1:30am, 14th July, 2016
32 years and countless deaths later, Bhopal still awaits justice. On the night of 2nd & 3rd December 1984 the city of lake saw the world’s worst industrial accident, whose “slaughter hasn’t ended” even today.
Last month, Sofia Ashraf, a 29-year-old Tamil rapper, activist and in her own words “Raptivist” uploaded a rap video titled “DOW Vs. Bhopal: A Toxic Rap Battle” which is targeting Dow Chemical (which later bought the Union carbide, and thus made UC’s liabilities DOW’s liabilities) with rhymes – demanding the US company pay more in victims’ compensation and environmental damages stemming from a horrific chemical gas leak that killed thousands of people and sickened numerous others.
Image source : newindianexpress.com
The video was produced to gather enough signatures for a petition regarding the tragedy to the White House within the specified time of 30 days. In an interview with The Hindu newspaper, Ms. Ashraf said, “The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB), who started the petition, approached me after they realised the petition wasn’t moving fast enough. We had a small window of opportunity, so we had to move fast.”
The petition was closed on June 14 and the White House petition received 1,21,045 signatures which crossed the required one lakh signatures and as per the terms of the White House website, the US government has to respond to the petition within 60 days.
In the video, Ms. Ashraf can be seen rapping each side’s arguments taking responsibility for the tragedy. Rap video also has video footage of Union Carbide’s CEO Warren Anderson, US president Barak Obama, US Presidential candidate Donald Trump, Prime Minister Modi and affected people of Bhopal, the video also has clips of dying newborn kids due to the horrific Tragedy.
Photograph courtesy: Amnesty International and Raghu Rai/Magnum Photos
This accident killed more than 15,000 and sickened at least half-million more since then thousands of children have been born with brain damage, missing palates and twisted limbs.
Mothers lost their kids, their newborn kids. Wives lost their husbands, and many lost their whole family and DOW chemical still ask us “why sing that old song again?”
Since 1984, many governments have come in Center and in State. In past decades UPA and NDA governments have always claimed how good relation they are building with the US. PM Modi alone, visited the US for four times now and met President Obama for several more times on different occasions. Even though both the alliances have failed in providing justice to Bhopal.
Bhopal awaits the justice and it is the responsibility of both the nations India and the United States to not only apologise but also provide justice to the innocent lives after all “This ain’t road kill, death still taking its toll.”
Source: The Associated Press, The Hindu.
Feature Image source: tvnew.in