Three years after Sofia Ashraf’s Kodaikanal Won’t took the Internet by storm and forced the multinational company, Unilever, to address mercury poisoning in Kodaikanal, the Jhatkaa group has released a sequel, titled Kodaikanal Still Won’t to remind people that the fight is not over yet.
The video, released on Friday, addresses the contrast between the company’s operations in India and operations in Europe when it comes to standards of environmental accountability. The video begins with a shout-out to the decades-long activism that forced the company to settle with its workers in Kodaikanal.
It goes on to say, “The factory is leaking deadly mercury into nearby forests. Unilever refuses to apply the same standards of clean-up for India that it would have to in Europe.”
Terming this as “environmental racism”, the sequel calls upon the multinational company to get its act together.
Conceptualized by environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman and directed by Rathindran Prasad of the Kodaikanal Won't fame, the peppy song also features Amrit Rao.
Making it clear that Kodaikanal will no longer put up with environmental racism, the song calls on the company to ‘take back their poison’ and clean up the hill town.
Shot in the picturesque hill station, the song features Bharatanatyam dancers who match steps with the peppy rock and kuthu beats.
Sofia Ashraf, who made the previous wildly popular video is back, spitting rhymes, asking Unilever to "quit making money off me".
Krishna's Carnatic interludes accentuate the gravity of the issue while Sofia Ashraf laughs in the face of the claims made by the company. Pointing out the hypocrisy of the company, the song asks for Unilever to "treat us like we are white."
Unilever’s thermometer factory in Kodaikanal has been accused of causing severe elemental mercury poisoning in the area due to improper storage and dispersal of the substance. In addition to allegedly causing harm to the health of its own employees, the company's activities also affected the green cover in the area.