American journalist Justin King has repeatedly written about the ongoing problems in Bhopal that stem from the 1984 gas leak at a Union Carbide facility. The facility was later bought by Dow Chemical when the company purchased Union Carbide, and King believes that Dow should clean the area up.
“Of course Dow should clean the area up. When a company is bought, the buyer takes on the profits and the liabilities, not just the profits. There are people that are continuing to die because of inaction. Something needs to be done immediately. Thirty years later, people are suffering, and Dow is suing the victims instead of helping them,” King said.
He went on to express anger at Americans who are dumping ice water on their heads to raise money for a charity at home.
“Water in Bhopal is contaminated and people shouldn’t be drinking it. It’s slowly killing them. Clean water is something we take for granted in the United States. Right now there’s a campaign to raise money for ALS where people dump buckets of ice water on their heads and post a video of it on the web. Meanwhile, a company that supplies many of the things Americans use every day is neglecting its moral responsibilities and nobody cares.”
King has been active in the fight against the US epidemic of domestic violence, and said that he hopes he can help the fight in India and Pakistan too. The journalist would not say what was next in the fight to help people in Bhopal.
“I just write about what other people do. If you want to know what’s coming next, you need to talk to Reena Shadaan from the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. She’s one of the people on the front lines. She’s the one really doing the work.”