Operation Flood
September 8, 2012 11:37 PM   Subscribe

India mourns Dr Verghese Kurien who passed away today at age 90. If you have eaten butter in India, or been able to add a spot of milk to your tea, then you've experienced the impact of Operation Flood — the largest dairy development program in the world. Operation Flood helped India become the world's largest milk producer by 2010–11, with close to 17 percent of the global production. Gujarat-based co-operative, the "Anand Milk Union Limited", often called Amul, was the engine behind the success of the programme. While much more can be said about Dr Kurien's work with dairy farmers, cooperatives, milk production as well as his awards and honours, his best known legacy is perhaps the creation of the Amul brand. The little girl who knew just how to poke India's funny bone has her very own Previously.
posted by infini (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
A legend. RIP.
posted by rahulrg at 12:11 AM on September 9, 2012

Love Amul. Vale.
posted by taff at 12:15 AM on September 9, 2012

posted by Katjusa Roquette at 1:53 AM on September 9, 2012

posted by manny_calavera at 4:09 AM on September 9, 2012


From someone who grew up on Amul butter.
posted by peacheater at 6:10 AM on September 9, 2012

This just out. I don't know if its from the company itself or simply fan generated. (and I don't like her look as a computer drawn cartoon rather than the handrawn warmth of her look otherwise).
posted by infini at 7:07 AM on September 9, 2012

Amul pioneered not just the White Revolution and became one of the most respected / iconic brands in India, it's also a heartwarming tale of social justice, women's empowerment and transformational change, as narrated in the Shyam Benegal movie, Manthan. So empowering was the movement that milk-producers of Anand essentially funded their own movie.

Amul inspired similar movements in other parts of India as well; not only do all state-governments in the south have their own Amul-lookalikes - Vijaya in AP, Nandi in Karnataka, Milma in Kerala - a diary cooperative, Heritage, essentially funds the Telugu Desam party (obviously with a different corporate governance structure and so on; but Amul was the clear inspiration).

(For all the above, for making the best pasteurized butter in the world and for illustrating my worldview with the Amul Girl comics)
posted by the cydonian at 8:48 AM on September 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you, the cydonian, for that heartfelt eulogy.

It inspires me to add that while I've traveled the world of cheese, there's something about the taste of Amul, out of the can, that can't be beat.
posted by infini at 8:55 AM on September 9, 2012

Just wanted to link to (apparently slightly updated version of): Manthan's theme song. Always loved the song; there's that carefree dhun of the Gujarati countryside and the rapidfire imagery involving rivers of milk, twelve months of festivals and bringing goddess Laxmi (hence wealth) to courtyards that's just heartwarming.

I also learnt just now that Dr Kurien went to Anand on Sardar Vallabhai Patel's orders, so essentially the tale of Amul is one of the many strands that make up the tale of independent India.
posted by the cydonian at 9:10 AM on September 9, 2012

My ear worm is Doodh doodh doodh - click here to make it yours!
posted by infini at 9:27 AM on September 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here's the original version of the Amul Manthan song
posted by infini at 9:29 AM on September 9, 2012

My ear worm is Doodh doodh doodh - click here to make it yours!
Oh man, thanks for making me all nostalgic!
posted by peacheater at 10:52 AM on September 9, 2012

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