Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Battling Natural Disasters-A Nation at War


The land of the rising sun has become a Nation struggling for existence! It is a Nation trying  to come to terms with a disaster of exceptional magnitude.One wonders, however, about the resilience of this Nation. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War, haunts our minds. One wonders how much more this Nation can take! Tsunami, Earthquake, Nuclear Radiation, you’ve got it all! It is all served on a platter, a package of natural and man made disasters ( that is, if you call radio-active contamination man made).

What is appreciable about this Nation is the extreme resilience of its people, their ability to take immense punishment and yet remain standing and smiling! The spirit of patriotism is very strong in the people of Japan. This was perhaps best displayed by the Japanese soldiers who fought till the last against the advancing allied armies at the end of the Second World War. This was a Nation which was totally devastated by the war, and yet it rose from its ashes, a stronger, vibrant, and powerful Nation. One remembers how Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and many other car companies from Japan became widely known,and also the camera companies like Yashica, Cannon, Pentax became well known brands.

Looking at the extent of damage caused by the earthquake followed by the Tsunami, we can barely estimate the financial impact- it could be to the extent of Billions of Dollars! The loss to human life is tragic! We keep learning about how more and more bodies are being discovered. The explosion at one of the reactors at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant and system failures in others has raised fears of radiation leakage. This radio-active contamination can spread over a wide area not limited to Japan only (radio-active contamination from the Chernobyl power plant tragedy had spread over a wide area, reaching even some Scandinavian countries). One wonders how Japan will tackle the radio-active contamination from the reactors at Fukushima. But then it is  certain that they will have found an efficient method of containing further contamination, trust their experience as in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or their ingenuity!

The set back to a world economy already reeling from the turmoil in North Africa, Egypt, Libya, the Middle East, and South East Asia by the events in Japan can only be imagined! We have just recovered from recession, and now we have another crisis on our hands.We can’t sit back in our sitting rooms drinking tea, watching T.V. and sermonize that such and such a disaster cannot strike us. It has already struck us. Today we are living in a Global Village and what happens in a far away country does affect us. It is like a tsunami wave which is travelling towards us which will hit us eventually!  We have all experienced the impact of the Tiger Economies crashing before the recession. The events that took place in Japan on the eleventh of March 2011 are bound to have wide ranging repercussions globally. The fear of radio-active contamination is quite strong and it raises questions about the safety of Nuclear-Reactors world wide. Today, our financial institutions go into a tizzy when something happens in a far away nation. So we can expect some impact on the economy. Various projects in Delhi might get affected, like, for example some  of the Delhi Metro’s expansion projects. With some of the Suzuki plants shut down in Japan, Maruti Motors might face shortage of some spare parts for their cars. Similarly various other brands like Sony might face problems with supply of their products. We have some Indian companies whose executives are based in Japan, they too will have to be recalled!

Whatever may be the outcome of the Tsunami, I am sure that Japan will come up stronger and more vibrant and be an example for all the other nations in the world. Surely, dedication, patriotism, honesty, humbleness, and hard work will raise this Nation like a Phoenix from its ashes!

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