- Text by Taylor McGraa
It was dubbed the world’s worst industrial disaster, when in 1984 toxic gases leaked from a chemical factory near the Indian city of Bhopal. The consequences were devastating: thousands of people were killed, livestock decimated, and the surrounding land has been polluted ever since. 32 years on and estimates now suggest 25,000 have died as a consequence of the catastrophe, with around 500,000 more poisoned.
Since the accident, India has attempted to charge factory owners – Dow Chemical – with manslaughter, demanding that they take responsibility for the fateful consequences of the leak from their factory. Despite India sending multiple notices under The Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to the The US Department of Justice (DoJ) asking for them to summon explanations from Dow, their pleas have been ignored. Now a petition asking the Department of Justice to stop shielding Dow Chemical from accountability has been started in an attempt to finally get justice.
Sofia Ashraf is the activist responsible for Kodaikanal Won’t, which hit headlines last year, and she’s now released a new music video in aid of this petition. “This gross negligence is practically genocide”, says Sofia, “and the fact that the perpetrators are getting away with it just enrages me.”
Sofia hopes that the video will help raise awareness of the petition, as well as educating young people on the original catastrophe that is still corroding Bhopal. “There is an entire generation who are unaware about what could be one of the world’s worst industrial disasters”, she continues. “Through my new video, I hope the millennials will remember our toxic past and do something about it.”
You can sign the petition for the US Department of Justice to address these issues.