On Hiroshima Day

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While observing the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, the city’s mayor called on US President Barack Obama and other world leaders to visit the city to see the scars of the atomic bombing first hand. He said, “If you do, you will be convinced that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil that must no longer be allowed to exist.” Japan, being a victim of nuclear bombing during the World War II, has gone through sordid experience of how devastating nuclear attacks are. The nation therefore has every right to draw the attention of the nations across the globe, highlighting the futility of nuclear weapons. But is there possibility of a world without nuclear weapons? Tom Dunn, an emerging commentator on international relations in his essay, ‘Is a world without Nuclear Weapons a realistic prospect?’ gives a hard-hitting argument that there can never be a world without nuclear weapons. Dunn contends that there is unlikely scenario of all territorial and ideological disputes around the world being resolved, nuclear disarmament will remain elusive because unfortunately, the technology and knowledge, with the potential to be resurrected as new conflict emerge, will still exist. Even years after the end of the Cold War and the Warsaw Pact, nuclear weaponisations are still very much on the agenda. This is despite signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The treaty recognises five countries as nuclear-weapon countries: The US, Russia, UK, France and China. The treaty is signed by many countries and it is said that more countries have signed the treaty than any other treaty on arms limitation in the world’s history. Four countries have not signed the treaty. They are: North Korea, India, Pakistan which have openly conducted nuclear tests and arguably Israel, which is believed to own nuclear warheads.
Indeed, territorial disputes and associated turmoil are something which we hear and see daily on the television news channels, whether it is Gaza in West Asia or Ukraine in Eastern Europe. And not so far away, the boundary dispute between India and Pakistan, who are equally equipped with nuclear warheads, is matter of grave concern. Though, there are no indications of an immediate nuclear strike between the two nations, uncertainties still loom large as the relationship between the two have remained unstable. Here, Hiroshima’s mayor drawing the attention of US President Obama is more than appropriate. Obama before getting elected to second term as President had claimed that he has a commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. However, the international communities have not witnessed any meaningful step being taken up by the Obama administration towards his commitment of nuclear disarmament. Moreover, it is also undeniable that the US has been either directly or indirectly involved in most of the conflicts that have been taking place around the world. With the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons in its coffer, the US has always been at the helms of international affairs to superimpose its role as the ‘commander-in-chief’ of the world. In spite of the economic and cultural ties that are being established between different countries, there are no visible signs of long lasting peace as many of the conflicts have remained unresolved. Question may be raised, whether ideal concept, like ‘universal brotherhood’ will remain a utopian dream or not.  Or where do we locate ourselves, on a day like the Hiroshima Day? Being a citizen of a strife-torn place called Manipur on this planet, we do have our preoccupations. Perhaps, the answer lies in coming out of our domestic cocoons, at least for a day; and raise voices on issues that may seem unconnected with us, however small the voices are. But that would be a meaningful step towards universal brotherhood.  

Leader Writer: Senate Kh

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