Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Cola-Pepsi pesticide case in India

In the first place, why the cola/pespsi pesticide case hits the headlines?

  • Because it serves the interests of the rich, the rulers, the elite on the either side.
  • There also was bottled-water case of contamination.
  • But why in the case of ground water contamination in many parts of India, though the reports appear in the ‘Down To Earth’, New Delhi, and other journals here and abroad, do not ever raise a protest / riots / fury?

By the time Narmada Bachao Andolan started, many corporations were deeply involved in the Sardar Sarovar Project. I had then felt, any government, at state or centre, which opposes the dam in any way, is sure to fall.

  • That wasn’t the case of Silent Valley Project in Kerala. Thanks to late Salim Ali’s efforts and late Indira Gandhi’s intervention, the project did not materialised. Perhaps the times were different. However it is also known that India was pro-USSR.

Once (in 1980s) I was travelling around New Delhi. Some distance away there is a large industrial establishment (township). A street story that I heard: all political parties, whether in power or not, have been on its payroll.

While I was in Gujarat (1960s-70s), Baroda City needed water supply. The then Municipal Commissioner was in favour of option to bring water from the Narmada River by pipeline. However all the municipal councillors voted for the proposal of “tube wells” (by the patented French System) to install in the Mahi River; the system that supplies water to Gujarat Refineries.

  • In the 1960s I was trekking Narmada Valley, its forested hills, around proposed SSP dam site. Any person in senses would have realised the enormity of damage the dam would have caused to the environment and ecology.
  • Later the dam height, the estimates and the delays went on increasing in leaps and bounds
  • I had already seen a part of saline desert where once a part of Indus civilisation was located, on the other side of Gujarat; indeed, wherever civilisation walked it left a desert behind. I had also seen thousands of acres of land that turned saline due to heavy irrigation by canal water in Khambat District.

Here, in Mumbai at Churchgate Railway station, there are two filthy places for drinking water taps. And twenty times more glossy facilities to supply bottled-water and fizzy drinks.
here are the Gullad-fame Lalu and Coca Cola-adversary George?

The capitalist society will continue to give Awards and Titles to like of Medha and Sunita, and support.

The corporation’s need is profit; the government’s need is cash, while people are put of until next election, or perhaps an imminent break-up. “IBM was supplying goods to the Nazis until 1941 in the full knowledge that they were being used in the concentration camps because it was their legal duty to increase profits and not to be concerned about the morality of it” (See: the book review of “THE CORPORATION – THE PATHOLOGICAL PURSUIT OF POWER AND PROFIT” Joel Bekan, by John Coleman, Fourth World Review, issue 138-139, 2005, UK, available online ).

Now the Bollywood-Tellywood heroes and hoaxes go farting on TV screens to advocate how pure the cola drinks are, of course, for payment.

Moral of the story

Mother’s milk is the child’s need, not pills or packages of baby food.
Water is my need, but certainly not Coke/Pepsi even without pesticides.

¬ ¬ ¬ ¬

Remigius de Souza

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