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Mainstream, VOL LII, No 24, June 7, 2014

Remembering Tiananmen Massacre, June 4, 1989

Monday 9 June 2014

On the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre this week, we are reproducing excerpts from the ‘Political Notebook’ by the Mainstream editor (who was then its associate editor) that appeared in this journal’s June 10, 1989 issue.

China Today and Tomorrow

What began in the early hours of June 4, 1989 at Tiananmen Square in the heart of China’s capital, Beijing, culminated in a veritable bloodbath turning the ‘Square of Heavenly Peace’ into one of earthly hell. ... The stark reality is that the guardians of law and order deemed it necessary, prudent and politic to callously brand the massive and spontaneous non-violent demonstration for democracy—which has had few parallels in recent times—as a show organised by “counter-revolutionaries” before mowing down countless people—young and old; men, women and children—in one of the most tragic incidents in China’s history, besmirching in the process the noble ideals of socialism for which the Chinese masses endured innumerable hardships and under-went untold sacrifices in their glorious struggle for national emancipation and social regeneration. ...

In this setting it is deplorable to find several governments, including our own, hesitant to call a spade a spade and openly denounce the slaughter in Beijing while some of our parties proudly proclaiming themselves as “Marxists” (for whose activities Marx must surely be turning in his grave) have, in effect, defended the despicable crime before which Jallianwalabagh pales into insignificance. Nevertheless, there is no gainsaying that the people of China enjoy, more than ever before, the solidarity of peace-loving democrats across the globe—both Marxists and non-Marxists, striving to build a world without war, hunger, want, destitution, exploitation and oppression, a world of genuine freedom where the mind is without fear and the head is held high.

No matter how the present Chinese leadership “celebrates” its “victory” today, tomorrow belongs to the people of China!

As Indians nurturing the best of feelings for their Chinese brethren in their hour of trial, we are convinced: come what may they will overcome!