Seed Sovereignty (Beej Swaraj), Food Sovereignty (Anna Swaraj), Water Sovereignty (Jal Swaraj) and Land Sovereignty (Bhu 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 worldview 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.
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 by making seed the “Property” of companies like 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 legalise patents on seed and food, and TRIPs is reviewed to exclude patents on seed and food. Under Bija Swaraj, we pledge 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 and we pledge to protect our rich biological heritage and fundamental freedom to save and exchange seeds.
At the Anna Panchayat (Public Tribunal on Hunger) in May 2001, Navdanya launched its campaign on food rights and food sovereignty (AnnaSwaraj) for a genuinely decentralized democratic and sustainable food system. The entry of companies like Cargill into direct procurements, transportation and processing is leading to the closure of small local and larger agro-processing units that provide livelihoods to lakhs of people. We demand that food be accepted as a Fundamental Human Right and is produced and distributed in a democratic manner.
Pressured by the World Bank, W.T.O. and corporate interests, the Indian government has been trying to sign away water rights to giant MNCs like Coca Cola and Vivendi, ignoring concerns for people's needs, sustainability and democratic access to water . In the year 2000, Navdanya launched the Jal Swaraj Movement to protect our water from privatization and commodification and to promote traditional water harvesting systems and equitable access to water . RFSTE and Citizens Front for Water Democracy (a coalition of more than 100 groups) have successfully stopped the World Bank scheme of privatizing Delhi's water supply to Suez, effectivel stealing Ganga water from farmers. We have also topped Coca Cola's thievery of Kerala's ground water, creating profits by hoarding from and polluting the water that belonged to the commons. We are also collaborating with farmer groups from Bundelkhand and Uttarankhand to fight against the River Linking Projects like Ken-Betwa and Sharda-Yamuna, which are nothing but theft of our water and water heritage.
Bhu Swaraj is the foundation for economic and food security. Nevertheless, India's economic growth has violently dispossessed millions from their land and fundamental rights, as massive land grabs are perpetuated by the state and corporations. We oppose this corporatenhijack because land is a sacred trust for human sustenance and cannot be used as a commodity with no concern for the lives of people. Strongly believing that land must belong to those who till it and nurse it and for whom it is a source of sustenance, we immediately call for measures to ensure land sovereignty.