Bhopal Gas Tragedy – 33 years and still reeling

Posting this today because we cannot and should not forget this tragedy.

Today marks the 33rd year of this heart-wrenching truth.

(I had read this book years back when it had got published. It was my rare possession, which unfortunately is no more with me, because I rented it to someone who refuses to recognize me anymore. I have been surfing bookstores and websites to see if this book can be bought again. Amazon and Flipkart have it, but the cost is 1800+ and it just never decreases. I have told all the little bookstores to call me if they get a used book from somewhere at their stores.)

I do not know if rating this book would be fair. The writers Dominique Lappiere and Javier Moro researched for this book in the 1990s and they lived in the affected areas for 3 years before coming up with this book. In a few years, they had to undergo trial for defamation for a case lodged against them by the then police commissioner. And then the book was banned in India. The sad part of this is, in spite of the tragedy wreaking havoc in lives of more than 20000 people of Bhopal (the toxic clouds have shrouded the future of the city too and the poison runs in the veins of those people even today), the city and the people have absolutely no answers to any of their questions. It is said that Union Carbide had known about the technical glitches in their machines for many years before the incident happened. But they still continued to store quintals and quintals of hazardous gases without any warning to anyone. When questioned, the authorities say, Union Carbide was no longer operating it and that the local workers of the factory were responsible.

On 3rd December 1984, one of the deadly gases, methyl isocynate, found its way out of the factory, into the open fresh air, poisoning everything and everyone that came in the way. Such was its intensity, that the babies are born deformed there till today. There are mixed views about Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide then. Whose fault it really was, is still unknown as people continue to fight with their desire to live a normal life.

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