The Aquinian

Canada isn’t immune to nuclear disaster: Lecturer

Shreesh Juyal has spent 40 years promoting peace. (Tom Bateman/AQ)

You might want to clean the dust out of your fall-out shelter because, according to Shreesh Juyal, it may not be long before the next nuclear disaster.

Juyal came to St. Thomas University to give the annual Dr. Abdul Q. Lodhi Lecture in Human Rights. He’s the dean of the faculty of international studies at Himgiri Zee University in India.

The room was calm before Juyal took the stage to light applause. He cleared his throat and waited a few seconds before opening with a joke.

He quickly changed his tone as he began talking about the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi after last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Nuclear technology is a threat to both the environment and world peace and what happened in Japan is possible here too, he said.

“The world can come to an end in an extremely short amount of time,” he said. “Can you imagine if something like [Fukushima] happened in Canada? Think about it.”

He also talked about nuclear weapons and their danger to world peace. He praised U.S. President Barack Obama for taking a step in the right direction, trying to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The only problem is the U.S hasn’t done this yet.

“If the U.S does [keep nuclear weapons], so will Russia and China,” he said.

Juyal, originally from India, was a professor at the University of Regina. He spent more than 40 years in Canada.

“Canada is a very strong believer in peace. Even though it has been following the foreign policy of the United States, [Canada] has always sought the course to peace and I wish to pursue that,” he said.

Juyal has spent that last 40 years promoting international peace. He looks up to Mohandas Gandhi.

Gandhi fought for equality by peaceful, non-violent protests. He also fought for the rights of people who couldn’t fight for themselves – something that resonated for Juyal.

Shreesh Juyal lectured at STU last week. He said nuclear technology is a threat to the environment and world peace. He’s the dean of international studies at Himgiri Zee University in India. (Tom Bateman/AQ)

Juyal chose this career path early in life. He said witnessing wars around the world, as well as what colonialism did to his home country, helped him discover that path.

But his goals have reached far beyond India.

“I felt it’s time to fight internationally.”

Juyal has been to 61 countries. He’s a prominent member of many international organizations. One in particular is the World Federation of Scientific Workers (WFSW).

The WFSW’s aim is to use science and technology for peaceful purposes. He was invited to join while he was a senior professor at the University of Regina. He’s now the vice-president of the WFSW.

“Science in the service of humanity has been my primary goal.”

Juyal is also a chairman on the International Commission of Disarmament and the current president of the Canadian Peace Research Association.

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