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Disability, Disease and the Deceased: Reading Health and Justice in Animal’s People

Journal: Media Watch (Vol.12, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 58-66

Keywords : disability; Bhopal Gas Tragedy; toxicity; environment; illness.;

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The interaction between disability studies and ecocriticism has attracted effective responses from academia. This paper investigates how toxicity deteriorates environmental health and also engenders chronic illnesses and disability in the backdrop of the Bhopal gas tragedy. Animal's People (2007) by Indra Sinha portrays the life of a disabled boy who takes the readers to a post-apocalyptic fictional city, Khaufpur, where he introduces the readers to his disability and the shame and stigma attached to it. The novel vividly discusses the gas leak, the plight of the exposed people, and the medical response team's failure, who stood clueless in assisting the victims. The novel dramatizes ‘that night' when the chemicals were spewed into the air, affecting the exposed, killing fetuses, and later disabling the survived. The paper also proposes to scrutinize how slow violence affects the marginalized people and how it distorts a person's identity by attributing him an ill body that is continuously under the siege of the ableist and normative society. It further looks into how the diseased and disabled bodies navigate a world that only privileges the non-disabled in the novel's backdrop. The article explores how the injustice inflicted by both the government and the multinational corporations permanently disables the environment, thereby depriving the people of their right to a healthy life.

Last modified: 2021-05-06 14:20:44