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An estimated 4-minute read


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Every disaster (Natural or otherwise) brings in its wake untold miseries to the affected victims and arouses anger and anguish against the establishment. It sends us in a deep contemplative mood to probe what went wrong, how & why? This public resentment & outcry then wakes up the government of the day from deep slumber and galvanizes it into action. Most often, in such cases authorities in power are made the target of public fury and anger whether they are truly responsible for such mishap or not. In such cases public passions are so virulent that their faculty of reason and rationale is often overtaken by emotions, and they start indulging in unsavory violent activities in a wanton & irrational manner – Though not justifiable.

It is widely perceived that action taking exercise undertaken by the government is also not undertaken with requisite promptness nor the proposed measures seem adequately in proportion to the enormity of the misery befallen on people. It appears to be a mere sham exercise undertaken mainly to subdue emergent upheaval rather to address the main issue to curb the recurrence of such mishap in future in genuine manner. The measures, it is believed are taken keeping in view how high and stridently the embers of raging fury and ire of the people would reach to singe the conscience of the government and to what extent. Thus the whole exercise which ought to be purely a humanitarian exercise gets pulverized into a political game plan where unscrupulous vested interests don’t shy from deriving mileage out of such situations.

It is not that this virus of politics affects only the establishment of the day. Public at large is also not spared from its rabidity. The public fury is generally divided on political lines ranging from stoic reticence to strong indignation via muted response. This prevarication allows a lee way to the government to play the nefarious blame game simply to somehow bide time to mellow down the public anger in due course. As a result the public welfare gets subsumed in the welter of confusion that ensues owing to such shifty indulgence of the government.

But, significantly the Bhopal Gas Disaster is perhaps a singular exception that has raised the hackles of one and all regardless of one’s political affiliations. It has aptly aroused the conscience of the whole nation in a unified manner and discomfited the government to see this remarkable change.

The verdict of the local court at Bhopal (7th June) in this case has worked as a catalyst to bring about this change. It has revealed that public anger by and large veers round two distinct strands of grievances. Firstly the inadequacy of the compensation given (Reportedly not at all given in certain cases) to the victims and secondly and more importantly inadequacy of the punishment meted out (Rather not at all meted out to some who still are at large) to the authors of this worst human tragedy.

It is also true that having witnessed a spate of tragedies and disasters, we have virtually become immured to the sort of cynicism that permeates our society. The denouncement of this great human tragedy has highlighted how inherent public amnesia often abets such cynicism and allows our irresponsible political establishments to play political chicanery in an unabashed manner even in such grave situations.

The sordid aftermath of this disaster especially the verdict of Bhopal Court has brought into sharp focus the rank failure of our governing ( neigh non governing) TRINITY – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary in equal measure for their respective acts of omission and commission. But this certainly is not the time to indulge in mutual bickering or baying for one upmanship. Larger public interest would be better served only when they get their acts together in all sagacity with honesty and diligence not only to secure requisite adequate punishment to the real culprits of this great crime against humanity expeditiously as this is the root cause of public clamour and also to spruce up / revamp the whole system in such a way that we never happen to witness such tragedy ever again in future.

It is a popular belief that the situation can improve only if we have an Effective legislature, Active executive, and Pro- active & assertive judiciary in our country. The present setup doesn’t make any sense and is a meaningless dispensation which hardly caters to the public cause.

It is high time that we learnt some lessons from this disaster – though belatedly and do something plausible and concrete to shape a really viable functional and reliable dispensation which is genuinely responsive to the hopes and aspirations of our people and competent to secure a safe and peaceful life to them. May be we may have to revisit our constitution afresh to do away with certain provisions as appear to be impediments rather than facilitators to achieve our ideals and objectives. It is also high time to ponder seriously about desirability of having entities whom we adore as constitutional icons, amidst us who apart from proliferating a culture of sycophancy and false vanity and stand in our FAST TRACKING procedures as stubborn blocks only. Do we need such white elephants in this fast age? Is however a moot question begging an answer from our intelligentsia.  So let us give a thought to this proposition in larger national interests.

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