The Bhopal heat-and-light show

Panel discussions on TV channels turn out to be  heat-and-light shows ,  ‘full of sound and fury signifying nothing’.  The  TimesNow show on Bhopal gas leak saga  last evening generated much heat, hardly any  light, and some disagreeable name-calling .  We had former CBI director Joginder Singh calling his  former colleague B R Lall  ‘ a lier’ ;  the later accusing his erstwhile boss of  foot-dragging .  Mr Lal held that  his communication to CBI director  seeking permission to prosecute important individuals  in some cases (he cites some) evoked negative response.  Mr Singh cried foul, saying, ‘don’t believe whatever he says , he’s a lier’. Mr Lall  pressed on with his charge , saying he held  copies of the d/o letters he wrote and he was prepared to send them on to Mr Singh.

Mr Lall’s credentials for inclusion in the TV show was his earlier disclosure that ,  as former CBI joint-director,  he had been privy to a communication from the external affairs ministry asking  CBI not to proceed with the case for extradition of former Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson from the US.   In a different context  Mr Joginder Singh admitted , what we had suspected all along,  that CBI was not an independent agency.

A question I haven’t heard being addressed in any talk show relates to the refusal of Union Carbide to disclose the antidote to Methyl isocyanate (MIC),  the killer gas. Doctors in Bhopal, clueless and left to their own devices, administered drugs for cyanide poisoning, as gas  victims poured in at Hamidia Hospital ,  only to die  by the hundreds. Question : 1)  Does legal provision protecting trade and industrial secrets outweigh the need to share information, so essential to save lives of innocent gas victims ?  2) Isn’t Union Carbide liable to the charge of willful  disregard for human life ;  shouldn’t it  be penalised for witholding, nay,  refusing to divulge to doctors  MIC chemical code that could have saved  lives in thousands ?


2 Responses

  1. very good points GVK.Thanks!
    Also, ‘how about Kicking Anderson’s ass and getting him here, since Pres. Obama wants to do the same for BP oil mess? Put Obama’s visit ‘on hold’ till he clears this mess and till we are absolutely clear who will pay for a nuclear mess? The chap who pressses the button or the chaps who designed, delivered the product?Should Abhishek Singhvi be running with the hares and hounding with the wolves? How can he be spokesman of Congress Party and be a legal advisor to Dow Chemicals and advising the Cabinet on affairs of Dow? No wonder Ahmedi former CJI who helped’ dilute’ the case from one of criminal case to one of ‘negligence’ was rewarded as the chief Administrator of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Hospita!! We need to come out with ‘roll call of dishonour’ and put all the chaps who sold the country – the politicians, the beauracrats, the media, the career diplomats who sold Bhopal citizens, the dead and living dead to pittance!

  2. I per chance happen to see it.To clarify position I have since published a book titled “Free the CBI:Power Games in Bhopal and Other cases.I have clearly brought out that the question of receipt of the letter pertained to April 1994 to July 1995 whereas Mr Joginder Singh came to CBI in August 1996.How could he have received or seen the letter under reference.Since CBI in reply to an RTI application has admitted the existance of the letter, it proves both Mr Moily and Salman Khursheed wrong as they denied issuance of such letter.By now Sh SK Dutta Director CBI has also confirmed of pressure directly from PS to PM and PC Alexander PS to Rajeev Gandhi the PM has corroborated.That speaks for itself and I need not comment any further.Ministers and Joginder Singh need explain why they deliberatetly tried to mislead the nation.

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