The concept of armaments had it’s beginning probably in the primeval past when one day some enterprising anthropoid, hard pressed by some stronger opponent, picked up a broken branch, or maybe a sharp-edged stone, and discovered that it made an effective weapon for defense or for the offense. That day has sown the seeds of modern armaments. Mankind’s early progress was greatly a result of the superiority that the possession of weapons conferred. Inevitably, therefore, weapons were always eagerly sought to be improved upon. As a result of this singleminded effort of the best human minds of all times, the science of armaments made very quick progress. From primitive stone axes to the more effective iron age weapons and then through the discovery of gunpowder to the present nuclear weapons, can be traced to the path of the deadliness of armaments. Along with these changes had been taking place, the evolution of human society; and today Mankind exists in large, well-organized societies. Unfortunately, these units of the Human race are at present, by and large. inimical towards, each other; and they are all anxious to possess more power than the others. Power, in this case, means the possession of better weapons, with the consequent threat of destructive wars: Thus what had been in the beginning an essential instrument for racial survival has become metamorphized, under the aggressive instinct of Man, into a deadly threat to the very survival of Homo Sapiens as civilized species.
Today we find the nations of the world-bristling with ever deadlier weaponry poised at a moment’s notice to wreck the magnificent facade of civilization that Man has labored for so many ages to erect. In this century only we have witnessed during the first world war the destruction of human beings and human artifacts on a mass scale. What happened twenty years later, in the Second World War was a real eye opener 10 even the most hardened advocate of militancy. We saw during the years of the war ever more efficient engines of mass destruction making their appearance with ever increasing regularity. A colossal amount of damage was suffered by the nations involved in the fighting. Both in terms of human lives and in material wealth the world lost during that one war, almost as: much as it had lost during all the previous wars. The culminating horror of that horrible war was perpetrated during the sizzling summer of the year 1945 when American bombers flew in to unleash the frightening power of the Atom on the unsuspecting civilian population of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here a new and frightening prospect opened out for Mankind. Those two explosions practically wiped out the two cities. Well above a hundred thousand human lives were lost and the flourishing industrial sections of the two cities were reduced to rubble. But the real horror of the two explosions was to continue to manifest itself for years to come. The world is even today reminded of the tragedy by a large number of freak births caused as a result of genetic damage suffered through atomic radiation. There are even today a large number of human beings doomed to a lingering death by the incurable disease of Leukemia and other equally deadly radiation. diseases that are still cropping up among the unfortunate victims of that holocaust Here was a clear picture of the shape of things to come, Mankind continues to follow the path of aggression.
The Second World War was called by some of the belligerents as the “war to end all wars”. That, however, is a phrase very often used by the well-meaning leaders of humanity. How little it really means was shortly afterward proved true when the very people who had won that “war to end all wars” were involved in an equally bloody struggle in Korea and then in Indo-China. Perhaps it can be said with some degree of truth that war, in the present state of human civilization is inevitable. However, there is one sure way to make it less inevitable. During the periods of peace when the passions engendered by war have cooled down a bit and reason begins partially to prevail, the nations of the world should agree to sit together and evolve a procedure for reducing armament=thus reducing the potential for another war.
With the background of two World Wars and a dozen smaller conflicts within living memory to give the most aggressively minded person some pause, no sane human being can think of justifying the possession of huge quantities of armaments by the nations of the world. What makes the situation all the more grave is the development in recent times of weapons which would make the Hiroshima Bomb assume the proportions of a mere firecracker. Today the super powers–America and Russia–have stockpiled enough Atomic, and the deadlier Hydrogen Bombs to wipe out practically the whole of humanity from the face of the earth. The Jesser nuclear powers Britain, France, China are also striving hard to catch up with these two. Side by side with these, the other nations of the world are embarked upon a mad race to possess more and stronger weapons. Disregarding more urgent human problems money is being frantically poured into weapons in a paranoid exhibition of fear and mistrust of each other.
Today the world presents a curious mosaic of the extremely rich living side with, and in total unconcern of, the extremely poor This applies even more to națions as a whole than it does to individuals. A bewildering majority of the people in Asia, Africa, and South America are even today starved for food as well as for knowledge. While the more advanced and better endowed nations worry about the disposal of their surplus and obsolete weapons, deficiencies of diet take the toll of millions elsewhere. And yet the emphasis everywhere among the haves as well as the have-nots is on So wasteful an item as more destructive weapons. Man is on the threshold of embarking for the stars with their wonderful promise of great benefits for this planet of ours. Disease among human beings can be well-nigh rooted out. There are more and more devices being invented for the comfort of Man. Science in the last few decades has made truly marvelous progress. No human problem today seems beyond the reach of modern science to cure. Yet suffering today is more widespread than it ever was before. In the midst of plenty, there is the shadow of want. The reason simply is the refusal of nations, to concentrate on ameliorating the lot of the underprivileged, and fore go their suicidal urge for more weapons.
It is thus a practical necessity, for the welfare of Mankind, that armaments should take the lowest place on the list of national priorities. Today, upto 50% of the national budgets in many cases is kept aside for defense. It has been calculated by an eminent Czechoslovakian economist, Dr. Ployhar, that the total amount spent on armaments ‘in the world today comes to about 12000 million dollars annually. But, it is seen that while the suffering section of humanity is deprived of the hare necessities of life, huge sums of money are spent on weapons. There are urgent problems facing the world, such as overpopulation and under-exploitation of natural resources. All these cry for an immediate solution. If the money wasted on armaments were diverted to finding a solution for these the problems could be solved virtually in no time. Everybody would get enough to be able to exist as Man deserves to exist, as the highest creation of God.
All the religions of the world teach the brotherhood of Man. The qualities of humility, of love for one’s neighbor and of selfless service for the good of others have been extolled by every great teacher. Paying only lip service to these excellent human beings, yet prepare to destroy each other. This palpably immoral, as any right-thinking man will see. Mistrust of the motives of others, fear and jealousy, that appear to motivate the actions of men, are nothing more than atavistic throwbacks to the animal origins of Man. Evolution demands that Man should rise above these and grow up enough to start using his kinder sensibilities for constructive purposes rather than wallow, in barbaric aggression and cruelty. Nature has a way of discarding those of its creations which fail to meet the challenge of the times. The mighty dinosaurs went their ponderous way to extinction because they were unable to evolve to face the challenge of diminishing food supply, Weaker, but more intelligent species survived while the mightily built dinosaurs, the most powerful. creature of its age, went to its doom. Mankind today is in much the same position. Armed mightily and possessed of great material strength, if Mankind vet refuses to improve itself then perhaps Nature will send Man the way of the dinosaur. We, today then owe it to posterity as a strong moral obligation to forget about destructive armaments and to concentrate on improving a lot of Mankind, so that the generations to come can build ever higħer the edifice of human culture. If there is no disarmament then the probability is that our grandchildren will live the lives of vermin in a shattered civilization; if at all they manage to exist.
Thus we might say that for the betterment of Mankind, nay, for its very survival it is essential that the nations of the world decide on immediate disarmament.