Scholarship on the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy tends to treat the Indian judiciary as the site where political, social and legal forces converged to betray survivors seeking redress. But before this judicial failure, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had already politicised the disaster to protect his economic modernisation programme. Recognising the threat the Bhopal tragedy posed to the ideology behind this agenda, Rajiv Gandhi and his advisers pursued multiple strategies to suppress the gas leak’s resonance in larger political debates. This laid the groundwork for the courts’ later miscarriage of justice and helped shape the disaster’s subsequent place in Indian economic history.
|Economic and Political Weekly
|Published - 29 Jul 2017