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Sunday, 15 January 2012

The plight of Bhopal MIC gas victims prolong by hair-splitting argument by GoM.

The plight of Bhopal MIC gas victims prolong by hair-splitting argument by GoM. 
Even after 27 years of the cruelest of industrial tragedies that had ever happened in the world, the victims of the Bhopal MIC tragedy are running from pillar to post for a just compensation which is not only cruel but also most inhuman to say the least. One feel all those who perished in the tragedy on that fateful midnight of 2-3 December 1984 were the luckiest, as they haven’t had to pass through the horrendous plights of getting that flee-bit compensation after visiting the compensation claim courts and banks  umpteen number of times whenever  the call comes like lollypops for little children. 
TATA survey done immediately after the tragedy was considered as the base in which only 27 municipal wards of Bhopal were declared as gas affected and the figure of affected people indicated by them was considered as eligible for compensation.  Under what circumstances the death toll was reduced as less as 2,500 initially and then to over 5,235 that God only knows. Perhaps, that was the body counted in some of the Bhopal hospitals. But what about those dead bodies that were picked up from roads, little hamlets and other places the next day morning which, according to eye witness accounts, were in tens of thousands and how those bodies were disposed off later in mass burials elsewhere, as none of their friends or relatives were able to locate them as Bhopal by then become almost a ghost town. The administration was totally crippled. Hospitals were unaware of the kind of treatment to be given to the affected, not even the medical fraternity knew the
anti-dote of the lethal MIC. Things are not as simple and logical as the so called GoM, which was formed as late as last year, to finally decide on the quantum of compensation to be given to the gas victims. One has only sympathy for so called brilliant, intelligent people like P Chidambaram, one of the ministers in the GoM, who is a typical Tamil Chettiar whose equivalent in the north is the so called banias who only knows how to gather up and not to give away anything to the just and needy. That is the reason, even when a curative petition was to be filed by the State Govt. to give just and honorable compensation to the gas victims, who are already on an agitation for justice, even after 27 long years of the tragedy, such arguments/road blocks are being put-forth. Such spinning of worthless cow-webs of rules and regulations are as typical of renowned criminal lawyers who always try to prove the cruel murderers as innocents in courts. It is nothing but
only exemplification of the height of inhumanity. 
Strange is again the argument of the GoM that by altering the figures in curative petition now ‘could create a precedent methodology for all future cases of a similar nature’. God forbid, no such tragedy occurs in future, anywhere in the world.   The GoM perhaps forget the fact that the compensation money given by the Union Carbide Corporation was much less in comparison with compensations normally paid in advanced countries like the US. That was the reason; the MIC compensation case was fought not in the US but in India. So, the lump-sum money was actually intended for the victims of the Bhopal MIC tragedy. Only they are eligible to get it. Some people in the Govt. of MP earlier desperately tried to enlarge the scope of compensation to the whole of Bhopal city, thereby; those who have not been covered by the original TATA survey would also be made eligible for the crumbs. That was purely a political ploy. That, when miserably failed, as there were
stiff opposition from the real victims’ association, because in that case, the real victims would be deprive d of their due share of compensation, the govt. now thought of filing the curative petition, as only recently it was seen how the Bhopal Gas victims association/NGOs so violently reacted by blocking the rail and road traffic on the anniversary of the tragedy on 3rd December 2011. The M.P. Govt. is the appropriate authority to show the actual figures of the death as well as to suggest removing the road block of ‘minor injury’ clause and treat the entire victims of over five lakhs in the 27 municipal wards as the victims based on the original TATA survey. Therefore, compensation of 5 lakhs each to over 5 lakhs affected and those over 15,000 death cases to be provided an enhanced compensation of 10 lakhs is a justifiable assessment, looking to the veracity of the tragedy and it’s after effect in multifarious ways on ground, as well as the
huge compensation in such cases usually paid by advanced countries like the US. 
One hope the GoM may not hair-split the matter further to deprive the MIC victims of Bhopal their due share of compensation any longer for heaven’s sake.