” Happy Friendship Day” emails filled up my mail box. This International friendship day thing is all over Bangladesh media. I was surprised quite a bit. This whole phenomenon is missing in US mainstream. Especially considering the fact that “International friendship Day” was declared by US congress in 1935.

Friendshipday

However, ten years later, today, United States mandated another special day in history, Hiroshima Day. We now talk about weapon of mass destruction etc. If the words ‘weapon of mass destruction’ or ‘mass murder’ need an example, the most perfect example would have been the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Abomb

And today, the 22nd day of the Bangla month of Shraban, also coincides with the 65th anniversary of death of Rabindranath Tagore. I always find it difficult when addressing this man. Poet? Is he only a poet? Absolutely not. His presence was equaly vigorous in each brach of literature, poem, short story, drama, essay etc. But his contribution was not only in literature. He is the most prolific visionary leader of our century, he was a reformer. His role in ‘Bongo bhanga’ movement was robust and he dedicated a great deal of his youthful energy, time in an attempt to bring about a revolution in agriculture of east bengal.

And on the Hiroshima day here is an excerpt from Amartya Sen about Tagore’s views of weaponization of planet.

Whether, or to what extent, powerful weapons empower a nation is not a new question. Indeed, well before the age of nuclear armament began, Rabindranath Tagore had expressed a general doubt about the fortifying effects of military strength, If “in his eagerness for power,” Tagore had argued in 1917, a nation “multiplies his weapons at the cost of his soul, then it is he who is in much greater danger than his enemies.” Tagore was not as uncompromisingly a pacifist as Mahatma Gandhi was, and his warning against the dangers of alleged strength through more and bigger weapons related to the need for ethically scrutinizing the functions of these weapons and the exact uses to which they are to be put as well as the practical importance of the reactions and counteractions of others. The “soul” to which Tagore referred includes, as he explained, the need for humanity and understanding in international relations.

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