At this time, 70 years ago World War II was nearing its end, and today, 6th August was the day that the city of Hiroshima was devastated. Devastated by an atomic bomb that no country has dared to use, post this war, despite many countries being in possession of nuclear weapons.
Our family visited Hiroshima in the autumn of 2012. A blog post on this can be seen here. My two boys, not yet in their teens at that time, vividly recall the scenes they saw at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and Museum. The irreversible effects of nuclear weapons was there to see so many years later. The impactful displays I suppose were etched in their young minds for life. Only two buildings had survived the A-bomb – a domed building, now called the A-bomb Dome and a school, thousands of people died and thousands remain affected by the radiation to this day, either directly or indirectly. With 70 years of advancement in technology, one can only imagine the effect today’s weapons might have.
About ten days ago, our former President Dr Abdul Kalam, India’s “Missile Man” passed away. While remembering his life, many of the television channels played his old interviews and the inspirational talks he gave at various places over the world. Dr Kalam often talked about peace, ironical given that he was closely associated with India’s defence and weaponry. In line with this though, whenever asked about nuclear weapons, Dr Kalam would reply “Strength respects strength”. The message was direct – to be respected by other countries (so that they think you are strong and will think a hundred times before they wage war on you), India needs to have nuclear capability. This is obviously what all the countries who have nuclear weapons think. Nuclear weapon = No one will attack. Nuclear weapons are deterrents to the enemy. On both sides really. And the nuclear power thing… well, despite being called clean energy, it bears the same risks as nuclear weapons.
From the Hiroshima and Nagasaki precedent, those with common sense and who care about humanity (note: both qualities are required) would not ever use the nuclear weapons that they might possess. So assuming that the heads of state are such people, all the countries that have them can keep them safe… something like gold ornaments in a bank locker. The smart ones actually will divert their funds to safer armament and sources of energy while making the others believe they are still nuclear equipped.
Great fans of Dr Kalam after seeing the film ‘I am Kalam’, my boys watched the television re-runs over several days. “After visiting Hiroshima, we know that nuclear is equal to disaster. I don’t think Dr Kalam had been to Hiroshima. He would have thought differently if he did.”
LET ALL THE SOULS HERE REST IN PEACE FOR WE SHALL NOT REPEAT THE EVIL
– Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace