Bengali people would remember a movie named ‘Hirak Rajar Deshe’. The name can be roughly translated to ‘In the land of the diamond king’ in English. This award-winning movie was made by late legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. The movie depicted a propaganda state, ruled by a despotic king, terrorizing his own people, exploiting the people to the hilt. The king was surrounded by a coterie of ‘Yes-men’. Anyone trying to protest against the brutality was subjected to a gigantic brain-washing machine named ‘Jantar Mantar’. People with too strong conviction and character were earmarked for torture, persecution and imprisonment. King would whet the appetite of the coterie by lavishly distributing diamonds extracted from the local mines, which earned the revenue of the state. The king patronized a scientist, who was the creator of the brain-washing machine, again by giving him diamonds. Education was banned. Books were burnt. The only teacher was persecuted. Security forces would lay out a draconian surveillance mechanism and brutally hunt down even peaceful dissidents.
The modern day equivalent of this regressive state of the diamond king is communist China. It is ruled by a repressive totalitarian regime that has killed over 80 million of its own people through state-controlled famine (‘Great Leap Forward’ is just one example), brutal purges (‘Cultural Revolution’ is just one example) and wars (the 63-year-old war against the unarmed Tibetans is just one example, where the communist regime has killed 1.2 million Tibetans). It has persecuted hundreds of millions of its own people, the ongoing three-decades old persecution of Falun Gong sect is just one example. Exploitation of Tibet, where the communist regime denudes Tibet of the natural resources to the tune of US $ 50 billion in a year, is just one example. The new ’emperor’ of China, who is also the boss of the communist party, is surrounded by the ‘yes-men’ of the party and it’s central committee. China’s ‘political education’ camps, really nothing more than slave labor camps like the Gulags of the erstwhile USSR, brainwashes people. People too strong to be brainwashed – like Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiobo – are imprisoned. Tibetan singers calling from freedom are also imprisoned. Here I request the reader to remember the singer in the movie who had sung criticizing the regime of the diamond king and his fate. Media is heavily controlled and censored by the regime. Education is heavily infiltrated by communist ideology and Han Chinese chauvinism. The coterie of the new line of Chinese ’emperors’ are rewarded for their obedience by the government completely turning a blind eye towards their corruption – the top 50 Chinese government officials have amassed US $ 95 billion of wealth. Note the similarity with the diamond king lavishly distributing diamonds to his coterie. The repression and environmental damage is so severe in China along with corruption, that every year over 100,000 protests and riots take place. Using a draconian surveillance and censorship system, Chinese communist government brutally crushes every dissent and controls what can get published in the media. Propagating the lie of the Chinese communist state being a responsible one is critical for the party’s survival, without which the foreign fund outflow will cause the regime to implode. Facebook and Twitter are banned in China. Google protests against the draconian censorship measures and are in the wrong side of the Chinese government. Apple plays along, including allowing China to install censoring gadgets in the products, and can thus do their business in China, exploiting the slave labor camps. Bloomberg and New York Times are regularly harassed for publishing articles criticizing Chinese government. During ‘Cultural Revolution’ alone, over 6000 monasteries were destroyed in Tibet, with ancient Tibetan scriptures burnt. In fact, formal education was practically brought to a stand-still in China during this period.
In the end of the movie, Gupi and Bagha, the two well-meaning outsiders, along with the persecuted teacher and his teenager students, had instigated a movement that freed people from the despotic king. The people had pulled down the gigantic statue of the king, with Gupi and Bagha dancing on the face of the statue. The question is, will Mao Zedong’s Mausoleum be the one to be razed to ground when similar uprising succeeds in communist China?