Tuesday, June 8, 2010

They ran for their life!


Ruins tell us a sad tale, a tale that has several lives at stake, a tale that saw innocence breathe its last, a tale that ended in an empty city, a tale that still carries on....
What happens when calamity strikes, we humans run to save the remains of our life, run without looking at who is who , we run leaving behind our shelter, our home , our family...running non- stop in the dark cold night...yes, this is exactly what happens when calamity strikes.

Millions of thoughts go flashing around our mind...
Is it the judgement day?Is it the last day of our life??Would I live to see the sun, or would the darkness of the night close my eyes....
Oh where is my son , my daughter , my wife...why did I leave them behind..they too must be running for their lives...May God help us unite!!Oh this congestion, why is my chest heavy with pain..what is it that's taking my life...why do I see death spread all around ...oh look there lies a little child..but why is he so still...God, why didn't you help save his life....who left the crying baby, the home looks deserted..oh what plight!!!!; the animals have given up already....is it a signal for me to cease and say good bye...why do I hear innumerable tears resounding....why do I see a flood of tears and horror...it was a normal night for sure ...How did it generate such fear.....it is but true that any day can be the last day of our lives..the last one for sure.....ahhh I'm tired can't run any longer, the screams have stopped, theres darkness ......complete darkness......my end is close...very close...
(The Industrial Catastrophe at Bhopal 1984)

Around midnight on December 2–3, 1984, there was a leak of methyl isocynate(MIC) gas and other toxins from the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, India. The gas released 390 tons of toxic chemicals, taking a toll on innumerable lives. People ran at the middle of the cold december night, leaving their homes behind....

The Factors leading to the gas leak include:
The use of hazardous chemicals (MIC) instead of less dangerous ones
Storing these chemicals in large tanks instead of over 200 steel drums.
Possible corroding material in pipelines
Poor maintenance after the plant ceased production in the early 1980s
Failure of several safety systems (due to poor maintenance and regulations).
Safety systems being switched off to save money—including the MIC tank refrigeration system which alone would have prevented the disaster.

The plant was closed immediately but innumerable teary eyes are still waiting for justice!!!
The new generation still suffers from the after effects...many are born handicapped....

Life poses a whole lot of questions which we are never able to answer...sometimes justice takes a little too long...sometimes tears just sit unmoving on the pale eyes of the one who witnesses the loss.....there are many questions that need to be answered but the answer remains out of reach....faults happen and calamity strikes on those who have nothing to do with it....
Sometimes life asks tough questions...very tough indeed.

11 comments:

RGB said...

Tragic state-of-affairs indeed. No value for human life. The bigwigs get away scot-free with just about anything.

The law with its many loopholes can do pretty much nothing. A long wait of 26 years, and the judgement was so not worth the wait.

UNFAIR!

Being Pramoda... said...

it was a trgedy without a second chance for those who lived there.. hw ppl woul dhave reacted when they had to run and stii couldnt breathe freely..!! its unimaginable at all.. its nice way to keep this post .. i myself could not have done any better..

thanks for this.:)

Readers Dais said...

those moments were well described...

KParthasarathi said...

Justice seems still far away and the real culprit still at large thanks to a government that had no spine.
Just think what would hv been the response had this occured in a developed country like US or Europe.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Sana:)

While every one blames the officials of the factory, it should be understood that a license to start the factory was given at a time when no one was living around the factory site. But when the factory started functioning many people moved close to it to get employment. Are people to blames themselves for the calamity?

The factory's license was being renewed every year by the Inspector of Factories without any check what so ever. So the first persons who should be prosecuted is the Indian factory inspector and the controller of factories who signed the renewal.

The Bhopal corporation should not have given permission to set up such a hazardous factory inside the town in the first place.

Now we are talking of punishing the officials of the factory including Warren Anderson living in USA who may not even know the detailed functioning of the factory.

Most of the people who were affected were poor people. When compensation was given to the affected people, the officials made them sign on blank paper for bigger amount and gave the people much,much less money that what they signed for. In doing so the officials pocketed huge sums of money.

We have too many problems and shortcomings in our own systems and procedures. We have to punish the govt. officials who were responsible for granting license,renewing license, allotting land to such a dangerous factory and so on.

Letting these govt. officials go without any punishment is not at all justified because they will continue to give permission to start such dangerous factories after getting hefty bribes.

I am not saying that the officials of the factory should not be punished but we have to take action against our own govt. officials.

Your description of people running for their dear lives is not only very scary but shows how people think of only of saving their own lives in moments of crisis.

Best wishes:)
Joseph

Margaret Cloud said...

This is such a tragedy, it is awful to have to run so fast for your life and then loose it. These companies never get the punishment they deserve. I am saying a prayer for all the remaining people that have lost so much. Thank you for coming by.

A New Beginning said...

Yes RGB, and its not only the bigwits, it starts from the roots and then to the branches, the inspection officers, the clerks, the officials, the high ups...the list is endless...its just absolutely frustating!

Pramoda it must have been hell...we cant even imagine it...

Readers Dais, I just described from I heared from someone...the reality is very very dark....

yes Gp, to begin with it wouldnt have happened in a developed country..they dont play with the lives of their people..corruption is rampant in India...it takes a toll on innumerable lives.

Thanks for sharing Mr. Joseph, I truely agree with you...its hard to imagine what the people must have goine through...did the inspectors kill their conscience before conducting such an act...they truely cant have one for sure....

The people at Bhopal do need our prayers Margaret...hope they get justice soon!

Ellen said...

"Sometimes life asks tough questions...very tough indeed." ----
We do what we can with what is set before us --- with our own lives or in service to others when needed or in fighting for issues rightfully due every person. We do what we can with who we are, what we are, and with what we have. And this gives birth to heroes.

This is a lovely piece that sets a man's mind to thinking... seriously.

Kiran said...

Sana your post is thought provoking from the beginning and towards the end the thought shifted from what I got in the beginning to a sort of rage - may be they were not aware of such a possible mishap..

In the beginning, I thought of an emergency - where every one are awake, aware, when every one are ready to lose everything that they own, except their life. I think only in such an emergency, or those ones who lives moment to moment with such an awareness will make their life blossom out of it :-)

I remember OSHO told somewhere that clarity is God. That seems to be absolutely right.. When there is clarity in mind everything will come over...

Nice post :-)

A New Beginning said...

Ellen and Kiran, thanks for your lovely comments :) have a great week ahead!

anilkurup said...

It is a known fact that the white skinned has always seen life of the natives as insignificant trivial and hence dispensable. The conduct of our political clan and the press since the disaster and on many other similar occassions have also proved that we bend and crawl to aqree with the outlook of the "GORAS".