People eat people world

Been trying to catchup on some of the docs from 2016. I used to be religious about it until 2011 or so. Same with electro songs too. Laziness and general dissociation from many things set in around that time and I haven’t ‘recovered’ from it since. What I’m doing now is just a consciously driven exercise to re-establish that life bit by bit, although I’m aware that it’s futile.

Anyway, random docs have started to show up in my recommended list in Youtube and among them was one on Mao Zedong (Tse Tung as many of us were taught in school, in India). I had seen this documentary when it was on TV several years ago.

It didn’t strike me as an objective or particularly coherent documentary then. Nevertheless it had some chilling details that I was able to verify to an extent from other sources. One such detail was about the ‘wide spread’ cannibalism during the Great Chinese Famine.

A few months later I brought it up in a casual conversation with my grad school colleague from China. I have to admit that I showed no seriousness or sensitivity when I mentioned it; in a manner of talking about something that’s supposed to have a happened a long time ago and that is common knowledge. Ok, I might have joked about it: “we may have to eat one another like the Chinese did during the famine, haha!”. I’m not sure (I’m not sure because I’ve joked about it several times without the Chinese famine part). But she was completely taken aback. I don’t think she called me a racist but she was visibly offended and very upset, and said something like “we’re colleagues here, it’s important that we be respectful towards our cultures and not throw such preposterous allegations and that too so casually.”

She stopped talking to me for a few weeks but I wasn’t too bothered by it. I knew what I said would have shaken her up and driven to do her own research. Being the scholar she was, she did. She spoke to me after a month or so and expressed her regret. I did too.

We spoke for long time that day. She spoke about how she felt ashamed for not knowing her own country’s history and how these revelations have got her completely confused about her identity etc. I said I sympathized with her and gave a long list of examples that applied to me vis-à-vis my right wing past. But I also reminded her that I was only 24 and she was 31.

She didn’t talk to me for a few weeks, again.

2 comments:

Suresh said...

Stalinists and Maoists hold the many atrocities that unfolded during their reigns as western conspiracy against communism. But there are so many simple facts to prove the famine was largely man-made.
Ex: You'd realize that the publicly available official numbers on the agricultural yield during the pre-famine years are completely cooked up when you compare it against standard yield per acre.

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