Friday, May 27, 2016

A trend that I don't understand!

President Barrack Obama's recent visit to Japan was interesting in that, he became the first US President to visit the atomic bomb ravaged town of Hiroshima in the course of his visit. Also, came the local  lament that he did not visit Nagasaki - were the votaries of this statement wanting a President to visit each of the places ravaged by his forces in the past, I wonder? Understand his discomfort, too, as he must have gone through the protocol!

It's my opinion that he did right by not apologising for the dropping of the bomb and the consequent devastation caused by the US forces during the World War II. His statement that leaders take critical decisions during wartime depending upon the circumstances and the requirement of the hour was apt. By doing so, he had endorsed President Truman's hardest decision during those tumultuous years!

In recent years, it has become a fashion or should I say, a trend for leaders to apologise for actions of their predecessors'! To me it appears comical and more importantly, unnecessary due to the following reasons:-

    (a) You're apologising to the generations who do not really understand/are trying to put the blot
          or the mind numbing event behind them.
    (b) A belated apology, in time and space, doesn't bring solace or the intended effect to the actual
    (c)  Then, why is it done? Perhaps, to free oneself off the guilt of having wronged? But does it have
          any bearing on the people who had suffered the ignominy and pain associated with the

To cite an example, no one from the Jewish community can ever forget Auschwitz or those dreaded gas chambers where millions of Jews were exterminated during Hitler's rule of Nazi Germany. But that also doesn't mean that they find the subsequent generations of Germans guilty or responsible for that horrible past!

Therefore, my advice is 'stop apologising for the past' but make sure that such mistakes are never, ever repeated!


(a) Be good in thoughts and actions but is it really possible to follow during the conduct of statecraft?
(b) Today happens to be the 52nd remembrance day of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal
      Nehru. My prayers.

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