War in modern times is completely different from the local fights of the earlier times. Now it is a highly technical operation and it depends much on science. The art of war has now become the science of warfare. Almost all the modern inventions of science are now being used in modern war. Now the war is nothing but ‘organised butchery of boys’. But the whole world wants peace, not war.
War is now a push-button affair, especially, in the nuclear war. Missiles are thrown from a long distance. The atom bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki were nothing compared with those that are stock-piled by the Super Powers of the world today. Even India and Pakistan have recently attained nuclear power. The latest addition in warfare is “Star war” which can abolish life from this planet. Even biological weapon of germs is made in the Pentagon, Iraq etc. to annihilate the people of an enemy country by slow poisoning. It is seen that superiority in armaments is the deciding factor in a modem war. Each side, now makes it a point to prevent the manufacture of these weapons pressure on India after the nuclear test explosion at Pokhran, for signing the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). Mutual distrust is so intense that though the super-powers have agreed to destroy some weapons, they are still racing against each other to pile up stronger and deadlier weapons. This has placed us on the threshold of a third world war. It is high time to remember that force is not a final solution for man’s problems. Force on its own is nothing. Yet the common man looks on it with shuddering helplessness.
There are many who speak as though science is responsible for the war. But science cannot be blamed for this dreadful situation. It is the warmongers for who is responsible for this. We can use fire for cooking our food or burning other’s houses. It is not the fault of fire but of its users. It is an irony of fate that while 60% of the world’s population lives below the poverty line and millions die for want of food, different governments spend billions in the military budget only. Can we not buy peace and save mankind with the huge amount we spend for the preparation of war? In such a context we should melt swords, the symbol of war into ploughshares and turn Science for War into Science for Peace, as the supreme value of human life, human blood and human dignity should not be forgotten in any way.
Now it is the time to cry not for war, but for peace. We should realise that a period of war is a period of chaos and confusion. The peace-loving people of the world are horrified to see the frenzied activities of the warmongers who derive devilish delight by killing countless innocent men, women and children. The chief function of war is to destroy all the symbols of civilization, to batter down and burn cities and towns to multiply the number of widows and orphans, to turn the fruitful fields, the flora and fauna into deserts. So widespread is the destruction that in some cases nothing is left of a country except scorched earth. On the other hand, the development of civilization embracing arts and science depends on the peaceful condition of a country. Architecture, sculpture, painting, music, philosophy literature, agriculture and even trade and industry owe their birth, growth and nourishment to peace. These creative gifts of peace are far more lasting than the gifts of war. Hence we want peace, not war, we want amity, not enmity; we want fine arts, not fire-arms; we want flowering fields, not the desert of destruction so that we can gift a better world to our future generations.
Essay No. 2
This time the USA,Britain and Spain went ahead with war against Iraq without a clear UN mandate. The whole world witnessed with shock and awe Baghdad blitz. The war again in the Gulf brings us face to face with the abyss. In this instance, neither of the parties can portray themselves as innocent victims, Bush, then President of America, described Iraq as a country that gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place with Saddam, the autocrat, on its head. But Bush has demonstrated just how irresponsible the sole Super Power can be in a venture where the most powerful military force is deployed against a Third World Country and its people. He has also shown the UN as a mere helpless impediment to naked quasi-imperial ambitions. The discomfiture of the post-Cold War is now supposed to be allayed by Russia and the European Union, led by France and Germany, taking an important role in geopolitics, especially for the oil-fields of Iraq. Now Iraq has got its government supported by external forces. Yet peace is far off even at the cost of Saddam’s life.
We know war is the ugly manisfestation of the dormant animality in man. In spite of the progress of civilization and culture, in spite of the teachings of Buddha and Christ and the cult of non-violence of Gandhiji, some countries wage war against others for the settlement of international disputes. The peace-loving people of the world are horrified to see the frenzied activities of the war-mongers who derive devilish delight by killing countless innocent men, women and children. In fact, war is an “organised butchery of boys”. The chief function of war is to destroy all the symbols of civilization, to batter down and burn cities and towns, to multiply the number of widows and orphans, to turn fruitful fields, the flora and fauna into deserts. So widespread is this destruction that in some cases nothing is left of a country except scorched earth. In modern war hydrogen bombs, ballistic missiles, poisonous gas etc. are indiscriminately used by the powerful nations. General MacArthur, the chief architect of victory in the Pacific region in the Second World War, pointed out that in times of war soldiers forget the value of human life, human blood and even human dignity. But force cannot be the last word on its own.
It is high time for us to realise that a period of war is a period of chaos and confusion. On the other hand, arts, science, architecture, sculpture, painting, music, philosophy, literature and even trade and industry owe their birth, growth and nourishment to peace. These creative gifts of peace are far more lasting than the gifts of war. Hence we want peace, not war, we want amity not enmity, we want fine arts not fire-arms. We want flowering fields not the desert of destruction so that we can give a better world for our future generations.