Chinese Great Leap and the story of the greatest human tragedy

Last updated on Aug 18, 2008

Posted on Aug 18, 2008

In the Beijing Olympic’s opening ceremony, Mao’s name was never mentioned.  Was it an oversight?  Or was it deliberate?

Mao left a legacy that is barbaric and heartless.  His Great Leap led to millions of deaths – anywhere from 36 to 70 million.  There is a book by another Chinese – “Tombstone” – which catalogs the pain and suffering of that time.  Tombstone because he considers the book to be the tombstone of his own father who died because of hunger at that time.  The research he has done – interviews, access to official and government papers – is unprecedented.

And he is not really a dissident – in fact he was a reporter of Xinhua and also a member of the communist party for many years.   Yang Jisheng has written from the eyewitness accounts of the normal people at that time.  Needless to say its not pretty at all.

A combination of criminally bad policies (farmers were forced to make steel instead of growing crops; peasants were forced into unproductive communes) and official cruelty (China was grimly exporting grain at the time) created, between 1959 and 1961, one of the worst famines in recorded history. “I went to one village and saw 100 corpses,” one witness told Yang. “Then another village and another 100 corpses. No one paid attention to them. People said that dogs were eating the bodies. Not true, I said. The dogs had long ago been eaten by the people.”

The book was banned on the mainland but has been sold out in Hong Kong.  Its a two volume book running in to 1100 pages.  Of course, the Chinese history does not acknowledge the mass famine but call it “three years of natural disasters,” not of a mass artificial famine.  And amusingly, even the Indian communist wag their tails behind their masters and are all too eager to justify perhaps the greatest butchery EVER in the history of mankind!

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