Carbide ruling – so much for justice

Posted: June 8, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

I hate to say I told you so, but I did say in August, last year, that the Bhopal gas victims were wasting their time, pursing a case which would bring them no relief -psychological or financial.

But I was shouted down by my well-meaning friends who castigated me for being uncaring and not recognising the fight for justice. My point was that victims should fight for financial relief instead of dragging people to court with the intention of sending them to jail. It made no sense fighting a 25-year-old case which was never going to help the victims.

And I believe the court ruling on Monday has proved just that. All those who were found guilty were out on bail within minutes. The near senile CEO Warren Anderson will NEVER make an appearance in an Indian court, because the US Government would never allow that.

And I’m not rubbing salt in the wounds of those who fought long and hard for justice, but if the survivors had asked for an enhanced financial relief package (apart from the $ 470 million they received initially) they might have got it, because the Americans would have paid, more out of a misplaced sense of guilt and pressure from lobbies within the US. But court cases, as the present one has proved, don’t matter an iota to a company like that because they have enough money and time to spend.

And look at what the US government said – that they don’t expect the verdict to reopen any new inquiries. They also hope this will bring the whole thing to an end! Is it their way of saying that sometimes pragmatism works better than sentiment?

What is interesting is the comment of a survivor, Rashida Bi, who I saw on TV saying that maybe it’s time the survivors too picked up a gun, because it seems the government only listens to those who hold them to ransom. Does everything have to end with a bullet? This could only happen in India…

  1. Vineeta Shetty says:

    Wilful negligence of the criminal kind cannot go unpunished. There was as much chance of survivors (most of them being poor Muslims) winning the battle for appropriate compensation, as of Warren Anderson being extradited. Just because the verdict was inevitable does not mean the battle must not be fought! Then we become like any other dictatorship and our vociferous civil society may as well shut shop. Next time, a Dow Chemicals will think twice before dumping its chemicals in Chiplun because the high profile this case continues to attract acts as a deterrent.

  2. Sumeet says:

    Warren Anderson is not the only one culpable of this crime.

    What about each an every member of Parliament at the time that passed the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Act in March 1985, thereby giving the GOI the sole right to represent the victims, something it has comprehensively not been able to do?

    Add to that list every single bureaucrat on the panel that eventually settled on an estimate of approximately 3,000 fatalities, 30,000 permanent injuries and 20,000 partial injuries.

    And those idiots in the Government who relieved Union Carbide of any further liability before any additional health or environmental consequences could come to light.

    By the way, who educated the media about Warren Anderson being sneaked out of the country? Could it be the Brits? Ah, the games people play….

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