In early December 1984, a poisoned cloud spewing from a factory lacking in safety mechanisms killed, maimed and choked tends of thousands. Twenty-five years on, the legacy of that fateful night is playing out in the tortured souls and bodies of the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster. In this issue, Indra Sinha, in a story written for Himal to commemorate the disaster, resurrects Animal, that creature on all fours – at once angry, funny and hopeful.
To complement Animal’s indomitable spirit in this issue, artist Venantius J Pinto gives life to his ferocity, seemingly riding on the River Styx in a netherworld of frustration and despair. Yet somewhere lurks the ability to perceive and derive strength from rejection and the denial of compassion.
Animal in Bhopal By Indra Sinha
Regional winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, Indra Sinha, in this exclusive for Himal resurrects Animal, who continues to be boundless, refusing to accept the restraint of human law, custom or convention.
December 1984 By Sathyu Sarangi
Many of the battles begun 25 years ago, in the aftermath of catastrophe, continue today.
The specious ‘corporate veil’
Interview with H Rajan Sharma, international lawyer practicing in New York, currently lead counsel in a class-action litigation against Union Carbide.