Meet India's 'Gandhi of Farming'

Bhaskar Savé is an activist working to reverse the harmful effects of non-organic farming through a philosophy of nonviolence.

Bhaskar Savé is an activist working to reverse the harmful effects of non-organic farming through a philosophy of nonviolence.

Travelling across Asia, the Perennial Plate series is on a mission to learn about sustainable food and farming practices. The latest episode begins in the northwestern Indian state of Gujarat, where we meet Bhaskar Savé, an activist and philosopher working to prevent toxic infiltration caused by corporate-controlled, genetically modified seeds. Dubbed the "Gandhi of Indian farming," Savé rejects the harmful practices dictated by corporations like Monsanto as a form of violence. As Savé’ says, “soil means life. But to live our lives, we have poisoned the soil.” His teachings emphasize farming’s interconnectedness with a simple but unmistakably spiritual message: Farming is, and should remain, nonviolent.

Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine have made the video’s subtitles appear as a makeshift poem, using select phrases from Savé’s “organic farming” teachings. Despite sweeping consequences, Indian farmers’ plight against the corporate monopolies still receives little international attention. However, internal initiatives -- like Savé’s -- are slowly transforming the lives of farmers across India.

For more from the Perennial Plate, visit their site

Alessandra Ram is a former writer and producer for The Atlantic Video Channel. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy.

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