S. Viswanathan has appropriately brought out The Hindu's extraordinarily factual and balanced coverage of the Bhopal gas tragedy 26 years ago (“How The Hindu covered the 1984 Bhopal calamity,” Online and Off line, June 21). The very important point in G.K. Reddy's report is that Dr. P.C. Alexander, Principal Secretary to Rajiv Gandhi, brought the facts of Mr. Anderson's arrest and release to the Prime Minister's notice. Dr. Alexander recently denied any knowledge of the affair, for obvious reasons. However, he expressed the opinion that it could not have happened without the Prime Minister's knowledge. Overall, the Readers' Editor has given us an excellent insight into the factual happenings in the corridors of power, through the historical record of The Hindu.
Thanks to the Readers' Editor, young readers like me got an opportunity to learn about the style, content and nature of The Hindu's reporting in retrospect. The newspaper's coverage of the human tragedy was indeed fair, factual and sober.
There was no sensationalism and the initial uncertainty over the casualty figures cannot be faulted considering the enormity of the tragedy. The fact that the electronic media were not so popular then increased the responsibility of the newspaper. I request the RE to do more such features and give us more information about The Hindu's coverage of the past.