earth is replaced by the greed of corporations, the viability of small farmers and small farms is destroyed. In 1998, the World Bank's structural adjustment policies forced India to open up its seed sector to global
corporations like Cargill, Monsanto, and Syngenta. The global corporations changed the input economy overnight. Farm saved seeds were replaced by corporate seeds, which needed fertilizers and pesticides and could not be saved. As seed saving is prevented by patents as well as by the engineering of seeds with non-renewable traits, seed has to be bought for every planting season by poor peasants. A free resource available on farms became a commodity which farmers were forced to buy every year. This increases poverty and leads to indebtedness. As debts increase and become unpayable, farmers are compelled to
sell kidneys or even commit suicide. More than 25,000 peasants in India have taken their lives since 1997 when the practice of seed saving was transformed under globalization pressures and multinational seed corporations started to take control of the seed supply. Seed saving gives farmers life. Seed monopolies
rob farmers of life.
shape initiated by the suicides by the farmers and lead by activists like Vandana Shiva, Ashok Khosla that is challenging not only the bureaucratic and technocratic systems of the state but also challenging the global power nexus. Some questions that will guide my research are,
What will be the outcome of the dynamics between these two opposite discourses? Can the counter hegemonic discourse challenge the power embedded in the institutions of the society to claim representations for their own values and interests? Will the discord between the two discourses help shape
the new face of the Indian patent law?
argue that the very presence of oppositional voices of farmers and activists, constrains the dominant discourse perpetuated by big multinational companies who consider these seeds their "intellectual property" as they own the patents. The study of this contestation is significant to understand if the counter- hegemonic activists are able to bring the discussion of appropriation of native seeds into the public sphere.
- In order to understand the phenomenon of the convergence of global corporate capitalism and
local feudalism that initiated the discourse of blame the victim, I intend to
use Gramsci's notion of hegemony.
- Further, I will use Balibar's (1991) conception of class racism where he indicated that the phenomenon of institutional racism is attributed in the construction of the category "masses."
- Additionally, I will use Boyle's (1996) notion of the "romantic author" to understand how through the intellectual property rights the identity of an Indian farmer is changed from a producer to a consumer.
- Coleman will help me understand the contribution of the movement through the concepts of free speech can find how meanings of patents can be recoded through it.
- Coombe's "ethics of contingency" helps in thinking about alternative approach of food production. An alternative agriculture is possible and necessary - an agriculture that would protect farmers livelihoods, the earth and its biodiversity and public health.
- I am greatly inspired by Castells' notion of counter power, I hope to use it to understand the uprising of the anti GM seeds movement in India.