Monday, December 11, 2006

Mao Zedong In Retrospection

An off today allowed me to make a trip to Hougang community library.

It was located in the Hougang Mall, which has four levels of shopping outlets for one to stroll through the human crowd and make his/ her shopping activites.

As usual, an entry into the library would always compel me to walk toward the 'magazines' section, where I would be inevitably moved to search for the 'Mingpao Monthly' magazine (《明報月刊》). It is a monthly Chinese magazine published by the 'Mingpao Corp', which was almost single-handedly started by the renowned journalist cum author 'Jin Yong' [查良鏞(金庸)]. It's first publication was in 1966, and coming into its 'thirty-eight' anniversary, it has become not only a well-known monthly publication for the Hongkong people; it has evolved and emerged as a 'journalistic conscience' publication for people all around the world to read and be submerged in.

I managed to pick up a few recent edtions, after getting hold only of last year's editions for several times. "It is quite of a good fortune", I thought to myself. In the 'September' edtion, there was an article written by a mainland author. The title, 'Is Mao Zedong a tyrant or a great man?' caught my eyes.

For many times, in my own limited mind, I have thought Mao as 'a man who struggled to uplift China, battling the internal rivals as well as external enemies. Though sometimes he had faltered and slipped, the dire situations and cruel disasters were more of a natural cause and not a calculated human error'. This more or less summed up my initial impression for this man, though in my much younger days I have overheard my late father discussing and perhaps even arguing with my uncles about the achievements and errors of this elusive yet controversial man.

The author in the magzine started out with a direct listing of Mao's doings and deeds. He questioned the conventional trend adopted widely and conveniently by many of Mao's greatness, calling him the 'liberator' of China, which saw him freeing the country from the claws of 'conservative mindsets', 'capitalistic castes' and 'agricultural poverty'. As argued by the many 'adoring fans' of Mao, they have classifed the mistakes and errors made by Mao an 'understanding problem' (認識问题). This simplified explanation for Mao's mistakes, to the author alone, is certainly insufficient to answer to a list of Mao's deliberated actions that led to the deaths of several top government officials, some of them his 'close comrades'. This was in addition to the thousands and millions of deaths he directly and indirectly led or caused, which for his many still surviving supporters they would not accord this piece of historical responsibility onto his shoulders.

However, the author does not think so. In a single question he posed a thought-provocating question for readers to ponder over: even if one has a great ambition, does one think he/ she is entitled to possessing the right and power of sending milions of innocent youths to the ruthless plains of war and suffering? Even if one has some personal dysfunctioned human characteristics, does he/ she need to make thousands and millions of common people his sacrifices for his wrongly ideology? This clear-cut presentation of 'common sense', which is sadly ignored in the tides of human histroy, more often than not carries the torch of truth human kind has yearned and searched for through the thousands of years.

In a nutshell, as Dr.Daisaku Ikeda said, a leader, in all sense, MUST set his eyes on the happiness of the common people. The masses, a.k.a. 'common people', has been the largest group of victims since mankind has known the thrills and enjoyments of controlling, savaging on and even sacrificing nameless, faceless commoners. Time and again, this tragic event has been repeating itself, not just in some remote, separated areas far from our civilised world, but in all around the world, this tragedy has never stopped surfacing and appearing, tormenting and tearing the lives of the countless common masses.

The world has not stopped spinning, from time without beginning, and will not be so till time without ending. Humans born into this Saha world, supposedly the lowest of all world systems as expounded in the Buddhist scriptures, must come to realise that they have the power to stop this repeated cycle of insane suffering, pain and miseries. They must realise that they themselves are endowed with a gigantic fountain of towering enlightenment, totally possessing the full capabilities of overcoming this seemingly insurmountable mountain of tragic hurdle. The day they bring forth this wealth of inner power that exists for millions of aeons, which thereby washing away the deep-seated and firmly-rooted seeds of violence, deception, manipulation and selfish sacrifices, will be the day humankind comes to a full liberation of total freedom and self-commandment. That day, as Dr.Daisaku Ikeda prays fervently to come, is also one which he throws himself totally in creating it. Into that endless fight against all devilish elements that tore the earth of the world apart, Dr. Daisaku knows that day will come.

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