, you are sending a message that you want your students to be obedient corporate servants [ like Indian servants of the East Indian Company] rather than responsible citizens who stand for truth and justice.

I would like you to use the next one year to study a lot more about Dow because you are clearly misinformed. KIndly use 2010 to come upto speed on Dow [http://www.thetruthaboutdow.org/] and I plan to help you by sending you emails regularly on this subject. I am also posting a copy of the book called “Trespass Against Us: Dow Chemical and Toxic Century” for your reference. [http://www.amazon.com/Trespass-Against-Us-Chemical-Century/dp/1567512682] . If you still have questions, then we should have a meaningful public discussion and I am sure you will come out more enlightened and so will your students.

Thanks
Sudarshan

PS: Dow has contimated water bodies across the world and it not one or two minor hiccups that can be overlooked. Kindly google “Agent Orange” and see some pictures
==============================================
Dear Friend,

I am really happy to note your societal commitment and I am proud of
you to have reacted so quickly to condemn the action of an institution
in accepting contribution from a so called ‘tainted’ industry. Your
concern was so acute that you did not wait to verify the facts and
obviously you do not have the channel for that.

As a responsible citizen myself (and as the head of institution who
has done a great mistake, as projected by the passion kindling
patriots}, I am duty bound to reply and bring to your notice the
following points. Ultimate judgment should be yours and yours only
please.

1. I have not said at any point of time that I was not bothered about what
happens elsewhere in the society and the institution did not care for the
same. This false information has been spread to kindle passion and to
create an outcry for immediate reaction. It is needless to say that this
institution is one of the most responsible organizations which readily
gives helping hand and supporting voice through its strong and dedicated
student force.

2. The company in this controversy has been associating with our
University for more than four years now, as can be verified from the
website and from news items of leading newspapers in their archives.

3. All these years nobody ever pointed out the misdeeds of the company and
warned us.

4. Please note that we have not accepted the contribution after the
controversy broke out. As in the previous years, this company was the
first to respond to our request for sponsorship.

5. Having requested the sponsorship and accepted the contribution from a
long standing associate, all of a sudden we cannot say that we do not want
the relation because of the public outcry created by a group of people,
even though, the demand made some sense.

6. Every major company will have some hiccups here and there, during their
operation – I am referring to the company’s problems in US and other
places. That cannot be sighted as reasons for totally banning them

7. The company claims that it is not directly responsible for the
disaster and it has no legal or administrative binding for cleaning up.
This point is not disputed by anybody. All of us are talking only about
moral grounds on which the company should act.

8. More importantly, neither the state government which has taken the
possession of the land nor the Central government which has arranged the
compensation want this company to carry out the further remedial measures.

9. This company has signed up a number of industrial ventures in this
country which goes to show that they are doing their business as usual.

10. My reply to the honourable lady who talked to me about this issue only
explained the institute – industry collaboration angle.

11. In our own auditorium, through NSS, we have arranged a meeting last
year, wherein a Gandhian and a victim of the tragedy, explained to our
students the problems and plight of all the affected people.

12. We accept the response of all the people and thank them. But I do not
know whether one can blame a reputed and tradition-rich institution to the
level of denouncing it without verifying the facts and figures. Passions
can be kindled easily but that must be directed in a proper direction.

13. There were also messages which declared obituary for the Dean as a
person because of this issue. We appreciate the innovative idea of these
people, in whatever taste it is.

14. For your information, the facts have already been explained by our
Vice chancellor to the media , giving respect to the representation made
by so many caring human beings.

15. Thank you and keep in touch. Look at our website annauniv.edu to know
more about us.

On behalf of the entire Kurushetra 2010 team,

Dean, College of Engineering Guindy
Anna University Chennai

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Indian Brinjal Plants for Sale for below market prices

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Are you dreaming of a vegetable that will keep your country self sufficient, happy and rich?

Then this is truly Indian vegetable globalized over the ages is the answer for you- Brinjal or Eggplant or Aubergine

Have about 2500 varieties of this versatile plant that are available immediately for sale. Their colors vary from white to yellow or green as well as reddish-purple and dark purple.

You can mix and match between varieties of brinjal from kotti tale badane to mattu golla to salte begun to lamudhadha badane.

All varieties are proven in treating in type 2 diabetes and has anti-rhuematic and anti-tussive properties.

Letting go of these indigenous varieties as we are moving to an unproven, unsafe and deadly brinjal variety.

These varieties have to go as soon as possible before the people become aware of the dangers of the new variety.

We are a reputed seller of native plants and will guarantee high yields, safe produce and happy farmers.

Buyer needs to come and haul it. For an extra few cents, my boss Dr.Manmohan Singh will be available to dig up the plants and load them in your state aircraft.

Serious buyers only.

If you have questions or concerns, email me jairam@sansad.nic.in, jairam@vsnl.net mosef@nic.in

You can also call me at +91-11-24361727or+91-11- 24363958

Jairam Ramesh

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 19, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Sunday Afternoon Siesta Post..

with one comment

I see more and more people are becoming environ”mentals”. Since I want to help the environmentals have a life and the non-environmentals woo the environmental, here is my definitive contribution – “Pick up lines for Environmentalists”

10. I will come with you like your reusable bottles that you carry with you wherever you go.
9. What are you doing tomorrow morning? How about we walk to the Farmers Market?
8. My day is lit with the best form of renewable energy – your million watt smile.
7. I am hosting BYOP party for two tonight at my place? Do you want to come?
6. You make me melt faster than the glaciers.
5. I am not giving you a pickup line. Am going to stay silent and save energy
4. Can we catch the movie tonight? How about “The Story of Stuff” ?
3. My love for you is as everlasting as a plastic in a landfill
2. I love “trash” talking you.
1. Can we go carpooling?

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 17, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Kurukshetra

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A place in Haryana where the Hindu holy book – The Bhagavd Gita was born amidst a long war. Please do not close this tab because I am not going to go “spiritual” on you.

College of Engineering in Chennai hosts its annual technical symposium called Kurukshetra. It is a rather strange but I think the by-line explains it “Battle of the minds”. Please do not close this tab because I am not going to go “technical” on you.

Incidentally, Kurukshetra 2010 has become a battle of decency, thanks to the presence of a well known human rights violator, mass murderer and a fugitive from law – Dow Chemicals. Dow Chemicals has a long list of violations, a list longer than the list of Tiger Woods girlfriends. Please do not close this tab because this is important for everyone to know.

But on top of that long list is Bhopal. It has been 25 years since the world’s deadliest industrial disaster and we are still talking about it. What does that mean? It means someone is not holding their end of the bargain.

Carbide owned the factory at the time of the gas leak. It hastily settled on some compensation with the Government without properly analyzing the long term effects of the disaster. The survivors of the disaster are in utter disarray with second generational health defects

Carbide did not clean up the factory where the gas leaked. really, I would like to know how many tenants in India will be allowed to vacate the house in an unclean state without paying for it. Carbide did.

Carbide’s CEO did not show up in court where a criminal case is still pending. This bad history has fully known to Dow but still Carbide is consumed by Dow in Dow’s greed to become a powerful chemical company and accumulate profits. Dow bought Carbide with its assets and liabilities. While Dow wants to make money out of Carbide’s patents, it does not want to pay for Carbide’s misgivings.

If you want other violations in this long list, please go here

It is a choice of decency that Anna University needs to make. Dow merely is trying to gain a foothold in India as a responsible corporation. They have tried to do this greenwashing of their malpractices at other events and have failed miserably. IIT’s have routinely said “thanks, but no thanks” to Dow Chemicals and recently The Hindu, also a Chennai based institution gave back Dow dollars. US universities are divesting out of Dow. It is beyond me why Anna University cannot do the same. If they do the right thing by pulling out and there is a shortfall, I am more than certain that their alumni and people in the community will pitch in to bridge the difference.

College of Engineering at Anna University – Do the right thing. Dump your Dow. Justice before Business.
After all, the triumph of truth and justice was really the message at Kurukshetra.

===
I am adding this after this woeful justification for the sponsorship given by the University. This was published in the Deccan Chronicle.

“However, university vice-chancellor P. Mannar Jawahar told this newspaper they cannot reject the sponsorship.
“They have been sponsoring Kurukshetra for the last four years. Further, I think Dow Chemical has no direct connections with Bhopal gas tragedy,” he said.

Really? REALLY? It should not be protested because you have been doing this for 4 years. Mr. Mannar, if you are about to discipline a student for copying and he comes to you with a justification that he should not be disciplined because he has been copying for 4 years. Will you let him go scot-free? If you will let him go scot-free, can you announce it in a press release tomorrow to your students.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 13, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Let it be Brinjal BT

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“While in India, live like an American” is the mantra for a lot of urban “educated” Indians who crave for all things used and thrown by the Americans. Coming to a market near you is the latest and probably the gravest in this series of obsessions – Bt. Brinjal.

Bt.Brinjal is not a pseudonym for Brinjal like Aubergine and Eggplant are. So, kindly raise your threat level to red. Bt.Brinjal is produced through a joint venture by Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company, Monsanto and possibly Satan. Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis is a soil bacterium that has insecticidial properties. Seed corporations have inserted this gene into crops to make them resistant to pests.

Brinjal is a crop indigenous to India and there are a number of different varieties. Environ”mentals” fear that the Bt.crop will destroy the rich bio-diversity of India. The farmers do not want Bt crop because they have to buy seeds every year from a corporation and cannot save their seeds. It will increase their costs of farming. They also have some fears associated with Non Bt crops cross pollinating with Bt.crops, blah blah. blah. As well informed middle class, we are well informed that our farmers are not farmers, they are framers. They frame arguments and put them forth in a hard to ignore manner just to usurp our tax payer money that can be well spent in providing subsidies for malls with air-conditioned nails spa.

As an highly educated upper class ego-centric male I am only bothered about myself and my out of shape paunch. My only concern is whether it is safe for human consumption. Can still have my stuff myself with stuffed brinjal curry, Baigan Bharta, eggplant Parmesan while the farmers and the environment die their slow deaths?

I read a few well researched reports that say that there is no solid proof that this crop is fit for human consumption. So while Tendulkar is tearing the bowling to shreds in the post-lunch session, you might miss it all because the Brinjal had an adverse effect on your digestive system. There will be no labeling to seperate the Bt. Brinjal from non-Bt.Brinjal too. So why the heck is the Government introducing it?

Apparently, the 30 member committee advising the Ministry of Environment and Forests which approved the crop is a body that is for, by and of the corporations. But thanks to the effigy burning, traffic jam causing protests, there is a window of opportunity.

Jairam Ramesh, the Minister of State for Environment and Forests, and a man who is perfectly suited to play Brinjal in any theater play, is holding public consultations to hear public opinion about Bt.Brinjal. Ladies and Gentleman, we need to do some “brinjalizing”

Since this is the first Bt vegetable, let us mobilize and demand more detailed analysis and greater accountability. We need to fight this as a community. Do not stay at home and change your facebook status to “Purple” and feel satiated. Turn off your TV sets and internet machines and storm these public consultations. Take along a friend or a family member. Urge Bt.Brinjal come to us as Brinjal BT [Brinjal-Been Tested]

Kolkata 13 January 2010
Bhubaneswar 16 January 2010
Ahmedabad 19 January 2010
Hydrabad 22 January 2010
Bangalore 23 January 2010
Nagpur 27 January 2010
Chandigarh 30 January 2010

If you are interested in reading more or seeing more, here is a good movie by Mahesh Bhatt. Yes, the same Mahesh Bhatt who made “Murder”

Poison on a Platter: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/4687000/12525766

You can leave me a comment and I can send more material your way, if you are interested in reading more.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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