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Volume 1 | Issue 4 | February 2007 | 



Martyr For The Cause Of Natural Water.

Neocolonialism appears before the third world in the form of beverages. The beverage companies, with their roots in the imperialist countries or their satellites, trespass all boundaries and teach people that several types of colas are better than natural water. They have several beverages, said to be nonalcoholic (as if natural water were alcoholic!), prepared according to certain formulas known to them only. They bottle this formula product in the respective countries. They select tiny villages where people are generally uneducated or illiterate. They tap the total water sources in these areas and gradually fill these places with dirt and toxics detrimental to human and animal health.
This is the story of Plachimada in Palakkad District of Kerala. On chemical examinations it was found that the colas produced there contain great measures of poisonous chemicals. It was discovered by the peasants that these beverages are better suited to be insecticides than to be drinking fluids. Any certification by any Ameer Khan to the contrary is a farce and the heinous selling of himself by a great artist at the cost of the people who love him and venerate him. .
It is in this background that the people of Plachimada began to protest, then raise their voice and then finally governments opened their eyes and were forced to take action against the cola makers. Naturally enough the courts came to the rescue of the multinationals. Our courts have been gradually sinking into a dirt pit of the vested interests. The judgments in the Plachimada Cola case as well as in the Self-financing professional college case have proved beyond doubt that our courts cannot rise to the rising expectations of the constitution of our country . Its preamble explicitly states that it aims at a socialist republic. And funnily enough the courts interprets our constitution to suit the interests of the rich. Courts stand on the side of the perpetrators of exploitation while the poor millions who should have benefited from a socialist republic are left to the mercy of the multicontinental expropriators.
A tiny village and its people rose in an unprecedented style upsurge; and the leader par excellence of this movement was a woman named Mylamma. Myle in Malayalam means peacock; Mylamma should mean the mother of peacocks. It has no connection whatsoever with the present strike. She belonged to an adivasi family. When she began to organize the poor housewives of the village she was about fifty years old. She was presumably illiterate and she upheld the rights of the villagers for their water and its sources. This feeble voice would have been merged into wilderness had it not been taken up by the fourth estate and the youth organizations like the DYFI.
Still Mylamma continued her struggle with such a conviction that all would end well. For a time it seemed so. But it did not. In the present stage of the struggle it is the Colas that in the winning positions; the same is the case with the Sardar Sarovar struggle in which the leader is Medha Patkar.
Mylamma became a source of inspiration for all those who stand for nation and oppose imperialist penetration. In truth Mylamma was fighting hegemonization. While she was fighting she contracted Psoriasis all over her body which she believed to be the result of drinking poisonous water adulterated with cola chemicals. Scabies began to haunt her. If what she believed is true (I am sure the learned physicians and scientists would jump into hasty conclusions in favour of the multicontinental corporations), another endosulphan calamity is coming shortly in Kerala. To see a person like Mylamma who has such openings to the social and media fields to die of a disease like psoriasis seems puzzling. So, it is something more than that. What she said and believed must be true. Her disease emanated from the polluted water she and her villagers are forced to drink because they have no other source of water. Mylamma sacrificed her life for the cause of natural water.
And Mylamma is no more and she died at the age of fifty six which is no old age according to Kerala standards. Strenuous efforts and hard work aggravated her disease and she had to succumb to death.
But the cause for which she fought and won and lost still remains unresolved. People of Plachimada and for that matter the people of the whole world should continue this struggle until victory is achieved. Water is free to all and the best beverage is that water which nature gives us. Countries and states fight uncompromising wars for water and in the name of water; in the meanwhile, Cola steals water to make poison and sells it to the people to drink.










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