Saturday, January 28, 2017

Boycott: Thums Up or Thums Down?


I have been reading about the boycott of soft drinks by the traders in Tamilnadu.

I strongly believe that carbonated soft drinks with artificial flavouring are no good and completely unnecessary. Yet, I have some questions:
1. If the Coca Cola plant is draining water from Thambaraparani, where do the local brands, Kalimark/Bovonto plant get their water from?

2. Can the government stop all soft-drink manufacture for a while in order to make better use of water resources?

3. What are the actual reasons for the boycott?
Is it because they want to promote national brands in lieu of the foreign ones?
Is it to stop the the depletion of natural resources to manufacture a product that is perhaps not an 'essential commodity'? In that case, won't the local brands also come under that tag?

4. I am imagining an visual of a foreign tourist from say, a Coke guzzling region like the USA. He is touring around Mylapore in the month of June,thrilled with the rich heritage and culture of this 1000 year old neighbourhood. Suddenly struck by thirst, he goes to a shop and asks for Aquafina. Shop-keeper says no. Bisleri. No. Coke. No. Then the friendly shopkeeper offers the tourist fresh, tender coconut water and the tourist takes a selfie with the coconut, the caption on his photo being "I love Chennai...so natural, so real."

Am I being too naive?

5. Okay, another visual. They say foreign companies haven't been setting up shop in Tamilnadu due to bureaucracy. A very resilient investor goes ahead with his plan, brings in his team. Gives them posh houses in MRC Nagar. Takes a while for the expats to settle down. Slowly emails marked 'Personal' go the HR in the HO. "I tried to take my team to a night out in town. By the time we complete work it is 9 pm. By the time I search for a decent pub, it's 10. We take 30 minutes to take in all the teenager crowd, the noisy music. Before we can blink, it's shut down time. We are home by 11:30 p.m. Forget nightlife, forget buying a can of beer to chill at home, it is nearly impossible to even find a can of coke or sprite. Every time I ask my grocer for coke or Aquafina, he politely advices me to get them from the posh hotel nearby. This is getting very inconvenient and demotivating. Please advise." Now, I am being too negative? First-world problems you say?

Like I said right at the beginning, my only grouse against soft drinks is the health reasons and then harmful effect these factories have on the environment.
This post is more about thinking aloud. I need your thoughts and opinions please.

References: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/T.N.-traders-not-to-sell-soft-drinks-mineral-water-brands-made-by-MNCs/article17090938.ece
http://indianexpress.com/article/india/chennai/jallikattu-tamil-nadu-merchants-urged-to-boycott-coke-pepsi-from-march-1-4491889/
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/jallikattu-coimbatore-hotels-boycott-coke-pepsi/articleshow/56702546.cms

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