26 years of Bhopal Gas Tragedy – LOKAYAT organized a protest rally

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Lokayat organises two important programs – Dec 2 and Dec 5

Lokayat is organising the following two programs, and you are invited to participate in both.

PROGRAM ONE

PROTEST MARCH AND CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
ON BHOPAL DAY, DEC 2, 2010

26 years ago, on the night of December 2-3, the world’s biggest industrial disaster took place in Bhopal. Toxic gases leaked from US corporation Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in the city, killing thousands, and leaving more than 5 lakh people injured with debilitating diseases…

Despite these horrendous consequences, no lessons are being drawn, conditions for the occurrence of a 1000 more Bhopals all over the country…

The government is building the world’s largest nuclear power plant at Madban-Jaitapur, in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Nuclear power technology is inherently accident prone. If an accident occurs, it can be huge, hundreds of times bigger than the Bhopal gas tragedy. On top of it, the government has also passed a Nuclear Liability Bill, freeing the foreign supplier of the nuclear plant of all liabilities in case of an accident. It is an invitation to disaster!


In memory of the thousands who have died and continue to die in Bhopal, and to create awareness of the 1000 more Bhopals being created all over the country, Lokayat is organising the following programs:

Date: December 2, 2010, Thursday
Time: 6 pm to 8 pm
Route: From Tilak Putla, Mandai to Shaniwarwada, Pune
to be followed by Candle light vigil at Shaniwarwada

PROGRAM TWO

On the tenth anniversary of the
Epic hunger strike of Sharmila Irom
,
demanding the repeal of the draconian ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWERS ACT, which has allowed the army to commit horrendous human rights abuses in Manipur,
Lokayat is organising a program of :

Protest songs of the revolutionary poet FAIZ AHMED FAIZ

‘BOL KE LAB AZAD HAIN TERE’

Singer: Neela Bhagwat

Date: Sunday, December 5, 2010
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Venue: Lokayat Hall, 3rd Floor, Opp, Syndicate Bank, Law College Road, Near Nal Stop, Pune

Entry free.

Lokayat organizes Rally against outrageous Bhopal gas tragedy case judgement On Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time: 6.30 pm to 8 pm

Route: From Corporation Bus Stand via Shivaji Road to Tilak Putla, Mahatma Phule Mandai

Lokayat is organizing a rally against the outrageous judgement delivered in the Bhopal gas tragedy case on June 7, 2010, in which all the Indian officials have got away with mild sentences. The accused have got away so lightly, because of the “criminal negligence” by the government in prosecuting those responsible for the world’s worst industrial disaster. The Supreme Court in 1996, in a horrible judgement, diluted the charges against the Indian accused, effectively converting the Bhopal disaster to the equivalent of a traffic accident, and the CBI made no attempt to challenge this legally unsound judgement. It also made glaring omissions in presenting the evidence against the Indian accused. The worst part is, for the last 18 years, the CBI has made no attempt to bring the prime accused – Union Carbide USA and its former Chairman, Warren Anderson – to trial, they are supposed to be absconding. In fact, even after an order in 2005 by the CJM Court of Bhopal to Dow Chemical, which has taken over Union Carbide, to bring its subsidiary before the court, the CBI has for the last 4 years made no attempt to implement this order. In fact, documents available with us show that government officials at the highest level have assured Dow Chemical that they will try their best to absolve the company of all its liabilities arising out of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

All this indicates that the inept handling of the Bhopal case by the CBI is because of government pressure. In order to appease the giant multinationals of the United States and the US government – whose basic task is to protect the interests of its corporations – the government of India deliberately pressurized the CBI to “go slow” on the case. In fact, in their two decade long struggle for justice, the Bhopal gas tragedy survivors have not only had to fight Union Carbide and its successor company Dow, but also the government of India which has been more interested in currying favour with American corporations rather than protect the interests of its citizens.

The immense outrage among the people  caused by the patently unfair judgement and its scathing criticism in the press have put the government on the backfoot. The hurried steps taken by the government like setting up a group of Ministers to examine all aspects of the tragedy appear to be an attempt to cover up its complicity with Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. Considering the past record of the government on not just on the issue of Bhopal gas tragedy, but also on other issues of corporate crime, these  steps  appear only to be an eyewash, an attempt to buy time, till the uproar dies down.

We call upon the Prime Minister, as Minister in Charge of the CBI, to accept responsibility for the failure of the CBI in its role as the prosecuting agency. We demand  the creation of a Special Prosecution Cell for effective and timely action on extradition of foreign accused and prosecution of Dow Chemical.

Do join us for this important protest. I am attaching a pamphlet we are bringing out for this protest. This is the english draft, the pamphlet will be brought out in Marathi.

You may send in your comments as the draft is going for printing tomorrow morning.

LOKAYAT ANNUAL MEETING 2010

LOKAYAT ANNUAL MEETING 2010


LOKAYAT CORDIALLY INVITES YOU FOR ANNUAL MEETING 2010

ON SUNDAY, 23 MAY AT 4 PM – 8 PM

AT

Lokayat Hall

Third Floor, Opp. Syndicate Bank, Law College Road,

Near Nul Stop,    Pune – 411 004

The LOKAYAT ANNUAL MEETING takes place once a year, and is an occasion wherein we place before our activists and sympathizers the various activities undertaken by LOKAYAT activists over the past year, critically review them, and plan a broad framework of our activities for the next year. It is an occasion where we invite all those who sympathize with the aims of Lokayat to join us in this annual review, and give  their critical opinions on our activities and suggestions on what we could do in the coming months.

We invite you to join us for this important meeting. Your inputs and suggestions would be most helpful to us in planning our future activities.


Alka  +91 9422319129

Ajit +91 9423586330



Two important programs

Dear friends,

Here is the invitation to two important programs being organised in the city on May 13 and May 15. Do come.

PROGRAM ONE:     MAY 13, Thursday

This is the tenth year of Sharmila Irom’s hunger strike. Various progressive groups all over the country are organizing programs to support her epic struggle.  In one such program, a group of activists from Kerala, led by the well-known Malayalee writer Sara Joseph and the renowned theatre activist and director Civic Chandran have organized a HIND SWARAJ PEACE MARCH from Kerala to Imphal. The Peace March will be passing through many cities in various parts of the country. The Yatra will be reaching Pune on May 13. Various progressive groups in Pune, including Lokayat, have extended their support to this PEACE MARCH and are organizing the following program as an expression of their solidarity. We invite all peace and justice loving citizens of Pune to participate in this program in large numbers.

Date: Thursday, May 13, 2010

Venue: S.M. Joshi Foundation, Navi Peth

Program:

5 pm: Dialogue with the participants of the Yatra

6-8 pm: Monologue: Le Mashalein…

Film: Tales from the Margins

For more information, contact:

Subhash Ware     9822020773                Alka Joshi                 94223 19129

Suniti S. R.            94235 71784              Suresh Deshmukh    94223 02164

PROGRAM TWO: May 15, Saturday

Panel Discussion:

After the Copenhagen Disaster:

Climate-Responsible Development for India and the World

Climate-responsible development is both necessary and possible. The panellists, Praful Bidwai, Girish Sant and Anant Sardeshmukh chaired by Dr Madhav Gadgil will analyse the National Action Plan on Climate Change and update on the discussions of the recently set up Low-Carbon Development Pathways group of the Planning Commission. They will present the case for going beyond market-based approaches to more robust and equitable approaches that should not only inform national policy but also be reflected in city- and state-level policies and programmes.

Venue

Moolgaokar Auditorium

Ground Floor, A Wing, International Convention Centre, Senapati Bapat Road, Pune

Schedule

4.30 pm          Tea and registration
5.00 pm          Panel Discussion

Chair               Dr Madhav Gadgil

Speakers         Dr Praful Bidwai

Shri Girish Sant

Shri Anant Sardeshmukh

6.45 pm          Comments and views from audience and discussion
7.15 pm          Concluding remarks

7.30 pm          Refreshments


Chair

Dr Madhav Gadgil

Padmabhushan, Padmashri Dr Madhav Gadgil is an ecologist and conservation biologist, and the founder of the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Education. He has also taught at Stanford and University of California, Berkeley. A recent assignment is as Chair of the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel which is highly contextual given that it is estimated that the Western Ghats neutralize 4 million tons of carbon annually

Lead Speaker

Praful Bidwai

An independent columnist, social science researcher, environmental activist, Praful Bidwai is the author of the recently published book: ‘An India That Can Say Yes: A Climate-Responsible Development Agenda for Copenhagen and Beyond’

Discussants

Girish Sant

Girish Sant coordinates Prayas Energy Group, a research oriented group working on policy analysis and advocacy, especially in the power sector. He is a member of the recently set up Low-Carbon Development Pathways group by the Planning Commission.

Anant Sardeshmukh

Anant Sardeshmukh is CEO of MCCIA and has over 25 years experience in Corporate Finance, Project Finance, Non Banking Finance.  He is a member of the Governing Councils of Auto Cluster Development & Research Institute Ltd., Pune, the National Agriculture & Food Analysis & Research Institute (NAFARI) and the State Level Committee on Standardization of Quality Systems of Govt of Maharashtra

Organized by:

Centre for Environment Education,

Prayas Energy Group (PEG)

Parisar

Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA)