Seems like satire but it’s Real Life
Date: 11.00am, 11 August, 2007.
Venue: Triveni Kala Sangam, Conference Hall, 205. Tansen Marg (opp. FICCI auditorium), New Delhi – 110001
Mir Zafar’s name has come to mean “traitor,” despite the fact that he is not the only turn-coat, and possibly not the most deserving either. Infamous for his treachery at the Battle of Plassey against
his Nawab Siraj-ud-daulah – not the most endearing fellow himself – Mir Zafar and his deal with the East India Company has immortalized the penchant of some Indians to sell their country to curry favour to foreign businesses.
Following and improving on the infamous tradition of Mir Zafar, modern-day sellouts in the Indian Government and business are vying for a place in Indian history’s hall of shame. Spoilt for choice,
the Awards Committee had to restrict itself to a handful – the Dirty Dozen – from among the thousands of eligibles for a place in the Mir Zafar Hall of Shame. Instituted by the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster, the Awards this year focus on those luminaries – businessmen, bureaucrats and politicians – that have had the courage to say “Enough is enough. Let’s junk the rubbish about justice in Bhopal, and get on with business.”
The Dirty Dozen are a handpicked few who have demonstrated that they are willing to go well beyond the call of duty to stand up for the Americans, even if it means sticking it to their country men and women.
Yes, yes, we know. Why only Bhopal? Why not Nandigram? Why not Kalinganagar? Why not the grand sellout of India’s iron ore deposits to POSCO?
We have no real good reason, really, beyond the excuse that the Bhopal victims, who constitute the majority of the Awards Committee, are a busy bunch. Between running to quacks parading as Government doctors to treat their poison-racked bodies, and wasting their time collecting foul-smelling drinking water from toxin-tainted aquifers behind the abandoned Union Carbide factory, the Bhopali awards committee members have a packed schedule.
Besides, survivors’ organizations have unearthed a plot to betray the Bhopal victims that goes as far as the Prime Minister’s Office. They have the proof on paper — the PMO files. Let’s also remember that Bhopal saga turns 23 years old this December. In the last two decades, turn-coats of every hue have fed off the misery in Bhopal. Nandigram, Singur and other areas of conflict are recent. The list of traitors in these areas is thankfully short.
But wait. Nandigram, POSCO and Kalinganagar – The Awards Ceremony does recognize the stature of these betrayals. The Awards will be given away by victims of state violence from some of these areas of conflict.
Almost exactly 250 years to the day before the PMO files come to light, Mir Zafar genuflects before his paymaster Robert Clive…