FB   
 
Powered bysps
        Society for Policy Studies
 
 

 
A dark lesson from shining China
Posted:Jul 14, 2017
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 
For many of us in India — and, indeed, in the rest of the world — the Chinese economic story has been seen for what it is: a country determined by its leadership’s sheer will to lift its people first out of paddy fields, then out of Dickensian factories, and finally into the First World, all in the span of almost a human lifespan. Such is the glow of this truly impressive progress, conducted in breakneck, monomaniacal speed, that the same ‘many of us’ may believe that the means to achieving such an end is worthwhile. Any means. This ‘You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs’ wisdom received a reality check with the news of the death of Chinese human rights activist, dissident and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo on Thursday. Detained for almost a decade on the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”, Liu, not allowed to receive medical attention for his liver cancer available only abroad, died, under guard, in a Chinese hospital.
 
What was it that made the Chinese leadership want Liu behind bars? His words. “Hatred can rot a person’s wisdom and conscience. An enemy mentality will poison the spirit of a nation and inflame brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and hinder a country’s advance toward freedom and democracy.” This is just a sample of Liu’s criticism of a State in perpetual paranoia. He also advocated something that many of us in India still take for granted, “To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress truth.”
 
In Liu’s example, both what he believed in and what he had to go through because of his beliefs, we can choose to learn two valuable lessons. One, bartering freedom of speech, and the human dignity that comes with it, is not necessary to push progress. China, one must remember these days, is not the only ‘rich nation’. And two, we should be aware — and thankful — that for all its discontents and inanities involving censorship of the most banal things, for all its Irom Sharmilas and Vinayak Sens, Indian democracy has not made brutality its default position. May we remember that India is not China in this aspect. And ensure it never does.
 
 
 
 
 
Print
Share
  
increase Font size decrease Font size
 

Disclaimer: South Asia Monitor does not accept responsibility for the views or ideology expressed in any article, signed or unsigned, which appears on its site. What it does accept is responsibility for giving it a chance to appear and enter the public discourse.
Comments (Total Comments 0) Post Comments Post Comment
Review
 
 
 
 
spotlight image India’s Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari visited Armenia recently to celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
 
read-more
The US has slammed Pakistan for failing to crackdown on terror groups operating from "safe havens" inside its territory, and said the Nawaz Sharif government did not take any action against the LeT and JeM, which continue to operate openly.
 
read-more
In dispatching its  PLA (Peoples Liberation Army)  marines to Djibuti in the Horn of Africa on Wednesday (July 12 ) by amphibious ships, from the southern port of Zhanjiang, China has taken a significant step in enhancing its  trans-border military footprint.
 
read-more
It is becoming increasingly obvious that China is experiencing a sort of superiority obsession, imagining it can dominate and conquer the world. Several Chinese acts in the recent past indicate such an attitude. Asian nations, which are now apprehensive about China’s aggressive postures, are unclear how matters will shape up.
 
read-more
Men of letters have outstanding world views, but sometimes their views on the situation in the Valley are coloured by lack of practical appreciation of the ground reality.
 
read-more
For many of us in India — and, indeed, in the rest of the world — the Chinese economic story has been seen for what it is: a country determined by its leadership’s sheer will to lift its people first out of paddy fields
 
read-more
IS retired Gen Raheel Sharif commanding a ghost army? Government representatives have insisted that so long as the terms of reference of the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism are not finalised, Pakistan’s participation cannot be determined.
 
read-more
  The U.S. administration’s decision to slap sanctions on 18 Iranian individuals and entities on Tuesday, only a day after it certified to Congress that Tehran was compliant with the conditions of the nuclear deal, sums up its strategic resolve in taking on the Islamic Republic and the tactical dilemma it faces while doi
 
read-more
S.T. Lee Distinguished Lecture of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore on "India, ASEAN and Changing Geopolitics”
 
read-more
Column-image

Interview with Hudson Institute’s Aparna Pande, whose book From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy, was released on June 17.

 
Column-image

This is the continuing amazing spiritual journey of a Muslim man from Kerala who plunged into Vedic religion after a chance encounter with a Hindu mystic under a jackfruit tree in the backyard of his house when he was just nine. It is a story w...

 
Column-image

History is told by the victors but in our modern age, even contemporary events get - or are given - a slant, where some contributors soon get eclipsed from the narrative or their images tarnished.

 
Column-image

Humans have long had a fear of malignant supernatural beings but there may be times when even the latter cannot compare with the sheer evil and destructiveness mortals may be capable of. But then seeking to enable the end of the world due to it...

 
Column-image

Title: Reporting Pakistan; Author: Meena Menon; Publisher: Viking/Penguin Random House; Pages: 340; Price: Rs 599

 
Subscribe to our newsletter
Archive