LONG awaited Shri Arjun Singh’s speech in Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2010 over Bhopal gas disaster in 1984, when he was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is a farce and ridiculous and shows his hypocrisy. Much has been concealed than revealed. Public expectation is belied.
Whole of his speech centres around Anderson’s arrest, release on bail, subsequently sending him to Delhi as directed by some unknown officials of Home Ministry, for which he proudly takes credit and at the same time gives clean chit to late Rajiv Gandhi, the then PM. But in his whole speech he has remained silent as to how Anderson escaped to America.
It is a fact that there are channels to convey information on important or serious matters to PMs office instantly. On December 2, 1984 at night this tragedy happened, on December 3 there was a continuous broadcast on radio, and on December 4, the news hit the headlines in the newspapers, and further comments in detail went on for a number of days in media, about the loss of lives, the sufferings of poor people for which whole of Bhopal was in grief. Condolences from India and abroad were pouring in, particularly to PMs office.
More shocking was that Shri Anderson escaped to America by December 7. But, still Congressmen today are singing a chorus, that Rajiv Gandhi had no hand in Anderson’s escape. Can anyone believe it?
A few excerpts of Arjun Singh’s speech are reproduced below:
“Rajivji was in Harda town in Hoshingabad. I drove there, met him, and told him about Anderson’s) arrest. Rajivji heard it without making any comments. He then said that let us go to next meeting. There was not even flicker of any kind of sympathy for anyone much less for a Anderson.”
Here the moot point is, if Rajiv Gandhi had no sympathy for Anderson, then what was his reaction when he (Anderson) escaped to America, and what action he took for his extradition? What were Rajiv Gandhi’s assurances on the floor of the Parliament. The record must be there. Surely this matter must have been hotly discussed.
As the conditions now appear, it shows that the matter was not pursued properly and forcefully. The case was allowed to go in a normal way like other cases.
Can Dr Manmohan Singh, say that he is not aware of what is happening in Kashmir today. On the same analogy, was Bhopal gas tragedy not that grave to draw the then PM’s attention to take immediate steps for relief and benefit to those who lost their lives, belongings and got handicapped for the whole life. Even today, after 25 years, the effected persons are asking for justice. The culprits are enjoying life. Can it be possible without complicity at higher level. Bad luck for India.
(The writer can be contacted at 89/7 East Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi-26)