Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Union Carbide Verdict

I have been a bit dazed about the Union Carbide verdict. I wasn't expecting them to be let off so lightly considering that there were incidents in the U.S. where the justice system has dealt heavy penalties on erring corporates who have broken the law and caused damage to human life. I have seen Erin Brokowich which documented the huge payouts which were made when it was realized that a corporate had polluted the water around its factory.

I was seething, literally, at the meager compensation and punishment handed out, but words failed me. This is horribly unkind to the sufferers, who lost life, and whose generation is still plagued by the after effects. The intrepid, incredibly talented Annie Zaidi has expressed it better and in a more detailed manner. She has put all my thoughts and more into words in a letter to President Barack Obama. So read her reaction here.

1 comment:

ms said...

bhopal gas tragedy i the most terrible thing to have happened and we cannot even imagine the full extent of human suffering that followed. but our system ensures that it is local hands which turn levers, switch on switches. how many foreigners as supervisors and operations engneers are currently employed in foreign companies established in india? how many americans were employed at the bhopal gas plant? there is a shameful attitude towards efficiency, skills and standards of service in every department of public and private sector. the flyovers which keep collapsing in delhi metro system, the huge cranes which topple with great frequency in the capital, the numerous buildings which catch fire due to faulty wiring and cause deaths due to lack of contingency plans, the defective automobiles which roll off conveyor belts in this country. the final verdict seems ineffectual and insulting. but what legal actions against the supervisors on duty have we caried out: what about bringing our own negligent people to justice? this country sees criminals defeat our own judicial system on a regular basis, at least 17% of ministers in parliament have a history of criminal cases pending in various courts, hospitals kill off patients without any fear, naxal leaders preach violence and murder and hundreds of other cases are reported daily. some of the compensation money that union carbide paid up, never reached the victims: all stolen by our own officials under the guise of admin costs - i thought they were already in the employ of the govt! where has all the money gone? in a nation, where a minister spends 350cr on her own statues but says she does not have the 4-5 crores required to start a rural education scheme, where ministers spend 100 cr on their family functions - this country feels that the compensation amount decided by the courts is not enough? if it wasn't so tragic, it would be the biggest joke.