Kerala and "Cola-Ban"
By sinu kumar
It all started when the government received a letter from the Centre for science and environment" stating that cola samples tested by it contained traces of pesticides. The communist-led Kerala government sprung in to action. They immediately banned production and sales of pepsi and coke in the entire state.
There is a saying in Malayalam which means" The patient desired for milk and the doctor prescribed just that". Medias really celebrated the ban as a very progressive action and actually wanted more claiming that the cola companies should not go scot free, having committed the great crime of making people drink poisonous drinks for years. They vociferously demanded for the punishment of the owners of these two companies!
Cola-drinks were originally made from cola fruits and at present their ingredients are purely synthetic –The formula of the ingredients being kept as their trade secret, general public has no access to it. The companies claim that they make their products as per stringent international standards. When their access to technology and financial resources is considered the claim can be admitted. The condition of the government laboratories to test the same is rather well known, deplorable-to be precise- and its chieftains abstained from a free meeting with technocrats of the cola companies. It seemed they were not confident enough to prove their claim.
Drinking of cola was a fashion statement among youths and with enough pocket-money they did it in style! What are the after effect of consuming colas? No one knows. One thing is sure excess consumption of any thing is bad and cola is no exception! And our youth were drinking colas in excess quantity. This controversy really removed cola from their list of fashion statements! There is one pepsi factory at Kanjikode at Palakkad district in Kerala, which is blamed for drawing excess ground water from that area and too many activists are finding mileage out of that issue.
On September 22nd the Hon. High court of Kerala put the controversy to rest by overturning the cola ban stating that the Government order was "harsh, unreasonable and arbitrary and banning or allowing does not come under the state's purview. Both pepsi and the coke being American companies any one who talks sane may be described as a stooge of the imperialism! The court has shown tremendous amount of courage to say the least. The cola companies who have invested more than a billion dollars in this country were unfortunately seen as symbols of imperialism. When Xenophobia and anti- Americanism takes the center-stage, and crowds take decisions only court can be brave enough to be sane.
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