Farm widows burn US President's effigy
Outlook India, November 8 2010
A group of farm widows today burnt an effigy of US President Barack Obama to protest against America's agriculture policies and GM seed promotion in India.
The protest took place at village Bothbodan, about 12 kms from here, at a time when the US President was in Delhi on the last leg of his three-day India visit.
The farm widows claimed the US attempt to globalise India's agriculture sector was aimed at benefiting the American multi-national companies (MNCs).
The protesters demanded a total ban on Bt cotton seed and withdrawal of huge subsidies to American cotton farmers.
Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an NGO working among the farmers in eastern Maharashtra, had organised the protest.
American MNCs have been instrumental in the agrarian crisis in Vidarbha, where thousands of debt-ridden farmers have committed suicide over the last few years, VJAS activist Mohan Jadhav said.
Commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) Bt cotton seeds in the region since 2005 had fuelled the agrarian crisis, he said.