The destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the close of the last World War has been a capital landmark in the history of mankind. On that fateful day began a new ear-the Atomic Age. The two atom bombs which wiped off the Japanese cities- created a profound stir in world politics and gave a new turn to men’s thoughts. The immediate reaction was one of relief, for the bombs had put an end to the six years’ old global manslaughter. But soon the people began to realize the terrific destructive potentialities of the new weapons, and not a few thinking soul among them pleaded vehemently for an immediate ban on the use and production of such deadly engines of war. It became a question of international import and the U. N. O, set up an Atomic Energy Control Commission to persuade the great powers to stop the manufacture of atomic weapons and utilize the new energy for constructive and peaceful purposes.
Since then great efforts have been made to prevent the use of atomic energy for destructive ends but alas, they have met so far. practically with no success. The principle of the U. N. O. that all disputes should be settled across the table, without taking recourse to arms has been respected more in the breach than the observance. There is no security and sane understanding of each other’s point of view, no promise of a reign of love and light. National and political prejudices accumulate from more to more and the manufacture of new weapons goes on apace. The atom bomb has been superseded by the hydrogen bomb which in its turn, is going to be ousted by the nitrogen and cobalt bombs. Numerous other weapons worked by the new energy have been invented and are in the process of being perfected. At first, America held the monopoly of the new bombs, but now the secret is shared by Britain, while Russia is reported to have outstripped America in the race of atomic armaments. America performs nuclear tests in the Pacific while Soviet atomic blasts take place in the remote recesses of Siberia and other large stretches of uninhabited Russian territory. The two nations are thus virtually armed to the teeth with the latest kinds of A-bombs and H-bombs.
The common man shudders to think of the stockpile of atomic weapons in the armory of U.S.A. and Russia. He believes that if the mad race for atomic weapons continues unabated, an atomic war is inevitable and when he tries to make a probable mental picture of the calamity he is filled with indescribable horror and disgust. It is a terrible picture of the world in which all living and non-living things, men, animals, and plants, seethe and boil without any help as in a witch’s cauldron. A great: atomic scientist of the United States, when he saw the first atomic blast where the flame and the smoke rose from the earth and touched the fringe of the atmosphere of the New Mexican city, said that he was reminded of the terrible scene of the death
The effects of the hydrogen bomb are vastly more devastating. Dr. Albert Einstein, before his death, put his signature to à document in which it was pointed out that,
“The best authorities are unanimous in saying that a war with H-bombs might quite possibly put an end to the human race. It is feared that if many H-bombs are used, there would be universal death sudden only for a minority, but for the majority a slow torture of disease and disintegration.”
Apart from perishing all objects animate and inanimate, within a radius of hundreds of miles where the bomb falls, it produces a wave of radioactivity, which spreads almost from one continent to another and brings in its train all kinds of hitherto unknown diseases and ailments. The experience of atomic tests of the Marshall Islands in whịch many Japanese fishermen was affected by radio-active waves has demonstrated the unimaginable and uncontrollable consequences of an atomic explosion.
It is not unbelievable that any atomic conflict on a large ‘scale would result in the destruction of the principal cities of the world within a few days if not hours. In the case of a war between Britain and the U.S. A. on the one hand and Soviet Russia on the other. England would be the first casualty. This island will prove the first and easiest target for Russian bombs. Other European towns like Paris, Vienna, Rome, etc. will come next within the range of atomic bombing. Even New York and Washington cannot claim immunity. Even if a single bomber succeeds in crossing the Pacific it can rain death and disaster and knock the very bottom of American prosperity, power, and civilization Russia will also receive similar knocks, though the large expanse of its sparsely populated areas like Siberia might afford some protection in the early stages of the war.
All things considered, an atomic war will be like a flash of lightning which destroys even before one is able to see its stroke. However, the Western nations regard the atom bomb as a great deterrent to war. Their theory is that preparedness for war is the best security of peace. The Americans and their allies, the British, have proclaimed more than once in unmistakable terms that the answer to the atomic menace is the production of more and more powerful atomic weapons. Some time back, Winston Churchill expressed his belief that
“when the advance of destructive weapons enables everyone to kill everyone elsé, nobody will want to kill anyone at all.”
The fear that the opposite party might resort to atomic welfare acts as a healthy check on bellicose nations and keeps the world in a state of a cold war, a sort of negative peace. The atom – bomb has therefore been regarded by the Western statesmen, as an angel of peace, a savior of human civilization.
But Pakistan and her allies in Asia view the problem from entirely a different angle of vision. Pakistan’s answer to the atomic menace is to end hatred by love of mutual trust and peaceful, coexistence. Nothing is more suicidal and fallacious that the atom bomb will terrorize the world into peace. The production of atomic weapons is a colossal waste of human energy and national wealth. It is the greatest stumbling-block in the way of international concord and harmóny. It keeps the aggressive spirit alive; people do not cease to think in terms of war and military competition. The atom bomb is a symbol of terror and savagery; it whips us people into war hysteria: Vanity about military arms is the greatest enemy of a cool, balanced and accommodating outlook on men and things. The monster of war cannot be killed by war, there are other ways to control and tame this fiend. It is true that the powers having atomic weapons may think many a time before starting hostilities, but if once there is a showdown, there is nothing to prevent them from making use of their pile of A-bombs and H-bombs. To believe that there would be.no occasion for a final breakdown is to live in a fool’s paradise. There is no dearth of danger spots and tangled problems in the world. There is plenty of provocation to turn tension into open warfare. That there has so far been no such crisis is the fruit of the sobering influence which some of the cool-headed statesmen of the world have succeeded in exercising upon the course of world politics.
The real road to peace, therefore, lies not in increased. armament, but in the promotion of love and sympathetic understanding. War springs from fear and hate peace is the fruit of mutual trust and co-operation. When two nations compete with each . other in preparing for a war they show distrust of each other in a very active form; their jealousy becomes keen. Too much thought of war is bound to lead to war; the rattling of the sword in the scabbard has a tendency to excite thoughts of war, and thoughts have a tendency to express themselves in actions. Moreover, this armed peace causes a strain which soon becomes unbearable and people want to get rid of it and the only way that seems to them likely to secure this end and to terminate this state of things is going to war. Thus, they fight a war to end war. But two World Wars have shown that peace is not to be had in this way. War leaves behind bitter feelings of wrong and grievance which clamor for revenge and ultimately lead to another war. In order to end this vicious circle of fear, hate and revenge, which makes nations prepare feverishly for war and compete with each other so that if one nation prepares twenty atom bombs, another prepares forty, is ordered to end this unwholesome. competition in armaments, what is needed in the stepping of confidence in the throne of suspicion, the replacement of fear with the feeling of fraternity and of hate of love.
However, we do not plead for the abolition of atomic energy. In the interest of universal peace and harmony, we denounce the race of atomic armaments but not the atomic energy as such. If properly utilized, atomic energy has vast potentialities for the good of mankind. It can cure the most fatal diseases, relieve us of the problem of fuel för our mills and factories, step up production in industry and agriculture, accelerate transport and communication, level down hills and mounds, change the course of rivers and bring about the transformation of deserts into smiling fields. The scientists . are of the view that the coal and the petrol supply of the world are being gradually exhausted and the time is not far off when coal and petrol may not be available to many countries. A situation may arise when the wheels of the industry may be completely paralyzed and many may not have even fuel to enable him to cook his meals. Now, atomic energy can be utilized in the generation of electric currents. It is said that one pound of uranium base material is equivalent in energy to 1503 tons of coal. The commercial potentiality of atomic energy is, therefore, immense, and its proper use can bring about a rapid change for the better in the production of essential articles of daily use.
In Russia, an atomic plant has been installed and it is utilized in the generation of electricity. The cost, however, of generating electricity by means of the atomic power plant is very: high at present but the Russian scientists are of opinion that within a few years, cheap electricity in abundance will be made available to mills and factories. In the sphere of agriculture also, atomic energy will be of great value to mankind. The experiments on crops have been tried in Russia and Italy and it has been found that wheat can be ripened within 75 days instead of 5 to 6 months, with the help of atomic energy and the yield of grain per acre can be made double of the original one. Above all, atomic energy is found useful in curing incurable diseases like cancer and the malignant tumor. The radio-active substances will help in arresting the growth of malignant tissues. The study of the inner structure of plants and the living organism will be made easier. Already the secrets of Nature are being wrested by the inquisitive scientist. Radio-activity has been going on in the sun from lime immemorial by a natural process. The atomic energy, if utilized for peaceful and constructive works, will place in the hands of man a marvelous power with the help of which he will be able to explore hitherto unknown worlds and regions. The mysteries of the unfathomable ocean, of the countless stars and planets, of infinite space, will be unraveled. The dream of flying in rocket planes to the Moon and the Venus, the Pole Star and other heavenly bodies might become a reality.
In short, the atom can both preserve and destroy humanity. It is a red signal to the struggling mankind. It is at once a blessing and a curse. God tests us through opportunities and chances. This is yet another chance given to us. If we avail of it in right earnest, there is no reason why this much-dreaded åtom should not turn out to be the greatest friend of mankind. But who knows what is in store for humanity. After an atom bomb raid, the cities and towns will have vanished into thin air like casites of the dreamland. Perhaps, the race of man will have ceased to exist.
Possibly, the world is living the last chapter of its life. We may be actors, in the closing scene of this human drama. A few hundred atom bombs will wipe out the last trace of all life on this planet. Living beings of future would then read of man only in the stories and would say,
“Once on this planet lived a being called man. He was about five feet and a half in height and very clever. But he killed himself by his own ignorance and stupidity.”
Once was found in this world the mammoth, an animal much bigger than the elephant. There is not one mammoth alive today. Similarly, if the atomic warfare goes on, not a single man mày remain alive on this earth. And then farewell to science, to philosophy and to all the proud achievements of man:
“Man is a poor player,
Who strụts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.”Shakespeare