| by N.S.Venkataraman
( December 08, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) Bhopal tragedy appears to have become ghost for Dow Chemical, tarnishing its reputation built over several decades of hard work.
|Bhopal teenager Sachin Kumar, whose legs were rendered practically useless by a birth defect, plays cricket with his friends near the deserted Union Carbide factory Photograph: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images|
Dow Chemical took over Union Carbide well after the Bhopal tragedy in India occurred and therefore it was aware of the human sufferings caused due to the tragedy and consequent need to pay compensation to the victims.
However, Dow Chemical appears to have taken the stand that they should not be held responsible for the liability of Union Carbide, which is unacceptable.
Whatever may be the legal wrangling on the issue, the fact is that Dow Chemical can not ignore the humanitarian aspects. It should pay the compensation amount as required by the principles of natural justice to the victims. If it would not do so, the loss of goodwill would be far more significant than the money gain that it would get, by denying the adequate compensation to the victims.
As a logical step, Government of India has now asked the Indian Olympic Association to protest against the sponsorship of Dow Chemical for the forthcoming Olympic Games, to the International Olympic Committee.
While Dow Chemical with it’s clout may over come this protest, tarnishing of it’s fair image can not be avoided. Dow Chemical should have more pragmatic and ethical approach to this situation.
One more problem faced by the company is that Dow Agro Science of India has been black listed by Government of India for bribing the officials.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has reported that during investigation, it has been established that De-Nocil Crop Protection Ltd.., presently known as Dow Agro Sciences India, paid illegal gratification as well as pecuniary advantages to the government officials for expediting registration of three of its products. The registration was done between 1996 and 2001. Agro Pack, a product formulator of the company facilitated the payment of illegal gratification.
Dow Agro Sciences India P Ltd, Mumbai and Agro Pack have been black listed and excluded from purchase of pesticides made by the government for a period of five years vide order dated September 16.2010.
Dow Chemical has to work out long term and fair public relation policies and double it’s efforts to convince the world community that it is not only committed to technology but also to ethical value system.