IS WAR GOOD OR BAD?

By Ankita Kulkarni in Daily Musings
Updated 12:42 IST Jul 06, 2017

The Oxford dictionary describes war as “A state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between states and nations”. It also describes it as,”The art or science of warfare”. But is war really an art? Is there any scientific aspect to it? Is war good or bad is a very common question that is asked all around the world. But is there really a correct answer to this question. As the Oxford dictionary says, it is a hostile conflict between two or more nations. This hostility emerges due to either conflicting ideas or disobeying of laws. Laws are created and kept in place to maintain peace and discipline in any society. Breaking any of these laws leads to chaos which further leads to war. Similarly, when two or more nations have conflicting ideas over a common issue such as the India Pakistan conflict over the occupancy of Kashmir, it leads to war. But why do we need war? Coming back to the question of is war good or bad, I would start by asking that do we really need war? In a world as big as ours, there are sure to be disagreements among nations. But as far I am concerned, these issues can easily be resolved peacefully. There is not a single conflict that necessarily requires violence. What it requires is an understanding and a compromise. But to make this compromise, the leaders have to be mature enough. Yes, a nation must have armies and weapons but only for its self defense and the protection of its citizens. Voluntarily attacking another country results in war which further results into mass destruction and casualties.

Take into consideration the example of the First World War. This was the first war in which most of the countries of the world had participated in. It lasted for more than four years. The war was initially triggered due to the assassination of the Archduke of Austria by Serbian nationalists. This led Austria to declare war on Serbia. This further led nations to take sides with either Austria or Serbia, serving their own personal prejudices against each other. The result of this worldwide war was the loss of 90 million soldiers and 70 million civilians. Is this what we are? Are we really animals that kill our own race in cold blood due to political, economic or border conflicts? By disrupting thousands of lives and families being torn apart. Is all of this really necessary? The winners of any war get power and control over the losing nation. But is this power and control really worth so many lives?

And it gets even worse during the Second World War. The most horrifying incident of this war was the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Americans. Those atomic bombs completely wiped out the two cities and incinerated its citizens to dust. Even now after so many years, the next generations of the survivors of the attack are born with severe defects due to the effects of the atomic bombs. Isn’t this barbarianism? Isn’t this cruel? Instead of this, wouldn’t it be possible to just communicate with the opposing nations and resolve the issues peacefully.  I had once read a joke somewhere that said that if women were the leaders of our nations and they had a disagreement among themselves we would just have a couple of nations who would stop talking to each other. Well, isn’t that better than taking millions of lives? I actually feel that if women were the leaders of nations, we would never have wars. Because women understand the value of a human life. They would never kill whole cities for their own personal gains.

I agree that the past wars have had some benefits such as in the First World War, as the men went away to war, women had to do their jobs. This boosted women’s freedom and also gave them the right to vote. Slavery was abolished in America during the civil war. The railway system was introduced in India during the British rule and they also abolished child marriage and the sati system. But this does not justify the destruction and loss that these wars brought. Going back to question, I would agree that war is bad. It is absolutely unnecessary. There are many different ways to solve ‘hostile conflicts’. A third party who is impartial could be introduced to solve the issue. But killing is not the solution. World peace and harmony is absolutely necessary for the well being of all the nations and its citizens. Every human life is worth something and has a meaning to it. World peace will justify this meaning behind a human life.

 

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