Mail Today, May 22, 2008
IT is quite disturbing to note that the country’s Prime Minister has no time to meet a group of innocent women and children suffering due to the toxic legacy of the worst ever industrial disaster in modern history. That too when this group of hapless people walked all the way from Bhopal to the national capital — just to remind the PM that he has not delivered on what he had promised them two years back. It leaves one wondering if this government has any concern left for ordinary people — the aam admi by whom it otherwise swears.
The PM’s consistent refusal to meet these people, leave alone accede to their demands, has hardened the belief that he is hell bent on doing business with Dow Chemicals and does not want to displease the chemicals giant by giving an appointment to people who want Dow to take on the liability (as well as the assets which it seeks) of Union
Carbide, since it owns Carbide now. What is at stake is the promised investment of $1billion.
Why is Dr Singh keen on this investment from acompany which was penalised in America last year for having bribed Indian agriculture officials for expediting registration of three toxic pesticides in this country? Why did he not take aclear stand when the file was sent to him with the Law Ministry’s opinion that Dow’s investment can’t be immune to its liability? Why has he not taken any action to set up an Empowered Commission on Bhopal, as recommended by the head of his own Group of Ministers on Bhopal? Why is his office stonewalling RTI applications relating to Bhopal? Is the pleasure of an American chemical giant more important to the PM than the wails of kids still being born with congenital deformities in Bhopal? Mr Prime Minister, please do some introspection as you enter your last year in office.
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