Thursday, November 11, 2010


The building above is called the Atomic Bomb Dome, and it’s on World Heritage List.  At the time of the bombing at 8:15am on 6 August 1945, it was the pride and joy of Hiroshima, a beautifully designed regional trade hall.  The A-bomb exploded 600 meters almost directly above.  Since the incredible pressure and blast came from directly overhead, it was one of the few buildings to stay standing within two kilometers.  All the occupants of the building were instantly killed by the intense heat, along with 80,000 in the surrounding area.  By the end of 1945, 140, 000 would be dead.


I tried. It was all a nightmare - my wounds, the darkness, the road ahead. My movements were ever so slow; only my mind was running at top speed.

In time I came to an open space where the houses had been removed to make a fire lane. Through the dim light I could make out ahead of me the hazy outlines of the Communications Bureau's big concrete building, and beyond it the hospital. My spirits rose because I knew that now someone would find me; and if I should die, at least my body would be found. I paused to rest. Gradually things around me came into focus.

LeftBombing victim: her skin is burned in a pattern corresponding to the light & dark portions of her komono.

There were the shadowy forms of people, some of whom looked like walking ghosts. Others moved as though in pain, like scarecrows, their arms held out from their bodies with forearms and hands dangling. These people puzzled me until I suddenly realized that they had been burned and were holding their arms out to prevent the painful friction of raw surfaces rubbing together. A naked woman carrying a naked baby came into view. I averted my gaze. Perhaps they had been in the bath. But then I saw a naked man, and it occurred to me that, like myself, some strange thing had deprived them of their clothes. An old woman lay near me with an expression of suffering on her face; but she made no sound. Indeed, one thing was common to everyone I saw - complete silence.
All who could, were moving in the direction of the hospital. I joined in the dismal parade when my strength was somewhat recovered, and at last reached the gates of the Communications Bureau.
Back to Qasmi’s column. At this time when there were those who had stooped to the lowest rung of meanness there were also such who demonstrated the ever great, ever living virtue of humanity in them.
 There is another incident depicting the greatness of human souls during that day of Armageddon maimed lacs of others and many generations suffered from innumerous radiation linked illnesses.
 An important incident prior to this day of horror was the letter sent to President Harry S. Truman by scientists who had played ain Hiroshima.

A schoolgirl described such moments of love and affection in following words:-
“As soon as the planes appeared in the skies, our teacher screamed, O God, American planes! All of us looked in the skies but there was a deadly flash and we couldn’t see anything. The smiling, vibrant faces of my friends just a few moments back were now all full of sores, boils and blisters. Their complexion had completely darkened. Instead of clothes on our bodies, we were in tatters now. Our teacher who herself was in a terribly poor shape, was trying her best to save us from this sudden traumatic morass. She appeared to me like a mother hen would protect her chicken. In this mess when no one had time to think of others except one’s own self, our teacher was able to protect six or seven of us in her fold.”
After Hiroshima, Nagasaki was bombed. And thus Washington kept its promise when it had sent this ultimatum to Japan. “If Japan does not offer an unconditional surrender, there shall be a rain of ruin from the skies of which there will be no parallel in history.” And destruction did it indeed wreak when hundred and thousands of human beings were turned into mere ash. Many more died in the following weeks and years from injuries and radiation. The radiations further  key role in the development and production of world’s first nuclear weapon. Before the bomb was thrown on the two Japanese cities, these scientists wrote to the president. “Throwing atom bombs on Japanese cities will cause an unimaginable destruction. Once such action taken, we would never be able to stop other nations from doing so. Today we have the weapon but tomorrow other nations too will be in possession of such a weapon. Therefore if we did not act sane today, tomorrow we won’t be in a position morally to stop them from using such weapon. Then it shall be us and only us solely responsible for this dastardly act. We all therefore request you as the supreme US Commander that United States should not be the first one to use a nuclear bomb”.

 I wish nuclear scientists from India and Pakistan should write one similar letter to their respective presidents so that if that letter was not accorded acceptance, at least the governments in India and Pakistan do demonstrate their respect for peace and save the subcontinent’s people from turning into mere ash. Sanity demands there shall be no more Hiroshimas. No Hiroshima, No Nagasaki and no more a war. All disputes be settled around a table for war becomes inevitable when the sounds of sanity and talks of logic fail. Let the two nations prove, they have now the nuclear ‘maturety’.  
 P. S.
 My apologies to Dr. Ch. Jamil Anwar, the writer. His book has many other highly readable and sensational scoops.  I, however, would confine my narration to this essay because the book is full of such awe arousing content that many a time one has to hold one’s breath while reading those horrific descriptions.
And finally:
Man’s over powering the atom has indeed been a great achievement in harnessing an inexhaustible source of energy, a source which is the hard work of world’s most intelligent minds, yet while our mastery over atom has unleashed tremendously positive changes in our lives, it was also this energy that destroyed the lives of so many humans for nothing.
So says Iqbal in one of his verses:
Stars & Planets have gone off their orbits, my Lord.
But why should I care, for all skies are yours my Lord.
Why should I worry O God
This world is yours not mine O Lord.
 This is a beautiful thought, for Iqbal was indeed a great poet, great philosopher and a great mind, yet those who made these stars and planets steer off their course, must endeavor now to put the forces of nature back on track.

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