Tag Archives: pakistan

Coca Cola and Goodness ? Not Really.

Quite a few friends had tweeted about this video of Coca Cola seemingly aiming to unite the peoples of India and Pakistan, one person at a time, at least.

Personally I am extremely cynical of big money capitalism, of which Coca Cola is the most notable example. Numerous are the instances where Coca Cola has been found to be at the unethical end of the human spectrum. Where big money capitalism is rampant, rarely is there room for human virtues to take precedence in actions that otherwise are imperative, like the reasons in the Pakistan-India divide that Coca Cola now seeks to exploit.

Most of us take things at face value, seldom do we question things, and even more seldom when it is Coca Cola – probably the world’s best known soft drink. John Pilger, the world renowned documentary film maker and writer did a documentary on the soft drink giant, it’s powers and the economic stranglehold it has on poor third world economies. Like the scandals that have erupted of late of the unethical practices of large Multi National Corporations in the textile trade in Bangladesh, Coca Cola is not new to it’s experience in being one of the most unethical MNC’s in the world. Such is the power of Coca Cola that most Socialist or indeed Communist countries have managed to curb Capitalism in most cases, except in the case of Coca Cola.

That Capitalism at its core is a very unethical system that fundamentally operates on the basis of oppression in one form or the other to accrue profits is not contestable. Therefore, it is quite obvious with the most callous brevity that this seemingly ‘good’ project of Coca Cola should be seen not for what it looks like on the surface.

For mostly obvious reasons (at least for some of you), I remain extremely cynical, and with good reason that this supposedly good gesture of Coca Cola is underpinned by clandestine economic interests that far outweigh the human virtues it seemingly portrays to be abundant.

This is a quick end of work rant to release the suppression I have felt by being inundated through a whole plethora of tweets in support of this campaign, with time I will hopefully update this.

UPDATE: Response to Jack Point

Jack Point has written a response to the post above here. This is a very brief response.

I cited the case of Bangladesh, yes, but what I have cited is not about the building (Rana Plaza) that collapsed recently. Therefore Jack Point’s argument using Rana Plaza becomes that, another argument, and less of a response to my post.

Further, what I have written is a blog post and by my own admission is a rant, I will of course be more substantial should I be writing to a popular news site.

But the crux of my argument is this, frankly from the little that I have known of Jack Point over the years I would have expected this to have been understood, though I am culpable in that I should have been more diligent in my clarity. Anyway, I digress, my argument is this – it isn’t wrong to be cynical of a seemingly good gesture of anyone if there are serious questions that have to be asked of the credibility and past history of the doer. It is common knowledge that Coca Cola has been contaminated by very many unethical practices that have been highlighted on numerous occasions, John Pilger’s documentaries being one of them.  Indeed Coca Cola has had a relatively easy ride from the masses who rarely question its record because not many want to shout out that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

About the crook that he asks of, it is common knowledge that when the neighbourhood crook who has been at the base of the most nefarious activities suddenly initiates a seemingly good neighbourhood project, the neighbourhood does wonder where this will all lead to.

And let’s look at this objectively. When something as big as Coca Cola does something, the impact is felt by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Therefore, whilst millions of people see something good in something done, it obscures the harm that millions of others suffer as a result. I have been very clear in what I have said; I am not saying that this is not a good initiative when you look at it in isolation. My argument has been that the expected economic return to Coca Cola surely would far outweigh the supposed human virtues at play. There is absolutely no other conceivable reason why an otherwise extremely profit driven organisation would endeavour to take this initiative.

Let’s be realistic here, numerous attempts have been made at the very highest echelons of politics, trade, economics and social initiatives to bridge the antagonistic divide between India and Pakistan and they have all failed, for various reasons. This initiative too is doomed to fail, I promise you now with whatever credibility I possess, that we are not going to be crediting Coke in the foreseeable future for the peoples of Pakistan and India uniting. What then would this little excursion by Coke be? Yes, a very quick money making venture, and make money they will. And all those who fall for this strategy would have been duped, and they will still not accept it.

Jester asks That we expect the multinational to uphold standards that both the local Government and local businesses are incapable of upholding?”. Well when institutions such as nation states that are so heavily regulated and bound by statutory conventions still fail at their base, Corporates that aren’t as regulated as nation states have every reason structurally to fail and cause damage. The difference is that governments can be held to account in one way or the other; rarely can a people’s revolution take on a corporation that spans across continents.

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Filed under 2013, politics

Faith in Humanity Restored, Partially

best-indian-food-pasadena

I walked into a Indian/Pakistani restaurant (I still can’t say the difference) a few hours ago ago, I asked for a menu card and they didn’t understand, none of them spoke any English. As I went in and sat down someone swayed his head about thirty degrees to either side of the vertical axis and said ‘Teekay’ (I think that’s what it was), I have been briefed just enough to say, ‘yes, thank you’. Not having a menu, I asked what types of chicken curry they had, the elderly man serving me told a whole string of varieties of which I couldn’t recognise or catch any, I heard the word Tandoori and I said okay Tandoori, ‘leggu’ ‘breshtu’ came the response, leg I replied, with an air of sophistication. The food got late to come, I enquired from another elderly waiter by gesticulating when the food will arrive, and he said something in Hindi/Urdu which I think was something along the lines of ‘on the way’.

The chicken curry came in a plate, with gravy in a bowl and a massive tandoori roti on another plate. I started eating, as one does. I tore the roti in half, not having room to place the other half anywhere I placed it in such a way that it covered the gravy bowl, and about an inch of it may have touched the clean table top.

By this time I had aroused the curiosity of all the waiters (who all were elderly men past their mid to late fifties). They kept looking at me furtively to see who this Indian-looking-non-hindi-speaking English speaking chap was. I occasionally heard pointed whispers.

I felt a bit like Ross from Friends, when all the doctors were looking at the mole on his back.

Some moments later, a third waiter came up to me, removed the roti that was covering my bowl of gravy, took it away and gave me a full fresh roti on a separate plate. A short moment later, yet another waiter arrived and offered me a cup of tea, I told him that I didn’t order one, unable to communicate he smiled endearingly and insisted that I take the cup of tea, I realised later that I hadn’t been charged.

For reasons unknown to me, they were so nice and generous that I am wondering if I came across as deserving sympathy in some way. Surely they didn’t know that I was tired and have a lot of writing work to finish.

I debated if I should leave a tip behind, I felt leaving a tip may come across as being disrespectful since their niceness towards me was most certainly genuine, and not some residual kindness stemming from capitalistic motives. I did leave a tip anyway. On a sub conscious level I was uttering prayers for them unconsciously, that their business should be profitable and that goodness blankets them, I can’t really say though, it wasn’t on a conscious plane.

Faith in humanity restored, partially.

Forgive the anti-climax.

Image from here.

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Shoes thrown at Bush have been traced to Pakistan!

The pair of shoes thrown at Mr.Bush has been traced to Pakistan, reporters claim.

The journalist had visted pakistan 20 years ago where he held secret talks with the Cobblers liberation Islamic Party (CLIP) a notorious organisation known for its lethal shoe throwing tactics. He is said to have been trained by this organisation to conduct shoe based warfare. He is said to have had alliances with Richard Reid who was arrested attempting to bomb a plane with explosive substances found in his shoe.

The DNA sample of leather has revealed that the animal whose skin was
used for manufacturing the shoe had traces of grass which is grown in north
of Pakistan and this skin was collected by a Jihadi organization on
Eid-ul-Adha.

A country wide operation against all cobblers is now deeply in swing in pakistan.

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