The Bhopal Disaster: A Rhetorical Analysis
The Bhopal Disaster was a gas leak incident that occurred on the night of December 2–3, 1984, at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. It is considered one of the world’s worst industrial catastrophes.
According to official estimates, 3,787 people died within two weeks and 8,000 to 10,000 people within two months after the disaster. Most of the victims were killed by suffocation and pulmonary edema due to the inhaling of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas. UCIL was fully owned by Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), an American chemical company. The Indian government terminated UCIL’s operating license for failure to meet safety standards and clean up the factory site.
In 2006 UCC agreed to pay $470 million to the Indian government as part of an out-of-court settlement; however, this amount was widely criticized as inadequate.
2. The disaster and its aftermath
On December 3, 1984, at around 1:00 am local time, water entered Tank E610 of the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India through a faulty valve. This caused a chemical reaction that led to the release of approximately 42 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas into the atmosphere. The gas drifted over nearby shantytowns where thousands of people were asleep. Many people died instantly while others started running in all directions, choking and blinded by the poisonous gas. Large numbers of animals also died due to exposure to the gas.
The MIC gas cloud reached as high as three kilometers into the air and spread over an area of 40 square kilometers within minutes. The dense concentration of the gas caused most people who were exposed to it to die within hours from suffocation and pulmonary edema. Some survivors experienced temporary blindness, brain damage, liver damage, and problems with their immune system. In total, 3,787 people died within two weeks after the disaster and 8,000 to 10,000 people died within two months.
In addition to those who died from exposure to the gas, many more people have died from diseases such as cancer and respiratory problems that are believed to be caused by exposure to the contaminated water in Bhopal. As of 2006, it was estimated that over 500,000 people had been affected by the disaster in some way.
The exact number of casualties will never be known because many people who were exposed to the gas left Bhopal in search of treatment and never returned. Moreover, many birth defects have been reported in children born to parents who were exposed to the gas during pregnancy.
The disaster also had a devastating impact on the environment. All plants and animals in the affected area were killed by the MIC gas and the soil and water were contaminated with chemical waste from the factory.
3. Rhetorical analysis of the report
The website “Bhopal Disaster Report” provides an overview of the tragedy as well as information about its aftermath. The website is designed to inform readers about what happened during and after the disaster.
The website uses a variety of rhetorical strategies to achieve its purpose including statistics, first-hand accounts, interviews, visual images, and maps.
The website begins with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which sets the tone for the rest of the website. The quote reads: “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” This quote is effective in establishing the website’s purpose because it immediately informs readers that the website is about more than just the tragedy itself; it is also about the aftermath and the struggle for justice that has ensued.
The website uses a variety of statistics to convey the scale of the disaster. For example, the website notes that 3,787 people died within two weeks and 8,000 to 10,000 people died within two months. The website also provides information about the number of people who have been affected by the disaster in some way, which is estimated to be over 500,000.
In addition to statistics, the website also uses first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses to provide a personal perspective on the disaster. These accounts are effective in conveying the emotional impact of the tragedy.
The website also uses interviews with experts to provide a more in-depth understanding of the disaster. For example, an interview with Dr. Balkrishna Namdeo provides information about the health effects of exposure to the gas.
The website uses a variety of visual images to convey the magnitude of the disaster. These images include photographs of victims, maps showing the spread of the gas, and graphs displaying data about casualties and health impacts.
The use of all these rhetorical strategies makes the website an effective way to inform readers about the Bhopal Disaster and its aftermath.
The Bhopal Disaster was a tragic event that had a devastating impact on the people of Bhopal and the environment. The website “Bhopal Disaster Report” provides an overview of the disaster as well as information about its aftermath.
The website uses a variety of rhetorical strategies to achieve its purpose, including statistics, first-hand accounts, interviews, visual images, and maps. These strategies are effective in conveying the magnitude of the disaster and its impact on the people of Bhopal.