Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

me vs the cola giants

regular readers will be familiar with my slant against MNCs, globalisation, privatisation, etc.

it is a good time to share the seeds of this slant.
Date: Dec 2003
Location: Chennai
Event: Asha Annual conference

my first exposure to development organisations (NGOs) and chances to meet 'like-minded' (much abused phrase) junta.
of all the people i met at chennai, nandlal master was the one who stamped his imprint.
simply, he became a friend.
nandlal, from varanasi, a simple weaver turned teacher turned leader.
a master-class story. an inspiration for me.

in the fight against the mehdiganj coca cola factory, nandlal played and is playing a lead role.
he and his brothers bore the brunt of police brutality against their agitation in 2004.

he wrote to me (and perhaps all his contacts) asking us to boycott all coke and pepsi products (for over-exploiting ground water).
without even getting to the reasons and allowing 'due process', i signed on the petition.....just because nandlal had asked me. that was how much he meant to me!

since that time, i have had a sip of aquafina once. that was a mistake of sorts. but have been utterly faithful to nandlal and that petition i signed.
also have been directly and indirectly pushing people of their cola mania/addiction.

have heard some rumours and stories about nandlal since then from his local peers. many were derogatory/defamatory. maybe true.
but i know/knew of a nandlal that i loved. and thats not likely to change soon.

good luck masterji. काके को उजड़ने की योजना में हम आपके साथ हैं. (i am with you in your anti-coke struggle).

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