The jallikattu protests in Tamil Nadu may have come to an uneasy end but it has opened up debate and discussion regarding a wide range of issues.
Among the many subjects that have raised the hackles of the protesters is the drawing of water by Pepsi and Coca Cola from the Thamirabarani river when the state is reeling under a drought.
Under these circumstances, popular restaurant chain Hotel Saravana Bhavan (HSB) came under criticism for displaying advertisements of Vio Milk, Coca Cola’s flavoured milk brand. Hastening to quell speculation, Saravana Bhavan issued a clarification on Tuesday, stating that they neither sold Vio Milk nor did they use it for making anything at the hotel.
“We rear our own cows. We also get milk from native cows from different collection centres and use it in its natural state. We don’t even use packet milk,” said the statement put up on their Facebook page.
They added that they have removed the Vio Milk ads from their hotel premises, taking the demands of their customers into consideration.
In reality, only the TN government owned State Industrial Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) is permitted to draw water from the Thamirabarani river. And it is SIPCOT which is supplying water to a number of companies and not only Pepsi and Coca Cola. In fact, some companies draw more water from the river than the two beverage manufacturers and several of them go beyond their allotted limits.
However, the outrage continues to be focused on the two companies and social media is abuzz with calls to boycott the drinks and other products manufactured by the mother companies.
TN traders’ bodies, too, have echoed the sentiment and have decided not to sell any of the products sold by Pepsi and Coca Cola in the state from March 1.
Notifications agreeing to remove Coca Cola and Pepsi products from the campus of educational institutions like Janakiammal Engineering College in Coimbatore, and IT companies have also been doing the rounds on social media although TNM cannot vouch for their authenticity.
Source: The News Minute