Monday, July 27, 2009

Remembering Hiroshima.


Yesterday on 26th July; INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously built nuclear-powered Submarine was launched by the Prime Minister at Visakhapatnam. With this achievement India has now the ability to fire Nukes from land, air and sea. India is a peace loving country and has a strict policy of “No first use of Nuclear Weapons”. And these achievements are to safeguard the country from the threats it foresees and to keep pace with the technological advancements worldwide. All this is to be happy about and to be proud of but with the sincere hope that such weaponry will never have to be deployed by any country or a group of people.
Atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki have taught lessons to the world to be very careful with nuclear weapons. Some countries have heavy stocks of nuclear weapons but all countries are sticking to the policy of – ‘No first use’ and this caution has lasted for 64 years now. May this wisdom prevail forever.
In ten days from now; on 6th August a ‘Peace Memorial Ceremony’ will be observed at the Peace Park in Hiroshima. This will be the 64th anniversary of the Atom bomb dropped there, which killed about 90,000 people instantaneously and the number reached 140,000 by the end of 1945. Later many more persons died over the years due to the ill-effects of radiation.
I visited the Peace Memorial Park at Hiroshima. It is built in memory of all those people who have died due to the Atom bomb which was exploded exactly over this area. Today Hiroshima looks modern and as grand as any other city in the world but it is only when you visit the Peace Memorial Museum that your mood would change to sadness. The museum has a number of exhibits in the form of pictures, articles and posters giving the details of the Atom bomb, its effects on the people and the destruction it caused. As you enter the museum you can pick up a cassette player of the language of your choice and as you listen to it you will be directed to various exhibits and get an explanation about them. The temperature generated by the explosion was so high that it burnt buildings and persons in the vicinity of 2 Kms. This Memorial Park has come up in Hiroshima’s erstwhile downtown area which got reduced to a barren land after the explosion. The top photograph is of the Peace Memorial Museum.
The other two photographs are of the Memorial Cenotaph and the Atomic Bomb Dome. The Cenotaph is at the center of the Peace Park, it is a concrete saddle-shaped monument. It contains the names of people killed by the bomb on 6th August 1945, those missing and also those who have died in the subsequent months and years. The epitaph on the Cenotaph reads: “Rest in Peace, for the error shall not be repeated”. The last photograph is of the Atomic Bomb Dome which is also in the vicinity of the Peace Park. The building is the skeletal remains of a Government Office above which the Atomic explosion has taken place. It is left as it is, in memory of the causalities and to this a sense of sacredness is attributed. This structure is on UNESCO World heritage list.
Japan is striving for eradication of nuclear weapons all over the world. Japanese firms in India do not supply items to any weapons manufacturing units. May the efforts of Japan and all countries and leaders who are striving for a nuclear-weapon-free world become true.

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