The commemoration event was organised by Remember Bhopal Museum in collaboration with the Regional Science Centre in the state capital.
Marking this event, Remember Bhopal Museum, has said in a statement:
“In the 70 years since Nagasaki-Hiroshima went through the nuclear holocaust, the world continues to see the dire consequences. The ‘Little Boy’ and the ‘Fat Man’ together killed over 1,29,000 citizens – most of them civilians – and caused tremendous damage to the environment. Survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain acutely ill with cancer related illness due to radiation. These 70 years has also shown that nuclear devastation does not need war as is evident from the Chernobyl accident or the Fukushima disaster.
It is also 30 years of the Bhopal Disaster, infamously known as the Chemical Hiroshima. While human beings seem to be endlessly resilient after tragedies of such magnitude, the world is gathering momentum against the use of nuclear weapons and energy and foreseen untoward industrial disasters. The Bhopal case illustrates how corporates evade their human rights responsibilities and underlines the need to establish a universal human rights framework that can be applied to corporates directly. Union Carbide’s chemical wastes have contaminated a vast swath of Bhopal with dangerous toxins and chemical compounds and thousands continue to suffer.”
The event on 9 August unfolded in three parts, the film ‘Yes Men Fix the World’ was screened. The Yes men are a group who use any means necessary to agree their way into the fortified compounds of commerce, and then smuggle out stories of their undercover escapades to provide a public glimpse of the behind the scenes world of big business. The yes men have impersonated the WTO, Dow Chemical corporation and Bush administration spokesmen on TV and at business conferences. Their main goal is to focus attention on the dangers of economic policies that place the rights of capital before the needs of the people and the environment. Their message is to inspire people for a better future where people can cooperate and collaborate to be heard and develop actions accordingly.
Kumar Sundaram from the Coalition for Nuclear disarmament and Peace talked about how we have entered the nuclear age. Hibakushas (the term in Japan used for survivors) were exposed to such extreme radiation that they faced social victimization and psychological damage. Socio cultural discrimination had become a common phenomena. Contamination still lurked in Japan over years. Post the Fukushima disaster, a lot of things changed. National security became a concern predominant over other concerns. The problem with war is also that it doesn’t discriminate between combatants and non combatants, while all civilians suffer and condemn it. Currently 9 countries together hold of 15,000 nuclear weapons. He talked about Uranium mining in Jharkhand and the exposure to radiation of the people there; he mentioned that at every step of the nuclear fuel cycle we are at grave risk. We still have no solutions for waste storage, long term disposition and are short sighted in our approach towards nuclear utility.
The programme had been designed for a young audience who are the future sentinels of human rights and ecological protection.
Prabal Roy, Programme Coordinator, The Regional Science Centre proposed the vote of thanks. The RSC is hosting an annual exhibition of exclusivephotographs from the Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear bombing at the venue which will continue till the August 11 .