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THROUGH THE EYES OF TIAN’ANMEN SQUARE

“Every revolution seems impossible at the beginning, and after it happens, it was inevitable.”         –Bill Ayers

Every year on October 1st, my mind inadvertently retraces the history that shaped my country. But before I divulge a little into the past and a little into the present, I must introduce myself – I am Tian’anmen, the place that has the same relevance for Beijing as White House for Washington.

As the flag unfurls on the morning of October 1st this year, I’m yet again reminded about the afternoon of 4 May 1919, when for the very first time, more than 4000 students gathered; calling out slogans, denouncing traditional values; Confucius had been rejected for the promise of a better future that Science and Democracy were willing to offer. In the following few years, as the struggle for freedom gained momentum, my land was drenched with the sweat and blood of the sacrificing revolutionaries. That was my first interaction with Revolution for democracy and liberation.

Today, 71 years since then, as I look back on the ‘hits and misses’ of my country and therefore of CCP, I agree the celebrations are justified. After the 100 years of humiliation at the hands of foreign forces, our country’s achievements have been many. One cannot refute that a fair share of our population enjoys the benefits of growing prosperity, including a higher standard of living, improved public health, better education, expanded career options, and increased opportunities for travel. And while our atheist state claims that “all citizens of the People’s Republic of China are equal before the law and that the state respects and preserves human rights” – one only needs to open their eyes to realize that while the life for the majority Han ethnic group has stabilized, giving them a feeling of greater personal security, but, under Xi Jinping’s CCP, the rest of us haven’t had it so easy.

“The seed of revolution is repression” 

It is often said that history is the foundation on which the present and future are built. During the reign of the last dynasty of China, the Qing dynasty, protests, rebellions and civil wars broke out in various parts of the kingdom. The defining rebellions that caused extreme chaos and destruction, unlike anything that had been seen till then, were the Taiping Rebellion and the various Muslim rebellions that not only condemned the people to miserable death by starvation, illness and crime, but also weakened the backbone of Qing dynasty and lead to years of humiliation at the hands of foreigners; Therefore post liberation, as China opted to become an atheist state, I believed it to be an excellent decision.                                     

However, in the past few years, China has crossed the barrier of a non-believer and has emerged as a non-tolerant state instead. Mass violations against minorities like Uyghur Muslims, Buddhists, Mongols, Miao, Tujia, Christians, Falun Gong practitioners and so many more, has made China a target for world’s ridicule. What irks me is that now I have no justifiable excuse for her, as in the history that I have seen China has always strongly fought for the people and their rights and has never adopted to quietening her people by suppression of information or attacks on defenders, journalists, lawyers or critics. However now, exposed to digital censorship and extreme surveillance, these men, women and young students are often subjected to extreme physical and psychological torture – Why though?? Isn’t an educated deliberation a path to China’s rejuvenation? As the country that was paramount in establishing the civil service exams, encouraging debates, discussions and criticisms to power development, I am saddened by this tragic change in our society and governance.

Detainees in a political education camp in Lop County, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang. 
© Xinjiang Bureau of Justice WeChat Account

“A great revolution is never the fault of the people, but of the government.”

As I reminisce today, I feel it quite unfortunate that CCP and my fellow countrymen have completely erased the memory of the revolutions that China suffered to reach here. Our country’s foundation is set on the base of pain, sorrow, turmoil and efforts of numerous revolutionaries who dared to raise a voice against the oppression of common folks. We need to realize that the repressive policies will only camouflage the contribution of our revolutionaries and will install fear that China’s social and economic progress has been established at the cost of individual freedom and security. On the 71st year of the foundation of our PRC, I ask, is the honorable martyrdom of our ancestors to be forgotten in the tide of a few misguided?  

To my fellow countrymen I’d say, that freedom was not easily acquired, and while economic prosperity may be of utmost importance, we should not let humanity die a sorrowful death.

For Chairman Xi, I would like to leave just one thought: –

“Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” -Confucius

                                                                    

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