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Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Is Defence Preparedness The Best Guarantee For Peace?” Complete Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Is Defence Preparedness The Best Guarantee For Peace?

 

Instead of talking of war to root out war, people now talk of defence-preparedness as the best guarantee for peace. Nations are so much obsessed with this slogan that at t he present moment there is a mad race for piling up armaments. Even the poorest of the poor countries, which cannot provide two square meals to their citizens are forced to procure at least some of the modern arms for their defence. That they cannot use these effectively with the help of their own people is a different matter.

A study of the earliest literature of the world shows that man has always felt the necessity of maintaining preparedness against evil forces of the world. The idea was present even in the primitive times, and was the earliest inspiration to man for making weapons for defence and offence against the animals and savages. With the passage of time, the sense of preparedness resulting from the instinct of self-preservation, took a moral, religious and spiritual form. It was enjoined by religions that a vigilant preparedness must always be maintained against the possible onslaughts. Thus, man’s preparedness for war was the preparedness against the moral evil in him. Through the ages, the idea became so consolidated that it was considered heroic to wage ceaseless war against sin and moral evil within and without. In Indian philosophy, mind was considered to be the enemy of man. It was man’s religious duty to wage relentless war against the domination for the mind and the senses. Rama and Krishna were exalted and glorified in ancient Indian epics because they fought heroic battles against the forces of evil and came out successful. In the Vedic and the epic ages the art of war had reached its perfection. It had become the main subject of education. Preparation for war was regarded as the bulwark of civilisation. With the social and political decline of the Hindus after the Mahabharata, the art of war became decadent, but the idea of war-preparedness against the forces of evil persistently survived. It continued to inspire the national heroes through the ages. The history of Chittor and of the Rajputs is a glaring example of this inspiration. It exists even today in some kinds of people. It was there in Rana Pratap, in Shivaji, in Guru Gobind Singh, and among the Sikhs generally. It was handed down to the revolutionary party in India, who sought to wrest freedom from the Britishers by force. Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhagat Singh and other young martyrs had got their inspiration ‘from the ancient and the modern history of India.

The same was the case in the West. The local people always kept themselves ready to face the invaders. The militant civilisation of Rome was always vigilant against foreign invasions. When Christianity appeared on the scene, it insisted that the people should always to be waging war against the machinations of Satan. Earlier, Socrates and Plato taught young men to wrestle with their passions. As religion yielded its place to nationalism, the religious beliefs of preparedness for holy wars transformed into a political slogan, the idea of national defence. It was recognised that if the nations and kings were to live in peace it was essential that they must be very strong and always ready to meet aggression, as was the case with the English, right from the time of Queen Elizabeth. The principle of the balance of power was only a polite expression of the idea of war-preparedness. When George Washington uttered these words, he meant that national military strength is the bulwark of the liberties of the nation, the surest guarantee of peace. His reason was that politics even before the publication of Machiavelli’s, ‘The Prince’, had for all practical purposes, been so since it was always a matter of military strength. Might is right or the Darwinian principle of natural selection, through a hard universal struggle of existence has always been the rule with the nations. The strongest of all would survive. Napoleon also preached and practised the same principle. In fact, every successful general believes in the same principle. Nobody will touch a nation which is capable of an effective retaliation. Any nation, which is incapable of effectively defending itself, is always vulnerable to invasions and humiliation, however lofty may be the ideals preached by its leaders and whatever may be the pitch of their noise. George Washington was right when he emphasised that war-preparedness is one of the most effective means of preserving peace. He did not say that it is the only effective means. Washington believed that there are several other effective means of preserving peace, though war preparedness is the easiest, most direct, popular and rightly intelligible and convincing.

Now, with the advent of the atomic age, the old question has assumed a new dimension. Now the question being asked is “Should we make the bomb?” It is obvious that nobody can afford to use the atom bomb, because its destructive effects will to be confined within the territorial limits of the victim nation, and an atomic invasion is bound to bring in its wake a more fierce atomic retaliation from some quarter or the other. Yet, it is imperative to have it, because its possession is the only deterrent against a nuclear attack. If we do not possess it, we can be subjected to nuclear blackmail. The events of the two world wars support this view. Peace on both the occasions was shattered because as against Germany, the other nations were the least prepared for war. In fact, the elements of surprise and swiftness have entered the technique of war, necessitating extreme vigilance and constant war-preparedness as the essential elements of preserving peace.

Mahatma Gandhi was, however, opposed to the idea of war. Like Wordsworth and Lord Buddha, he also believed that evil can never be the root of good. The edifice of good is always built upon the positive foundations of love and sympathy. Hence, he believed that it is perverted logic to think that violence or preparedness for violence can root out violence and avoid war. War will only endanger peace and violence will only embitter the springs of humanity. According to Mahatma Gandhi, the most effective means of preserving peace is the will to remain peaceful and loving in spite of the gravest provocation that can be imagined by man. There may be other means as well, such as cultural, social, scientific and diplomatic. The perfect development of any of these or the harmony of all of these may lead to the preservation of peace. While Gandhiji is great and mercy is a divine attribute in the world of today, when a number of nations are openly flaunting the atom bombs and many others are stealthily manufacturing these we can save ourselves only if we have a nuclear deterrent.

But the matter is not so simple. International anxiety to be prepared for war has led to blind race for armament, which has in its turn created a war hysteria. Today the world as a whole is armed to the teeth. If the volcano erupts, it will means the end of humanity. Therefore, now the question has assumed yet another form. Now people say that war-preparedness is all right, but how much preparedness ?

For decades now, nations have been discussing the question of putting a ceiling on the war-preparedness. Although a treaty to eliminate some of the intermediate-range missiles has been signed and summits between the superpowers have been held the question still remains a very vexed one. No universally acceptable scale of preparedness for various nations can possible be laid down. War appears to be inevitable in the long run. The world leaders, if they are really sincere about what they preach can at best postpone war as long as they can. In order to be heard, instead of being side-lined, at the disarmament talks, our preparedness for war should be complete. In other words, we should have ready nuclear arsenal to deter flaunting nations and also to give weight to whatever we say.

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