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Water, Left Politics and the Manufactured Dissent: Understanding the Politics of Political Mobilization of Local People against Coca Cola in Gangaikondaan, Tamil Nadu

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kannan, T.
Conference: Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, the Thirteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Hyderabad, India
Conf. Date: January 10-14
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7357
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): class structure
Abstract: "The paper analyses the Peoples’ movement against Coca-Cola Company in Gangaikondaan, firstly by narrating the various events of organized protests that tells the story of the rise and fall of the movement. Secondly, it subjects the politics of mainstream communist parties; particularly their politics of representation to criticism. And then finally the paper discusses the practical implications of the politics of representation by the mainstream left parties for the ecological discourse on the over extraction of water. This paper critically looks at the aspects of the ideological struggle of the left parties that led to the formation of the Peoples’ movement against the Coca-Cola Company not only to understand the socio-political factors that led to the fall of the movement but also to understand how changing politics of mainstream left political parties in India towards articulating Non-Class conflict affects the ecological discourse on over extraction and exploitation of water resources. The paper argues firstly, the left move to articulate non-class conflict in our context through the ideological struggle against Coca-Cola Company has led only to the manufacturing of dissent where there is no dissent. Secondly the articulation of ecological concerns within the paradigm of 'Conflict', particularly within the paradigm of 'Non-class Conflict' prevents the Indian mainstream left from establishing a continuous engagement with the ecological concerns. The paper also argues that process of moving away from the class politics towards the articulation of non-class conflicts is a result of the crisis of the politics of representation of the mainstream left political parties in India."

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