Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy
The Chinese explosion of a nuclear device in October, 1964 only for peace-loving people of world had highlighted the need for putting an immediate end to the atomic race. Every step forward in the direction of improving, perfecting and piling up of nuclear weapons brings the world nearer to a precipice. The trouble spots in the world are many and the prospects of a nuclear war, while it makes the world shudder, cannot be entirely ruled in a world charged with distrust, tension and selfishness.
Ever since the first bomb fell on the unfortunate cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the people all the world over have been yearning for a world free of nuclear threat. The world has experienced the rigours of two world wars and the thoughts of a third and an atomic war at that, make the mankind tremble. That is why even as the last chapter of the Second World War was being written, man in his wisdom, was taking steps for the banishments of war and its weapons. The United Nations Organisation is an embodiment of the man’s desire to live in peace and harmony.
Armaments like the atom and hydrogen bombs have made war itself meaningless. In the event of an atomic war breaking out it is now confirmed that nobody perhaps” would be left to taste the fruit of conquest. An atomic war would mean complete annihilation of the human race.
Even if there are a few survivors, they would be condemned to live in agony and fear of catching deadly ailments born out of nuclear fission and fusion, the unpalatable effects of nuclear explosions. Even the nuclear tests bring in their wake their own rigours radio-active dust and particles and make life miser-able. It is indeed unfortunate and at the same time ridiculous that nations, while realizing the futility of war, should continue to perfect and stockpile a device which in their heart of hearts they know, would never be used. What then might be of this mad race for nuclear weapons?
The fear complex from which the leaders of the two camps of the world suffer makes it imperative for them to maintain their supremacy over the other in every field of activity including the atomic sphere, lest, in the event of a showdown, they might have to court defeat. But this mutual fear of each other is limited only to the leaders and Governments. If anything, this alludes to a diseased mind and a perverted thinking. The common people all the world over love peace and do not want the act of war to be repeated at any cost.
They have been pinning for peace and a world free of war; they want to co-operate in improving their lot and to usher in a prosperous tomorrow. And in this task they want to be strengthened and sustained by the advancement made in the scientific and technological spheres. But here the inter-play of power politics comes in and instead of being used for peaceful purposes the conquest of the atom and the outer space is being put to use for destructive purposes.
Peaceful use of the atom is still a far cry. Atomic energy can and should change the entire face of the world. It can convert barren deserts into blooming fields, a stark requirement in these days of food shortages. It can help in banishing diseases, taming turbulent rivers and making life more beautiful and happy. But alas, instead of opening up new vistas of peace and progress atomic energy is being used as a weapon of war.
What the Chinese explosion of atom bomb has done is to remind the world that the question of complete and total disarmament and destruction of nuclear devices brooks no delay and can be delayed any longer at our great peril. If the mankind is to live, and live it must, it will have to assert itself in checking the race for the proliferation and perfection of atomic weapons. If we have to survive and live in peace and prosperity atom for peace must be our motto.
The world is still full of conflicts and power politics. The feeling of the east and the west, north and south still dominates us. As a result some people have hailed the Chinese explosion and expressed jubilation that atomic weapons were no longer the monopoly of the west alone and that now an Asian country too was master of it. This is a pointer to a perverted thinking. A weapon of destruction, like the atom bomb, will remain so whether it is in the hands of the west or the east. The fact that it is now being possessed by an Asian country does not make it less deadly. Whoever possesses it, the world is a loser for it cannot allow itself to be annihilated.
Man’s primary aim is to live and to live in peace. It is this desire that has prompted him to perfect weapons of defence against atomic holocaust, along with the weapons of mass destruction. Saner elements all over the world have been giving west to this inherent desire of man ever since the first atomic blast. But perhaps the voice of our late Minister, Sri Nehru was the loudest in favour of peace.
Thanks to the efforts of these enlightened men of the century, these untiring soldiers of peace, a change is perceptible in the thinking of world leaders. Even the leaders of giant atomic countries like the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. have come to realize the need of peace and disarmament. It is a matter of great joy that earnest efforts are now being made in this direction. Already they have resulted in the signing of a test ban treaty to which more than hundred countries have appended their signatures. This is a significant step forward towards the goal of complete and total disarmament and augurs well for the future of mankind.
What is needed today is to widen the area and scope of this test ban treaty so that ultimately war becomes a thing of the past. Nuclear and atomic research should be used for peaceful purposes. If we succeed in banishing war and limiting the use of atomic energy to peaceful purposes only, this world would be a better and beautiful place to live. That should indeed be our goal.