After it was exposed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic brainchild of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, purchased 500,000 shares in Monsanto back in 2010 valued at more than $23 million, it became abundantly clear that this so-called benevolent charity is up to something other than eradicating disease and feeding the world’s poor. It turns out that the Gates family legacy has long been one of trying to dominate and control the world’s systems, including in the areas of technology, medicine, and now agriculture.
The Gates Foundation, aka the tax-exempt Gates Family Trust, is currently in the process of spending billions of dollars in the name of humanitarianism to establish a global food monopoly dominated by genetically-modified (GM) crops and seeds. And based on the Gates family’s history of involvement in world affairs, it appears that one of its main goals besides simply establishing corporate control of the world’s food supply is to reduce the world’s population by a significant amount in the process.
William H. Gates Sr., former head of eugenics group Planned Parenthood
Bill Gates’ father, William H. Gates Sr., has long been involved with the eugenics group Planned Parenthood, a rebranded organization birthed out of the American Eugenics Society. In a 2003 interview with PBS‘ Bill Moyers, Bill Gates admitted that his father used to be the head of Planned Parenthood, which was founded on the concept that most human beings are just “reckless breeders” and “human weeds” in need of culling.
Gates also admitted during the interview that his family’s involvement in reproductive issues throughout the years has been extensive, referencing his own prior adherence to the beliefs of eugenicist Thomas Robert Malthus, who believed that populations of the world need to be controlled through reproductive restrictions. Though Gates claims he now holds a different view, it appears as though his foundation’s initiatives are just a modified Malthusian approach that much more discreetly reduces populations through vaccines and GMOs.
Gates Foundation has invested heavily in converting Asian, African agricultural systems to GMOs
William Gates Sr.’s association with Planned Parenthood and continued influence in the realm of “population and reproductive health” is significant because Gates Sr. is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This long-time eugenicist “guides the vision and strategic direction” of the Gates Foundation, which is currently heavily focused on forcing GMOs on Africa via its financing of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The Gates Foundation has admittedly given at least $264.5 million in grant commitments to AGRA, and also reportedly hired Dr. Robert Horsch, a former Monsanto executive for 25 years who developed Roundup, to head up AGRA back in 2006. According to a report published in La Via Campesina back in 2010, 70 percent of AGRA’s grantees in Kenya work directly with Monsanto, and nearly 80 percent of the Gates Foundation funding is devoted to biotechnology.
The same report explains that the Gates Foundation pledged $880 million in April 2010 to create the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), which is a heavy promoter of GMOs. GAFSP, of course, was responsible for providing $35 million in “aid” to earthquake-shattered Haiti to be used for implementing GMO agricultural systems and technologies.
Back in 2003, the Gates Foundation invested $25 million in “GM (genetically modified) research to develop vitamin and protein-enriched seeds for the world’s poor,” a move that many international charities and farmers groups vehemently opposed. And in 2008, the Gates Foundation awarded $26.8 million to Cornell University to research GM wheat, which is the next major food crop in the crosshairs of Monsanto‘s GM food crop pipeline.
If you control agriculture, you control the populations of the world
The Gates Foundation‘s ties with Monsanto and corporate agriculture in general speak volumes about its real agenda, which is to create a monopolistic system of world control in every area of human life. Vaccines, pharmaceuticals, GMOs, reproductive control, weather manipulation, global warming — these and many other points of entry are the means by which the Gates Foundation is making great strides to control the world by pretending to help improve and save it.
Rather than promote real food sovereignty and address the underlying political and economic issues that breed poverty, Gates and Co. has instead embraced the promotion of corporately-owned and controlled agriculture and medicine paradigms that will only further enslave the world’s most impoverished. It is abundantly evident that GMOs have ravished already-impoverished people groups by destroying their native agricultural systems, as has been seen in India.
Some may say Gates’ endeavors are all about the money, while others may say they are about power and control. Perhaps it is a combination of both, where Gates is still in the business of promoting his own commercial investments, which includes buying shares in Monsanto while simultaneously investing in programs to promote Monsanto.
Whatever the case may be, there is simply no denying that Gates now has a direct interest in seeing Monsanto succeed in spreading GMOs around the world. And since Gates is openly facilitating Monsanto‘s growth into new markets through his “humanitarian” efforts, it is clear that the Gates family is in bed with Monsanto.
“Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions,” wrote Silvia Ribeiro in the Mexican news source La Jornada back in 2010.
“On the contrary, their ‘donations’ finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world … Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the ‘Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’ (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM).”
Source: Ethan A. Huff / The Liberty Beacon
Ever since the National Green Tribunal (NGT) was first notified in October 2010 to begin operations under the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, be it judges quitting for lack of resources or the tribunal being challenged for lack of judicial independence from the Government. This particular tribunal makes an excellent case study of tribunals in general because it mirrors the issues faced by virtually every such entity created in the last three decades, ever since the 42nd Amendment to India’s Constitution enabled their creation.
(The writer is an LLM student at Stanford Law School and can be contacted at email@example.com)
THE WHOLE TRUTH ABOUT WOMEN IN GUJARAT
- Ila Pathak
Dear Madams of FICCI,
From reports in media we have understood that our Chief Minister, Mr. Narendra Modihas impressed you all with his hard-hitting eloquence. On reading and hearing report of the speech, we, the women of Gujarat were wonder-struck ! Was he speaking of women in Gujarat? Was he revealing the whole truth? Certainly not. So we thought that we could enlighten you all about the reality in Gujarat.
In Gujarat’s population the number of women has gone down. In 2001 there were 921 women against 1000 men. In 2011, three more were lost per a thousand, 918 were counted in the census. This is the ten year period during which nine other States recorded increase in the number of women, from 45 in Delhi to 4 in Rajastan. Gujarat kept losing.
Mr. Modi was speaking of female foeticide, an old 18th century practice. In Gujarat the sex ratio in the age group of 0 to 6 years in 2001, was 886 girls as against 1000 boys. In 2011 it was 883 girls as against 1000 boys. Difference of only 3 gained over ten years! It was only in late 2011 that the news of the government having closed 101 sonography clinics was heard; thereafter a few were reported closed in 2012. In 2013, so far, no penal action under PCPNDT Act is reported. That is the Governance in Gujarat! Does the Government care?
Latest surveys (2006) concerning married women’s health note that 55.5% women were anaemic in the age group of 15 to 49 years of age. In the same age group 60.8% pregnant women were malnourished and anaemic. In 1998-99, 74.5% of dalit and tribal children in the age group of 6 months to 35 months were reported as malnourished. In 2005-2006 the number of such children increased to 79.8%. 49.2% children have not developed to normal height, 41% do not have the weight normally children of their age group could have. During the last election this issue was taken up and the minister in charge had rushed to find out where the fortified food packets had gone! That is Governance in Gujarat! Maternal mortality rate and Infant mortality rate do not come down; mothers and children keep dying in Gujarat or continue to survive as weaklings.
To refer to women as mothers all the time is pretentious. We have noted how young mothers die of malnourishment. Lack of treatment (because no government dispensary, block or district hospital has a gynecologist appointed, large city hospitals provide such facility) is one more obvious reason.. No wonder that many women deliver babies in the ambulance like buses known as 108 service. Governance of Gujarat’s government does not seem to follow any policy for saving young women’s lives. Even young men’s lives. Very recently, a resident doctor died of Dengue fever in Ahmedabad’s large Civil Hospital and many more are now dying of Swine flu in Gujarat. The deaths seem to argue absence of good governance.
Education for girls was free. In last couple of years the government has stopped encouraging continuation of such schools and colleges. Now girls have to pay hefty fees if they choose to get ‘good’ education. That is the Governance in Gujarat.
Mr. Modi spoke of the Bill for 50% women members in Local-Self Government which, theGovernor of Gujarat, Dr. Shrimati Kamalaji, despite being a woman herself did not sign. The Governor of Gujarat did not sign it because the provisions in the Bill were mixed up with another issue, that of compulsory voting. The Bill was returned by the Governor asking the Government to separate the issues, get the Bill for 50% reservation for women passed again and then she would be prepared to sign it. The Governor is found fault with which is emphasised by adding ‘despite being a women herself’. This is Modistyle. The details of why she did not sign it are not spoken of, so the listeners are led to believe that the Governor of Gujarat is insensitive towards women’s rights despite being a woman herself. Half-truth is the hall-mark of Modyism.
Mr Modi had to belittle the Governor of Gujarat because she took steps to appoint the Lokayukta in Gujarat which he did not approve of. So a long drawn battle is being fought in the Supreme Court. If Mr. Modi had only wanted to speak about his contribution for women he could have spoken of village panchayats formed fully by women members. In May, 2012, 422 panchayats were organised through consensus wherein all members were women. Such organising denies democratic election and it is implied that only those who command village level polity can have their say. One of the women attending the State function held to congratulate their becoming important office bearers in their villages, had told a reporter that her husband asked her a few days earlier to be Sarpanch in his place and he asked her to attend the function, so she had come up to Gandhinagar, Gujarat’s capital, Mr. Modi could have proudly spoken of women-headed Panchayats but, unmindful of her status, self-respect or sense of decorum he preferred to take a venomous dig at the woman who holds a high constitutional office in Gujarat. A rabble could greet such comments with claps and laughter, but I believe, that you, Madams of FICCI, did not appreciate such remarks. All said and done Dr. Srimati Kamalaji is an octogenerian who commands such respect that she could be rightfully addressed as ‘Ma’, the mother. But this is how the people are won in Gujarat, by using half-truths and by debunking known persons without caring for their status in public life or without spending a thought on his own personal dignity. As long as the crowds go home laughing he is assured of votes, so why should he care about such silly issues like dignity of the speaker himself. That is how Gujarat is gained. And it is governed to gain accolades for him who got the votes. As long as that is gained, governance in Gujarat does not seem to matter.
Increase in crimes in Gujarat is phenomenal during last decade. Robberies and murders of old people, including women are reported every other day. 235 rapes were registered in 2001, in 2011 the number is 413. Kidnappings have increased from 731 in 2001 to 1329 in 2011. All other crimes appear to have gone down. The police stations do not want to register crimes because they are reprimanded if the number of crimes increases. Gujarat has to be shown as Crime Free State so less registration is better from governance point of view. We are aware of circulars that ask the policemen down the line not to register women’s complaints in the first instance, they take ‘applications’. Reduced crime rate could vouch for good governance in Gujarat. It is followed by possibilities of less punishment / justice and freedom to commit crimes.
Business is in the blood of Gujarat’s people. Many women run their own business, not only in food items but also as designers, boutique owners etc and are doing very well. Many women are employed as retailers in various markets. But ‘Lijjat’ papads are not produced by tribal women. That is misinformation. Business by women has flourished for a long time in Gujarat, despite Mr. Modi.
(Dr. Ila Pathak is a founder President of Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG). After seeing media reports and speech of Mr. Narendra Modi CM of Gujarat, as he was addressing 29th session of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and IndustryLadies’ organisation, FICCI, New Delhi. Dr. Pathak had written a letter to Madams of FICCI.)
Uploaded on Dec 12, 2011 An untold history about Ambedkar..The film depicts the social battle against the upper caste hindus by untouchables,headed by Ambedkar..Great work by Jabbar Patel..Mesmerising performance by Mammootty..
National Convention – ’India’s Descent into Fascism: How Do We Stop It? | April 17 – 18, 2013
Calling all progressive, democratic, secular organisations to join us at the National Convention
‘India’s Descent into Fascism: How Do We Stop It?
April 17 & 18, 2013
A DECADE OF RESISTANCE: 2003-2013
Anhad is observing the completion of its ten years. Formed in March 2003 in the aftermath of Gujarat 2002 , ANHAD has actively contested the ideology of hate, the growing authoritarian character of the state, the growth of communal and fascist forces along with doing huge amount of work for the marginalised sections of the society especially women & minorities. ANHAD has intervened at the policy level, has done advocacy work from the grass root to the national level.
Today when the national consciousness is tilting towards the communal ideology and communal thought process has become common sense we feel there is a need to urgently call upon all secular and democratic forces in the country to stop India’s Descent into Fascism.
The falling economy, growing unemployment, displacement of people from their natural habitats and the joblessness created by the bursting of the IT bubble is creating a class which ,not being engaged with any ideological people’s movement and not having the skills to form a united struggle, is bound to turn towards fascism, and it is under these conditions when the ideas of fascism and dictatorship gain ground.
ANHAD is organising a two day national convention ‘India’s Descent into Fascism: How Do We Stop It?’ at the Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi on April 17 & 18, 2013.
The convention will have representatives from a large number of states to present an over view of the situation from their states, experts who have worked on the questions of how terror has been used as a tool to demonise the minorities, communalisation of public and private spaces, culture, educational institutions and media & different segments of the society, it will look at recent cases of communal violence and the way forward.
A special panel of academicians, jurists, activists will at the end come out with recommendations for the government and the civil society.
APRIL 17, 2013
8.00-9.00am Breakfast for outstation participants and Registration
9.30-11.15- Session 1: Voices from the Ground: An Overview of the Situation from different states:
Chair: Gagan Sethi
Speakers : Deepak Bhatt- MP, Dr Anil Panikkar-Haryana, Faisal Anurag- Jharkhand, Kedar Misra-Orissa, Ramzan Chodhury-Haryana, Prof Haragopal- Andhra Pradesh, Dr. A Suneetha, Andhra Pradesh
11.15-1.00pm: Session 2: Voices from the Ground: An Overview of the Situation from different states:
Chair: Aruna Roy
Speakers: Anwar Ali- Kerala, Mohd Arif _UP, Neeraj Jain-Maharashtra, Pritha Kejriwal- West Bengal, Rajendra Sail- Chattisgarh, Shujaat Bukhari-Kashmir , Eric Pinto – Goa
2pm-3.45pm-Session 3: Voices from the Ground: An Overview of the Situation from different states:
Chair: Prof. Rooprekha Verma
Speakers : Zakia Soman-Gujarat, Uttam Parmar-Gujarat, Yusuf Sheikh-Gujarat, Zamser Ali-Assam, Kavita Srivastava-Rajasthan, Arshad Ajmal-Bihar
3.45-5.30pm: Session 4: Terror a Tool to Demonise Minorities and Sangh Terror Network
Chair: Dr. Ram Puniyani
Speakers: Manisha Sethi, Shahnawaz Alam, Subhash Gatade, Rajeev Yadav, Ajit Sahi
7.00- 10pm: Celebrating Diversity: An Evening of Poetry, Music and Dance
Welcome: Safeguarding and Celebrating Cultural Diversity: Kamala Bhasin
ANHAD CULTURAL GROUP, URI, JAMMU & KASHMIR, AVNI SETHI, DHRUV SANGARI, GAUHAR RAZA, GOVT GIRLS SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL, BHALOUT, ROHTAK, KHURSHID AKRAM, MANGLESH DABRAL, MAXFORT SCHOOL, DWARKA, NAMRATA PAMNANI, SIDDHI GOMA TRIBAL DANCE GROUP, VIDYA SHAH, VISHNU NAGAR, Documentaries on Anhad by Anhad Production House and Arma Ansari
April 18, 2013
9.00- 11.15: Session 5: Communalisation of Public and Private Spaces, Cultural, Educational institutions and Media, Globalisation and Communalism
Chair: Colin Gonsalves
Speakers: Amit Sengupta, Anil Choudhry, Dr. Anupam Gupta, Avinash Kumar, Dr Harvardhan Hegde, Prof Atul Sood, Sukumar Muralidharan
11.15-1.00pm: Session 6: Political Response to Growing Communalism
Chair: Mahesh Bhatt
Speakers: D Raja-CPI, Digvijay Singh-Congress, DP Tripathi-NCP, Kavita Krishnan-AIPWA , Ramvilas Pawan-LJP, Sitaram Yechury-CPM
2.00-4.30pm: Session 7: The Way Forward and Recommendations
Chair: Prof KN Panikkar
Speakers: Syeda Hamid, Vrinda Grover, Seema Mustafa, Dr. KM Shrimali, Harsh Mander, Dr John Dayal, Dr. Apoorvanand
3rd day of the Indefinite Fast by Medha Patkar at Golibar, Mumbai Against Corrupt Buildershahi and Continuing Illegal Demolitions
Incidents of Building Collapse Like Mumbra are Results of Corporate – Builder – Bureaucrat Nexus
April 4, Mumbai : “Incidents like Mumbra building collapse are result of Mumbai’s infamous builder-politician-bureaucrat which allows the illegality and construction of these kinds of structure. Adarsh Housing Society is another such glaring illegality which even after Union government’s direction stands tall on Mumbai’s coast. Government is brazenly violating all norms and putting life of people at risk. There is complete lawlessness, law is violated for rich, and in the name of implementation of laws legal bastis of poor in Golibar, Chandivali, Koliwada and others in Mumbai are demolished by Municipal Corporation. In Golibar, even when Union Minister Ajay Maken, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, recognised the illegality and ordered for halting demolitions, Maharashtra government demolished Ganesh Krupa Housing Society. Where is the law ? Why these homes of working class people are demolished when an enquiry is ongoing by the Principal Secretary, Housing, Government of Maharashtra. Against this injustice and complete illegality, I am forced to sit on indefinite hunger strike in less than two years at the same place in Golibar, Mumbai demanding justice,” said, Medha Patkar, leader of National Alliance of People’s Movements, to which Ghar Bachao Banao Andolan is affiliated and is leading the struggle for housing rights of basti dwellers in Mumbai.
She added that politically motivated campaigns are being run against her struggle for justice and false news is being spread by her rivals elsewhere. My non-appearance from some court cases and campaigns are used against me and the Andolan. They are done with a motive to malign the agenda of the struggle and our andolan. Our struggle against injustices will continue everywhere be it in Chennai where 2 lakh homes are to be demolished under slum redevelopment schemes, where our colleagues from NAPM and communities are fighting for their housing rights.
Golibar, the prime land of 125 acres has become a battleground for 70 + old households, women and men, who are fighting a valiant battle for the last 5 years, tooth and nail. Through Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, they have exposed the forgery and fraud in documents of Shivalik ventures, whom the community never gave consent to as ‘builders’.
Shivalik has cheated many of these 46 societies, by manipulating documents, decisions and sanctions, through its political connections. Orders against Shivalik in many criminal and civil cases have not resulted in their arrest. However, some order of 2010 is being used against the slum dwellers of Golibar, to demolish their well built houses and evict them with brutal police force.
Basti dwellers from Golibar and other sites in Mumbai are sitting everyday in relay hunger strike with Medha Patkar and also meeting different officials and Ministers during the day. It is extremely unfortunate that government is not making any effort to address their genuine grievances when the examination of the children are ongoing. It is completly inhuman that the children are forced to study and live in distress when their exams are taking place. Earlier in 2011 when the demolitions had happened at the same time, many of the children either failed or could never go back to the school. We demand that National Commission for Protection of Child Rights takes up immediate cognisance of these attrocities. Meanwhile, many people have moved National Human Rights Commission, demanding them to take immediate action too.
Our Key concerns and demands are :-
Slum Rehabilitation Authority Scheme projects in Mumbai are full of flaws, frauds and corruption leading to atrocities against the slum dwellers. Thousands are made shelterless and sent on rent which is discontinued and others decay in transit camps for years. The land rights and co-operative societies related processes and documents are also found to be violating the law and forgery related cases are also filed but it takes years to get an FIR lodged and it goes through years for investigation.
Maharashtra Government had agreed, after a ten day long agitation in first week of January 2013, to get at least 6 projects investigated through the Principal Secretary, Housing Mr. Debashish Chakravarty. That enquiry began in February and open presentations were made on 7th – 8th February, 2013. Builders – Developers / their representatives were also present in most of the cases and some made submissions too. However, even before the enquiry report is finalized and received by CM’s office and us, there is continuous eviction taking place with police force, destroying decades old houses and vcausing irreversible damage, without resolving the issues. This is extremely unjust. Arrests, false cases and everything happened in the month of March in Golibar and Chandivali, as in other slums.
Even where there are courts’ orders, some or the other directions by the Court are not complied with and yet the eviction is taking place, with brutality. Moreover, in case of Ganesh Krupa, Golibar it is clear that transit camps are not provided within 300 mts as promised and upheld by the Court. The Transit camps are in totally uninhabitable condition as per the letter given by the CEO, SRA in December, 2012 for some other society in Golibar, who were also offered transit in the same buildings.
There is a criminal case filed and enquiry is on in the case of Ganesh Krupa Society, Golibar with documents which indicates that there was no consent by 70% people and the General Body Meeting documents are fraudulent. Similar complaints are lodged by some other societies too. The Joint Commissioner, Mr. Datyeji inspected the documents few days back and directed the officials to re-investigate the matter thoroughly.
None of the societies and dwellers in Golibar have received any document confirming that they will get a permanent accommodation in what time limit, of what area and where (in situ rehabilitation is to be ensured as per the SRA scheme, as also the Court’s orders) and hence people want house on their own land. Also, in none of these, people have received any documents. The files in SRA show the agreements between the slum dwellers and some other contractors which they had engaged earlier, but not with Shivalik ventures.
In the case of Golibar, permanent rehabilitation buildings are on the lands of the Defence Ministry’s and Railways. Defence Ministry’s case is pending before the City Civil Court, Dindoshi as directed by HC. Railways have taken an undertaking that those buildings will be demolished, as and when land is required by Railways. How can the dwellers permit their fate to be hung in such circumstances?
Out of 26,000 families, as slum dwelling families in Golibar, according to the developer, 10,000 families have vacated, while the CEO, SRA and officials claim that permission is granted only for 5,500 families as slum dwellers to be rehabilitated. This gross discrepancy is not yet settled. Whatever, the total number, it is also a ground reality that only 900 families are shifted in the permanent rehab buildings that too on the land of the Defence of Railway Ministry. Not more than 1500 families are in the transit camps. Where are the others? Obviously thousands of families are on rent, shifted out with direct or indirect force but not yet settled anywhere. It is also known from the ground survey that at least 20,000 sq. kms land is vacant and available for the developer and yet forcible eviction is imposed on the people.
Prerna Gaekwad, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yevale, Jameel Bhai
For details call : 9892727063 | 9818905316
We urge all conscientious individuals and movements to support our struggle and send letters, through e-mail to the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the Principal Secretary, Housing, and Shri Ajay Maken asking him to ensure his directions are followed and acted upon :
Shri Prithviraj Chavan,
Government of Maharashtra,
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ,
Shri Debashish Chakrabarty,
Principal Secretary, Housing,
Government of Maharashtra,
Sh. Ajay Maken
Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
Phone : 011 – 23061928 / 42 / 23063989 Fax : 23061780
email : email@example.com
National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : http://www.napm-india.org
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/NAPMindia
Twitter : @napmindia
PEOPLES MOVEMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL ACTION GROUPS SLAM WORLD BANK’S SHAM CONSULTATIONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL SAFEGUARDS POLICIES
New Delhi, April 5 : Activists of the Matu Jan Sangathan, Domestic Workers Union, Delhi Mahila Shahri Kaamgar Sangathan, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Delhi Solidarity Group, SRUTI, Delhi Forum, Programme for Social Action and others today stormed the ‘civil society consultation’ on review and update of the World Bank’s environmental and social safeguard policies organised by World Bank at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. Terming these consultations as eyewash activists didn’t allow the consultations to proceed since World Bank continues to hide behind thecentral and state governments in India or other government agencies in different countries and shriek responsibility for any environmental and social damage.
Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan Sangathan – NAPM, said, “the way these consultations are organised are no different from what has been going on for decades. Many such reviews have been conducted, thousands of groups and individuals have participated with the intent of seeing genuine reform of the institution, and possibly its democratization, only to be utterly disappointed. The current exercise, therefore, is nothing but a charade to mask the true intentions of its major ‘shareholders’: France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, who are grappling with serious economic downturns and are conveniently using the Bank to force open global investment opportunities with scant regard to environmental and social impacts. Bank continues to own up to its responsibility for social and environmental damages it did in Narmada Valley, Singapur, East Parej Mines, Allain Duhangan, Rampur, Luhri and Vishungad Pipalkoti. On several occasions these have been brought to the notice of World Bank but they have refused to take notice of and continue to work with criminal companies like Tehri hydro Development Corporation and other consultants. If such is the case then why hold these stake holders consultations ?”
Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM, added that if indeed the World Bank was seriously concerned about the impacts of its investments, then the best test would have been the sensitivity demonstrated in the investments made by its various lending operations. In India, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank’s private sector lending arm, is complicit in massive human rights and environmental violations that form the basis of the super-mega $4 billion Tata-Mundra 4000 MW power project in the ecologically sensitive Kutch region of Gujarat. The World Bank, in its wisdom, has further endorsed such environmental crimes by offering a $1 billion loan to the building of the Fifth Power System Development Project, which essentially is a transmission line for Tata-Mundra and three other large coastal power projects. Participating in such manner, the Bank conveniently escapes any blame for the disaster, and yet benefits from financing such ‘development projects’.”
Umesh Babu, Delhi Forum, said “the Bank’s Policy on piloting the use of borrower systems for Environmental and Social Safeguards has in the past decade been a mantra to pave the way for promoting investment at any cost. Over a decade ago the World Bank funded the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests’ Environmental Management Capacity Building Project. The result was a massive dilution of India’s environmental and social safeguard norms. What’s worse, the processes that resulted lent voice to those within administration and industry who were crying hoarse that the carefully evolved rigour of “forest” and “environmental” clearance standards in India was thwarting economic growth.”
Lakshmi Premkumar, PSA, said, “it took the movement groups and people’s organisations across the globe 30+ years to pressurise the World Bank Group to formulate, re-formulate and have in place mechanisms that would safeguard social-environmental-cultural-traditional interests of communities and people affected by the Group’s financing of so called ‘Development projects’ across the World and in India. However, it took the Bank, in particular International Finance Corporation (IFC), only one stroke of destructive imagination to bring in the new model of ‘Financial Intermediary Lending‘ that wiped out all mandatory requirements posed by environmental and social safeguard principles on lending, as they are not bound by such standards. At a time when the FI model of lending in India by IFC and the World Bank at large are expected to cross the halfway mark of their collective investments, it does not make any sense at all for the World Bank to be holding such reviews of their environmental and social safeguards; they simply do not matter at all to the actual practice of the World Bank and its agencies.”
Activist urged the members of the civil society who had come for the consultation to leave the meeting, if they really felt the pain of the people of this country. World Bank has pushed for policies which have undermined the sovereignty of India and its people, privatised services, opened up market for loot and plunder of natural resources by the private corporations and very fundamentally changed the policies of this country in favour of capitalists forces.
Shouting slogans of “World Bank ! Quit India !”, “World Bank ! Down Down !” activists refused to budge from the venue until the World Bank Country Director Mr. Onno Ruhl, left the hall at 2 pm followed by Stephen F Lintner, Senior Advisor, Sanjay Srivastava, Regional Safeguards Advisor and other Bank officials along with few CSO members and Bank consultants who stayed till last.
Activists warned that these sham consultations will not be tolerated unless Bank owned upto damages, compensated communities and stopped funding the environmentally and socially destructive projects in name of ‘development’. People’s Movements have been struggling across the country against its own governments demanding justice and challenging their nefarious capitalist designs but that doesn’t mean World Bank can hide behind them. They are part of the larger design of the global financial systems and we will continue to challenge it.
The current ‘consultations’ are therefore a sham and must be denounced by anyone deeply concerned about the nature of democracy and are keen to ensure that all peoples of the world benefit from human activity that is based on deep appreciation and adherence to the Principle of Prior and Informed Consent and the Principle of Intergenerational Equity.
Rajendra Ravi, Anita Kapoor, Seela Manaswanee, Sanjeev Kumar, Satyam Srivastava, Sunita Rani, Anil Tharyath Varghese, Nishank, Manisha Lath, Gopal, Santosh Kumar.
For details call : 9818905316 | 9718479517