Bhopal Gas Tragedy and 37 Years: Wounds are still green with smouldering questions
37 years have passed since the world’s worst industrial tragedy i.e. Bhopal gas tragedy started. More than three lakh 24 thousand 120 hours have elapsed since the canker of the deadly gas that emanated from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal on the dark and cold night of December 2 and 3, 1984.
Written by Navya Chandravanshi
But the sleepiness of the tantra has not yet been broken. Some questions stood stoically after hearing the cries of death that night, they are still standing there. After all, why does this ‘Bhopal’ happen?
37 years have passed since the world’s worst industrial tragedy i.e. Bhopal gas tragedy.
More than 3 lakh 24 thousand 120 hours have passed since the canker of the deadly gas that emanated from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal on the dark and cold night of December 2 and 3, 1984, but the system’s sleep has not yet been disturbed.
Some questions stood stoically after hearing the cries of death that night, they are still standing there.
After all, why does this ‘Bhopal’ happen? Who let it happen?
And who gave ‘Kavach Kundal’ to the culprits? From where the answers to the questions are to come, there are locks of silence and the endless cycle of perpetual disaster that started that night continues till now, who should talk about justice, the survivors are doomed to hand over the gas buried in their chests from generation to generation. Huh.
He has been cursed by the senseless system to hear the sound of the last muscle of death while facing the horror of death moment by moment. The dangerous thing is that we have not learned any lesson from Bhopal.
In India, 231 workers died in industrial accidents between May 2020 and June 2021. Accidents range from a dozen deaths due to leakage of poisonous gas from LG plant in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh to 20 deaths in thermal power plant explosion and 21 lives due to fire at Virudhnagar firecracker factory.
The figure of 117 deaths in industrial accidents in the country in the six months from January to June this year shows that how many Bhopals are continuously decreasing.
No one knows how long the life span of the Bhopal accident, which happened 37 years ago on the intervening night of 2nd and 3rd December, had been told in the first report of the ICMR in 1987, three years after the accident.
This report, which points to methyl isocyanide gas released in the accident, states that 24.2 per cent of pregnant women were victims of miscarriage. Of those who were born, 60.9% of the babies could not survive too long.
Of the babies that escaped death, 14.3 per cent also brought physical deformities to the world.
This malformation was also found more in babies who were between three and nine months of age in the womb at the time of the gas leak.
Not only this, the children who were five years old at the time of the accident also had a fatal effect on the gas.
They also became victims of increasing shortness of breath as they got older.
That is, today those who are suffering from the gas between the age of 36 years to 41 years, their troubles continue.
It is also a shocking fact that even the samples of gas accident victims in the State Government’s Medico-Legal Institute could not remain safe.
Talking about politics, what did the governments of the state and the central government have done at that time, when what they should have done?
These questions are still unanswered. Both were Congress governments.
The Prime Minister was Rajiv Gandhi and the Chief Minister was Arjun Singh. The governments had arranged for the arrested accused Warren Anderson to go to America safely and with dignity.
Many caravans from politics to intellectual debates have passed on this. BJP has been making the problem of gas accidents and victims in Bhopal an election issue for two decades.
This party has been in power in the state for the last two decades, but the issues related to the gas scandal have been left behind.
In the last four assembly elections, no political group has considered the issue of gas tragedy victims as an election issue. However, when the gas scandal and Anderson’s case came into the limelight due to the court decision, committees were formed to investigate.
The present government had also constituted a judicial inquiry committee about 11 years ago. Neither Warren Anderson, the main accused in the accident, is in this world, neither his Indian partners nor his aides became the heads of the governments of the time.
The organizations of the people who helped the gas victims at that time have also disintegrated and the number of leaders has reached the same number as the years are passing.
Neither the responsible for the gas tragedy were punished nor did the victims deserve to feel relief. The politics regarding ‘Bhopal’ continues unabated.
The right question is, what did we and the world learn from the Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial tragedy like Hiroshima Nagasaki, the world’s worst war tragedy?
This incident could not create a wrinkle on the foreheads of the people of the world, but without taking lessons from it, the world cannot be good.
Three and a half thousand people died in one night in the gas tragedy and about 35 thousand people who died in a continuous accident for thirty-seven years, it will be a true tribute to those who are left without better treatment and compensation.
Get their due, otherwise every year on the anniversary we will increase the number one by one, nothing will happen.
However, it is also sadly true that on the anniversary of the gas tragedy, the number of people who gather for mourning does not exceed hundreds in Bhopal, which has a population of 20 lakhs.
We are neither taking a lesson nor is there any sorrow left about the accident.