Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bhopal, 26 years later -- just a traffic accident

And so it's come to this. Unlike Jarndyce and Jarndyce, judgment has been passed in what was the world's worst industrial disaster. But what a judgment. The Chief Judicial Magistrate awarded a two year jail sentence, immediately bailable and the case promises to meander its way up to the higher courts of the land. 26 years, an incompetent prosecution agency, tens of thousands dead (about 3000 immediately), many many more maimed for life, and this is what we have to show for justice. But the CJM is hardly to blame. The august Supreme Court of India, the final arbiter of the laws of the land, reduced the charges in 1996 to 'death due to negligence', the same that is used in traffic accidents.

The Bhopal activists have always been left to plough a lonely furrow. The mainstream political parties, the Congress and the BJP are too beholden to corporate interests to be really interested in seeing justice done, no doubt fearing the flight of foreign capital from India Shining. What is sad is that the Communist parties, who never tire of thundering from the pulpit about neo-liberal policies, about the Indo-US nuclear deal, about US retail giants like Walmart coming to India, never seriously took up the cause of the Bhopal victims. The Karats (both B and P) and Yechurys would rather protest about their right to call a bandh or a hartal. The various groups representing the victims have had little access to the political bosses in Delhi who could in turn pressurise the Government in power.

And so, yet again, a 'resurgent India' fails its most deprived, its most dispossessed and impoverished citizens.

9 comments:

RobinGalle俊毅 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vbalki said...

An expected denouement, completely in keeping with the unique blend of indifference, callousness and selfish opportunism that informs life in this country. Why is anybody surprised?

Anant said...

Good post. Keep up the great work.

Rahul Basu said...

Thank you, oh great master! We endeavour to give satisfaction.

AngelicF嘉偉 said...

No pains, no gains.............................................................

AmOK said...

OLO - sadness. Thanks for the post.

juliancu said...

你不能左右天氣,但你可以改變心情..................................................

洪筱婷 said...

可愛的小天使~~~支持你~~~.................................................................

林怡洋 said...

Pen and ink is wits plough. .................................................................