No, such a question does not arise anymore. An order is an order, and to follow it is his duty. He dropped the bomb on both the cities, went back to his camp, had a good dinner, drank with his friends, laughed, joked – and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were burning. Never before in history had such destruction been seen. But this man seemed to be absolutely unaffected. In fact he seemed to be enjoying, celebrating, because he had done a great job. As the first man to drop the atom bomb, he had become a historical figure.
In the morning, he was asked by the journalists, “We certainly believe you could not have slept in the night. After killing 160,000 people, how could you sleep?”
He said, “You don’t understand the psychology of the soldier. I have done my duty, and I have done it perfectly. And I had a very good sleep. I had not had that good a sleep for months because this project was there, and I was so excited by the project of dropping the atom bomb.”
He was being prepared for it. And, naturally, when the work is finished – and finished with perfection – one has the right to relax and go to sleep. So he said, “I ate well, drank, danced with my friends and went to sleep.”
Now, something is missing in this man. His heart is no longer functioning. His reason is dead. He looks like a man, but he has become a robot.
What has happened in all the armies has happened on a subtler level in all the societies. The basic method is the same. Every child is brought up to follow, to be obedient, to respect the elders. Every child is conditioned that on his own he is always going to be wrong, that he is a worthless person. One is not born worthy; worth has to be deserved, it has to be earned, it is a goal. Very few people achieve it. As a human being, he is condemned. As he is, he is condemned. He is given all kinds of shoulds and should nots. The child is so helpless that sooner or later he is caught in the net.
It was a continuous problem for me, and for my family. In India it is an accepted fact that if any elderly person comes into a house, you have to touch his feet. Now, I was not willing to do that. The first time it happened a neighbor came in – he was the age of my father, or perhaps older than my father – and my father touched his feet, asked him to sit comfortably. And then my father told me, because I was still there, “Touch his feet. He is older than you, he is older than me.”
I said, “He may be older, that does not mean that I have to touch his feet. In fact, I know this man: he is a drunkard, he goes to the prostitutes, he has been imprisoned twice for stealing. Now the police are suspecting him of a murder, which has happened just two days ago in front of the house.”
In fact, my whole family had to force me not to say anything about it, because I had seen it happen. And I told my father, “I suspect this was the man, although he had a black cover over his face. But I know his feet, I know his hands, I know the way he walks – and you want me to touch his feet? I cannot do it.”