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Bhopal Disaster - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Bhopal: Crisis and Responsibility The worst chemical disaster that the modern world has yet seen took place in India in the year 1984. Union Carbide, a now defunct company, was producing pesticides within its industrial facility in Bhopal Madhya Pradesh when an explosion caused a release of hydrogen cyanide…
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Bhopal Disaster

Download file to see previous pages... Regardless of the overall loss of life or the nature of the explosion that caused the subsequent release, the pertinent business issue associated with such a horrifying event is seeking to determine culpability for the tragedy. As such, this essay will discuss overall culpability as well as seek to define where ownership begins and culpability ends. Before delving into such a topic and seeking to weigh economic costs and benefits, the author of this piece feels incumbent to reiterate the sheer scale of this disaster so that the reader might not in any way seem to misunderstand that this analysis has not taken into full account the suffering and loss of life that such a careless and poorly managed disaster has effected on countless rural and working poor in Bhopal, India (Bloch 2012). As such, although this analysis will seek to determine the overall level to which a business entity should be held responsible for a tragedy of epic proportions, such an analysis will seek to address both moral and ethical issues associated with the Bhopal crisis without merely focusing on the positive and negative business factors that could affect such a decision. Only days after the Bhopal disaster, CEO of Union Carbide was testifying before the United States Congress exalting the “commitment to safety” that Union Carbide has exhibited in the past and plans to exhibit in the future with reference to ensuring such an incident would never occur again. Ultimately, Union Carbide agreed to pay over 300 million USD to the victims of the Bhopal disaster as a means to attempt to evade any further litigation surrounding the matter. However, due to the sheer size and scope of the Bhopal tragedy, such a sidestep was impossible (Kripalanin 2008). Eventually, the legal ramifications of the Bhopal disaster forced Union Carbide to divest itself entirely of its Indian holdings and sell of the remainder of its operations within the subcontinent. As such, many individuals, both within India and within the remainder of the world thought that a likely end to the legal wrangling surrounding the Bhopal incident would likely draw to a close. However, this was not the case. Due to the sheer size en horror of the incident, it remained indelibly seared onto the minds of the populace and government entities within India. As a function of this, when DOW chemical bought some of the components that originally constituted Union Carbide in 2002, many officials within the Indian government as well as human rights activists that had closely monitored the legal back and forth between Union Carbide and its affiliates in the wake of the disaster began to make immediate demands upon DOW chemical to don the mantle of responsibility for the disaster (Ali 2012). Eager to have a recognizable MNC at the helm of the now defunct portions of Union Carbide, many believed that DOW should be responsible for the final remediation and civic responsibility associated with the Bhopal disaster. At the risk of sounded calloused and with a long and storied reputation to uphold, DOW chemical found itself at a severe impasse. Rather than outright denying the claim and risking alienating key shareholders within one of the fastest growing markets in the world, DOW found itself ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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