Saturday, June 12, 2010

''Bhopals will happen, but the country has to progress," said the Prime Minister

"Bhopals will happen, but the country has to progress.” Hard to believe, and enraging too. According to Sathyu Sarangi, a member of the Bhopal Group for Information & Action, a voluntary body, this is what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told him and six of his colleagues when they met him on April 17, 2006, to press for action against Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the American firm Dow Chemical Company since 2001. “Yes, I remember that clearly. This is what the prime minister said,” Sarangi tells Outlook.

Over quarter of a century after the gas tragedy in Bhopal, doubts linger that it is US pressure that may have enabled Warren Anderson, the then CEO of UCC, to go scot-free—being released from arrest in Bhopal and flying back home—and forced the government to rein its authorities from acting against UCC. Now, a set of new correspondence accessed by activists using the RTI, copies of which are with Outlook, reveals how the current CEO of Dow, Andrew Liveris, has been trying to lobby the prime minister and his office, along with senior ministers of the UPA government, to support the firm’s business interests in India despite continuing public opposition over its unwillingess to accept responsibility for Bhopal.

From Debarshi Dasgupta and K. S. Shaini's report in Outlook. More Here

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