Do you remember?

Posted: 01/03/2015 in Screwed
Tags: ,

Do you remember September 11?  Of course you do.  How about July 4th?  Naturally.  You even probably recognize December 7th, although George the first couldn’t remember the date that would live in infamy, even though he enlisted in the Navy because Pearl Harbor was bombed.

So how about December 3rd?  No?  I’ll give you a hint: Bhopal, India.  Nothing?  Another one then: Union Carbide Corporation.  Did that cause a little twinge at the back of your mind?  Okay, how about this:  3,787 dead and 558,125 injured due to a gas leak?  (Those are the official numbers, other estimates are ten times higher.)  Oh, right.  That.  But that’s not fair — that was 1984 and didn’t affect anyone from the Village (i.e., no one “important”).  Just a bunch of heathens, right?  Right.  Out of sight, out of mind.

So why bring it up now?  Well, for one thing a new Ravi Kumar film, Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain, is set to be released in India on Monday.  It stars Martin Sheen as the head of Union Carbide and it’s supposed to give the whole, sickening story.  But this is also a good exercise in how the Village works.  After all, our Village and India’s Village cooperated to suppress the fact that the disaster was not only preventable, but was actually caused by Corporate cost cutting measures.  They also made certain that no one would be punished for the catastrophe, since anyone being found guilty would eventually show that UCC itself was guilty — and we can’t have that.  Not even three decades after the world’s greatest industrial accident.

By the way: through the pollution of the groundwater (which was never cleaned up) and the long-term effects of the gas on the survivors, the disaster at Bhopal is still going on.  Nothing’s been done to fix the problem and nothing’s been done to prevent another one from happening.

So, happy 30th anniversary, Bhopal.  And thank you for dying quietly out of sight.


Be seeing you.


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