The Slap on the Wrist at Bhopal

India's ruling United Progressive Alliance government is now embroiled in a controversy that shows every sign of snowballing into a crisis over its mishandling of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. The resulting uproar has once again brought the 25-year-old tragedy back to sow widespread public anger that appears likely to have an effect far beyond Bhopal, imperiling the government's attempts to pass a bill limiting liability over nuclear plants, which require extensive foreign participation, particularly by US companies. And, given India's long-standing ambivalence about foreign investors, it may well create an atmosphere in which the government, under public pressure, seeks to limit foreign direct investment of all kinds.

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