Bhopal- Film Review

This is the new film about Bhopal and Union Carbide. It is worth a watch, if only to commiserate with the victims of what must rank as one of the biggest man-made calamities we have ever seen. Not that it is the only one- we have ourselves to blame for nuclear disasters, racial and gender-based crimes, riots based on caste and religion, and lots more.

But then, a lot of issues are raised in this film, that make you think. One is urbanisation after the fact- of industrialisation. The city 'caught up' with us, says the CEO of Union Carbide, to a journalist. May be true too. But why the factory did not move once that happened is still a question. The work provided by the plant seems like it was badly needed by people around it, so they did not want the plant shut down.

Where we should draw the line between industrialisation/jobs and life-threatening consequences, ironically, from the same 'life-giver', is something we can't answer easily.

Other issues that come up are our casual attitude to safety, and flouting of best practices by MNCs when they operate in a third-world country.

The recent speeches by Malala and Satyarthi at their Nobel ceremony come to mind. She asked, "Why is it so easy to build a tank, but tough to build a school?" Satyarthi stood up for children's rights and made light of his hard work of several years, while exhorting the world at large to wake up. Will we? How do we?


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