How many of us know that DOW Chemical had paid a penalty of $ 325,000 to the US government? Interestingly, the company had paid a huge sum as a punishment for bribing Indian officials for the registration of its pesticides in India in the duration from the year 1996 to 2001. DOW is continuously denying its legacy received from the Union Carbide might be detrimental for itself.
This truth was revealed on February 13, 2007, when the US Secretary and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined DOW with a heavy amount, after the company provided the details of steps followed in the investigation of the incident exposing the corruption and clean-up action.
Consequently, while talking on the issue to a national newspaper, the then Secretary, Agriculture PK Mishra said, “This sounds very serious and we will investigate into the matter”. But, as per my perception, we don’t have any knowledge of any such investigation being carried out against some official or department.
Even then the ambit of investigation is not too large. Let’s see the process of issuing registration. The Central Insecticide Board (CIB) of India, which issues the registration to any pesticides manufacturing company, after which the company can launch and advertise its product in the market, has a total of six members, among which, one was bribed as per the information given by DOW to SEC. Among the others, bribed were mostly the licensing officers of each state.
But we know the result and we can not ignore it, stating it the apathy of the government.
Isn’t it an interesting fact that a company has paid fine to the US government for violating law and order of India and spreading vulgarities here. And even then our so called pro-human and high valued country has not even claimed of its part which is its right.
Government of India has announced Rs 1,500 crore of compensation for the victims of biggest chemical disaster ever occurred in 1984 at the heart place of the country. But the noticeable point here is that the Congress leading UPA government, announced a package of Rs 12,00 crore for the rehabilitation for the victims through the planning commission, at a time when two eminent leaders of the country were being proved guilty of helping the Union Carbide (UC) chief, Warren Anderson to flee from the country
The intention behind announcing the compensation doesn’t seem very fair it seems as if the government is trying to erase the pictures of accused from people’s mind. Unfortunately, the political party has succeeded in its clever intentions. No body is asking what compelled the then chief Minister Arjun Singh and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to work as a safeguard of Anderson. I think, barely apex body of the country has been exposed in such fashion in the democratic history, for working against the country. Normally this issue is worth changing the power scenario in the country but its effect is nil
The biggest tragedy here is that the compensation hasn’t been taken from the treasury of Union carbide or its successor DOW Chemical but from the picking pocket of common tax payers of the country. Even the government could not dare to demand money from these companies.
At this point, two things can be questioned. First one is that if DOW could be punished in America for spreading corruption in India they why not in India? Ultimately, that corruption has done a lot of harm to the country. Its pesticides posed threat to the lives of Indians and not that of any American. And how indifferent are these politicians or so called Indian liberals representing democracy that they have not even initiated against anyone.
(One thing I would like to mention here, which may seem out subject If any social worker or activist launches a protest against the company, these ghatiya propagators would try to convince common man as anti-development people. I would like to inform that there are many in Bhopal who has launched agitations against DOW that it should complete its responsibility received in the legacy of the Union Carbide. They argue that if DOW has no problem in enjoying the lucrative legacy of it’s a predecessor (UC) then how it can deny the negative one. Leaders here blame these activists as anti-development people.)
I only want to convey here that Indian government has ultimately announced substantial amount of compensation for the gas victims. And undoubtedly, this money has been picked from the poor pocket of taxpayers. I just want to ask, what the problems Indian government is facing for demanding the compensation from DOW. The company which is legally bond to pay, either as successor of Union Carbide or as the accused of violating law and orders of the country. As it is India and not the America who has borne the brunt of the disaster.