President Barak Obama went after BP and demanded a $20 billion
dollar fund be set up for victims of the Gulf oil spill,
the people of India were furious. They saw a US double standard.
demonstrated it values human life within the US
more than the lives of the people of India.
should pay $20 billion in compensation, probably even more.
The people of India agree with that.
people are angry because the US is treating the oil spill,
called the worst environmental disaster in US history, in
a radically different way than the US treated the explosion
of a US-owned pesticide plant in Bhopal India, which some
call the worst industrial disaster in history.
1984 Bhopal explosion released tons of toxic chemicals into the air, claimed
the lives of between 15,000 and 20,000 people within two
weeks, and disabled hundreds of thousands of others – many
still suffering from physical damage and genetic defects.
plant that exploded was operated by Union Carbide India
Limited, a corporation owned by Union Carbide of the United
disaster occurred in a thickly populated area close to the
central railway station in Bhopal, an
urban area of 1.5 million in the heart of India. Most people in the area lived in shanty
of dead humans and animals filled the streets of Bhopal.
Survivors complain of genetic damage which has caused widespread
birth defects in children and even grandchildren of those
soil and water of Bhopal remains toxic with heavy pesticide residue
and toxic metals like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and
President Obama displayed outrage at BP officials over the
11 deaths from the US oil spill, the US
has refused to extradite Warren Anderson, the chair of Union
Carbide, to face charges for his role in the Bhopal
too that Obama advisor Larry Summers, then chief economist
at the World Bank, stated in an infamous 1971 memo. “Just
between you and me, shouldn’t the world Bank be encouraging
MORE migration of the dirty industries to the Less Developed
Countries?... I’ve always thought that under-populated countries
in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted…”
and hazardous industries have been systematically transferred
to the third world countries to not only exploit the cheap
labor but also to avoid disastrous impact of these industries
on the advanced countries.
Carbide put profit for the corporation above the lives and
health of millions of people. Dow Chemical, which took over
Union Carbide, is attempting to distance itself from all
India, there were two Bhopal developments this month. The Indian government announced a compensation
package of $280 million for Bhopal victims, about $22,000 for each of the families of the deceased,
according to the BBC, and seven former Indian managers of
the Bhopal plant were given two year jail sentences
for their part in the explosion. These legal developments
are a mockery of justice for one of the world’s greatest
call on the people of the US and the people of India to
join together to demand our governments respect the human
rights of all people, no matter where they live.
we must bring about change in corporate development. We
have to emphasize social production for the needs of people
and improved social relations.
we continue to value some lives more than others, and to
allow corporations to spoil some areas with impunity, our
world will not last.
we respect the human rights of all people and demand corporations
do that as well, we will be damned to live out the Cree
Indian prophecy “Only when the last tree from this earth
has been cut down, only when the last river has been poisoned,
only when the last fish has been caught, only then will
humankind learn that money cannot be eaten.”
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Bill
Quigley, is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional
Rights and a law professor at Loyola University New
Orleans. BlackCommentator.com Columnist,
Alex Tuscano, directs Praxis, a human rights organization
in Banglore India. Click
here to contact Mr. Quigley, Mr. Tuscano and the
Center for Constitutional Rights.