Friday, November 1, 2019

It Was Five Past Midnight at Bhopal Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

It Was Five Past Midnight at Bhopal - Essay Example For those who wish to see how a disaster can evolve from seeds of carelessness, poverty and callousness, Five Past Midnight is a fascinating glimpse into a particular and dreadful case with immensely tragic consequences for an entire region. LaPierre and Moro (2002) note how the plant was a â€Å"hydra-headed† monster: It had a unit for alpha napthol, a unit for phosgene, a unit for methyl isocyanate, etc. â€Å"[C]ontrol rooms, works and hangers† over 120 acres with infrastructure. LaPierre and Moro make clear that the plants seemed superficially safe, but the whole concept was exploitative: People like â€Å"the Argentinian† resisted the size and the way it would keep on snaring out, taking over areas and controlling the population. But it came out of poverty. The people who had the best jobs were those climbing up high on the date trees, seeking out the nectar of the fruits, risking life and limb. The Bhopal factory, as horrible as it was and how terrible its catastrophe would be, was the best that could happen to the region, a boon. LaPierre and Moro make it immensely clear that Bhopal was not really an isolated incident: It emerged out of poverty, desperation and pain. LaPierre and Moro further connect Bhopal to other problems in the region. TED's Case Study of Bhopal does the same. â€Å" However, industrial accidents such as Bhopal are not just an Indian or even a Third World problem but are industrial disasters waiting to happen , whether they are in the form of "mini-Bhopals", smaller industrial accidents that occur with disturbing frequency in chemical plants in both developed and developing countries, and "slow-motion Bhopals", unseen chronic poisoning from industrial pollution that causes irreversible pain, suffering, and death... These are the key issues we face in a world where toxins are used and developed without fully knowing the harm that can come from their use or abuse† (1997). Bhopal was in fact connected to one of the most wide-eyed dreams in world history: The Green Revolution (LaPierre and Moro, 2002; TED, 1997). â€Å"The Bhopal facility was part of India's Green Revolution aimed to increase the productivity of crops. Considered an essential factor in the effort to achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural production, pesticide production use increased dramatically during the late 1960's and early 1970's. The decision to manufacture the pesticides in India, as opposed to relying on imports was based on India's goal of preserving foreign exchange and its policy of industrialization† (TED, 1997). This further connects Bhopal to a long history, which in the spirit of LaPierre and Moro we shall analyze. Khilnani (1999) reviews the history of a united India. India was not a historically unified entity: Through Marathas, Muslim invasions, Ashokas, Rajputs and other dynasties and groups, it was a massive area that was never unified in one region until the British. The artificiality of th is unified India was exposed most tragically, both to Nehru and Gandhi, in the Pakistan secession and the Hindu-Muslim conflicts of the post-independence period. Much like Germany, Prussia, Hungary and Austria, or Italy, the idea of the nation of India came about consciously by a program of unity. After the British were driven out, an â€Å"Indianness† was almost manufactured by both Gandhi and Nehru. This â€Å"Indianness† in the view of Nehru in particular, but certainly Gandhi as well, was to be a leader of the world, non-aligned between the extremes of Communism on the one end and capitalism on the other. They led the Third World movement and tried to navigate a compromise between Leninism and free markets. The Green Revolution was part of this: An attempt to catch India up again, bringing it

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