A Gas Leak Incident in Bhopal in 1984 Essay (Critical Writing)

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


The three articles are entirely based on events surrounding a gas leak incident in Bhopal, India on the third of December, 1984. However, the structuring of each individual story is in such a way that the three articles end up documenting different aspects of the happenings of the day.

The article Bhopal disaster, 25 years in and the poisoning continues by the Bhopal Medical Appeal explains the effects of the 1984 incident on the residents of the area (Bhopal disaster N.p.). It tells of the stories of how the children born a short while after the gas leak accident came out with serious malformations and how the older residents of the region still have to struggle with the poisoning effects of the gas.

The article titled The Incident, Response and Settlement by the Bhopal Information Center briefly explains the circumstances surrounding the accident and then goes ahead to explain the necessary steps that were taken by the company in question, particularly in regards to investigations on the cause of the leak (The incident N.p.). The last section of the article reveals the compensatory actions taken by Union Carbide India Limited as well as the measures taken to alleviate the suffering of the victims.

The article titled Decades later, toxic sludge torments Bhopal by the Global Sisterhood Network reveals the effects of the gas leak incident particularly on the environment years after the accident itself (Sengupta N.p.). The article then goes ahead to list the woes of the residents of the regions especially because they cannot access clean and safe drinking water, occasioned by the fact that the leakage of toxic material contaminated all the underground water sources.

Semiotic analysis

The assemblage of signs on signifies the pain and suffering of the residents of Bhopal in the shadows of an inefficient and neglectful ruling class. The gas leak itself denotes the lack of disregard for human life that the owners of companies producing such dangerous chemicals have. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that the Union Carbide India Limited failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure that the people living in the region surrounding the factory were protected from such a predictable incident.

The gas leak also denotes poor construction and assemblage of production facilities. This is well illustrated by the sheer fact that there could not have been such an accident if the people in charge of setting up and maintaining the factory took time to ensure that a regular and thorough inspection of the systems was carried out to ensure that such an incident was averted well in time.

The malformations of the children in the region have the connotative meaning of ridicule, rejection, stigma and self pity. These are just some the societal challenges that such children will have to go through occasioned by an incident that they had little or nothing to do with in the first place.

As far as oppositions are concerned, all the articles distinctly present the clash between the rich and the poor. This is shown by the information that the individuals who suffered and still continue to suffer the damaging effects of the recklessness of the societal bourgeois are people who cannot even afford basic medical care.

The articles also show the contrast between the joy of life in a clean environment and the sorrows of living in a polluted area. This is evidenced by the illustration that the residents of Bhopal have to grapple with making a living in an environment still laden with toxic wastes when they had a somewhat fresh and comfortable livelihood before the incident.

The basic organization of a combination of the three articles can basically be summarized into three basic parts. These are the pre-incident, the incident and the post incident. The pre-incident shows the lives of the residents of Bhopal in the time before the leak happened.

The incident part shows the actual leaking of the gas while the post-incident shows the challenges in the lives of the residents of Bhopal in the time after the leak happened. All the three parts have correspondence with each other in the sense that none can happen without the other two and that whichever direction the effects of the incident takes place will always be analyzed in relation to the time before and during the leak.

The three articles have to a great extent elaborated the social contexts in which the story can be placed. First is the illustration that in any society, the individuals with the necessary resources will always use them to make profit even if it means endangering the lives of those without financial authority.

Secondly is the presentation of the fact that the poor will always be on their own and will go to all extents even if it means working in sub-human conditions in order to earn a basic living. Finally, and still going in line with the preceding point is that the poor will almost always blame their woes on the ruling and political class while the latter will tend to ignore the cries of the former.

Works Cited

“Bhopal disaster, 25 years in and the poisoning continues.” Bhopal medical appeal. 2009. BMA. Web.

Sengupta, Sonni. “Decades Later, Toxic Sludge Torments Bhopal”. Global Sisterhood Network. 2010. GBN. Web.

“The Incident, Response, and Settlement”. Bhopal Information Center. 2010. BIC. Web.

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