By Pervez Bari
BHOPAL: Four organizations of survivors of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, on Monday jointly held a demonstration in support of the ongoing agitation of the farmers. The organizations called for immediate scrapping of the recently passed farm laws that, they charged, were designed solely to help corporations maximize their profits.
“We extend our support to the farmers fighting against Modi government’s collusion with corporations, especially those run by Ambani and Adani. The Bhopal survivors continue to suffer misery and injustice due to the government’s collusion with Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. This unholy nexus between the government and corporations must be broken in the national interest”, said Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.
Drawing parallels with the situation in Bhopal, Nawab Khan, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, said: “The black laws imposed on the farmers will affect adversely every ordinary Indian, just as the lingering issues of the disaster are connected to the health and lives of people all over the country. We appeal to peoples’ organizations all over the country to lend their active support to the ongoing farmers’ movement”.
“The Prime Minister’s deliberate inattention towards the suffering of the agitating farmers is quite akin to his stance towards the survivors of Bhopal gas disaster”, said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information & Action. “The Bhopal survivors will join the farmers in banging thalis at the next “Mann ki Baat” on December 27”, she said, referring to the Prime Minister’s monthly address to the nation.
Nausheen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide said: “Together as a country, we need to create a National Noise to make the Prime Minister pay attention to the most urgent issues of the day. Let’s start the big Noise at 11am on December 27“.
It may be recalled here that on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing factory in Bhopal had spewed nearly 40 tonnes of poisonous Methyl Iso-cyanate gas exposing over 5,00,000 people to the toxic fumes. While 3,000 people had perished virtually instantly and over the years more than 25,000 have kissed death and the sad saga is still continuing uninterruptedly. About half a million people are still suffering from the side effects of the poisonous gas and several thousand people have been maimed for life.