Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Monday, January 09, 2006

1st Anniversary Posts I: No 'Coke' for Universities

January 8th, 2005 - an year ago, this Spectator started his Musings.In celebration of this event, he intends to publish a series of posts.The First One:

For some reason, some important issues miss the required attention. In many a sense, a good newspaper reminds the reader about these and a good writer points them to us.

I was reading this column by TJS George, which reminded me of the issue of University of Michigan suspending the sale of Coca Cola Company's items in the campus.

"The University of Michigan suspended sales of Coca-Cola products on its three campuses over allegations that the company permits human rights and environmental abuses abroad.

The student group accused Coke of draining local groundwater in India and conspiring with paramilitary groups in Colombia to harass and harm union members. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.

In response to student concerns over Coca-Cola’s alleged abuses in India and Colombia, University of Michigan earlier had convened Dispute Review Board, an advisory body comprising of students, faculty and administrators to look into the issues in India and Colombia.

After deliberating for about 10 months, the board recommended in June 2005 that Coca-Cola be placed on probation. It also laid out a series of benchmarks the company would have to meet in order to show it was acting in good faith to solve the problems in India and Colombia, including agreeing to an independent, third party investigation.

The soft-drink giant is the target of numerous community-led campaigns in India, accusing the company of creating severe water shortages and pollution. One of Coca-Cola’s largest bottling plants in India remains shut down since March 2004 in Plachimada because local community refuses to allow it to operate, citing plant for creating water shortages and pollution in the area, leading to hardship for the community."

Now, obvious consideration is of course - Shouldn't Indian Institutes ban the Coca Cola product sale in their campuses, at least till their name gets cleared?
(including my own) - I support the motion.
Say 'No' to all Coke products including Kinley water bottles.

It feels good to see Academia taking decisive stand on issues which must receive attention. I wish IIITH also takes lead in doing so - especially in this case - involving SC rejected act related to Minority Reservations in private institutions.
More on this in the next post.


Blogger AK-84 said...

Happy Blogging Anniversary :)

Monday, January 09, 2006 11:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Imanpreet said...

Sure let us stop drinking Coke, Kinley or whatever. Next you can tell us to stop eating food, drinking water ;-).

It helps to be paragmatic rather than pedantic in such situations. Coke does not grow on trees, Thank Heavens for that. You need water. And for 500 ml of bottle you need about 1500 - 2000 ml of water. The best way is obviosly to get it from ground. It is the _administration_ that should have taken the ground water level into consideration before even allowing the plant to be set up. Coca Cola is a commercial entity. It strives for profit and profit alone. OTOH, government should take responsibilty for it.

Do you intend to _BAN_ the government?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:43:00 AM  
Blogger agastyabhrata said...

Akansh - Thanks :)

Imanpreet : hmm..., I completely agree with you that Kerala Govt. is a very very sick govt. and wonder why the so-called highly "educated" state has got such a leadership.

Govt. has the responsibility of ensuring that the norms set are enforced, and in case they are not, then book the culprits for their actions. and the Coca-Cola Company has the responsibility to adhere to the norms.

On a different note, of what use is a Government if it is not even making an effort to attend to its people's needs?

Friday, January 13, 2006 4:26:00 AM  
Blogger Halley said...

Ennenno Janmala Bandham niidhi naadhi :D...
Nii blog naa janmadinam roju start cheyyatam naa purva janam sukrtam :P..
Happy b'day for your blog

Saturday, January 14, 2006 11:11:00 PM  

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