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September 28, 2007

Why Navdanya

I had heard of Vandana Shiva before I heard of Navdanya. I was watching the movie ‘The Corporation’ and it had some snippets of an interview with her. She put across her point about empowering communities very powerfully, about farmers saving their own seeds and thus breaking a cycle of exploitative dependence on corporations. Later, I read many of her essays on the importance of biodiversity, the current dominant paradigm in our society of a monoculture of the mind while working on a paper on sustainable development. Her writings on seed sovereignty, biodiversity, monocultures, and empowerment of communities made a lot of sense to me. I watched another video of hers wherein the interviewer asked her if she supported communism since she so strongly criticized capitalism, corporations etc. To which she responded saying one needs to look beyond capitalism and communism since both are heavily centralized systems. The corporations call the shots in one instance and the state in the other. I am talking about the participation of communities and their empowerment. Very interesting….

A few months back, I was looking through Navdanya’s website when I found a link to courses they offer. I decided to attend the one that talks about what organic is, the importance of biodiversity. So there I was, on the Jan Shatabdi (the cheaper, faster train) to Dehradun...

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