Vandana Shiva

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Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva (born 5 November 1952) is a philosopher, ecofeminist, activist and author. Shiva, currently based in New Delhi. In 2002, she was awarded the Durban Institute of Technology's Hajee M.L. Sultan Leadership Award. She was described as "probably at this time, the brightest, freshest activist who is asking all of the most pertinent issues that confront the world." Shiva, a philosopher who gave up a job at a prominent Bangalore-India based institution to campaign for what she saw as important since the early 'eighties, has raised basic themes of water, seeds, women's health and education of girls. Dr Vandana Shiva also was awarded the Golden Plant Award, the international award of ecology. She is the author of a number of prominent publications -- "Staying Alive", "The Violence of the Green Revolution", "Monocultures of the Mind", and "Captive Minds Captive Lives". Earlier, she has been actively involved with the innovative hug-the-trees Chipko campaign of Northern India and the World Rainforest Movement.


  • Biopiracy (is) biological theft; illegal collection of indigenous plants by corporations who patent them for their own use.
    • Quoted in a booklet No Patents on Seeds: A Handbook For Activists, collectively authored by the the Navdanya Team, run by Dr Shiva and her colleagues, first published in Feburary 2005 and republished in January 2006.
  • We are in a strange kind of time, where the kind of liberation movements such as anti-apartheid movements and freedom struggles in India need to be reinvented. We need to retool them so that all the gains that our generation has made can be passed on to future generations. (see
  • I believe Gandhi is the only person who knew about real democracy — not democracy as the right to go and buy what you want, but democracy as the responsibility to be accountable to everyone around you. Democracy begins with freedom from hunger, freedom from unemployment, freedom from fear, and freedom from hatred. To me, those are the real freedoms on the basis of which good human societies are based.

Earth Democracy – Justice, Sustainability, and Peace (2005)[edit]

  • Earth Democracy connects people in circles of care, cooperation, and compassion instead of dividing them through competition and conflict, fear and hatred.

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