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Tuesday, December 01, 2009
I'm a Bhopali 

We Are All Bhopalis



On September 12th, 2001, Jean-Marie Colombani wrote in Le Monde:
“In this tragic moment, when words seem so inadequate to express the shock people feel, the first thing that comes to mind is this: We are all Americans! We are all New Yorkers, just as surely as John F. Kennedy declared himself to be a Berliner in 1962 when he visited Berlin. Indeed, just as in the gravest moments of our own history, how can we not feel profound solidarity with those people, that country, the United States, to whom we are so close and to whom we owe our freedom, and therefore our solidarity?”


The previous day, 2,974 had people died in New York, Washington and Shanksville. And we all felt as Colombani did, our hearts going out to those innocent victims of terrorism and their bereaved families.

**

On December 3rd, 1984, in Bhopal, India, a leak from a methyl isocyanate gas tank in a Union Carbide plant sent out a dense poisonous cloud that killed 23,000 people — many of them that night, others soon after. Another 30,000 people have been affected since, by chemicals leaking from the abandoned factory, poisoning the water supply.

It has been described as the world’s worst industrial disaster. (Bhopal.org has many descriptions and recollections of the disaster and its aftermath.)

25 years later, the survivors still do not have justice. Such compensation as has been offered has been paltry. And, of course, chemicals continue to leak, continue to poison Bhopalis, continue to result in disease, birth defects, and more suffering.

We would like you help in bringing the world’s attention back to Bhopal. We would like to invite you to declare, loud and strong, that you are a Bhopali too.

(We do not want any financial support; this WordPress sub-domain is free, and if we do move to our own website, we’re happy to pay for the domain and the hosting. If you want to help financially, please use the ‘donate’ buttons on the Bhopal.org site or any other organisations that will use your money to help the survivors in Bhopal.)

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