On the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy in December this year, the protests by survivors are likely to be different. Not because the state or the Union government have conceded to any of their major demands or there has been any significant progress towards fulfillment of promises already made to them but because the 'villain' of the tragedy—Warren Anderson is no more.
But survivors and activists are still determined to carry on their fight for justice. With his demise, slogans like "Anderson ko vapas lao" (Bring Anderson back) may not be raised. Anderson's effigy, which used to be the first among many more, will also not be burnt.
Abdul Jabbar, convener of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan (BGPMUS) said, "We will tell people that Anderson was not the only one responsible for their plight. The government, which has ignored the rehabilitation of the victims, is also to be blamed. We will press for a speedy trial against Keshub Mahindra, another accused in the case."
Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information and Action said, "We have lost an opportunity to see him behind bars. We can only hope that our protests motivate the government to ensure that such a mishap isn't repeated."
President of Bhopal Gas Peedit Neerashrit Pension Bhogi Manch Balkrishna Namdeo said, "Anderson may have died, but our struggle against Union Carbide Corporation and Dow Chemicals will continue. We will continue to seek adequate punishment for these organisations and other accused in the case."