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When they give you Lemon, make Lemonade!

The Ministry of Science & Technology is busy making Lemonade under the able guidance of Jairam Ramesh and Dr. Manmohan Singh.
This note is not about criticising Genetically Modified (GM) Crops. There is an ocean of information already published out there in the public domain, by veteran scientists and specialists from the field, from India and the West, who have very strong opinions & views against GM Crops; and their views and opinions are duly substantiated and based on pure scientific data and facts.
This note is about the very clear and visible danger of an end to whatever little Freedom and Liberty that we have so far enjoyed in India, as compared to China. The very tenets of Liberty and Freedom are now at stake as there is an unprecedented muzzle in the form of a proposed bill called Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill (BRAB) of 2009.
Going by the front page report that appeared in Indian Express of 26th February, the draft bill - BRAB of 2009, that is proposed to be tabled in the current session of the Parliament, if passed, would put an end to all future public debates and opposition with respect to GM Crops in India. BRAB 2009 proposes under Chapter 13 section 63 of the Draft Bill - six months to one-year imprisonment with fine of up to Rs 2 Lakhs, or both; to whoever found misleading the public about the safety of the organisms and products without any evidence or scientific records. The Draft Bill becomes even more draconian under Article 27 (1) where it seeks to keep all the information related to research, approval and science of GM products out of the purview of RTI Act. Why? Because this would then ensure a Freeway to the Indian Agriculture Seed market for companies like Monsanto and other MNCs, who already control as much as 30% of the total Agriculture Seed market in India.
So what this politics of GM is all about? Who is selling to whom? What is the Cost-Benefit analysis? Who is the ultimate beneficiary? Clearly the stakes are very high, and on both sides, to the extent that our politicians are even willing to compromise and let go of the freedom of speech.
Operation successful, Patient dead!
Long Live GM!!

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