Media Coverage - Current month
This is an
incomplete but constantly growing list of news items about Bhopal and
Bhopal-related issues. Newest stories are listed first. Scroll down for
older stories. If you know of articles and reports we have missed - and
there are dozens - please point us to the urls. These are mainly links
to media web pages. Some reports may be moved to archived elsewhere in
the future. Please report any dead links here.
2002 - December
2002 - December
8 December - Daily Times "Union Carbide responsible for Bhopal gas disaster: UK journal" More coverage of the New Scientist article.
6 December - The Financial Express "Global Funds Tell Union Carbide To Settle Bhopal Gas Leak Claims" Excellent piece by Ajay Jain linking various parts of the story
6 December - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Fresh evidence on gas disaster" The New Scientist piece making waves.
6 December - Michigan Daily "Contamination from Bhopal disaster highlighted in film" Nadeemuddin's documentary about the contaminated factory and the vigil at Michael Parker's house, where he was throwing a lavish party on the anniversary. This Dow-placed piece in its hometown newspaper also features veteran PR man John Musser - Hi John, the years go by but you don't lose that sure, mendacious touch.
5 December - The Hindu "Bhopal gas tragedy not a sabotage"
4 December - Environmental News Network "Thousands protest on anniversary of India's Bhopal industrial disaster" Associated Press report on the anniversary in Bhopal.
4 December - Denver Post "Protests mark Bhopal anniversary" Bottom of the page of Business Briefs
4 December - Outlook India "Union Carbide cut corners in Bhopal's safety design: report" Echoing a French report about the New Scientist article
4 December - Midland Daily News "Dow CEO talks to supporters of Bhopal survivors" Yes, the poor bugger took time off from the lavish party he was throwing to issue the usual pablum. In this article,
4 December - Miami Herald "Thousands protest at disaster site" Poor old Warren, now even his neighbours at Vero Beach, Florida, know about his unsavoury past.
4 December - New Scientist "Fresh evidence on Bhopal disaster" Important piece by Debora Mackenzie, who wrote some key early pieces on the factory. "The World's No.1 Science & Technology News Service" put it out around the world where it duly gained wide coverage.
4 December - Times of India "Bhopal drinking poisoned water"
4 December - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Rallies, protests mark 18th anniversary" BCC reports the solid support by local political parties for the survivors, but finds indifference to the tragedy among residents of New Bhopal
3 December - Times of India "Homage paid to gas victims in Bhopal" Madhya Pradesh Governor Bhai Mahavir says that Dow Chemical should pay for the clean up of the Union Carbide factory
3 December - Midland Daily News "Dow, Bhopal survivors have different view of events on anniversary of disaster" The Midland Daily News presents both sides of the story. Dow's side basically consists of our old friend John Musser repeating his old cry of "It was all settled long ago". We are delighted to see the the MDN thoughtfully provided a link to this website. Thank you.
3 December - Corpwatch "December 3rd--Day of No Pesticides"
3 December - The Hindu "MP: Bhopal remembers gas tragedy"
3 December - Yahoo News "NGOs Spar over Removing Toxic Wastes in Bhopal" Disagreement among campaigners about the point of the November 25th action at the Carbide factory
3 December - Outlook India "Bhopal observes 18th anniversary of gas tragedy" Otherwise excellent coverage marred by one major factual error about the charges faced by Carbide and Anderson in the Bhopal Court. Having talked about the CBI's failure so far to produce an extradition order for Warren Anderson, OI's reporter says "those accused in the case are now being charged only with negligence and not with culpable homicide". This only applies to the Indian accused, but charges of "culpable homicide" against Anderson and Carbide were reaffirmed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate in court on 27 August - a judgement that was reported widely around the world. (See our August/September press coverage)
3 December -Times of India "Chennai remembers Bhopal tragedy with a book" Review of new children's book about Bhopal by Suroopa Mukherjee. Also songs about Bhopal released on cassette.
3 December - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Gas-hit to knock SC doors to re-open settlement" The convenor of Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangarsh Sahyog Samiti, Delhi, ND Jayprakash said that a petition would be filed in the Supreme Court to re-open the settlement done in 1989. The magnitude of Bhopal gas disaster is five times more than what was estimated at the time of the settlement, he added.
2 December - Environment News Service "Greenpeace Pressures Dow for Bhopal Cleanup " Greenpeace Thailand delivers contaminated soil and water to Dow
2 December - Daily Telegraph, London "UN weapons inspector is leader of S&M sex ring" Nothing to do with Bhopal, honest.
1 December - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Farmers compelled to destroy crop" The crop was overrun by caterpillars. Would pesticides have been the answer? It seems not. The farmers had already tried. "All possible efforts were made to destroy caterpillars and ants with medicines...This time the caterpillars multiplied so quickly that there was no effect of insecticides on them". Aye, this is nearer the mark. Overuse of pesticides, or "medicine of the fields, kheti-ki-dawai" as Union Carbide quaintly used to call it, would appear to have made insects immune and has probably (cf Rachel Carson) killed off a lot of the birds and natural predators (ladybirds) that would have otherwise kept the caterpillar population down.
30 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Bullet fired at Assembly premises" Hahaha, this one is really very funny. While the headline might lead you to believe that a bullet was fired AT the Vidhan Sabha, the home of the Madhya Pradesh government, the real story is that one of Bhopal's fearless and dynamic constables "was sitting idle" outside the building when his rifle unaccountably went off just after assembly members had finished congregating. The poor fellow, no doubt bored to distraction, must have fallen asleep with his finger on the trigger. Meanwhile in another story, "The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has expressed regret over its MLAs hurling paper missiles on the Speaker Sriniwas Tiwari during the Vidhan Sabha session on Wednesday last." Really, what with firing guns into the air, armed posses, and brawling citizens, Bhopal is getting more like the wild west everyday.
30 November - Bhopal
Central Chronicle "Minister ignorant on Bhopal Gas tragedy"
Well done Bhopal Chronicle for spotting this one.
Union Minister of State for Chemicals Tapan Sikdar has told the Rajya
Sabha in a written reply today that the Union Govern- ment has directed
the investigating agency to "strengthen the evidentiary links"
between the former Union Carbide Corporation chairman Warren Anderson
and the Bhopal Gas tragedy so that a proper extradition request could
be made to the Government of United States of America as per the extradition
30 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "How could Bofors trial continue? asks Supreme Court?" What has this piece about the trial of the Hinduja brothers for their alleged part in the Bofors scandal got to do with the justice struggle of Bhopal's gas victims. Ah, gentle reader, you will have to wait and see, until we have heard from our roving investigative reporter, Sarvadarshi Gupta.
29 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle " December, tough days for police" You have to pity the poor Bhopal police. Wednesday 3rd December is the 18th anniversay of the gas disaster and police chief Arun Pratap Singh (the same officer who made the moronic decision to charge peaceful, unresisting activists with rioting and obscene behaviour, is terrified that members of the foreign organisation "Green Peace" may "create disturbance". You can relax, Arun-ji, your officers will not be required to use their fists, boots and lathis again on the 3rd, at least not inside the Union Carbide plant, although we feel sure that if you look hard enough you will find somebody else to beat up.
28 November - Bhopal
Central Chronicle "BJP members go unruly, hurl missiles at Speaker"
The BJP members were unhappy over the decision of the Speaker to reject
their adjournment motion after hearing the views of the government as
well as more than two dozen opposition members over the suicide by a farmer
in Linga village in Chhindwara district when he failed to get permanent
power connection to save his withering crops.
28 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Farmer's suicide expose rampant corruption" This is the issue that sparked the BJP protest in the Vidhan Sabha. Unfortunately the story of this poor man will be only all too familiar to gas victims who were asked to pay bribes before they could file their claims for compensation or collect their payments.
27 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle " Activists determined to enter UCC plant again" The members of International Campaign for Justice (in Bhopal) on Tuesday announced that they would now clean up contamination in the now closed Union Carbide plant in the city... Anant Padmanabhan, Executive Director of Greenpeace in India, Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Ms Rashida Bi of Bhopal Gas Pidit Mahila Stationary Karmachari Sangh informed that the state government had lost all moral responsibility to be the 'custodian' of the gas victims. In the last 18 years, people continued to drink contaminated water due to the hazardous chemicals stored in the UCC factory and neither the state government nor the central government or Dow Chemicals have taken any action to stop this contamination.
27 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Bhopal gas victims to get all possible help" This assurance comes from the Central (BJP) Government of India as opposed to the Madhya Pradesh State (Congress I) government of Mr Digvijay Singh.
26 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle " Protest against apathy towards gas victims" The Chronicle in this piece and the next covers the 25 November action in which gas survivors and foreign experts, including Greenpeace members from 16 countries entered the derelict Union Carbide factory in Bhopal to begin securing dangerous chemicals left lying in the open air. High levels of contamination have been found in the plant and chemicals have been washed down into the groundwater. Earlier this year, organochlorines, mercury and lead were found in the breast milk of women living near the factory. Indian members of the clean-up team were beaten by the police, as captured on video, but the newspaper does not mention this. The activists have been charged with criminal trespass, rioting and for performing obscene acts and songs by the Madhya Pradesh police, who behaved as if they were either out of their heads on adrenalin, drugs, or orders from the Madhya Pradesh government.
26 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "BMC to hear residents problems through website" The Bhopal Municipal Corporation is forced to use www.bhopalmunicipal.com because Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical) registered bhopal.com to which it had no right, since they have no commercial operations in the city, and which they use to tell their version of the gas disaster. The Bhopal Municipal Committee should petition the Internic Committee that bhopal.com be handed to them, and if they do the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal will give them full support.
25 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Gas leakage disrupts rail traffic" Rail traffic was disrupted for several hours at Jhansi due to leakage of poisonous gas from unknown sources in region on Sunday. Several trains coming to Bhopal were affected and lunch could not be served in Shatabdi Express on time.
25 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Power Buzz - Aggressive Digvijay" Well if Diggy Raja told Bill Gates to get stuffed he can only be applauded by all who dislike huge, greedy corporations, but what's all this about a "power buzz" and aggression? Has this anything to do with today's Rambo like performance of the state police? See stories of 26 November and "Bhopal.Net Comment - People v Poison"
25 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "DGP (Director General of Police) wants regular reports: Performance of policemen under scanner" Or is this why the police were so frisky?
24 November - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Vidhan Sabha security lapse exposed" Our news items aren't always collected in date order. This one is a late insertion here really to cast the cruel light of mockery on the Vidhan Sabha police farce of the 30th. (See above)
14 November - Indian Express "Cost-cutting cost Bhopal tragedy"
12 November - Research and Markets Ltd "Energy Infrastructure Security -- Protecting staff, assets and operations from sabotage and potential terrorist threat" So-called research operation seeks to make quick buck from retailing Carbide's old, oft-disproved "sabotage" lie a story so patently untrue that even Carbide doesn't parade it any more. Shows what the quality of the rest of this report must be. It has decided me (website ed) to start a new section entitled "old bollocks". Alternative titles will be considered and may be emailed to me at this address.
8 November - RachelCarson.Org "Dow Chemical "Illegal" Sweetheart Deal Made Public" An agreement that attorneys for the state earlier described as "illegal" and "fatally flawed" has been made public today, potentially relieving Dow Chemical Company of liability for massive contamination of one of the largest watersheds in the Great Lakes basin. The agreement could pave the way for citizens to be exposed to higher levels of a potent developmental and reproductive toxin. It could also set a precedent for the political manipulation of cleanup standards meant to protect public health.
3 November - The Observer, London "Army's secret 'people zapper' plans" Will be of interest to those who have been following our investigation of US military visitors to Bhopal.Net. Anent which, see The Crypt Newsletter's take.
2002 - October
31 October - Cleanganga.com "Betwa River: lost opportunity" When the head of the pollution control agency is arrested for "aiding in the cause of industries polluting a river", you just know that things are bad ...The river: Betwa ...The Betwa originates at the famed lakes of Bhopal ... When V. K. Jain, chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB), was arrested in February this year, the lie was exposed. The board had been issuing no - objection certificates to several polluting industries, including distilleries, in violation of norms. Jain is alleged to own palatial houses in Bhopal and Indore, two apartments in Mumbai and properties in Jabalpur and other places. How much more corruption is going on? We want to know exactly who are the officials responsible for making decisions about the clean-up of groundwater and drinking wells in Bhopal and what are the factors governing their decisions.
30 October - Bhopal Central Chronicle "This one is for Bhopal: Amithabh Bachchan" Filmstar dedicates award to town.
29 October - Times of India "Bhopal gas victims cry for justice"
28 October - Times of India "Laws should be dynamic: BN Kirpal"
28 October - Swissinfo "Catastrophe de Bhopal: Greenpeace demande des dédommagements" Greenpeace et des victimes de la catastrophe de Bhopal en Inde ont déposé une pétition au siège européen de Dow Chemical. Ils demandent notamment des dédommagements financiers. Il y a 18 ans, 2000 personnes étaient mortes intoxiquées par des gaz. Champa Devi and Pranay make the Swiss press.
27 October - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Doctors reaching hospitals late would face action" 'About time!
26 October - The Japan Times "Japan shares its antipollution expertise - Grassroots work the best way to combat Asia's environment problems". Message from Minamata group that co-operates with Bhopal survivors' organisations
25 October - Midland Daily News "Carbide declares partial victory in asbestos case" A fascinating insight into the twisted workings of Carbide's PR mind, as articulated by chief doublespeaker John Musser. Here Carbide discovers victory in a court defeat in the same way that it found it had no outstanding legal problems in India after a judge issued warrants for the arrest of its ex-CEO and demanded that the company appear to answer criminal charges relating to the deaths of 20,000 people. Imagine how Musser would have reacted to the 1989 settlement, also much less than Carbide had feared? Was that a victory? They will not get off the hook so lightly this time. No wonder they are union bashing, freezing salaries and trying to build up their cash reserves. See previous story. Thanks to a greedy and obdurate management, Bhopal will end up destroying Dow, as it has already destroyed Carbide.
25 October - Charleston Gazette" Carbide should pay, jury decides - Safe work environment around asbestos not provided, verdict says. "Union Carbide exposed workers to unreasonable work conditions for 35 years and should pay for it, a Kanawha County jury decided Thursday. Between 1945 and 1980, Union Carbide failed to provide a safe work environment for workers who worked around asbestos fibers, jurors said. Jurors decided that if future trials determine Union Carbide is to blame for individual workers illnesses, those workers monetary awards should be tripled. Plaintiffs attorneys said after the trial that they were most pleased with that part of the verdict."
25 October - Charleston Daily Mail "New jury now will determine damages in Dow Chemical case " Dow spokesman John Musser - veteran of many many courtrooms in which Carbide (Dow) has been accused of appalling indifference to the health of both customers and workers (see our Dirty Dow section) said "the verdict against Union Carbide is being called a partial victory because of the level at which punitive damages were set and because the jury did not affirm the plaintiff's claims for all time periods in the case. "Obviously we would not want to see any potential liability, but it's not surprising to us -- given the procedural deficiencies in the trial court plan that we have challenged at the West Virginia Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court," Musser said. "Frankly, we think it's remarkable that we did score a partial victory." As ever, not a word of contrition.This company's arrogance is remarkable even by most corporate standards.
24 October - MSN Money "Jury Rules Against Union Carbide" CHARLESTON, W.V./NEW YORK (Reuters) - A West Virginia jury on Thursday found Dow Chemical Co.'s (DOW) Union Carbide unit exposed workers to asbestos poisoning over a 35-year period, opening the door to millions of dollars in potential damages.
23 October - Commondreams.org "Pharmaceuticals, Pesticides, and Radiation Cause Breast Cancer... While Wealthy Non-Profits and Feds Protect Industry" An expose of how the same companies that cause cancer also sell cancer drugs, thus creating for themselves a regular human harvest.
23 October - Sify News "Army withdrawal not under pressure: Swamy" Union Minister of State for Home I D Swamy on Wednesday said...the then Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) chairman Warren Anderson would also be extradited from the US in connection with the Bhopal gas tragedy criminal case.
22 October - Times of India "Every society should have youths willing to sacrifice life: VHP" Old men urge young to sacrifice themselves
21 October - New York Post "Weird but true" - A Florida man is granted permission to keep a tiger in his back yard, Serbian villagers give their brides-to-be the broomstick test and, yes, there is a mention of Bhopal somewhere in this olla-podrida of oddities.
21 October - Central Chronicle, Bhopal " Traffic Police launch 'Operation Clean'" Hooray!
20 October - Gallup "Warning: Corporate scandals may demoralize employees" (From Hindustan Times)
20 October - Indian Express "Madhya Pradesh wants DOW to clean up Carbide mess" Poor old Dow. It's all coming home to roost. Yesterday they find they are to join Union Carbide in the dock in the criminal case in Bhopal, and now the Madhya Pradesh government is planning to ask the Supreme Court to order Dow to clean up the death factory at its own expense. Dow shareholders, take note.
19 October - Central Chronicle, Bhopal " CBI moving fresh application for extraditing Anderson" The CBI reports on its progress towards the extradition of Anderson. Compare the speed with which it acted in the case of Abu Salem (see coverage for 21 September et seq). The really sensational news is buried in paragraph three: "Referring to the plea of Jai Prakash of Bhopal Gas Pidit Samiti that Dow Chemicals which had taken over Union Carbide should also be named as the accused in the Bhopal gas leak disaster case, Sahay said that they have sought the permission of the Union government for the same. Following the permission, Dow Chemicals would also be made an accused in the case."
18 October - Central Chronicle, Bhopal " 'UCIL plant safety equipments were not functioning'" The court in Bhopal hears from Mr Gauri Shankar, on duty the night of the fatal gas leak about all the things that should have been working and were not. As usual Accused No. 1 (Warren Anderson) and Accused No.10 (Union Carbide Corporation, now wholly owned by Dow Chemical Corporation) did not bother to show up.
16 October -Rediff.Com "A convenient naivete, or a guilty connivance?" Ashwin Mehta's funny yet appalling account of meeting a World Bank official and confronting him with the real world consequences of his decisions. A must-read.
14 October - "Images
recall horror of Bhopal" - Raghu Rai's Bhopal pictures in the Volkart
14 October - Bhopal Central Chronicle "Bhopal will soon start global patrolling system" A Bhopali plan for world domination?
10 October - KlubQ
News Network - World's longest ear tufts.
7 October - Science News "Researchers Create New Strategy For Removing Arsenic From Soil" Genetic engineers to the rescue of those drinking arsenic-polluted water. "Arsenic contamination is an enormous worldwide problem...arsenic-laden waters are causing sickness in millions of people--far outstripping the damage caused by the radiation leak in Chernobyl or the chemical catastrophe in Bhopal, India." Quotes one Om Dhankher, "a native of India," as saying ""In all, this is several fold worse than Chernobyl and Bhopal, and it is getting little attention." Mr Dhanker and the Frankensteins obviously don't know how badly the groundwater in Bhopal is polluted, nor the numbers of people forced to drink it. Watch for more info on this - it will be worth following up.
6 October - Western Catholic Reporter "The ocean is but many drops of water" Interview with Dominique Lapierre
6 October - The Scotsman "India's impotent are a force to be reckoned with " As the fascination with the Bhopal hinjra gathering continues. Eunuch leader Raj Sinha claims "A large section of society sees eunuchs as a better option against corrupt politicians." The Scotsman notes that eunuchs are credited with occult powers, and observes " The only thing worse than being on the receiving end of a eunuchs curse, it is said, is to be flashed at by a eunuch. A recent trend to emerge from Indias commercial capital is for debtors to be threatened with the sight beneath a eunuchs sari." Watch out Dow.
5 October - Times of India "Bhopal in troubled waters" People's Science Institute, Dehra Dun, finds mercury in drinking water near the factory.
5 October - La Vanguardia "De vagabundo a filántropo" Profile of Dominique Lapierre.
4 October - Business Day " Toxic cargoes worry environmentalists" Now, floating Bhopals
3 October - Central Chronicle, Bhopal " Beware of 'MDs'"
2 October - The Scotsman "Blair's like-it-or-lump-it message for the sceptics" The merest mention of Bhopal and that from the Scotsman not Our Great Leader. But a piquant one nonetheless.
2 October - El Pais "LOS EUNUCOS INDIOS CELEBRAN UN FESTIVAL" The eunuchs again, cutting a rug. But the writer recalls "la catástrofe ocasionada en 1984 por un escape tóxico que mató a 8.000 personas y ha dejado innumerables damnificados."