Bhopal memorial, from Wikipedia

An article in The New York Times yesterday looked at the 1984 Bhopal disaster through the eyes of Indians comparing it with the current BP spill in the Gulf.

From the Times:

No matter how halting the Obama administration’s response to the gushing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico might look to Americans, Indians cannot help but marvel — and envy — the alacrity with which the United States government has acted.

BP’s $20 billion cleanup fund, as vast a sum as it seems from here, is in all likelihood merely a down payment on what the company will probably pay for the damage caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A criminal investigation has begun. And while the environmental toll is huge, the cost in human lives, compared with Bhopal, has been minimal.

Now, almost 26 years later, in the face of public outrage prompted by the light criminal sentences and the inescapable contrast with the BP disaster, the Indian government is trying shake off the shadow of Bhopal, an episode that has become synonymous with ineffectual governance and humiliation at the hands of Western capital.

It makes you wonder: if the BP spill happened in India what would the media coverage and government response look like?

Read the rest here.

 

Temple
Dharma to your inbox

Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters