Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Exempt exempt exempt

News channels spent most of their time yesterday talking about the new Direct Tax Code. It's wonderful how often and how quickly the government tweaks and sharpens its financial instruments.

Meanwhile the country's judicial system remains a rusting and blunt knife, as is
clear from the Bhopal Gas Verdict.

Last night CNN IBN was the one channel which continued to keep Bhopal and its victims as the top story. Editor in chief Rajdeep Sardesai aired clips of his visit to the affected area, where he spoke to survivors.

Visuals of the children born handicapped, deformed, unable to speak - a generation later - are absolutely heart rending.

And they are suffering, not just because of Union Carbide.

For the last 26 years residents of the area have been drinking contaminated water. So in effect they have been poisoning themselves - every single day!

And victims or activists who have raised their voices against this and other injustices have been harassed. 60 and 70 year old women who marched in protest are now visiting court every month, as cases of 'rioting' have been upon them.

But guess what - you wouldn't know all this if you hadn't watched CNN IBN last night. And how much impact can a single channel make?

The gas tragedy and the tragic state of its victims is a national shame, which all media should be covering relentlessly. If all major print & TV networks deputed a good reporter to camp in Bhopal, all kinds of horrific stories would be uncovered.

There would be pressure on the government and civil society to 'do something'.

But in this hyper-competitive world, every newshound is busy sniffing out his or her own 'exclusive story'.

Hindi channels are following their own scheme of priorities.

The newspapers have moved Bhopal off the front page, pretty much.

No media house has given a clarion call for 'candlelight vigil'.

Warren Anderson will die with a guilty conscience but what about the rest of us?

If the government and the offending company cannot cough up money and medicine to improve victims' quality of life (or rather punishment period on this earth) - can an alternative be found by citizens?

Is there some NGO which lets people 'adopt an affected child' - pay for his or her treatment and upbringing?

It's not fair of course, but it's something.
Something positive.

Maybe the new direct tax code can add a special EEE and make it more 'attractive'.


  1. You last line sums it all. I second you over that!

    Its all commercialization and business of TRPs for news channels. The government very well knows that this issue will also die down soon like the hanging of kasab, the IPL mystery and several other cases.

  2. blog and internet thing has been able to blow lid on the cheating systems set in pre internet era.

    But its still not effective, though twitter and facebook has made life difficult for cheats in power.

  3. for them, its just the population getting reduced, they dont care. they dont feel.. beautiful world we live in. but pandora's box will always have hope . . people who blog, care, take actions . .

    here are some sites which areasking for vor petitions and votes from all people to bring justice to people, have a look . .

  4. Hi,

    Suddenly India wakes to a cause that could have been dealt with decades back. 25 years of apathy and indifference shown by the Indian government and the Indian people to Bopal gas victims. Haven't we heard the saying 'justice delayed is justice denied'. So to hell with all the judgments and uproar that has been taking place recently. The wound probably is still to heal...and let them heal on their own...Warren Anderson is already on his death bed down. Bringing him here will only add to the government's medical bills. We all accept the fact that we can't expect anything extraordinary from the Indian government and the same thing goes for the Indian judiciary. In fact there's was more than adequate time to bring the culprit to the books. Then why now.

  5. I totally agree with your views Rashmi. Its really heartening to find Justice denied to clear genuine cases. Everyone of us feels the pain but most of us require a leader and direction.

  6. Bhopal is the best example of the extreme apathy of the entity called Government of India towards it subjects .. it's only luck if we can live life unscathed since obviously the entity which should care enough to act on protests of thousands simply chooses to ignore them


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