The collective memory of the Chinese of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 has been wiped clean on the ground that if the tanks hadn’t rolled in, China would have descended into social chaos and the Chinese economy wouldn’t have been opened up, transforming its destiny over the last 20 years.
Venkatesan Vembu, the east Asia correspondent of DNA, sees a parallel between China’s efforts “to move on” by harping on its economic strides, and Narendra Damodardas Modi‘s efforts “to move on” from the Gujarat pogrom of 2002 by using the plank of industrial development.
“Although the precise details of the Indian parallel are admittedly different, what it has in common with the Tiananmen case-study is an emerging mindset that believes that the bloodstains of history can be wiped away by “making people rich”….
“But the harder China’s Communist rulers try to erase the memory of Tiananmen, the more it becomes manifest that for all their claims that Chinese people have “moved on” from 1989 in their embrace of riches, China today continues to be haunted by the ghosts of that massacre.
“Likewise with Modi, the memory of 2002 cannot — and should not — be erased until some semblance of justice is seen to be done to the victims, and the perpetrators of the riots are punished. Only that will exorcise that persistent memory. In the absence of that, attempts to whitewash that tainted record count for nothing. Even all the riches of the world cannot remove the bloodstains of history.”
Read the full article: Modi and Tiananmen
Also read: ‘Gujarat was vibrant long before Narendra Modi‘