H C Singh

Japan’s Catastrophe Nuclear Fallout and Radiation- Its Impact on World

Japan, an island nation, in comparison to neighboring China which is 50 times or more in area and 10 times or so in population has been facing earthquakes followed by Tsunami for centuries. But the earthquake followed by Tsunami that devastated north Japan has been the worst ever. Moreover it has resulted in nuclear fall out because of explosions in nuclear plants and radiation which is threatening well being of millions. In earlier earthquakes and Tsunamis, though these were not so ferocious but caused lot of devastation, Japan rebuilt and became a shining example of recovery in the world. As Japan struggles to control radioactive leakage and “catastrophic and humanitarian and nuclear crisis, it hopes for a new dawn to deliver it from this darkness.”

Tsunami is a Japanese word adopted by the entire world, meaning high tides devastating the costal area of north eastern Japan. On 11th March 2011 Tsunami in Eastern part of Japan was upto 40 feet high engulfing the whole town, besides villages whatever came under tsunami. But the Japanese people in the face of such disastrous calamity, proved extremely resilient. Amongst the survivors there was no complaining, no looting and no running about and crying for the loss of their family members, homes and heaths.

Magnitude of earthquake accompanying Tsunami of 11th Mach is considered to be worst in Japanese recorded history, is said to be “equivalent in power to 30000 Hiroshima’s (atom bomb dropped by America at the end of II World War in 1945causing devastation of Hiroshima city in Japan). There have been quite frequent disasters due to Tsunami and earthquakes in Japan during last century and upto March 2011 but Japan and Japanese people have every time shown strong determination to rebuild their country without outside help and be stronger and better than before. For instance the 1923 earthquake did not dishearten Japan, instead it determined to be a strong military power and it did become by 1939-40, defeat in Second World War followed by dropping of two atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan instead of trying to militarize spent all its energies on economic and technological development and became worlds second or third economic power by the end 20th century. The latest Kabe earthquake disaster made Japan more determined to continue to be peaceful and devote all talent towards economic and technological development.

Eruption and fallout from Fukushima nuclear plant, in particular and eruption from other nuclear plants has caused radiation which has endangered the lives of millions because this radiation has contaminated water and vegetables. Such earthquake fallout is the first in the world. It has cautioned the world about the shortcomings, defects and drawbacks like that in Japan’s Fukushima reactor. Accordingly, Russia, Germany, France and USA have halted further construction of new nuclear plants till the existing ones are fully and finally checked up with latest technology so there is no explosion like that of Fukushima.

There are more than one hundred nuclear plants in the world which are under construction. In China alone 27 nuclear reactors are under construction. China, in view of Fukushima disaster in Japan, has already announced a pause in its ambitious plan of being the biggest nuclear power in all spheres and to produce maximum electricity through nuclear power, wind and solar energy. China being close to Japan is worried the most particularly when it has been disclosed that in Japan water and vegetables are contaminated because of radiation. Even the sea water upto 240 Km north of Tokyo, it is said because of, tests by nuclear safety agency, ‘has radioactive iodine 1,250 times higher than in normal sea water. It is a startling revealation for China, Russia that touches Chinese sea water and even USA particularly areas close to California: Accordingly many countries have banned import of milk and Japanese sea food. In India too, Jaitpur nuclear plant which was under construction has been put oh hold and all other nuclear plants are under strict scrutiny. India’s oldest Reactor which is like that of Fukushima, operating on boiling water and was built in Tarapur Maharashtra in 1969, is under close scrutiny. Though chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India, Srikumar Banerjee says that we are very careful and examine all the nuclear plants every alternate year or so, but the fact is that there have been minor accidents during past 20 years or so, which could easily be catastrophes. There was leakage in heavy water tanks of Kota nuclear plant and Tarapur plant in 1992 and a heavy water leak in Kalapakam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu. Thus India must wake up to possible disasters and take necessary measures. Requisite repairs and corrections have been undertaken by all the countries of the world where there are nuclear plants in existence or are under construction.
World can not do without nuclear energy for peaceful purposes like electricity and will have to build more nuclear plants in 21st century and even thereafter, as the need of energy will be increasing tremendously in this century. Besides harnessing solar energy, wind power energy. Accordingly, it is important to emphasize that all the countries of the world should do their best to undertake speedily improvements because of modern techniques in all the existing nuclear plants and the plants under construction at various stages and plants that are yet to be built. The world is, because of warming of Globe, likely to get more earthquakes and Tsunamis. There has been earthquake in Pakistan and north India close to Delhi recently and earthquake of 7.1 intensity in Japan on 6th April 2011. Japan got worried that it would cause another Tsunami and cautioned the entire country. Luckily for Japan there was no Tsunami and soon Japanese government withdrew cautions.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

BBC India with Sanjeev Bhaskar – Brief Review and Comments

In the introduction Sanjeev Bhaskar has spoken about his childhood in London and how his family lived in one room tenement over the launderette managed by his father for livelihood. His parents along with his grandparents and other relatives had to leave Lahore, their residence with all their belongings and crossed over to India and lived in Delhi as refugees. In his own words after hearing the violent events about Partition of India from his parents: “Partition was the violent and bloody separation of Old India which took place in 1947- All that I knew about partition from my parents was that it was horrendous, that the family somehow survived and that my fathers family lost everything and came to Delhi as refugees.” However Sanjeev as a young boy in London was easy going but was confused as and when he thought of his roots in ancestral homeland India. Thus he was anxious to visit India and reached New Delhi along with BBC Team and Stephen Fry in 2006.

First chapter is “Bombay Dreams.” He call Bombay city of dreams, showing in the opposite page picture of Bombay’s skyscrapers brilliantly illuminated and thereafter showing over local train as well as taxis he calls ‘lethargic bees’ in the traffic jams. No doubt Bhaskar is exited to visit Bombay. See textile factories like of Raymonds and go to Bollywood to see Shilpa Shetty dancing. He also mentions about the localities of poor workers living by daily work mostly without any modern facilities. He describes with enthusiasm Bombay’s Ganpati festival with bewitching photos of Hindu God Hanuman sitting on the decorated chair and standing symbolically carrying something like heavy tray and being followed by crowds. He mentions the thinking of the elite of Bombay to make their Bombay, Los Angeles of India and mentions on the same page potteries with open dung fires and their children shabbily dressed in Asias largest slums.

Bhaskar had come to India to find his roots and see the country where his parents in 1947 were refugees. As explained in previous para, his visit to various states of India is without political, diplomatic or religious comments. He tells what he saw, though his description of places is splendid or spellbound even. After visiting Bombay he visits South India and describes Allepy near Cochin. He is impressed by more than 20 women rowers in big boat practicing to participate in Nehru Race. His presentation of photograph, too, is very impressive. Then he pays visit to shrines on Ganga river as he is, though a British Indian was born in a Hindu family. Then he visits Delhi and is equally impressed by Jamma Masjid of Delhi full of thousands of Muslim devotees praying as Muslim do in their Namaz. He captures this scene with the help of BBC team accompanying him in a befitting photograph. Before culminating his first tour of India he visits Golden Temple Amritsar and calls it appropriately, “the pool of the Immortal Nector reflecting the Sikh’s holiest shrine.” This photograph and another of Golden Temple are very impressive, like, other photographs mentioned above. Finally, before concluding the visit of his motherland Bhaskar visits Lahore now in Pakistan where his parents were born and lived happily and comfortably before they had to migrate to India after partition of India.

Before Sanjeev Bhaskar’s book is reviewed, it is noteworthy to point out as to why the book is entitled ‘BBC India with Sanjeev Bhaskar’ and Stephen Frys’ comments on the cover page, ‘Sanjeev brings India alive.’ Also on the back of cover page is printed ‘Book is published with permission of BBC’ In the out set thus it is obvious that version of the book is what is approved by BBC and is without any adverse comments or views of Sanjeev Bhaskar, which criticize the British government’s encouragement to the formation of Muslim League and British help to Jinnah becoming its President and intensifying demand for and creation of Pakistan leading to partition of India and horrifying partition riots initiated by Pakistan under Jinnah as Governor General and a British C-in-C of Pakistan. Accordingly, with the approval of BBC, nothing in the book by Sanjeev Bhaskar’s about British conspiracy before and during the partition culminating in ruthless massacre of lakhs Sikhs and Hindus first, even which started before actual partition and thereafter by Muslims. In retaliation massacre of Muslims in Indian Punjab by Sikhs and Hindus. After the loss of million innocent lives and unprecented migration from both sides of more then ten million, who came empty handed as refugees. Why Kashmir is not mentioned? Mountbatten, independent India’s first Governor General mischievously added that will of the people ‘Will be taken into account afterwards,’ while accepting the instrument of accession of Kashmir to India. Had Mountbatten not added these few words, there would have been no Kashmir problem as in none of about 500 princely states that acceded to India such a clause had been added as conditional or temporary accession.

All said about Kashmir and his BBC’s permission to publish his book, it is to do justice to Bhaskar, who was an actor on BBC programs and made his name but he was not a writer or philosopher. Before concluding the brief review and comments it is befitting to add a para from his book para that summarizes his thinking about India.

“India remains a dizzying edifice. Goddesses are worshiped and the women have occupied the most powerful position in the land. It is the largest democracy in the world and yet a significant proportion of the population are illiterate. The wealth divide between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is increasing dramatically as India becomes a global player. The destitute number 500 million- and that has hell of ‘have nots’. If the gulf becomes unbridgeable, then what will happen to this underclass? Revolution has traditionally come from this group of people and half a billion people can make heck of noise.”

This is what Bhaskar felt in 2006. But despite corruption having touched the heights because 2G and other scams, as per latest census, literacy in increasing and the percentage of Indians below poverty line has also declined during last decade. In addition with significant decline in corruption with the help of Supreme Court, JPC and India, being basically a democracy will not face a revolution as Bhaskar imagined but would shine in the world as one of the three global powers because of technological and industrial development which are going ahead.

April 13, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment