CHENNAI: After playing a vital role in forcing Hindustan Unilever Ltd to settle the mercury poisoning dispute with her widely viewed Kodaikanal Won’t rap number, the Chennai-based rapper Sofia Ashraf has now turned her sight on Dow Chemicals and the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
In a new video titled Dow vs Bhopal initiated by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, Sofia sings for Bhopal victims, opening a new chapter in the 32-year-old struggle. The song is composed by the music band Area Dwgz, who played music in Rajnikanth-starrer Kabali. The director of the video was Subu, who directed Sutta Kadhai.
In the video, Sofia questions the US Department of Justice for shielding Dow Chemicals that was responsible for the death of innocent people in India’s biggest industrial tragedy.
Speaking to Express, Sofia said the latest rap number was meant to garner one lakh signatures for the petition posted in the White House website. “We already have 20,000 signatures and another 80,000 are needed to make White House reply why it didn’t allow India to drag Dow Chemicals to justice.”
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy is the world’s biggest industrial disaster that occurred on the night of December 2, 1984. The methyl isocyanate (an extremely toxic organic compound used in making some pesticides; inhaling it causes choking and death) leaked from tanks in the Union Carbide India Limited’s pesticide manufacturing plant and led to over 5 lakh injuries and more than 5,000 deaths. The chemicals entered the groundwater and soil and continues to cause health problems and birth defects among the local people. Activist Nityanand Jayaraman said the Bhopal court in 2015 issued four summons to Dow Chemicals, but none reached the firm. The US Department of Justice acted as a shield.