Bhopal Gas Tragedy : The night between 2nd and 3rd December is recorded as a dark night in the history of Bhopal. 38 years ago, on 2 December 1984, poisonous gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory (UCIL) in Bhopal. It was India’s biggest industrial disaster..Methyl isocyanate gas leak of about 45 tons of dangerous gas has disfigured the face of this beautiful city. Due to the gas named Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) coming out of this pesticide factory, more than 16 thousand people died and more than 5 lakh people were affected. Although the government figure only talked about 3,000 deaths, but the third and fourth generations are still suffering the consequences of the gas tragedy. Many children are still born with congenital malformations in the affected areas. Even now many people affected by the accident are waiting for proper compensation. Life went on for the rest, but generations of victims of the gas tragedy seem to have come to a standstill in the shadow of pain.
That night and then after that, know how many days and nights thousands of people have been witnesses. Know how many incidents are full of pain, which have been continuously coming to the fore. Today we are sharing with you the experience of poet, RJ, blogger and story teller Yunus Khan. Yunus Khan currently lives in Mumbai, but that night he was in Bhopal and even today he has not forgotten that horrifying scene. He has shared his sad memory related to Bhopal gas tragedy on his Facebook wall.
That painful night that still hasn’t passed
“When I slept on the night of December 2, I had no idea that suddenly the world would change at midnight. Almost teenage… That was the time of cycle, cricket, gilli danda, comics and the world of dreams. Then we used to go to sleep early i.e. at nine o’clock in the night, had to go to school in the morning.
Suddenly at night I felt as if there is a burning sensation in the eyes which is caused by the smoke of burning wood. Everyone had the same problem. When my father opened the door and looked outside, that street of Bhopal was in disarray. There was jealousy in everyone’s eyes. It was not known then that there was some Muzaffar Ali who had made “Gaman” a few years back and in it Shahryar Sahib had written “Why is there a storm in the eyes”. However, this irritation of the eyes turned into suffocation at midnight. And people started running.
Let alone vehicles, everyone did not even have scooters. Ran in trucks, in tempo. The path that was suggested ran there. Some ran away from death and some ran towards death. Uff.. Today, when I think about it, it seems as if it must have been a scene from a Hollywood film. Movies in which the world starts to end and everyone runs away. Maybe that’s why I never liked such films.
Those who ran towards death did not come back.
That night there was a flying news that gas has leaked in a factory, it is poisonous gas. Where were the means of communication then? There was not even a phone at home. Till the next morning everyone kept on coughing, washing their eyes with water and tolerating this havoc. It is known that many people died in this havoc.
The next day while cycling I was passing by the cemetery near Jail hill. Saw a huge crowd, went a little in that direction. What you saw will always remain in front of your eyes. The people of the locality were digging long pits. So that they can be buried in the group. I ran from there in panic. Haven’t told anyone in the house till date that I am coming after seeing the scene. Kept crying on the way.
Today it is forty years. Bhopal was left after a few years.
The people of Bhopal fought a long battle for justice. No one can bring back those who have left. No one could settle the houses that were destroyed. We have not learned any safety lessons regarding industries. Believe me, having the habit of finding solutions after accidents, we are everywhere waiting for the next accident. Accidents never stop. Their solid arrangement is usually not there. It always seems shameful to fulfill the duty by giving compensation. Every life should be considered precious, it is understood in many countries of the world.
Every year when this date comes, I shudder.
Don’t know when, where and how another accident will arise.
And someone else would be writing a post like this after forty years.”
(Courtesy of the Facebook wall of writer poet Yunus Khan)