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Bhopal, Media and a “Training Manual”: Shalini Sharma

Guest post by SHALINI SHARMA

It hardly needs any corroboration that the Bhopal Movement led by survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster adheres to the principles of non- violence as dearly as they adhere to their demands of justice and accountability. However, on the 3rd of  December 2011, as thousands of Bhopal gas victims walked towards the city’s railway lines they had little idea that their act of civil disobedience, marking the 27th Anniversary of the disaster, would be sabotaged by the government and that they would be treated like a violent mob.

Anniversary actions are usually treated as rituals by the media. This occasion was different because even though chakka jaam (block the road) has been organised on several previous occasions, the call for blocking the trains or rail roko was an unusual decision. These survivor-led groups were asking the State government to provide the Supreme Court with the right data related to the number of deaths and actual extent of injuries due to the gas exposure.

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