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Disarmament

English Essay on "Disarmament"

One of the most familiar terms of the day and, perhaps, the most talked of thing in international politics is ‘disarmament’ Hardly a week passes without some world celebrity saying something about it generally in favour, with the world press giving that a banner headline, even though the whole comment made or plan offered may not exceed a few sentences. The general election of Great Britain in 1959 was fought, by and large, on the issue of disarmament. So important is, in fact, the idea carried by this one word that the whole of international politics may now be said to revolve around the question of disarmament.

As it is, disarmament means the cutting down of military establishment. In the context of current international politics, however, it has come to assume a boarder significance, being taken to include the destruction of stockpiled nuclear and rocket weapons over and above the demobilization of huge armed forces maintained in preparation for the Third World War. As the question still remains at the stage of an idea, its full scope has not yet been determined. But opinions so far given from different quarters go to indicate that disarmament to be real must be total and universal and that will require not only demobilization of present forces and destruction of existing lethal weapons but also the operation of international control to prevent further war preparation.

Whether disarmament will extend to the surrender of conventional weapons and usual national armed forces is yet to be decided and there is no great possibility to that extent. This much is, however, certain that if disarmament is ever translated into action, it will mean the disappearance of nuclear bombs and missiles and also the cutting down of a large slice of the armed forces maintained at present by the big powers.

It is in the background of long-standing international tension that the question of disarmament has become so vastly important. Almost immediately after the Second World War, the two major powers of the world—America and Russia entered into an undeclared hostility, known later as ‘cold war’. With the loss of China to Chiang Kai-Sek the extent of communist influence in the world increased beyond all proportions. The Eastern European countries has already walked into the Soviet sphere of influence. Both in Asia and Europe, communism as an ideology began to flourish on the war-ravaged soil. All these drove America to panic. She embarked on a programme of creating a ring round what she called the “Iron Curtain,” Thus came NATO-the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. She also began to spend billions of dollars on armaments and stock piled a large number of atom and hydrogen bombs. On the other hand, Russia, far from sitting idle, succeeded in making the atom bomb and later the hydrogen bomb.

Thus equipped at par, they entered into a new race for armament and in a few years’ time both made still greater improvements on the sciences of destruction. “An armament race”, wrote late Mr. Foster Dulles in ‘War and Peace, “is in full swing, and United Nations”. Over and above nuclear bombs, both have now powerful long-range rocket weapons, capable of destroying the whole world in a couple of hours. Efforts are still going on to achieve more and more efficiency in hitting each other. To this mad race for mutual destruction, the whole mankind first looked with stupefied horror and then came forward with determined protest. Movement for world peace went from strength to strength until at last it manifested in the shape of persistent demand for disarmament—total and universal disarmament. The demand is pressing and forceful because on it is hinged the future of mankind and because the current hectic race for armament threatens the whole of humanity with total annihilations.

So, the world needs disarmament to avert the looming Third World War. But to avoid war is not the sole and for which disarmament is sought. Even if the apprehended war remains a receding possibility for all times, as many experts suggest, its very preparation should be stopped to allow man to live without fear. Besides, as Mr. Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Premier, puts it: Ten percent of the money thus saved by both Russia and the United States of America would be enough to build several ‘Aswan Dams’ every year.” In fact, the unimaginable funds that disarmament would release for other purposes would well go to feed, clothe and shelter the whole population of the world at a considerably high standard. Disarmament, in short, is the key to the solution of the existing problems of overpopulation, unemployment, economic stringency, under-development, food shortage and all other issues faced by humanity at large.

Though the idea of disarmament is popular in every country, there is hardly any unanimity as to its application and scope. Russia, though equipped with all destructive weapons, has long been pressing for total and universal disarmament. On the contrary, America and her allies are skeptical of the bona fide of the Russian move and, therefore, oppose disarmament in the manner as suggested by Russia. They are so far found ready to go as far as to stop further manufacture of nuclear and rocket weapons. To counter the Russian proposal, it has been proposed that instead of destroying the existing war materials, an international body should be constituted to check and supervise their use. So the two powers, who are concerned most, stand widely apart. A Summit Conference of the Heads of big powers is being repeatedly suggested and thought of to adjust the divergent stands. But uptill now, it remains a remote possibility. The one that was about to commence in Paris about the middle of 1960 ended in utter failure because the Russian Premier refused to talk of disarmament unless the American President apologized for having sent a spy-plane over Russia a few days before the data of the conference.

Evidently, the Russian proposal is much more reasonable than the other. Mere control by an international body can never be effective and of no avail in times of war. Further, with the huge stock of weapons remaining untouched, and at the absolute disposal of their present owners, how mankind can even be sure that there will be no war and that they will not be employed in moments of crisis? Moreover if the huge armed forces are allowed to be maintained by each State, the economic benefits of disarmament will never be realized and poverty will never be banished from the earth. Hence the need of disarmament—complete and universal.

After all its processes have been completed, the international control, which will initiate and work out the disarmament, will continue to act as the watch-dog of peace with a view to preventing any further attempt at armament by any ambitious state. But the complete destruction of all existing deadly weapons and large scale demobilization of present armies must precede all other measures.

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