Kudos to Indian Athletes! This appreciation is not for some record Indian athletes have set internationally but this is for their reported move to boycott London Olympics 2012.A group of current and former athletes have sent a petition to the Indian government to boycott the games in order to register protest against Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the games worth £ 7 millions.
Dow Chemicals purchased Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 1999 while UCC was responsible for world’s worst industrial disaster in Indian city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh where thousands of people died due to a leakage methyl isocyanate (MIC) and many still today are born with deformities and face complications. UCC had it fairly easy as it got away with a meager compensation of Rs. 750 crore while genuine demands for increase in compensation have fallen flat on deaf ears. Also man behind the catastrophe, Warren Anderson then CEO and Chairman of the company was able flee and attempts of extradition have been equally disappointing.
UCC is now a part of Dow Chemicals after the purchase deal. This boycott by Indian athletes would be highly symbolic in nature but one can obviously expect media coverage from around the world, as boycott of Olympics by a large contingent would surely raise the level of curiosity. CM Madhya Pradesh, an Indian state where the tragedy took place has backed the stance firmly and has demanded that if the sponsorship continues the boycott should take place. Government’s response to the petition is pending.
Dow chemical is liable to pay £ 1.1 bn as compensation while it continues to defend its stand of not doing the same.