Letter from New Delhi —
Hiroshima after seventy years:
Yes, every year when this date comes, we should remind ourselves about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two Japanese cities on which the atom bomb was dropped by USA 70 years ago.
You cannot get an idea of the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people and the horrendous destruction unless you visit the Peace Museum in Hiroshima. My hair stood on end as I went through this museum in 1970. Over 88,000 people died instantly and another 94,000 were seriously injured. Those that survived suffered for decades with pain and diseases caused by radiation. The museum contains photos of steel items bent like spaghetti and clocks and watches stopping at 8.16.
The museum recreates the ear splitting sound and the blinding light of the blast, with the noise and mayhem that followed. Your mind is numbed and all energy from your body seeps away.
This visit was more of a pilgrimage in the memory of my father, Mr. V. P. Sharma, who was writing a book, ‘Gita in the Atomic Age’ when he died of a heart attack. In his manuscript, he had highlighted Nikita Khrushchev’s famous words, “The survivors would envy the dead.” Looking at the horrendous images of the survivors, he was proved more than correct. On visiting the hospital where many were still suffering, it was even more heart wrenching.
Although 45 years have passed since that morning, it is still very sharp in my memory. Before going into this museum, I walked through a Peace Park, and after the visit, this silent and calm park took a whole new meaning as it brought a deep tranquillity in my being. Most world leaders had planted a sapling here to show their commitment for peace. Considering the world today with nine nuclear armed countries, can we ensure that nuclear weapons will not be used? OK, we have not used them for 70 years since 1945 but we have come pretty close to pushing this button. And now even terror groups are itching to get their hands on this weaponry! So we have to remember this date and Hiroshima every year, indeed, every day!
Osho says, “The sixth of August should never be forgotten. That day we proved that civilization has not happened to humanity yet, that we are barbarians, that we are cannibals, that we are still animals. The sixth of August proved the monkeys are right, because to drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the ugliest thing that man has done in the whole of history. Everything else paled before it. And the wonder of wonders is that it was not needed at all. Germany had already surrendered; the Japanese forces were almost finished. Perhaps without the dropping of the atom bombs the war may have continued one week more.
“That would not have been a great calamity — people had been fighting for five years; for seven days more…. But that was the reason for dropping the atom bomb on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, because if the war ended then you would never be able to drop the atomic weapons that you had. It was the time to make the world feel how much power and strength you had. America wanted it to be remembered that if Nagasaki and Hiroshima can disappear in smoke, then there is no problem: Moscow, New Delhi, London, Paris — any place can be evaporated within seconds.
“American was trying to prove itself the greatest power in the world. It had nothing to do with the war, they were winning. Now, dropping atom bombs on people who are already losing every day — there cannot be any other reason. President Truman — and what a name he has got. Certainly he was a true-man. We should change his name to President True-monkey; that’s where he belongs. Even his military experts were not willing. They told him, “It is absolutely unnecessary, the war has really ended. It is only just a week’s work and Japan will surrender. Now that Germany has surrendered, Japan cannot survive; the basic power was Germany. And we are winning every day, so just wait seven days more. And if after seven days the war is not finished, you can drop atom bombs.”
“But he did not listen, because there was some other motivation in dropping the atom bombs. It was not to win, they were winning already. The motivation was to make it clear to the whole world that now America is by far the biggest power. And just to prove this, two big cities, throbbing with life, were just destroyed.
“Obviously, Japan surrendered immediately; otherwise Tokyo would go the same way as Hiroshima and Nagasaki had gone. And President True-monkey told his military experts, “See? The war is finished immediately. We don’t have to wait.”
“Hiroshima and Nagasaki are wounds which have not healed yet. And rather than healing those wounds, America is piling up nuclear weapons. Naturally, afraid of America, Russia is doing the same; they are piling up nuclear weapons. In fact, it is now difficult to say who is more powerful, because about American things are known, how much power America has, but about Russia everything is secret. She may be more powerful, she may have more nuclear weapons. She may have new methods which are even superior, says Osho in his book, From the False to the Truth.
In his Book of Wisdom, Osho says, “If Einstein had also been a Buddha, there would have been atomic energy but no atom bombs, and atomic energy would have become a blessing — the greatest blessing ever. The earth would have become a paradise. But Einstein is not a Buddha; unfortunately he knows nothing of meditation — a great mind, but the master is missing; a great mechanism, a great airplane without the pilot.”
Kul Bhushan worked as a newspaper Editor in Nairobi for over three decades and now lives in New Delhi
- Published in print edition on 7 August 2015