JHADOO MARO DOW KO!+
The Universal Language of Jhadoo
Champa and Heera in South India
NITY WRITES FROM PONDICHERRY
Devi and Heera Bai, survivors and activists from Bhopal, are now
in Pondicherry (South India) on a "Jhadoo Maro" mobilisation
tour. After spending a day meeting select journalists in Chennai,
we have started the campaign leg of the 5-day "Jhadoo Maro"
mobilisation campaign in Tamilnadu and Pondy.
It is pouring with rain here. Rains usually fail us, but this year
we have now had 10 days of continuous rains. Reports indicate that
there is a storm in the horizon. Champa Devi says this bodes well
because there's a storm of anti-Dow sentiment brewing among people
as well. Later this evening, a meeting is planned outside the gates
of Anabond Essex, 50 percent owned by Essex Specialty Products --
itself a 100 percent Dow subsidiary. At the press conference this
morning, Champa Devi issued a demand to the Government of India
to attach the assets owned by Dow Chemical in the factory and offices
of Anabond Essex, and other Dow subsidiaries and partners in India.
Champa Devi and Heera Bai are travelling in true Bhopali style with
their trusted jhadoos (brooms) forever within reach. Having the
brooms has made communications easy, even in this compulsively non-Hindi
speaking part of India. Despite the language difficulties, the Tamil-speaking
journalists at the Pondicherry Press Club were vigorously shaking
their heads in comprehension when Champa Devi and Heera Bai wielded
the woman's weapon. They got the point with very little recourse
Pasted below is the translation of the Press release issued from
Pondicherry today. But before that, just a reminder of the activities
for the next few days.
9 November, 2002: Public meeting at Thirubhuvanai Industrial
Estate and a Condemnatory Meeting outside the gates of Anabond Essex
in Thirubhuvanai, Pondy.
10 November, 2002: Jhadoo Maro rally-cum-public meeting of Pollution
Impacted Communities in Cuddalore, Tamilnadu
11 November, 2002: Jhadoo Maro rally-cum-public meeting in Pondicherry
12 November, 2002: Public meeting with workers at Ambattur Industrial
13 November, 2002: Jhadoo Maro rally starting (3 p.m.) from Munro
Statue and concluding at State Guest House, Chepauk, Chennai.
PONDICHERRY PRESS RELEASE
National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, Pondicherry
46, 2nd Street, Perumalraja Thottam, Reddiarpalayam, Pondicherry
9 November, 2002 -- 18 years have passed since the Bhopal
gas disaster. Gas-affected people have suffered untold miseries.
In the meantime, Union Carbide Corporation has sold its assets in
February 2001 to US multinational Dow Chemical Company. Union Carbide
has abandoned its toxic wastes in Bhopal, and has failed to clean
it up. As a result, the poisons have contaminated everything from
drinking water to mother's milk. The survivors of the disaster are
yet to be adequately compensated. Dow Chemical, which has inherited
Union Carbide, has refused to take responsibility for the pending
liabilities. Neither has Dow taken any steps to clean up the toxic
Survivors' organisations have taken their demands to central and
state governments, and the courts. Simultaneously, survivors' organisations
have waged an unflagging struggle for justice for 18 years with
the help of public interest organisations, environmental groups
and human rights activists.
For several years now, Pondicherry has witnessed an increase in
chemical industries attracted here by subsidies and concessions.
The impacts of these industries are felt in the seas where their
chemical discharge has affected the marine ecosystem. Over-extraction
of water by the industries and indiscriminate discharge of effluents
on land and sea has affected the groundwater table. In some places,
the groundwater is turning saline due to sea-water intrusion. At
others, the groundwater is severely contaminated due to toxic effluents.
Under these circumstances, Dow Chemical, which has purchased Union
Carbide of Bhopal notoriety, has been allowed to own 50 percent
in Anabond Essex which operates a factory in Thirubhuvanai, Pondicherry.
This factory is itself a a dangerous one and a known polluter of
the environment. The people living around this factory would be
well-advised to exercise caution.
Even as the demands of Dow-Carbide's victims in Bhopal remain unaddressed,
the company has been allowed to operate a polluting unit in Pondicherry.
We appeal to the people of Pondicherry to lend their solidarity
with the gas-affected people of Bhopal, and to join the National
Campaign for Justice in Bhopal in projecting the demands of the
This evening, starting 5 p.m., a condemnatory meeting is organised
at the gates of Anabond Essex in Thirubhuvanai. On 11 November,
a massive procession demanding justice for the people of Bhopal
will begin at Periyar Statue, near Balaji Cinema. The procession
and protest will be joined by self-help groups, trade unions and
labour organisations, agricultural workers and women. Two women
-- who are gas victims and activists for justice in Bhopal -- will
lead the rally.
Pondicherry Science Forum, Adecom Network, Eco Venture, Centre
of Indian Trade Unions, Pondicherry Government Employees Association,
All India Kisan Sabha (Farmers' Union).
Rashida and Dr Qaiser continue their tour, this
week in Italy.
Delcio writes: Today, with the support of the MV Esperanza crew,
we held two simultaneous actions at a Dow plant in Livorno and at
Dow Italy headquarters in Milan. The objectives of the twin action
was firstly to arrange a meeting between Rashida Bee and Muhammad
Quaiser with Dow executives in Milan. Secondly was to meet with
worker representatives and plant managers at the Dow plant in Livorno.
Both actions took place at approximately 10 am and achieved the
goal of meeting with all levels of the Dow corporate family in Italy.
Italian bosses express their "shame"
In Milan Rashida and Mohammed joined Fabrizio Fabri from GP Italy
and a team of Italian activists and met with the External relation
director, the human resource director, a lawyer for Dow Italy and
administration director in Milan. They gave no commitment on behalf
of Dow but expressed personaly embarrassment and chose to express
themselves as people first before they gave company line. They
expressed their shame, promised to take message to top management
of the company. In the end, Rashida gave the broom to public relations
director who accepted it while being photographed.
to refuse meetings with Greenpeace
In Livorno a GP delegation (Vittoria Pollidori and Domitilla Senni
plus a journalist from the national magazine Espresso) met with
the director of the plant, the director for external relations for
Southern Europe and a representative of the workers. The Dow representatives
were aware that GP Italy had asked for a meeting with their headquarters
and also the ICJB activities around Europe. They reported that they
had instructions from US to refuse meetings with GP, that everything
is decided in the US, and that they must follow the company line.
Our delegation asked the worker representative to inform his colleagues
about why we were there and to issue an expression of solidarity
to people of Bhopal. The labor representative said he would report
our message to the workers but could not commit to response. He
was obviously ill at ease to give a contrary position in front of
his bosses, but did not rule it out..
of volcanos overshadows summit
These activities coincided with the meeting of the European Social
Forum. The Bhopal message was tied with the larger event. Media
turnout in Milan and Livorno were both good despite fears of being
overshadowed by the many activities of the Forum and also recent
earthquake and volcano eruptions in Italy.
24th of october -- in Venice the Raghu Rai's exhibition was launched.
The event was timed to address the first anniversary of the verdict
on the Porto Marghera court case victims and environmental disaster
exposure to VCM production cases. During its first week more than
1000 people visited the exhibition.
- Friday 8 Nov, open day of MV Esperanza in Naples harbour with
the Bhopal exhibition on board;
- Saturday 9 Nov, workshop on Corporate Liability and Dow at the
Europe Social Forum in Florence planned, including Rashida and Quaiser.
More than 1000 national and international journalists are registered
at the european social forum.
- Also today, Greenpeace Italy released a Dow cyberaction going
to 3000 cyberactivists to send an email to president of Dow Italy
and to support demands for justice in Bhopal -- clean up, compensation,
smiling Dow Benelux executive accepts a jhadoo (and thus liability
for Bhopal clean-up) from Rashida Bi
29 OCTOBER Smiles and affability were
the order of the Dow as the Bhopal survivors' siege of Dow Europe
continued this week. It is scarcely a week since Dow's European
CEO ran from the room when presented with a Bhopali broom by Champa
Devi and only a few days since the public humiliation of Dow CEO
Michael Parker at an environmental luncheon in Houston when he
was presented with a broom and told to clean up his act by Bhopal
pointedly refused to accept the broom, creating a glorious photo-opportunity
for reporters - the sight of an Indian woman with her arms outstretched
while he studiously ignored her - yes, Greenpeace has the pictures.
It seems that Dow has now realised that cowardice and petulance
are unlikely to do it any favours and so their PR geniuses have
issued instructions to jhadooable Dow executives round the world
that they must accept the brooms - and pretend to enjoy it!
accepting the jhadoos they are also, in the eyes of survivors,
accepting Dow's liabilities in Bhopal.
All last week and this, Bhopali gas-survivors Rashida Bi, leader
of one of the most active of the Bhopali survivors' organisatsions,
and Dr Mohammed Ali Qaiser, who works providing free care to gas-affected
people, have been touring Europe seeking out Dow executives to
award the Order of the Jhadoo. The tour, coming just days after
Pranay and Champa Devi's jhadooing of Respini in Switzerland,
took in Italy, Belgium and Holland.
executives swept up by Rashida and Mohammed Ali Qaiser include
Luc de Graef, Operation & Site Leader at Dow Haltercustom
processing, Kallo; Patprick Bogaerts, Business Operations Executive
at Dow's Edegam petrochemicals plant; Wimvan Noten of Dow Zwijndrcht
and the site leader of Dow Tessendel - all in Belgium.
Dr Qaiser, "Rasheeda explained our situation and then handed
over the brooms. They accepted them very politely and assured
us they would pass on the message to their higher authorities."
the top brass, the cowering Respini and sullen Parker, have already
got the message, and although the cheesy grins are out in these
pictures, the bonhomie cannot drown out the sound of grinding
teeth emanating from the direction of Midland, Michigan.
India to be hit with a broom is a supreme insult, worse even than
to have chappals (slippers) thrown at one. Dow employees in India,
their futures surely uncertain now that the company is about to
be dragged into the ongoing criminal case in Bhopal, know this
all too well.
jhadoo is not just an insult, it carries a serious message. Says
G. Krishnaveni, who handed the Bhopali broom to Parker, "I
remember, by the time I walked up to Parker, I was quite angry.
and I couldn't help saying some sarcastic thing like '......this
is for your fantastic environmental work in Bhopal....from the
women whose breast milk has been poisoned by lead and mercury...'
He was so pissed off, I could sense him seething.
you can hear him quietly seething too, as he drones Dow's PR mantras,
and catch Kinnu's remarks and interjections by
listening to Jackson Allers' recording of the event, here.
activists explain the significance of the jhadoo to a bemused
official of the
European Chemical Industry Council in Brussels. Rashida Bi and
Dr Qaiser are on the extreme right.
23 OCTOBER 2002
CAMPAIGN FOR JUSTICE IN BHOPAL STRIKES AGAIN!
presents the jhadoo to a nonplussed Parker
umm ...this wasn't in the script."
Jain bears silent witness as Parker begins trotting out his standard
reply on Bhopal
Greenpeace's Jackie Downing demands justice
on behalf of the gas survivors
waits with outstretched jhaadoo as security men come to Parker's
& Co ruin poor Michael Parker's award lunch, and present Dow's
bewildered CEO with two Bhopali jhadoo.
23 OCTOBER, 1:30PM: JUST SPOKE TO AN EXCITED KINNU (G. Krishnaveni)
who at the instant of writing is sitting dressed in sari,
bindi and sundry finery in a downtown Houston photo-shop
waiting for pictures of the coup she and friends mounted
against Dow Chemical CEO Michael Parker at what was trumpeted
by its organisers Nature Conservancy as: "Largest Annual
Nature Conservancy Luncheon Event in Nation".
who had gone to a $75 a head luncheon in the city's upmarket
Hyatt Hotel to receive an award for - if you can believe
it - Dow's contribution to the environment, was stunned
when a camera-woman taking pictures of him at the foot of
the stage turned out to be none other than long term adversary
Diane Wilson, famed shrimp-boat-captain-turned-activist
and merciless scourge of Dow.
Diane interrupted Parker's remarks about Dow's commitment
to the environment and said she had an important announcement
to make. At this point local Dow staffers (including their
Seadrift plant's foot-in-mouth specialist Kathy Hunt) recognised
Diane and began gesturing frantically at their hapless chief,
but Diane, utilising the power of lungs fortified by years
at sea, told Parker that he had no business accepting an
environmental award when his company had yet to clean up
its toxic mess in Bhopal. "We have someone here from
Bhopal with a better award for you," she told him in
front of 500 bemused guests.
Dow contingent at tables near the stage were booing and
shouting "siddown", but fell silent when Kinnu
appeared in her sari bearing two genuine Bhopali jhaadoos.
Kinnu made her way to the stage and held out the brooms
to Parker who, at this point, was as much at sea as ever
Diane had been. Kinnu told Parker that he was a liar to
say that Dow had no liabilities in Bhopal. She told him
that women living near the abandoned factory have mercury
and other toxins in their breast milk and demanded that
Dow take immediate action to clean up its mess.
flapped, and began repeating his old formula about remembering
where he was in 1984 when he heard the news about Bhopal.
Any activist who has written to Dow about Bhopal will be
able to quote it word for word. Meanwhile, Nishant Jain
mounted the stage and stood silently beside him holding
a banner that read DOW, CLEAN UP YOUR TOXIC MESS IN BHOPAL.
Greenpeace's Jackie Downing displayed another saying DOW,
THE PEOPLE OF BHOPAL DEMAND JUSTICE.
Jhaadoo Maaro Campaign "Beat Dow with a broom"
launched in Bhopal just over two weeks ago (see
the foot of this page) has now penetrated to the
heart of Dow and humiliated Dow CEO Michael Parker
at what was planned to be a moment of "green
days ago in Switzerland, Dow's European CEO Respini
ran from the room when presented with a jhaadoo by
elderly female survivor Champa Devi (see preceding
story below) as she rejected Dow's meaningless
offer to make "a humanitarian gesture" and
demanded that company face up to its legal liabilities.
This demand was echoed last week by the Madhya Pradesh
state government, which announced it will appeal to
the Indian Supreme Court to force Dow to pay for the
clean-up of the abandoned factory which is leaking
cancer- and birth-defect-causing chemicals into the
drinking water of surrounding communities. On the
same day, the Indian CBI (like FBI but "Central"
instead of "Federal") told reporters that
it will apply to name Dow Chemical as Accused #10
in the on-going criminal trial in place of Dow's absconding
subsidiary Union Carbide. Bleak days for Dow. And
much worse to come. Watch this space.
the problem would be so much better than useless PR
Aguilara, a local Houston activist had the most fun",
Kinnu reported. From the moment Diane began the interruption,
Karla started leafletting all the tables starting right
at the back. By the time the organisers noticed - their
attention was fixed on the plight of poor Michael Parker
- Karla had done thirty tables, including the Dow tables
which she had marked from the outset (placards bearing company
names obligingly identified each table.) Says
Kinnu, "So Karla made sure she not only distributed
quite a bunch of leaflets on both these tables but also
gave them a piece of friendly advice 'Investing a bit of
capital in taking care of this issue would be so much better
than this useless PR'."
people, neither of whom were at the Dow tables, threw back
the leaflets at Karla, everyone else just took them! When
Karla was finally escorted out to the parking lot, she leafletted
the fancy cars parked there.
Conservancy believes in the "Polluter Pays" principle.
Polluter Pays Nature Conservancy.
Conservancy is a creature of the corporate PR industry -
an organisation funded by rich, polluting corporations to
praise their token gestures (Dow paid $30,000 to fund the
luncheon) and gloss over their misdeeds. It does this by
selling its name and endorsement to corporations which give
Identity Partners," says the Conservancy's own literature,
"can align their products or corporate image with the
Conservancy. The strategic marketing efforts help raise
awareness of environmental issues and the Conservancy, and
also help partner companies garner consumer support and
loyalty." Oy vay.
Dow-sponsored luncheon was being hosted by Nature Conservancy
Texas to honour its "Brand Identity Partner",
that well-known champion of the environment General Motors.
What - we hear you ask? - the same General Motors which
Superfund polluter and which with other
air polluters has conspired
to "gut" U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
plans to protect and improve air quality in and near national
parks. Yes, that General
over the past eight years, GM has donated over $5,800,000
in cash and more than 140 trucks to Nature Conservancy.
It has also of course donated approaching $1 million just
in Anti-Superfund PAC Contributions to Members of Congress
from 1991-1998, let alone other anti-green PR
a web-page decorated with blue and yellow macaws Nature
Conservancy describes its mission as "To preserve the
plants, animals and natural communities that represent the
diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters
they need to survive."
"How about protecting the land and water Bhopali women
and children need to survive?" Kinnu asked the shell-shocked
Parker, whose response was to shake his head and claim that
Dow had no liabilities in Bhopal and that Carbide's liabilties
had been fulfilled. Even
as he was uttering these old, tired stock-responses, Karla
was distributing to the 500 guests material which showed
him to be a liar.
of the material distributed at Michael Parker's luncheon.
Click on the pictures for high res jpegs. Please feel free to
print the postcard and send it to everyone you know.
Activists Confront Dow Chemical CEO Michael Parker
Disrupt Houston Luncheon with Demands that Dow
Clean Up their Liabilities in Bhopal
23 October, 1.30pm Activists today interrupted a planned
speech by Dow Chemical CEO Michael Parker, presenting him with
authentic Indian brooms and a request that he take the symbolic
gifts to show he will responsibly clean up his companys
liabilities in Bhopal, India.
Parker, a guest speaker at the Tenth Annual
Houston Conservation Leadership Awards luncheon at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel downtown, appeared shocked when approached by Bhopal activist,
Houston resident and India native G Krishnaveni, who appeared
at the luncheon in traditional Indian dress to offer Mr. Parker
the brooms. Mr. Parker did not take the brooms and attempted to
repeatedly interrupt Ms. Krishnaveni, while other activists passed
out literature and held signs and banners inside the hotel.
"Dow must stop their stalling and take responsibility for
the Bhopal tragedy," Ms. Krishnaveni stated. The Bhopal
disaster is far from over. With contaminated soil and ground water
siting atop a still uncontained factory site, today babies are
poisoned through a 'slow-motion Bhopal' by the toxins in their
mothers breast milk. Court cases in India and the United
States are pending against Dow; while Dow drags their feet in
court, Bhopalis are dying," she added.
Dow, who spent nearly 10 billion dollars (US) to purchase Union
Carbide Corporation in February of 2001, has yet to deal with
the toxic legacy of Carbides Bhopal pesticide plant, the
site of the worlds largest industrial disaster. The infamous
December 2, 1984 methyl isocyanate and hydrogen cyanide gas leak
killed an estimated 8,000 within a few days; in total over 20,000
people have perished.
Joining Ms. Krishnaveni today was Seadrift, Texas, shrimper-turned-activist
Diane Wilson. Ms. Wilson, whose nearly month-long hunger strike
and civil disobedience at Dows Seadrift facility this summer,
pressed Dow on their double standards. "When Dow bought Union
Carbide last year, they settled outstanding asbestos litigation
here in Texas. Instead of also constructively dealing with Bhopal,
they attempt to greenwash their public image by sponsoring a conservation
awards luncheon to the tune of $40,000. Where is the justice here?"
Greenpeace Campaigner Rob Fish, also present at todays event,
took note with the form letter reply that Mr. Parker and Dow have
sent to the over 30,000 people who have requested that Dow take
responsibility in Bhopal.
Mr. Parker tells concerned citizens that Dow is engaged
in meaningful dialogue with groups in Bhopal to discuss their
concerns. This is simply not true. This international coalition
has made their aims quite clear to Mr. Parker, expressing them
to him directly during a meeting at this Mays Dow shareholder
meeting in Midland, Michigan. Until we receive a meaningful and
substantive reply from Dow that reflects our demands, our pressure
will continue, Fish said.
The International Coalition for Justice in Bhopal is calling on
Dow Chemical to face trial in Indian and American courts, to clean
up the Bhopal factory site at its expense as would be required
in the U.S., to secure long-term medical treatment facilities
and medical rehabilitation for the survivors of the poisonous
gas leak, to ensure economic compensation for the gas-affected
people and their families, and to provide clean drinking water.
To hear the story from the horse's mouth, contact:
G. Krishnaveni, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal on
Rob Fish, Greenpeace on (202) 415-0813
Photos and videography of event available upon request
You are of course already visiting www.bhopal.net,
favourite haunt of the U.S. armed forces, please also visit www.greenpeaceusa.org/bhopal
If you want to be kept up to date with the campaign, please join
the remember-Bhopal mailing list by going to:
21 OCTOBER 2002
SWISS BOSS FLEES CHAMPA DEVI'S JHAADOO -
"JHAADOO MARO DOW KO!"
SWITZERLAND, 21 OCTOBER
JUST HAD A CALL from Champa Devi and Pranay (second and
third from left) who are in sunny Switzerland. The pair,
both gas-survivors from Bhopal, have been staging a sit-in
outside Dow's European Headquarters along with Greenpeace
Europe's CEO Respini grudgingly agreed to see the delegation
and said he could find only five minutes to spare for them.
Champa Devi used those minutes to reject Dow's offer to
make a "humanitarian gesture" in Bhopal and reminded
Respini that the survivors are asking for their legal rights,
not for alms. She enumerated the campaign's four demands.
Champa Devi then ceremonially presented a "jhadoo"
[broom] to Respini. "This, for some reason made him
scared and run away from the room", reported Pranay.
await Pranay's full report on the campaign so far in Switzerland.
"Jhadoo Maro Dow Ko!" (or "Beat Dow with
a broom") is an initiative of the women survivors.
Jhadoo actions in which Dow management are presented with
brooms and told to clear up their death factory in Bhopal
have so far happened in Bhopal, Switzerland and the US.
If you would like to carry out a "Jhaadoo" action,
and would like some Bhopali brooms, please contact us on
WILL MOVE FOR DOW TO STAND TRIAL AS ACCUSED NUMBER #10
heard today from C. Sahay, prosecuting counsel for the CBI (Criminal
Bureau of Investigation) that his client wants Dow Chemical Corporation
to join its wholly owned subsidiary Union Carbide in the dock
at the Central Criminal Court, Bhopal. Carbide, along with its
ex-CEO Warren Anderson is accused of "culpable homicide"
for its part in events leading to the leak of toxic gas which
killed thousands on the night of 3rd December 1984 in Bhopal.
Both Carbide (Accused #10) and Anderson (Accused #1) have been
ignoring the summonses of the Court since 1992 and have been declared
official "absconders from justice".
Chemical, said Mr Sahay, is the 100% owner of Union Carbide Corporation
and on this basis the CBI will seek permission from the Union
government to name Dow alongside its criminally absconding subsidiary.
Once permission is granted, Dow Chemicals will also be an accused
in the case.
Indian law, as under US, UK and European law, a company which
buys another company acquires not only its assets, but also its
oustanding debts, liabilities and legal obligations. Dow Chemical
has already accepted Carbide's asbestos liabilities in the United
States. It has so far refused to accept Carbide's Bhopal liabilities
on the grounds that all civil and criminal liabilities were extinguished
by the 1989 settlement between Union Carbide and the then Indian
Government of Rajiv Gandhi. Dow seems unable to remember or perhaps
to grasp that the settlement was modified by the Indian Supreme
Court's decision of 1991, specifically reviving the criminal charges
- the same criminal charges from which Union Carbide and Anderson
have been hiding ever since.
move to name Dow as accused in the case came in response to the
plea of Jai Prakash of Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayoga Samiti,
a survivor's organisation. Dow management in the United States
should reflect that they were warned, both by survivors' groups
and by their own shareholders, that buying Carbide would inevitably
mean assuming liability for Bhopal and that Dow's assets in India
would then come under threat. (Carbide's assets have long since
been attached by the Court.)
Devi spoke for all the survivor's organisations when she emphatically
rejected Dow's disingenuous offer of a "humanitarian gesture"
and told Dow Europe's CEO Respini in Switzerland yesterday that
the corporation had no option but to accept its legal liabilities.
18 OCTOBER 2002
MAARO DOW KO! CHILDREN OUTSIDE BHOPAL COURT CALL FOR JUSTICE
the Bhopal Magistrates Court, which reconvened yesterday
for the first time since dramatically rejecting
a bid to reduce charges against chief accused Warren Anderson,
schoolchildren from the gas-affected areas of Bhopal came
out to leave the CBI's lawyers in no doubt of what the city's
"Jhaadoo Maaro Dow Ko!",
they shouted. "Beat Dow with brooms!"
A CBI official informed the
Judge, Chief Magistrate Rameshwar Kothe, that the Court's
arrest warrant against Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union
Carbide, who is Accused No 1, had been translated from Hindi
into English and handed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
so that extradition proceedings could begin.
children were not impressed by vague promises. "We
have heard from our mothers and grandmothers what happened
here. Many people are sick. We think the people who were
responsible should be punished," said Bharati, 11.
"If this happened in
America," said Shekhar, 12, "the big boss Anderson
would be in prison."
Inside, the Court was hearing from
Rajendra Singh Pundheer [RSP], Former Production Assistant
at the Sevin Unit of the Union Carbide plant.
Singh (Prosecuting Counsel): When did you work in UCIL,
RSP: From 1972 to 1984.
TPS: Did UCIL, Bhopal provide you with any technical training?
TPS: At which post did you work?
RSP: I was Production Assistant in the Sevin Unit
What were your responsibilities?
RSP: To look after production and meet targets.
TPS: In the Sevin Unit who was in charge of plant equipment?
RSP: Maintenance department used to look after that.
TPS: Who was in charge of personnel safety?
RSP: The shift in-charge.
TPS: On the night of the disaster which shift were you
RSP: B Shift. 3 PM to 11 PM.
TPS: [shows the witness a paper] What document is this?
RSP: It is a log sheet for December 2, 1984 of Sevin Unit
and it has my signature at the bottom.
TPS: According to the log sheet, on December 2, 1984 how
much MIC did you receive from MIC Unit?
RSP: 1110 litres of MIC in liquid form.
TSP: According to the log sheet, what was the temperature
of the liquid MIC?
RSP: It was 20 degrees centigrade.
TPS: According to the log sheet how much MIC was there
in the tank?
RSP: There was 65 litres already in the tank and 1110
litres was further received so there were 1175 litres
in the tank. The entry in the log sheet has been made
by the operator and has been supervised by me.
plain language, an untrained person was left to supervise
a transfer of MIC (methyl isocyanate), well known
to be a volatile and deadly chemical, that was stored
and moved around on site in quantities that far exceeded
all safety rules. (Tank 610, which exploded, was 70%
full, against a safety maximum of 40%).
liquid MIC was at a temperature of 20 degrees C. It
was meant to be kept at 0 degrees C, but other former-workers
at the Union Carbide plant have testified that the
MIC storage tanks were no longer being refrigerated,
by order of the management, in order to save a trivial
sum on freon gas.
case, without Anderson (Accused #1) or Carbide (Accused
Carbide's fatal Tank 610
6 OCTOBER 2002
BEAT DOW WITH OUR BROOMS"
up and clear off". Women launch "jhadoo maro" campaign.
"We'll beat you with our brooms. We'll sweep you out of India.
5 OCTOBER 2002
BRING BHOPAL TO A HALT
SATHYU IN BHOPAL
successful "Jhadoo" rally yesterday. Over 200 women marched
from near the Union Carbide factory with jhadoos in their hands
to the bus stand and beat an effigy of Dow [looking not too unlike
Ravi Muthukrishnan, Dow-India's current Managing Director and 'main
agent of Dow's toxic colonialism' according to the women] with their
While traffic at this busiest street crossing in the entire city
stood still, the women proceeded to burn the effigy amidst chants
of 'phool nahi chingari hain hum, jhadoo mari dow ko', ("We
are not flowers, we are flames: beat Dow with the broom!")
'nai azaadi ki nai ladai, jhadoo maro dow ko', ("The new
struggle for a new freedom, beat Dow with a broom!) 'idhar sey
maro udhar sey maro, jhadoo maro dow ko' ("Hit them from
this side, hit them from that side, beat Dow with a broom!").
Armed police, patrol cars, paddy wagons lined the entire stretch
of the 1.5 kilometer march with a super heavy presence at the crossing.
The police remained peaceful despite the fact that, in keeping with
their tradition the women had neither informed nor sought police
permission. It helped to have almost all the local and national
tv channels and those in the print media accompanying the march
till the very end.
Today's met report says yesterday was the hottest day in 52 years
[37.6 degrees]. Sheila Thakur  and Hajra Bi  nearly collapsed
at the end of the rally and 63 women in various states of discomfort
and exhaustion had to be bussed back. But the spirit was brilliant.
What was also amazing was to see what a clear statement a woman
makes and conveys when she has a jhadoo in her hand and is marching
with her sisters. Awe was obvious on the face of the police and
hundreds of male onlookers along the march.
After a days of rest [plus the weeks washing and purchases and other
domestic duties]on Sunday the women will begin collecting jhadoos
from different communities. All to be hand delivered to Dow-India's
headquarters in Mumbai at a later point of time. Soon a group of
women survivors will be touring South India to spread the jhadoo