ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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IS it only methyl isocyanate, the deadly gas which was allowed to leak out in vast quantities from the Bhopal factory of Union Carbide, the American multinational, which has, already at the time of writing, sent over 2,500 persons to a most painful death, maimed countless thousand others, permanently perhaps, and threatened indeterminable genetic damage to the yet unborn? The mass of technical detail which has become available about methyl iso- cyanate and related chemical substances, their roles in the production process employed by the death-dealing plant, the malfunctioning of different parts of the plant's equipment and so on have tended to create the impression that the tragedy in Bhopal is primarily a technological phenomenon. But has not as much information of a different kind too become available to suggest that it is the larger framework of social relations within which the Union Carbide factory was established and has been operating which has wreaked havoc on the people of Bhopal, a very large number of them impoverished inhabitants of slum settlements in the plant's vicinity?

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