Last year, the soft drink industries and mineral water industries of India found themselves in hell with attacks from all sorts of agencies, institutions, government and also the common people.
Eventually they were banned in some states when pesticides and other chemicals were found in larger quantity than the accepted limit. The longest struggles of kerala, the 1588-day Plachimada agitations by the tribal against the large-scale ground water exploitation by a soft drink giant that lead to acute drinking water shortage in the village got a wide range of international supporters. The agitation proved to be a spark that fired a row of agitations all around the country.
But the ban of the well-known soft drink brands in many states led to mushrooming of many cottage soft drink production units filling up the space which the giants had earlier occupied.
These small-scale units have no standard bottling systems or state-of-art productions plants which are very essential to purify the water which is already polluted due to the uncontrolled use of fertilizers. Hence, these drinks obviously contain many dangerous chemicals as there is no system which monitors the process of production which neutralizes the effect of the ban.
Not only soft drinks but also many ‘edible’ ‘confectioneries’ and countless number of bottled and packaged food items which you now find in the local market will turn out be ‘not-edible, poisonous’ items if put through proper laboratory examinations. However, there is no hope of a ‘plachimada’ against these small devils because the ‘plachimada’ against Pepsi became a success partly because of the universal interest it got due to the size of the company.
These small scale industries are not going to stand a long agitation, thus depriving the agitation of international admiration.
To add spice to all these problems, global giants are once again taking the center stage by large scale campaigning using many widely admired personalities such as Sharukh Khan, Amitab Bachan, Amir Khan, and many more. These campaigns are surely going to make some sort of positive response though the scale of the response can’t be predicted easily. These facts compel one to rethink before considering the agitations a success.
From the above-described situation it is clear that banning a product alone will not make sure that it will not be sold or bought, what is needed is a well functioning monitoring system which supervises the production.
It is the disease which must be treated not the symptoms!