One paramount importance of studying history is to gain the ability to learn lessons from the wrongdoings of other human beings. After carbonizing thousands of Japanese people with the nuclear bomb, Robert Lewis, co-pilot of Enola Gay said: “As the bomb exploded, we saw the entire city (of Hiroshima) disappear.” Later, when he was asked about his feelings about that dreadful detonation, he replied with a quotation from his personal journal, “My God, what have we done?” This deviant use of destructive weapons caused the eyes of living beings to pop out of their bodies; witnesses of that fateful day recall it with pain and with rage.  

The war hawks who eulogize the use of nukes on both sides of the Indo-Pak border probably lack adequate understanding of the distance that their desired war could travel. Letting alone the thousands of expected causalities, moral authorities should first be established before starting this horrifying war. Americans still can legitimize the use of their nuclear weapons by championing them as the only available option left to end World War II, but what reason would the (establishment-controlled) governments of India and Pakistan present to the rest of the world and to historians? The problem starts when governments commemorate wars in order to prove their supremacy over the past and over other countries. Those speeches full of gratitude that nations narrate to glorify their troops have warm feelings, but it is more important to discuss the aftermath of wars which is never revealed to the audience. 

Nuclear weapons can inflict irreversible damage on opponents, but they also, simultaneously, ensure self-destruction. It is worth worrying about the consequences if both India and Pakistan ultimately reach the nuclear threshold. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning teams of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility predicted the fatalities to reach more than a billion, if nuclear warfare takes place between India and Pakistan. In a later study, the two groups confessed their figures were an underestimation: they could go even higher if China gets involved in the saga. Ira Helfand, who authored this report, judges this catastrophe would be unparalleled in human history, one that would end a civilization if China gets involved, with its 1.3 billion people at stake. The leftovers would merely be a bulk of human bodies. Beside this, both India and Pakistan are third world countries with fewer resources than developed countries, who are surviving on a lot of foreign aid till date. What could go beyond this on economical metric; is a complete nightmare? People who are living under poverty line in both the countries would die of lack of food or inflated prices.

Both India and Pakistan should learn to castoff phony nationalism, and learn from the example of Japan. The Japanese have learned how to cultivate an anti-war sentiment among the coming generations. Now, Hiroshima Peace Museum is one of the most visited sites for school kids, visitors and media personnel, who keep writing about the nightmarish miseries that the Japanese people of the time had gone through. This timely developed sentiment swiftly put them back on track to overcome their shortcomings. In fact, nuclear weapons have made the people of India and Pakistan more aggressive, like the Japanese before World War II, instead of the opposite. This belligerent behavior is obvious because once the weapons of mass destruction are created, it is enticing to use them at some stage. 

Only a few survivors of the nuclear attack on Japan are left who had the first-hand experience of that inhumane detonation. What legacy they are leaving behind? The whole world, especially India and Pakistan, should absorb the message those survivors are spreading. They have tirelessly spoken about their most tragic experiences of wartime; they have warned the world time and again. And one of the survivors, Setsuko Thurlow, said that, “Although we Hibakusha have spent our life trying to warn people about the hell that is nuclear war, in nearly 70 years there has been little progress in the field of nuclear disarmament. … It is our hope that this new movement to ban nuclear weapons will finally lead us to a nuclear weapon–free world.”

Almost every war was once started to demilitarize the other nation but it never could be justified later. People should raise their voice against the race for acquiring nuclear weapon and strive for the complete elimination of these weapons. There are always better ways to solve conflicts. The entire world should work together to achieve golden peace that unfortunately has never come. Studying history and failing to learn from its lessons is a mistake that the people of India and Pakistan cannot afford to commit.