At the heart of the question of the safety of technology lies private ownership of enterprises that are engaged in manufacturing, T.Jayaraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), has said.
Speaking at a remembrance meeting on the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, organised in Chennai by the Movement Against Nuclear Weapons (MANW) and Indian School of Social Sciences on Friday, Dr. Jayaraman said it would be fallacious to believe nuclear powers exist because of the advancement of technology. While certain types of weapons such as chemical weapons had been eliminated over the years through consensus, the fact that nuclear weapons still persisted indicated that the reasons were in the political realm. To do this would be to examine the role of imperialism in the world. People wrongly believe that imperialism does not exist in a globalised scenario. “The misuse of technology lies, first and foremost, in private ownership. In a neo-liberal environment, private enterprise is careless with work safety. It is not as if accidents do not happen with public enterprises. However, with the latter, you can argue reasonably about the ways of handling safety and other issues relating to workers,” Dr. Jayaraman added.
He went on to state that both Hiroshima and Bhopal were two dimensions of a problem relating to imperialism in the world. Although the United States had claimed that the need to stockpile nuclear weapons would cease if the Soviet Union collapsed, 20 years later, the U.S. still had full possession of nuclear weapons. The danger of a war is never far away, and consequently, the danger of the use of nuclear weapons.
J.Sri Raman, convener, MANW, spoke.