Friday, June 18, 2010

It's unpatriotic to say Rajiv knew of collusion!


Congress spins web of deceit, manufactures a dozen lies!

The Congress is at sea while responding to why Warren Anderson was given safe passage and allowed to flee India instead of being incarcerated and prosecuted for the horrendous crime committed by Union Carbide in Bhopal.
Congress leader and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee: “There was deterioration of law and order situation in Bhopal and to avert that he had sent Anderson out of Bhopal.”Reports in Indian and foreign newspapers of that time (the week spanning December 3 to 10) do not mention any “deterioration of law and order”.
Then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Arjun Singh on video standing just outside the Union Carbide plant: “There was no intention to prosecute anyone or try to, sort of, harass anyone. Therefore, he (Anderson) was granted bail and he agreed to be present in court when the charges are made.”
Anderson on video (December 7, 1984): “House arrest or no arrest and bail, no bail, I am free to go home... There is a law of the United States... India, bye, bye!”
Congress spokesman Manish Tewari: “At the end of it, there was a systemic failure and there is a need to address it... If we go into the game of finger-pointing, there can be no end.”
According to Manish Tewari, anybody pointing a finger at Rajiv Gandhi, who was then Prime Minister, for having agreed to give Anderson safe passage under American pressure is “unpatriotic”!
[SEE POLL ON SIDEBAR]
On whether the Rajiv Gandhi Government was aware of safe passage being promised to Anderson, Tewari said: “I reject the conclusions with the contempt they deserve. There was never ever any intention of the Central Government to allow any culprit to go scot-free.”
Really, Mr Tewari?
Gordon Streeb, who was Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy when the Union Carbide disaster happened and was filling in for the Ambassador, has told India’s premier news agency IANS that “safe passage” for Anderson and immunity from legal action during his visit to India were part of the assurances given to him by the Ministry of External Affairs before the UC chairman arrived.
Excerpts from the IANS exclusive:
Streeb recalled that Union Carbide contacted the American Embassy indicating that its chairman, Anderson, wanted to fly to India to see for himself what had happened and to show "concern for the victims" at the "highest level of the company".
"The issue was whether he would be guaranteed access to the site and eventual safe return to the US," Streeb told IANS, adding: "This was a reasonable precaution since legal systems differ so widely around the world."
With the Ambassador, Harry G. Barnes, out of India, Streeb was liaising with the Ministry of External Affairs on the sensitive issue.
The Ministry "advised that it would be a very welcome gesture if Anderson could come to India and that the Government of India could assure him that no steps would be taken against him during his visit".
Anderson came to India and reached Bhopal with the plan to meet with then Madhya Pradesh chief minister Arjun Singh. Instead, he was arrested on December 7 by the State police.
"I immediately contacted the foreign ministry and was assured the (that) government of India would honour its commitment to provide Anderson safe passage in and out of India," said Streeb in his communication to IANS.
Based on the Indian Government's assurance, Anderson was brought to New Delhi and "departed on the next commercial flight back to the United States".
Streeb said that then foreign secretary, M.K. Rasgotra, had been his chief interlocutor during this period. "I am in no position to comment on the decision making process within the government of India, i.e., who made the decisions referred to above and how Anderson's release was arranged," said Streeb, who is also member of the India China America Institute's advisory board.

M K Rasgotra told Karan Thapar in an exclusive interview aired by CNN-IBN that Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson was given safe passage after a decision taken by PV Narasimha Rao, the then Home Minister, and to which Rajiv Gandhi had no objections.
Ragotra said: “He (Gordon Streeb) said Anderson wanted to come here. There was a tragic situation and he wanted to see things himself, wanted to offer his condolences but he would come only if granted safe passage.”
The former diplomat added, “I said, I cannot assure of safe passage. I would have to consult concerned authorities and I will get back to you.... I got in touch with the Home Ministry and I got in touch with the Cabinet Secretary. I told them what Streeb had asked for and I waited for the instructions.” He admitted to have got the instructions the “same day”.
Terming the request for safe passage by Anderson as “understandable”, Rasgotra also described his arrest as wrong. “It was quite understandable request. This man wanted to come, express his condolences and sorrow. I thought it was quite understandable and if he wanted to come, we should let him come.... He was given safe passage and the arrest was wrong. And the authorities, I think, realised that was a bad thing to do and they released him,” he said, adding, “Matters were left with Narasimha Rao, may have asked the home ministry to release Anderson as it was a wrong thing to arrest Anderson. Releasing Anderson was in India's interest.” Rasgotra emphasised that Rajiv Gandhi was informed later and he concurred with the decision.
Ragotra also hinted that former US President Ronald Reagan could have called Rajiv Gandhi.

The Pittsburgh Press carried a statement issued by Union Carbide’s headquarters in the US, saying that the arrest (of Anderson) had violated an Indian Government promise to provide him with safe passage. “Warren Anderson went to India fully expecting to be of assistance and was provided with safe passage assurances from the Indian Government,” the company was quoted as saying by The Pittsburgh Press.
After such knowledge, what forgiveness?

12 comments:

Jess Sikand said...

As usual, learning a lot from you. Why has other mainstream media not placed the whole Anderson issue in a context. Clearly he voluntarily came to India and his arrest was a violation. The man could have turned his back and stayed in the US.

Anonymous said...

Great blog as usual sir.

DK said...

Good article. Though what is unfortunate is that nothing which is taking up footage of news channels at prime-time has happened RECENTLY! All these incidents go way back but we are finding them only now. Like the Pittsburgh link which was always on Google as well.

Surprised that Congress did not keep all this buried but we could not find it earlier.

No comments about Mr.Tewari. He should refrain from coming on TV so often though. Thats another tragedy, you invite spokespersons from BJP and Congress and they can divert the topic the moment the anchor stops speaking. So waste of time to watch.

ashwin said...

G.Parthasarathy's nuggets of wisdom:-
1.if anderson was not given safe passage we could not have got any compensation from carbide.
2.470 mn went a long way in 1984.it was a good amount.

couple with this the nugetts from rasgotra .. etc. & it can be figured as to what is the image of india cultivated by these foreign(er) office mandarin's in the world.

Anonymous said...

One feature is quite discernible, when decisions are taken in a democracy that too a country like ours , for that matter any decision , few individuals how ever big should not be believed and trusted by people of this country.Either nuclear deal or Bt cotton, we should make it mandatory to make if not entire parliament, at least 80% of parliament members should approve any move by the treasury benches.Classic example being when private and foreign banks unleashed by Govt, looting spree started in the name of microfinance, credit cards, usurious interest rates for housing finance and RBI is a pathetic spectator--all allowed by a few individuals who were either former employees of world bank,or studies abroad favoring these institutions and occupying the strategic appointments.These private banks and institutions squandered common man's pockets, while these so called economists dancing to the tunes of these institutions.Who is honest enough and powerful enough to find out the financial frauds of these institutions in share markets also?

Anonymous said...

Mr Manish T must understand that he is India, a democracy and raising a voice is must for its intigrity and if Mr Manish says unpatriotic to those raising genuine questions, will be ruinig the very principle of democracy..pls some one ask him to get his basics clear before trying to be a leader and before opening his mouth he must think, the basic principle of a civilized society..
MK

Gaurav said...

Your article reflects all the facts of the case, however I fail to understand why the media in general was so lax in bringing this issue in public eye? (specially when they claim that this is their purpose of existence!!). Why did it take an inconsequential judgement by a spineless judiciary 2 wake us up. Victims have been voicing there opinion since long time, but none of the so called 'intellectual media gurus'including esteemed journalist like urself ever discuss it the way it is being done now. Its so hypocritic of us, we do all the hoopla around an issue and then forget it, leaving the poor victims to their fate..

Anonymous said...

Your article reflects all the facts of the case, however I fail to understand why the media in general was so lax in bringing this issue in public eye? (specially when they claim that this is their purpose of existence!!). Why did it take an inconsequential judgement by a spineless judiciary 2 wake us up. Victims have been voicing there opinion since long time, but none of the so called 'intellectual media gurus'including esteemed journalist like urself ever discuss it the way it is being done now. Its so hypocritic of us, we do all the hoopla around an issue and then forget it, leaving the poor victims to their fate..

-Gaurav

Anonymous said...

There is no surprise here in the way Congress behaves. It's their policy to harm India and people of India. If the country is ruled by it's worst enemy, there is no point complaining. Focus should be on how to free India from this tyrant in a democratic way, through elections. Congrss regime is worse than Pol Pot regime.

sunaath said...

India should not have agreed for the safe passage of Mr. Anderson. Instead it should have asked for the extradition of him to India for prosecution under Indian Law. Rajiv Gandhi has put India to shame before the international community.

Satya said...

"It's unpatriotic to say Rajiv knew of collusion!" because "king cannot be wrong" this is Congress's dynastic rule principle; they will find some scapegoat, Arjun Singh or PVN or somebody else.

Manik Ghoshal said...

On NDTV the other day a worker at the UCIL plant, who later turned blind, narrated how he had detected a leak at around 9 o’clock. He informed the manager immediately about the leak, before leaving for home at 11 pm. I want to know what steps were taken after the leak was reported, by the management. They ought to be interrogated to find out if a delay in quick action caused the tragedy to get out of hand.
Now, if the leak was unpluggable, did the management know that they were ‘playing with fire without a fire extinguisher nearby’ so to speak? Also, if the gas, MIC, was so very dangerous and a potent killer, the officials of the Dept. of Industry of the erstwhile State Gov’t, and also the Central Gov’t Industry Ministry should be prosecuted first for providing licenses. UCIL was the foreign invader, but those minsters and officers were the real traitors to our country. They were the real murderers who ought to be hanged.
I also watched how a local newspaper reporter had written repeatedly about the tremendous danger posed by the UCIL plant in a heavily populated area of Bhopal. Why was no action taken by the Gov’t and the Company to allay all fears? I smell the stink of money-power here as well as corruption, criminal negligence, no checks and balances were maintained. A poor nation was used as the production site for deadly poisonous materials without a second thought or concern for the poverty stricken population who have now been fighting for 26 long years without any justice in sight.
The last point I would like to make is $450 million was probably a huge amount 26 years back- probably $5 Billion or even more by today’s standard. It was equivalent to Rs 2500 crores, if I am not mistaken. Where did all the money go? Where and how was the money utilised? With such a large investment all the people of Bhopal could have been provided plenty of facilities to assuage their pains and sufferings to some extent, I believe. But the real tragedy is, as far back as 1985, the then-Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi announced that only 15 percent of every Rupee meant for the poor ever reached the poor; some have even suggested 10%. Knowing the state of affairs during his Congress led Gov’t, Rajiv Gandhi and his ministers should have demanded ten times more or 5 Billion Dollars to allow for the corrupt Gov’t and Officials.
Now, I suggest we sincerely hunt down the corrupt Gov’t officials and company executives responsible for the death and sufferings of hundred of thousand of Gas victims. Those found should be taken to the Bhopal factory and shot to death by firing squad. Then the clearing of the site can truly begin. (I am aware such a scenario would never be possible but it is my wish)