Nepal must not shirk its obli­ga­tion to con­trib­ute to world peace

The China Post - - COMMENTARY - BY SHYAM K.C.

On Aug. 6, 1945 the world wit­nessed what can re­ally be called one of the blackest days in hu­man history.

A U.S. plane named Enola Gay dropped an atom bomb over Hiroshima in Ja­pan.

The bomb named Lit­tle Boy in­stantly killed over 70,000 peo­ple and com­pletely dev­as­tated the city.

The death toll from the ra­di­a­tion and other prob­lems cre­ated by the atomic blast brought the fi­nal death count to about 150,000.

Lit­tle Boy, it seems, was not so lit­tle nor as in­no­cent as a nor­mal lit­tle boy would gen­er­ally be.

But then what’s in a name, an atomic bomb will prove to be just as dev­as­tat­ing what­ever it is called.

Another city of Ja­pan, Na­gasaki, was also bombed on Aug. 9. Fol­low­ing the bomb­ings, Ja­pan an­nounced its sur­ren­der less than a week later for­mally end­ing World War II (1939-1945) that killed over an es­ti­mated 50 mil­lion peo­ple out of the then world pop­u­la­tion of about 2.5 bil­lion.

The two atomic bomb at­tacks, are thank­fully, the only two nu­clear bomb­ings to have ever taken place so far.

And we need to take lessons from those ex­plo­sions that killed so many in­no­cent civil­ians, in­clud­ing small chil­dren.

Mean­while, five years be­fore the start of the Sec­ond World War, Nepal was rocked by a se­vere earth­quake in 1934 that dev­as­tated many parts of the coun­try in­clud­ing the Kathmandu Val­ley killing an es­ti­mated 10,000 Nepali peo­ple and dev­as­tat­ing many cities and vil­lages.

Yet, did we take lessons from the 1934 earth­quake? How pre­pared were we for the April earth­quake that oc­curred three months ago? As time flew by, the Nepali state and its peo­ple seemed to have for­got­ten that the coun­try lies in a seis­mi­cally ac­tive zone.

We failed to take nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions and even when build­ing codes came into force, they were flouted by the com­mon peo­ple as well as the gov­ern­ment and the lo­cal author­i­ties.

In the same way, the world seems to have for­got­ten the tragic war that oc­curred 70 years ago.

Oth­er­wise, there would have been ef­forts to ban the use of nu­clear weapons and de­stroy its stock­pile owned by a few coun­tries.

The de­struc­tion of nu­clear weapons has not taken place and now more coun­tries want to pos­sess nu­clear weapons in­stead.

And why should they not want them? Should nu­clear weapons be the mo­nop­oly of just a few coun­tries, mak­ing this world an un­equal place to live in?

Glued to Dis­as­ter

De­spite the known dan­gers of nu­clear weapons, many coun­tries want them, if only as a de- ter­rent.

To­day there are five nu­clear weapon states — the UK, the U. S., France, Rus­sia and the Peo­ple’s Re­pub­lic of China.

In­dia and Pak­istan also have nu­clear weapons while North Korea is sus­pected of pos­sess­ing nu­clear bombs.

Iran is al­legedly de­vel­op­ing a nu­clear weapon while Is­rael is also said to be in pos­ses­sion of them.

There are es­ti­mated to be over 20,000 nu­clear war­heads and weapons (some of them out­dated but can be reused) in the world to­day, enough to wipe out most of the liv­ing be­ings of the earth (in­clud­ing hu­man be­ings), sev­eral times over.

Yet coun­tries and gov­ern­ments of var­ied po­lit­i­cal and/or re­li­gious faiths who con­tinue to de­clare their com­mit­ment to peace want to pos­sess nu­clear weapons de­spite know­ing how de­struc­tive and damn­ing such weapons can be.

They not only kill in­stantly but also leave be­hind ra­di­a­tion that lasts for years and re­sults in large- scale hu­man fa­tal­i­ties.

It is not that the dan­gers of nu­clear weapons as well as nu­clear waste pro­duced by nu­clear re­ac­tors and nu­clear energy plants are not well known to al­most ev­ery­one.

And there is the ques­tion of ac­ci­dents at nu­clear power plants and re­ac­tors.

Who can for­get the panic caused by the Ch­er­nobyl nu­clear ac­ci­dent that took place in 1986?

Then there was the Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear dis­as­ter in 2011. These are but two of the al­most 100 nu­clear ac­ci­dents that have been recorded since the first atomic bomb was dropped in 1945. Still, it is not as though noth­ing is be­ing done in this re­gard.

The U.N., through its var­i­ous agen­cies, has suc­ceeded in ban­ning the test of nu­clear bombs in the at­mos­phere.

And Ger­many, which was af­fected ad­versely by the ra­di­a­tion from the Ch­er­nobyl nu­clear dis­as­ter, is to phase out all its nu­clear power plants by 2022 fol­low­ing anti- nu­clear protests by the peo­ple. But this is far from enough.

World at Peace

And last week, the Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe ex­pressed re­morse over Ja­pan’s role in the Sec­ond World War.

The Amer­i­cans, how­ever, have never apol­o­gized for drop­ping the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Na­gasaki.

Still, nei­ther the Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter’s re­gret nor an Amer­i­can apol­ogy ( if it ever comes) will be enough to wipe off the in­de­scrib­able hu­man suf­fer­ing (and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion) that the world ex­pe­ri­enced be­cause of the wars and the use of atom bombs.

The need of the day is to en­sure that no wars ever take place whether such a war be a mi­nor civil strife con­ducted on flim­si­est of grounds or a global one con­ducted for what war­ring fac­tions per­ceive to be ma­jor is­sues.

A to­tal and com­plete dis­ar­ma­ment should be the ideal goal.

But such a tar­get might seem to be too ide­al­is­tic in a world that sees con­flicts of one kind or the other al­most ev­ery day of the year in one part of the world or the other.

Nonethe­less, it is a goal worth striv­ing for by peace lov­ing peo­ple ev­ery­where.

And while it must be the goal of all global or­ga­ni­za­tions to aim for to­tal dis­ar­ma­ment, the de­struc­tion of all nu­clear weapons must be the first step to­ward re­al­iz­ing such an ide­al­is­tic goal.

Nepal lies in be­tween two coun­tries that have nu­clear weapons and are op­er­at­ing nu­clear re­ac­tors.

They are also plan­ning on build­ing large-scale nu­clear power plants. Not far away from us, Pak­istan also pos­sesses nu­clear weapons. The dan­ger these na­tions pose to Nepal is self ev­i­dent and yet we re­main silent about the ever grow­ing threat not merely to this coun­try but to the en­tire re­gion.

And we have our en­light­ened lead­ers to thank for dis­card­ing the pur­suit of the Zone of Peace pro­posal that was sup­ported by over 100 coun­tries.

Maybe they think it is bet­ter for us to be­come a zone of con­flict rather than that of peace.

Our gov­ern­ment, must do its bit to make this world a bet­ter place, which means a world with­out wars and deadly nu­clear weapons — a world at peace.

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