AS the world marks the 76th anniversary of the devastation and misery caused by the United States when it dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Aug 6 and 9, 1945, respectively – it is amazing to see how far Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, has come in overcoming the horrors of those condemnable bombings.

While the Allies had already pulverised Germany in Europe in World War II and there was peace after the latter surrendered in May 1945, the fighting continued in Asia when imperial Japan refused to surrender and vowed to fight till the end in the Pacific.

To end the War and to ‘avoid risking US casualties on the ground’ the American establishment planned to drop atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to force a Japanese surrender.

On Aug 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber, nicknamed Enola Gay, dropped an atomic bomb, codenamed Little Boy, on Hiroshima which was the first in the world to be deployed, killing an estimated 140,000 people in the city. Another uranium bomb, dubbed Fat Man, was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug 9 which left at least 74,000 dead within no time.

This indeed brought an end to the War in Asia after Japan surrendered to the Allies on Aug 14, but critics are of the view that it was certainly a completely unnecessary action by the US because Japan was already on the verge of surrendering to the Allied forces.

The misery of the Japanese people did not end after the bombings as there were more deaths in the aftermath of the two attacks, owing to injuries and radiation, weeks and months later.

Since then, the two days have been remembered as black days in the history of Japan. The incidents were the most terrible attacks in human history which killed hundreds of thousands of people, leaving the Japanese nation physically, mentally and emotionally traumatised.

This most tragic event of World War II led to the formation of the United Nations in 1945. Keeping in view these tragic events, today the world community ponders over ways for conflict resolution and stopping wars, especially nuclear conflicts, which will only result in causing more human deaths and more human tragedies. The UN has a responsibility and it must find ways to stop nuclear proliferation across the world so that we may save our future generations from the horrors of war.

Dr Kanbhoo Khan Marri
Jamshoro

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2021

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