Does it really take 400 L of water to make 1 L of cold drink?

It is surprising to know that 1 million traders in Tamil Nadu, according to this Time update, are taking cold drink bottles from Coca-Cola and Pepsi off their shelves because these multinationals are using up the state’s scarce water resources. The traders are replacing these bottles of cold drinks with local, fruit-based brands.

It’s quite surprising to know that it takes 400 L of water to make 1 L of cold drink. If this really happens, it is such a waste and something desperately needs to be done about this.

Actually it takes 1.9 L of water to make a small bottle of Coca-Cola but that is at the factory level. Activists in the state say that  sugarcane farming takes up lots of water. Coca-Cola is the biggest buyer of sugarcane in the country and PepsiCo is the third-largest sugarcane buyer in the country.  So if you add up the water used to grow sugarcanes, it comes out to be 400 L water to make 1 L of cold drink.

The problems with multinationals is that  they’re very disconnected with local problems and this is why inviting foreign investment is always a double-edged sword. It brings advanced technology to the country  and it also generates employment but since  these companies are not directly connected to the soil of the country, they don’t have any long-term interest in taking care of the local environment.

The same happens with web server farms The use of lots of water, lots of precious water.

It’s a blessing in disguise though. Bringing for the gold rings anyway is not good for health and it is good that people are being encouraged to consume beverages made of fruits. Though this may bring its own set of problems.

Why Indian engineering graduates don’t pursue engineering?

In the early 2000’s for some time I worked with GE and my superior was a chemical engineer. Once he boasted to me that he earns more editing Word documents than his friends working at ISRO with the same qualification. When I asked what about work satisfaction, he said he was satisfied as long as he was being paid could.

This Forbes article says that most engineering students in India have to seek employment in other realms because they don’t get paid much in the court engineering field. For example, someone called Abhishek Sharma says that an engineer gets 60% more in a software company compared to a conventional engineering-related company. After completing his engineering, this person is working as a business consultant, and I can totally believe him, considering my senior was perfectly happy editing Word files.

Muslim polarisation automatically means Muslim polarisation

The BJP is being accused of polarising the Uttar Pradesh elections, and it might be, says Minhaz Merchant in this dailyO article, but polarisation from the BJP’s side is mostly reactionary. We all remember that initially the BJP talked about only development despite a few of its fringe members raising issues of Ram Janm Bhumi and Hindu-Muslim issues.

But the problem is, unfortunately, the politics of our country is intertwined in the mesh of caste, religion, class and even regionalism. For decades, parties like the Congress have been deftly playing the communal card to pitch Muslims against Hindus and then reap political dividends.

The Congress and its various offshoots and partners in crime have been easily able to pitch the Muslim community against the Hindu community because one, the dynamics within the Muslim community are such that they constantly feel threatened, shortchanged, victimised and when not all these, aggressive.

Two,  Hindus on the other side are divided. There are caste divides, class divides and regional divides. You name it, and they have that sort of divide. So they are not a very strong, collective vote bank unless they are moved by a very big cause.  In the early 90s it was the Ram Janm Bhumi that brought Hindus together and suddenly catapulted the BJP to the position of a national party.

The Ram Janm Bhumi movement taught the BJP that if communalism works for the Congress, if it has the right cause, it can also work for the BJP, and it actually did.

The problem with the BJP is, even if it wants to stay away from the Hindu-Muslim issue, the other parties won’t.

Hindu-Muslim-Caste issue in India is like water and color on the day of Holi. It’s very difficult to remain clean on Holi when you go out: someone will definitely throw water and color on you. If not an adult, then a kid. If you want to remain clean, stay indoors.

The same holds true for Indian politics. If you want to stay away from these issues, then forget about becoming a significant political entity.

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