Bhopal Gas Tragedy in Retrospect

A lot has been said about the unfortunate Bhopal gas tragedy, the historic accident in Indian history which opened a Pandora’s box and cast a curse on the lives of the people in Bhopal. People are still reeling under the curse and hoping against all odds to get justice. But given the crawling pace of the Indian judiciary system, it took about 26 long years to realize that Mr. Warren Anderson, the then CEO of Union Carbide is the man to be prosecuted for the ill-fate of about 5 lakh people, one can only imagine how much longer it is going to take to deliver justice.

With the issue having gained momentum recently, dirty politics behind the tragedy has come to reveal the involvement of big political hot shots, who chose to save the head of the man responsible for the gas leak than volunteering to help the victims. Every day is a revelation with the names of leaders from elite parties surfacing in the long list of people who have failed the victims of the gas leak. The blame game just got uglier with the leaders who are desperately trying to dodge the wrath of the public.

Among all the debates over the ethics of having failed to bring justice to the victims, an important aspect of the ethic has been ignored by the government, media and people by barging into the private life of a 90 year old man. Anderson who is probably in his own shell undergoing penance for the mistakes he committed twenty six years ago, has been reported to be deaf and is at a stage of senility. How right is it to hunt down the man and bring his conscience out naked in front of the whole world?

And even if Anderson is the actual villain in this whole drama, how cannot the leaders who helped him to safety be left out of the prosecution? Isn’t the sinner and the people who aid the sinner equally responsible for the vast destruction? The irony of the situation is that if Anderson and others involved are let off with vague sentences by the court, then what is the meaning of the sufferings and 26 year old struggle for justice by the victims? Knowing the efficiency and the rate of proceedings of the Indian courts it is most likely that Anderson and the victims will all go to their graves, the former with guilt and the crumbling pressure of old age and the latter with unfulfilled promises, hopes and a generation of disability.

Thus the double edged sword of politics continues to bleed the victims but keeping intact its double standards and selfish desires miles away from any harm. And so the scars of the Bhopal Gas tragedy gets to live as long as the world exists or at least until justice will be delivered to all those who were affected by the tragedy.

B. Krithiga

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