Sunday, June 13, 2010

I Was Bhopal Once: A Letter To India!

By Sadho Ram

Greetings India,


I hope (yes hope) that you are duan’ just awesome.

And why wouldn't you? Last week you delivered what others thought you can’t – as in your own word – “a righteous and fair enough justice” to my miserable people.

Why my?

Oh I am sorry… I am so sorry for not introducing myself at the first place.

But before I introduce myself to you, I think I should thank you, as it would be rude if I don’t thank you, right?

But what the heck let it be rude. I won’t thank you. Never!


Now the intro!

I was Bhopal once, yes, a very long ago – to be precise – 25 years and few months ago – I use to be Bhopal once. The land of happy and peaceful people!

Now all I am is a land of worst industrial disaster in history.

At that time most of your today’s generation was not even born, and at this time almost all of my yesteryear’s generation has been either wiped out or is facing unending health problems, still after 26 long but toxic years.

I myself sometime choke, and believe you me, though now I am kind of use to it but it still causes a lot of nausea.

When I heave, blood oozes out from my mouth along with froth.

You will say that I am growing old.

But no, I ain’t actually growing old.

As although I was born somewhere in 1000 – 1055 (quite a long time to be still alive) and so, I don’t exactly remember the date.

Not easy, you see, it has been quite a long period and since then I have been constantly tortured, gagged, raped, tormented, destroyed, betrayed and perished. So it’s just not easy to remember certain dates and events considering what I have been through all my life.

But one thing I am sure, I ain’t growing old.

I hope you understand my situation but please, I beg you to not sympathise with me. No!

I have had enough of this wretched sympathy which you have been showering upon me to cover your own apathy.

As you see, I am today considered to be one of the greenest (Yes) among the greens of yours. So that proves that I am actually not growing old.

So what’s wrong with me then? Why whenever when I heave, the goddamn blood oozes out from my mouth along with froth? Why?

Do you know the answer, India?

I know.

Of course, I am supposed to know but don’t you have any responsibility, too? Don’t you know the reason behind the existence of this bloody froth in my goddamned blood?

I know you won’t accept. Not because you can’t but because you simply don’t have the power of acceptance in you.

What you possess is nothing but your very own self-created pride of falseness born out from your own greedy actions taken against thousands like me.

Oh, I pity you, India. I pity you on your constitution. I pity you on your judicial action. I pity you on your government and its system. Moreover, I pity you on your judgements. I pity you, my India, I pity you!

I was beautiful once and peace prevailed at my door step. I was home to the leading industries (though I still am, but they are only adding up to my misery). I was bathing in glory and my life was set. But now at present, I am in dust and as my past loom hard on me, my future is in debt.

You would say then why don’t you cry, why don’t you shout, why don’t you yell, why don’t you mourn (like a woman) for help? Why, Bhopal, Why?

Well, to be honest I don’t actually want to but a part of me does cry and it also shouts and yells and yes, it also mourns (like a woman) for help, it does!

Not because it (that shouting and yelling part of me) is feeble or cannot fight. But because it (the crying and mourning part of me) needs your hand, your support to stand and ask for what belongs to it – Integrity, Justice and Righteousness.

Will you give me your hand, India? Will you support me in my fight against injustice and inhumanity? Will you stand by my side and say – “I, India, take pledge to support Bhopal and its people, who are still living under the shadow of Methyl Isocyanate, in their fight for Justice,” will you?

I guess you won’t.

Well, I have so much to say … so much so that you probably wouldn’t care to read just like you have not properly tried to avenge the culprits who robbed me off from my happiness and good-life.

So, India, I’m done. Khuda Hafez. Do well. Remember me. All things pass, but the poor and their misery remain. I am the land of poor and miserable people now. Tomorrow there will be more like me. But don’t worry; you won’t have to act to protect them just like you didn’t think about protecting me.

With Shame and Disgust

The rotting in dust Bhopal

The article appears as top story is an online newspaper Youth Ki Awaaz