Earth Democracy

Earth Democracry comprises three Swarajs, or sovereignties:

Seed Sovereignty (Beej Swaraj)

Food Sovereignty (Anna Swaraj)

Water Sovereignty (Jal Swaraj)

 

We need once more to feel at home on the earth and with each other. We need a new paradigm to respond to the fragmentation caused by various forms of fundamentalism. We need a new movement, which allows us to move from the dominant and pervasive culture of violence, destruction and death to a culture of non-violence, creative peace and life. That is why in India, Navdanya started the Earth democracy movement, which provides an alternative world view in which humans are embedded in the Earth Family, we are connected to each other through love, compassion, not hatred and violence and ecological responsibility and economic justice replaces greed, consumerism and competition as objectives of human life.

 

Food sovereignty

At the Anna Panchayat (Public Tribunal on Hunger) in May 2001, Navdanya launched its campaign on food rights and food sovereignty (Anna Swaraj), for a genuinely decentralized democratic and sustainable food system. We demand that food be accepted as a Fundamental Human Right. The entry of company like Cargill into direct procurements, transportation and processing is leading to the closure of small, local and larger agro-processing units that provide livelihood to lakhs of people.

 

Under the Anna Swaraj, the local communities take pledge to save our food and food culture from the onslaught of corporate takeover. More than 2500 villages have taken the pledge all over the country to protect their food from MNCs control and they wrote a letter to the Prime Minister to defend our freedom to food and food culture.

 

Seed sovereignty

Following Gandhiji’s inspiration from the Salt Satyagraha we declared the launch of ‘Bija Satyagraha’ against Seed Laws and Patent Laws that seek to make sharing and saving of seed a crime and make seed the “Property” of Monsanto forcing us to pay royalties for what is our collective heritage. The Bija Swaraj campaign, launched by Navdanya, demands that Indian laws do not legalize patents on seed and food; and TRIPs is reviewed to exclude patents on seed and food. Under Bija Swaraj, we pledged to protect sovereignty to save our seeds and grow our food freely without MNCs domination and control. We have received the precious gift of biodiversity and seeds from nature and our ancestors. We pledge to protect our rich biological heritage and fundamental freedom to save and exchange seeds.

 

Water sovereignty

The Green Revolution and the various policies of the World Bank related to water have already created acute water shortage throughout the country. Today, bowing again to World Bank and W.T.O. pressures, the government is rushing to privatize water and hand over its ownership to giant corporations. Privatization of water will totally bypass people’s needs, sustainability and equity in the use of water. The government is signing away the water rights of the people to giant MNCs like Coca Cola, Pepsi, Monsanto, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Suez and Vivendi.

 

The Jal Swaraj Movement was launched by Navdanya in the year 2000, to protect our water from privatization and commodification as well as to bring awareness among the people on the subject of the traditional water harvesting system and diverse river cultures existing in biodiversity rich India. RFSTE and Citizens Front for Water Democracy (a group of more than hundred organizations) are actively running campaigns against water privatization through World Bank schemes such as Delhi’s Water Supply being handed over to the water giant Suez, which will steal Ganga water from U.P farmers. We along with farmers group from Bundelkhand and Uttaranchal have launched a fight against River Linking Projects like Ken- Betwa and Sharda-Yamuna, which are nothing but theft of our water and water heritage.

 

Navdanya means nine crops that represent India’s collective source of food security. Navdanya is actively involved in the rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and culture. It has created awareness on the hazards of genetic engineering, defended people’s knowledge from biopiracy and food rights in the face of globalisation. Learn more on the Navdaynya website: http://www.navdanya.org/about/index.htm