This last week has seen the anniversary of the atomic bombs which the US dropped on Japan in 1945, bringing the war in the east to an end. Hiroshima and Ngasaki are the only places in the world where such bombs have been dropped for "real". Such was the long and short term destruction that atomic warfare was relegated to a final solution.
Countries still hold these devastating weapons though and others still yearn to become atomic super powers. It is generally believed and stated by the West that Iran is one such country.
India it seems is keen to expand its nuclear arsenal. Today August 9, 2012, India test fired its medium range nuclear capable Agni-II missile, with a strike range of 2000km from Wheeler Island of Odisha coast.
This test raises many concerns. Damage to the environment including wildlife in the area should not be lightly dismissed. Our constant abuse of the planet by way of bombs and more will, is and has taken its toll. Then there is the actual cost.
India is yet another country where vast swathes of the population live in poverty. Children do not receive the necessary education, comfort and care which in the West we would expect the family and society to provide. Yet there is always money for war and to test destructive weapons.
As the global economic crisis continues to bite many people wonder why various countries in the West give millions to help a nuclear power such as India. The reasons may be many. Look at it generously and it could be out of philanthropy. Look at it more cynically and there could be many reasons including to keep the country as a political ally.
People in the West though are sick and tired of giving until it hurts. Now that they too are expected to tighten their belts and endure savage cuts to budgets most will be sickened to realise that aid is still sent by the bucket load to India.
Yes there are people and children in India who need that help. Does it reach its target though. Doubtful.
In 2011 the UK government was going to freeze the aid sent to India to a level of £295m ($480m) a year. Whether you view that as a huge amount or not a lot, there is no denying it would go a long way toward providing vital services for the elderly and vulnerable in the UK.
Last year it was noted that India as a country also contributed to world aid programs, so why does it need our aid? Last year also the Indian economy grew by 10% whilst western economies nosedived.
Before we become too hardhearted though we must bear in mind that a third of the world's poorest people live in India. However if the country's leaders have money to waste on weapon testing then they have money to cure some of the country's problems. Whether they have the will is a different matter.
As far as food aid sent from the US to poor countries it has been called "corporate welfare" for grain giants, but that's another story.
One thing is for sure and that is western governments need to get their act in order to prevent wasting trillions, before it is too late.