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Monday, June 1, 2020

Fascism, liberalism and upholding human rights - the Commie way

வரலாறு மிக முக்கியம் அமைச்சரே ! ~  I do not see political debates in TV – mostly because some favourites of  channels would use clichés ‘fascism’; worker’s unity, human rights and more –  perhaps not knowing or knowing yet choosing to ignore (they knew their audience would never know) that the party to which they are affiliated is the biggest killer of liberty and voice of common man.

Fascism is a form of far-right, authoritarianism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society   Zindabad is a suffix in Odia, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi and Bengali of Persian origin which is used as a shout of encouragement or as a cheer, and literally means "Long live [idea or person]". Sad to observe that ‘workers unity zindabad’ reverberated in many small scale industries in TN industrial estates – now after 3 or 4 decades, the units have turned sick, the employers could not sustain, employees lost the job and the industry itself would present a pale shadow of what it was – some self-inflicted by those protesters !!  - Here is some history of what happened to ‘uprisings by students’ and those protesting for human rights in the land of communism – China, from where Corona spread everywhere.

The Tiananmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace), is a monumental gate in the centre of Beijing, widely used as a national symbol of China. First built during the Ming dynasty in 1420, Tiananmen was the entrance to the Imperial City, within which the Forbidden City was located. Tiananmen is located to the north of Tiananmen Square, separated from the plaza by Chang'an Avenue.

The Treaty of Versailles was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end. The Treaty ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919 in Versailles, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which had directly led to the war. The other Central Powers on the German side signed separate treaties.  Although the armistice, signed on 11 Nov 1918, ended the actual fighting, it took six months of Allied negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty. The treaty was registered by the Secretariat of the League of Nations on 21 Oct 1919.

Hong Kong has prohibited a planned annual march to mourn the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and effectively banned a candlelit annual vigil that has taken place without interruption for 30 years, the organizer said Thursday. The Hong Kong police banned a march and two rallies that were to take place on May 31, citing the risk of COVID-19 infection, said Richard Tsoi, spokesman for the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China. The government has also effectively banned the vigil for the Tiananmen Square massacre, which has taken place annually since 1990 and been attended by tens of thousands, sometimes more than 100,000, people.  Tsoi said while police have yet to formally respond to an application for the annual vigil, to be held in Victoria Park, they were not optimistic. Tsoi expressed his group’s dissatisfaction with the government’s decision.

The Tiananmen Square protests or the Tiananmen Square Incident, commonly known as the June Fourth Incident were student-led demonstrations held in Tiananmen Square in Beijing during 1989. The popular national movement inspired by the Beijing protests is sometimes called the '89 Democracy Movement.  The protests started on April 15 and were forcibly suppressed on June 4 when the government declared martial law and sent the military to occupy central parts of Beijing. In what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, troops with assault rifles and tanks fired at the demonstrators and those trying to block the military's advance into Tiananmen Square. Estimates of the death toll vary from several hundred to several thousand, with thousands more wounded.  Ever heard an Indian Communist talk on human rights of those students ?

Set off by the death of pro-reform Communist general secretary Hu Yaobang in April 1989, amid the backdrop of rapid economic development and social changes in post-Mao China, the protests reflected anxieties about the country's future in the popular consciousness and among the political elite. The reforms of the 1980s had led to a nascent market economy which benefited some people but seriously affected others, and the one-party political system also faced a challenge of legitimacy. Common grievances at the time included inflation, corruption, limited preparedness of graduates for the new economy, and restrictions on political participation. The students called for greater accountability, constitutional due process, democracy, freedom of the press, and freedom of speech, although they were highly disorganized and their goals varied.  At the height of the protests, about 1 million people assembled in the Square.

Just in case you thought the iron-hand bloodshed and killing of political leaders of 1989 is what Tiananmen is all about – you are suddenly mistaken, there is more – for 1989 is not alone.  The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement which grew out of student protests in Beijing on 4 May 1919.

Students protested against the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, they especially protested against its decision to allow Japan to retain territories in Shandong that had been surrendered by Germany after the Siege of Tsingtao in 1914. The demonstrations sparked nation-wide protests and spurred an upsurge in Chinese nationalism, a shift towards political mobilization, a shift away from cultural activities, a move towards a mass base and a move away from traditional intellectual and political elites. Many radical, political, and social leaders of the next five decades emerged at this time. In a broader sense, the term "May Fourth Movement" is often used to refer to the period during 1915–1921 more often called the New Culture Movement.

The Western Allies dominated the meeting at Versailles, and paid little heed to Chinese demands. Britain and France were primarily interested in punishing Germany. Although the United States promoted Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points and the ideals of self-determination, they were unable to advance these ideals in the face of stubborn resistance by David Lloyd George, Georges Clemenceau and the U.S. Congress. American advocacy of self-determination at the League of Nations was attractive to Chinese intellectuals, but their failure to follow through was seen as a betrayal.

Learning history is important ~ more important is to present only the side that suits and call others Fascists !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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