Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From Apocalypse to Damnable Shame

Twenty – six years after the Orwellian apocalyptic year of the terrible industrial disaster known as the Bhopal Gas Tragedy , a court on the 7th of June convicted former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra and seven others in the case and awarded them a maximum of two years imprisonment. In the early hours of December 3, 1984, around 40 metric tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by wind to surrounding slums killing, the government says around 3,500 while Rights activists claim that 25,000 people have died so far, and left an unspecified number challenged with diseases and deformity.

The seven Indian Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) officials convicted in the 26-year-old Bhopal gas tragedy case have been granted bail and released on submission of a surety of Rs 25,000 by a trial court in Bhopal. Legal experts have alleged that there was an attempt to cover up the case. It took the CBI three long years to file a charge sheet that many believed was weak. Then in 1996 the charges were watered down making all sections carry the maximum punishment of 2 years. Legal experts have alleged that there was an attempt to cover up the case.
The charges were also all bailable enabling the prime accused in the case - former Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson to be absolved of liabilities. All the convicts applied for bail immediately after the sentencing and were granted relief in the case, the judgment of which comes against the backdrop of a debate on the Civil Nuclear Liability bill, which would provide for limited compensation to victims in case of a nuclear disaster.
With this the postcolonial agenda seems to be an incomplete mission of imperialism where the sovereignty of the people has been bartered to protect, and consolidate the interests of multinational corporations in the name of multilateral global cooperation. One often wonders whether the democratic structure of this country has turned against its own people!


  1. Do you really think there's a democratic structure in this country? There are times when I feel that we are living in an unfair world where those whom we may think to be concerned with our interests actually sabotage us behind our backs! This is what the politicians do and the judiciary plays into their plans! There is no one to hear the pleas of the victims...Napoleons and Squealers are found in abundance in this country of ours! Its another sad day in the long list of sad days in our democracy and as public memory is short-lived, I assume most will forget the incident!

  2. Fanon had cautioned against the rise of the bourgeoisie as the new ruling class in postcolonies. This is a narcissistic, avaricious,self-seeking segment. Yes you are probably right: Mr.. will order his new Pajero, Mrs.. her De Beers solitaire and Master.. his play station and everything will be hunky-dory.India will shine as usual and the rhetoric of aam aadmi will be amplified into an art form with gathering cumulo-nimbus ecstasy.

  3. How can this be important? The disaster didn't took place in the twin tower of the most powerful nation of the world. They were mere factory workers and citizens. We can't equate their lives with people who died in the states? Can we? So those who attacked that building(or those who didn't too) have committed a huge crime against humanity and those who were negligible towards the leakage of the gas did a huge favour to the humanity.Less number of poor citizens means less bothering about there problems, less tummies to feed.Isn't it?

  4. @ Sir: I agree, it is completely narcissistic. There is no one to care for the citizens (a tag I sometimes think that has been appropriated by a few - the others are treated just like the animals on the street) of the country.
    @ Prabhat: Agree with you. It is like the slogan 'Garibi Hatao' which was transformed into 'Garib hi hatao'. It works on the basic logic: if there are no poor, there is no need of bothering with poverty elevation programmes. And when its election time, the poor (read as ignorant citizens who believe they vote a government into power) can be taken care of! So why should people sitting up there (I don't know where) bother their pretty little heads?