Today's Beautiful Gem: "Nonviolence and
the Atom Bomb" by Mahatma Gandhi
"It has been suggested by American friends that the atom bomb
will bring ahimsa (nonviolence) as nothing else can. It will,
if it is meant that its destructive power will so disgust the
world that it will turn it away from violence for the time being.
"The atomic energy though harnessed by American scientists and
army men for destrustive purposes may be utilised by other
scientists for humanitarian purposes is undoubtedly within the
realm of possibility. But that is not what was meant by my
American friends. They were not so simple as to put a question
which connoted an obvious truth. An incendiary uses fire for
his destructive and nefarious purpose, a housewife making daily
use of it in preparing nourishing food for mankind.
"So far as I can see, the atomic bomb has deadened the finest
feeling that has sustained mankind for ages. There used to be
the so-called laws of war which made it tolerable. Now we know
the naked truth. War knows no law except the law of might. The
atom bomb brought an empty victory to the allied armies but it
resulted for the time being in destroying the soul of Japan. What
has happened to the soul of the destroying nation is yet too early
to see. Forces of nature act in mysterious manner. Let no one
run away with the idea that I wish to put in a defence of Japanese
misdeeds in persuance of Japan's unworthy ambition. The difference
was only one of degree. I assume that Japan's greed was more
unworthy. But the greater unworthiness conferred no right on
the less unworthy of destroying without mercy men, women and
children of Japan in a particular area.
"Mankind has to get out of violence only through nonviolence.
Hatred can be overcome only by love. Counter-hatred only
increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred. Sixty
years of practice in various walks of life has only enriched
the belief which experience of friends has fortified. I believe
in what Max Mueller said years ago, namely, that truth needed
to be repeated as long as there were men who disbelieved it.
"If we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to
carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with
children; and if they will grow up in their natural innocence,
we won't have to struggle; we won't have to pass fruitless idle
resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace,
until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that
peace and love for which consciously or unconsciously the whole
world is hungering."
Note: Aug 5 and 7 mark the anniversary of the rain of ruin on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao