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Bhopal tragedy: What readers say
December 10, 2004 17:13 IST
Last Updated: December 10, 2004 18:18 IST
Many of the youth of today are not aware of the Bhopal gas tragedy. In fact, even those (not from Bhopal) who were old enough to understand, have only hazy memories of the world's worst industrial disaster. Over time, it was forgotten, as if it was just a bad dream.
But for the citizens of Bhopal and the victims of the accident the tragedy will never end because new generations are born with the aftereffects of that ill-fated night.
Rediff.com tried to focus attention on the tragedy and asked readers to write in with their views. We reproduce some of them below (with minimal editing):
Subject: I am sorry to say..
I am 18 yrs old, i learnt about the incident only today! After reading all the comments of the people who were affected by the tragedy i felt really sad! What can i do but pray to god!
Posted by Ashok on 04-DEC-04
Subject: children of a lesser God
Sep 11 2001 brought about a remarkable change in America .There was brotherhood ,there was sorrow ,there was anger there was everything .
The Bhopal gas tragedy was a far greater tragedy .But does it occur any where in the Indian consciousness ? Most people run behind America wagging their tails .
Who will speak for the voiceless
Posted by jose on 04-DEC-04
Subject: Bhopal Gas Tragedy
Bhopal Gas tragedy is a tragic reminder of the callousness of the collective Indian Psyche.It exposed the naked truth that our so called democracy does not have any room for the downtrodden-those who really suffered and instead did everything best to ptotect MNC's like Union Carbide or its successor like DOW Chemicals.
Posted by Dhruva Kr.Sen on 03-DEC-04
Subject: Tragedy that is a lesson to us.
I was not aware at the time when this tragedy took place,since I was 2 year old child.But have heard so much about this tragedy,which makes me to feel angry on the US firms.It has been said that the Firm (Union Carbide)that is purely responsible for this tragedy has shown double standards in the safety arrangements made in it's factory in USA and in INDIA.And even now it says that it's not fully liable for that tragedy. This shows how the international laws are inadequate to bring justice. What will happen if the same has happened in USA in an Indian firms factory? The US departments would say this and that and will reach out inside India to close it factory in India also. I think the Indian government would here after take all the necessary steps to safe guard it citizens from these type of stupid firms.
And I feel very sad and pray to GOD that these tragedies should not happen ever again.
Posted by Prasanna Venkatesh on 03-DEC-04
Subject: Do Something People
It is sad how this tragedy dosent rip the hearts of people who have the power to help the victims. 20 years and still nothing effective is come up. I feel really sad that I'm an Indian today coz our rules and our laws cant help the needy be it a tragedy or any fatal threat. We just cannot rely on our government coz all they really interested in are, is how to fill their own pockets.
Posted by Sabina D\'souza on 03-DEC-04
Subject: BHOPAL- A TRAGEDY AND LESSON
Have we as Indians learnt anything from the tragedy???
Apart from the melodramatic and utterly insensitive portrail of grief which makes the round of the media, there seems to be no lessons learnt.
The life of an Indian seems to be worth nothing, especially in the eyes of another Indian,forget the foreigners. As long as we Indian'S feel that preserving the "INDIAN WAY OF LIFE" as important and essential to securing our's and the future of the coming generations, all such tragedies and calamities will only land up as statistics in the pages of history.
Whatever incentives, that a life in a western country may offer, an Indian is only secure and can be truly happy only here,in his own country. Only when we realise this truth,that such tragedies and clamities be truly overcome.
Posted by Arvind on 03-DEC-04
Subject: I feel ashamed and guilty of my existence.
I feel shameful and guilty of my existence even since being a Indian brethern of all those people affected by the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, we are not able to do anything concrete for them.
Its sad that though every anniversary is celebrated, so many investigations, reports and legal hassles going on from past 20 years, nobody has been able to do anything bettering the position of all those affected. But thats the sad but true fact of being a common poor Indian. You are destined to struggle and suffer for no fault of yours.
A practical solution would be that each and every Indian contribute even a single penny for these affected Bhopalis so that after some years, there is some satisfaction in remembering and celebrating the anniversary. But then how can the corruption be eradicated out of this so that the money reaches for their benefits.
Its also sad that the international court is still taking time and hearings to understand that the people affected by the Gas are innocent and they need to be given justice.
Posted by Jayaprakash Balan on 03-DEC-04
Subject: Is media responsible?
I have worked as a journalist for nine years and quit a year back. Until I read Lapierre I was quite unaware about what exactly happened as when it happened I was too young to understand an accident of this magnitude. As a journalist I have realised that such incidents are just another story for a reporter to claim byline and for a news paper or a channel or a website another way to show that they are FOR THE SOCIETY. But thats it. I have written about Gujarat earthquake and riots. It is really frustrating to realise that media has completely changed its face. It certainly and surely not for the masses. We interview victims and we forget them for another 364 days and on the 365th day we would meet them again. Thats it. During those 364 days we are least bothered whether the victim has got his right to live proper life or not. I still remember a young couple which lost their newborn due to the polio vaccine which was expired. They are still unaware who did what. Six people lost their eyes in similar way they are still waiting for the compensation.A piece of paper, television channels are not just a product they are the mirror of the society. And I feel in this times its looking ugly
Posted by Hitarth on 03-DEC-04
Subject: Bhopal tragedy - a man slaughter by US company
I think US company owes a lot of compensation to the poeple of Bhopal for their negligence on security measures and their irresponsiveness towards the tragedy. Above all US are still holding the fugitive Anderson who has missed trial in India on mass slaughter and still walking free in Florida. If lives of US people are valuable and so our the lives of our beloved people. I really admire those that are taking the initiative to bring justice to the people of Bhopal who are still bearing the consequences of the deadly MIC poison.
I am here in UK and BBC had shown a programme on Bhopal tragedy I was very much moved by the incidents that took place. I would humbly like DD and all the other TV operators to get the license of that program and rely it in India who will get to know what are people have experienced. I felt our people were treated like some laboratory mice.
If UK can fight for compensation from Libya for the 270 people killed in the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. wherein the families would receive $10 million for each victim, so should we fight these multinational companies who are milting money over the grave of our Bhopal people. US should compensate the victims
Posted by Roshan on 02-DEC-04
Subject: Bhopal gas tregedy - homage to the victims
At time of 20th aniversary of the tragic incident, it is sad that those who are culprits are still not brought to the court of justice. Rather then copying western world for their fashions, culture and products, if we can copy them in the areas of protection to the lives of their people, getting them justice and punishing those who are guilty, it will bring us better reputation.
Posted by Asha T Lilani on 02-DEC-04
Bhopal was a shame, but what is more shameful is that us the citizens of india find time to post message on cricket and other stuff but cannot even spare a sec to offer condolances to the sufferers.
Posted by rk on 02-DEC-04
Subject: This can happen only in India.
World's worst Industrial disaster, worlds worst train disaster, worlds worst Road record worlts worrst etc etc... and the list goes on.. whom to blame? India and its people. People learn by their mistake but "WE" dont...Its "sab chalta hai" style. If you look deep there are rumours that it was the work of American government who did it intentionally to check the effect of this lethal gas. where the hell was MP governement when a chemical plant was opened right in the heart of city? where the hell is our CID or these intellegance agency who couldnt find the REAL culprit? Imagine if there was an opposite situation an Indian firm was responsible such unjustiable event in some US cities like Denver..what were the consequences? still Americans are allowed to put pestisides in Coke manufactures in India itself. I am not surprised if there are some more of these tragedies happens. God bless India!
Posted by Sunil Yadav on 02-DEC-04