Published March 10, 2023
I am in eastern Maharashtra in central India. In this small area, not far from Gandhi's own home (I am less than 40 yards away), 15,000 farmers have committed suicide. In the state as a whole, more than 200,000. Which means more than 200,000 widows. Perhaps a million orphans destitute.
It is the same as if the World Bank, Bill Gates, the professors of development both in India and abroad, and the Indian government itself, had placed a gun to their heads, and pulled the trigger. 44% of India's children are so severely malnourished that they are permanently physically and mentally stunted, in the largest loss of intellectual capacity in the history of the world .
How does this happen? One farmer by one farmer. The "market" demands cheap food. Farmers are forced to purchase GMO seeds (promoted by Gates, the successors to Monsanto, et al ) and then ever-increasing amounts of soil-killing chemical fertilizers and pesticides. As they can no longer afford the inputs, they are forced to borrow from the banks (at only 6% per annum), but once they default even once, they are at the mercy of the moneylenders, charging as much as 5% a month. If the moneylenders claim the land, they can then rent it out to tenant farmers, already in a worse position than the original ones. Meanwhile, the moneylenders can use the land as collateral for new capitalist ventures. And the land is now a wasteland
This is development. It kills. The scholars at Harvard, Columbia, Stanford teach "development studies" . When their schemes fail, they are given tenure, to educate the next generation of so-called "experts", and the pattern is repeated. Some of them even get to join "think tanks", or the foundations (you know who they are)., and if they are white and male and good-looking (as many are), appear on CNN.
Meanwhile, climate change exacerbates the situation.
Development kills. Gates' African Green Revolution is an abject failure. But certain people get rich. You know who they are.
Development puts off to a never-occurring tomorrow what is needed today
Clean water is not development. Nutritious food is not development. Clean air is not development. A sustainable, healthful environment is not development. Decent, affordable health care and housing is not development. Real education for our children is not development.
They are human rights. Call them for what they are.
And make no mistake. The capitalists, foundations, think tanks, and development experts are mass killers.
Stop using the term development. Substitute the term human rights.
I said that. You can quote me.
from David Albert, Friendly Water for the World (3/5/2023)