Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam and Tamil Nadu Traders Federation asked their members not to sell these products, but it is to be seen whether these associations have the clout to get their members to put these products off their shelves by the given deadline.
The Jallikattu agitation brought forth the pent-up ill feelings against such multinational companies manufacturing and selling fizzy products as well as a range of juices, bottled water, chips and oats.
The ‘Occupy Marina’ movement was the place where the idea germinated to boycott soft drinks from the two multinationals that are widely consumed in India, particularly by youngsters.
There were token demonstrations against these products, with the Jallikattu ban protesters pouring down soft drinks and taking pledges to avoid them.
“We have more than 15 lakh members in our organisation. We have told all our members not to sell Pepsi or Coca-Cola products,” said Vikram Raja, Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangam President, in Villupuram on Tuesday night.
His comments may already have had the MNCs shivering as they dominate the soft drinks and bottled water market in the state.
The reason for the boycott call is that these companies are exploiting the state’s water bodies to manufacture aerated drinks, while farmers are facing severe drought.
There have also been an unprecedented number of farmer deaths and suicides in this harvest season.
The leaders of the traders’ associations are stressing that this is not a ban that they are calling for but a request to the members not to deal with the two most prominent MNCs.