Thursday, August 07, 2008

Hiroshima Day

Hiroshima day

What can one say about that terrible crime against humanity perpetrated at 8am, on the Sixth day of August in the year Nineteen Forty Five?

Time, it is said, is a great healer. But this wound, no time can heal.
It should not heal.
It should remain raw and fresh in the human consciousness like a festering wound.

Hiroshima represents the failure of Science,the failure of Enlightenment.

It represents the perversion of human intelligence.

The world has changed since the atom was split. That was Einstein.

Yes. The coming into possession of destructive powers of such magnitude released man from the civilizing chains of love, non violence, respect for life.

A limerick I picked up from somewhere during my school days keeps coming back to me today. It goes like this:

To break a single atom
All mankind was intent.
Now any day, the atom may
Return the compliment.

Yes. Annihilation - that's the promise it holds forth to us. Is it for this that we evolved from primates to what we are now?

The end of life.
The end of imagination( a la Arundathi Roy)

To be one among the other uninhabited heavenly bodies in the cosmos. Was that the ultimate purpose of the existence of planet earth?

Futile ramblings, I know. But I stumbled upon this interview of Paul Tibbets, the man who piloted the aircraft Enola Gay on its mission to Japan to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima. The interview appeared in The Guardian, on Tuesday August 6 2002. Paul Tibbets was then 89 years old, retired brigadier-general

The interviewer: One last thing, when you hear people say, "Let's nuke 'em," "Let's nuke these people," what do you think?

Paul Tibbets: Oh, I wouldn't hesitate if I had the choice. I'd wipe 'em out. You're gonna kill innocent people at the same time, but we've never fought a damn war anywhere in the world where they didn't kill innocent people. If the newspapers would just cut out the shit: "You've killed so many civilians." That's their tough luck for being there.

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  1. And he says that at 89!!! Times like this, you simply cant help feeling chagrined for being a human being!

  2. Science does not kill. People kill. Blaming science for killing people is like blaming the cellphone for terrorism because terrorists used it to set off bombs.

    Tibbets had no choice in that matter. He only did what our jawans are doing in the border - following orders to kill people. However, I do wish that he realized in hindsight that it was an inhuman act perpetrated by his masters. He says he would have done it if he had a choice, which is sad.


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