A picture for the personal album of Sharad Pawar

“The endosulfan controversy is typical of India, of Indian politics, of Indian corruption, of Indian morality. There were 173 countries in the Stockholm Convention that debated whether or not there should be a global ban on this notorious pesticide. Of these 125 had banned it outright. All 47 of the remaining 48 sat on the fence and generally kept quiet. Only one argued vehemently on behalf of endosulfan. That one-in-the-world nation was India….

“Eighty expert teams have reported on the victims of endosulfan in Kasargod in north Kerala (bordering Mangalore) where children have been born with horrible defects. Yet the Government keeps saying that expert studies were needed before a ban could be considered. Sharad Pawar was the sole fighter for endosulfan initially. Later the Prime Minister and the green warrior Jairam Ramesh joined him…. Scepticism is in order when decisions about poisons in our water bodies and soil and food chains are in the hands of people like Sharad Pawar.”

Thus wrote the veteran editor-author-columnist, T.J.S. George.

For the benefit of the likes of Sharad Pawar, who seems to run the agriculture ministry only if there is some spare time while running his various businesses and international cricket—and for the benefit of Manmohan Singh, whose government seems beholden to multinational corporations selling BT seeds and GM foods—the victims of endosulfan show what the pesticide has done to their children, at a protest organised by the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh, in Mangalore on Tuesday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: T.J.S. George on the endosulfan controversy