Mrs. Neelam Krishnamurthy (the mother of two teenagers killed in the Uphaar tragey) and Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy approached the Courts believing it is a temple of justice. One hopes, that after their 18 year battle they do not start thinking justice is some form of witchcraft, and that their faith in the system is ‘barkaraar’, i.e. intact. One has only heard of faith healers and witch doctors in rural areas where there are no doctors. No one’s yet heard of ‘faith justice’ or ‘witch justice’.

The best dream for all those seeking justice from the hallowed temples of justice is that one day they have money, lots of it, and employ good lawyers and then approach courts.

What’s actually happened is we’ve seen the result of two great scientific experiments conducted over 18 years.

The first one runs as follows:

  • the influential accused and rich clients stuff lots of rupees and possibility of fame and name into a high profile lawyer’s pockets
  • that apparently sets of a bio-chemical reaction in his mind and he churns out solid and ‘convincing’ arguments
  • the chemically prepared concoction of rupees and smart arguments is then poured into the minds of ‘Lordships’
  • mesmerised dispensers of justice then make their newly acquired wisdom public property for free
  • the poor client seeking justice, who’s at the wrong end of the stick is then sagely advised by the prominent and articulate ‘spokespersons’ of Society to maintain faith in the system and its fairness

This is a fail-safe experiment and will repeat any number of times, in most laboratory situations and social conditions.

The second experiment led to the discovery of a mathematical formula to determine the cost of human life. The formula is:

compensation from Union Carbide  +  cost of Uphaar Tragedy

no. of people killed in Bhopal  +  no. of people killed in Uphaar Tragedy

= Rupee value of one India life


Rs. 1055 cr  +  Rs. 60 cr

10000 people + 59

= Rs. 011 cr / Indian life (Rs. 11 lakh / person)

(Note: $ 470 million was the compensation received from Union Carbide in 1989, when $ 1 was = Rs. 22.44. And the figure of number of deaths in Bhopal has been estimated by different people ranges from 3700+ to 20000. To simplify matters the rough and round figure of 10 000 people has been used in this calculation. In any case, given our system and mindset it does not matter much whether 10000 people died or the figure was 20000. They were ordinary, nondescript citizens.)


The only thing unclear about the second research finding is which branch of knowledge it should be categorised under. The options are simple Mathematics, Bio-Mathematics, Social Maths or Mortality Mathematics.

In any case both bits of research qualify for the Nobel Prize later this year. The first one obviously qualifies for the Chemistry Nobel Prize. Not sure if there is one for Mortality Mathematics. In that case it will have to be the Nobel Peace Prize for the second bit of Research. And rightly so because that is the formula already approved by Courts to maintain peace and stability in Society.

A word of tribute to the yeoman service rendered by the likes of Sr. Adv. Ram Jethmalani is entirely in order. There’s unanimity on the fact that none has served the cause of justice better. It must be noted that he has laboured tirelessly till the raw young age of 92 years. Should he decide to hang up his boots, or his black robes, or victims of tragedies or whatever else he decides to hang up; and whether he chooses to do that at 92 or 192 years he’ll be well advised to do the following:

i) take deep breaths for 60 seconds

ii) then look into the mirror for another 60 seconds

iii) take a pen and paper in his hands for 60 minutes each day and reflect on his colourful past

If he suffers any qualms of conscience there’ll be hope at 92 or 192 or whenever that is. He might still be considered part of the human species.

Anand Mazgaonkar