By Dr Vandana Shiva – The Quint, 22 June 2016
Udta Punjab highlights multiple social and ecological crises being unleashed, owing to a non-sustainable model of industrial chemical farming misleadingly named the Green Revolution. There is a sequence in the film where policemen at a checkpoint stop a truck loaded with drugs. They refer to drug menace as the beginning of the “Green Revolution 2.2” and go on to equate Punjab with Mexico.
The Green Revolution, which began in Punjab, was given a Nobel Peace prize based on the narrative that new seeds and chemicals would create prosperity and hence peace. But by 1984, Punjab was a land of violence and war. 30,000 people had been killed.
It was this divergence between the Green Revolution myth and the reality of violence that compelled me to conduct a research on what was happening in Punjab.
How Chemicals Ruined Farmers’ Lives
The Green Revolution is based on addiction of soil and farmers to ecological narcotics — the chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The more they are used, the more they are needed. In fact, that is all the Green Revolution was — spreading seeds bred on pesticides which would put farmers on a chemical treadmill, increasing their costs of production, their debt, and triggering social crises.
The drug menace is one aspect of the seeds of discontent of the Green Revolution. And since the roots of the crisis were not addressed, the problems it gave rise to has multiplied manyfold. The drug menace is one aspect of the seeds of discontent of the Green Revolution. This is why Udta Punjab is Green Revolution 2.2.
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By Dr Vandana Shiva – India Today, 14 August 2015