CNN November 27, 2022 – “Protests erupt across China in unprecedented challenge to Xi Jinping’s zero-Covid policy”
Police using jackets to cover slogans painted by students on walls of Beijing.
Graffiti, so far a preserve of the ultra-liberal West, has arrived in Beijing. Subway passages have been beautified in the US for eons with commuters spray painting their innermost desires, fears and emotions. It is an act of catharsis, the safety valve of a society that has unlimited freedom of oral and visual expression. Xi Jinping has often wondered during conversations with his Major-general wife, “Why does a society with unlimited freedom need a safety valve?” She looked cluelesss as army officers all over the world look when confronted with an issue like freedom of speech. Most of them do not get an opportunity to see this animal in their real lives and thank God for that. Of course, they read a lot about it while studying military history. It is a dangerous creature, they are taught, and if you ever see it lurking in the barracks, hunt it down immediately. Armies all over the world, though created to deny the enemy across the border the freedom to cross over without the password called visa, have engaged at one time or the other in this blood sport of hunting freedom on their side of the border too. Xi Jinping considered this question of academic interest only because the Communists, before they set up shop anywhere, do some house cleeaning. Since house cleaning is mostly done in spring, most of the revolutions carry the names of this spring or that spring. What worries the revolutionaries is that counter-revolutions are now being increasingly called this spring or that spring and it appears that the term may soon be reserved exclusively for the enemies of revolution.
The communist house cleaning, designed by Lenin, improved upon considerably by Stalin and given the final shape by Mao is now standardized and codified in Communist ideology. The premise is simple; since individuals have individual emotions unlike crowds that are loaned emotions by the leaders who was lent emotions by the Party and its ideologies, erase the individual at the very beginning of the revolution and the problem is solved. No individual emotions means no need of safety valve and graffiti even if there is no freedom. Mao even prescribed jackets, similar in colour and design for the entire population of China, male or female, adult or child. Deng Xiaoping allowed all the myriad colours and designs, which became a new-found freedom and freedom breeds like rabbits when the grass is good but it helps multiply the likes of flies where filth abounds. Chinese are not particularly known for being too familiar with the thing called hygiene and therefore the advent of some economic freedom in China, like anywhere else in the world, quickly led to filthy corrruption, dirty morals, and rotten leaders. Deng had to do house cleaning in 1989 at Tiananmen Square where the students had erected a replica of the Statue of Liberty, leaving no one in doubt that the excessive freedom in the US had spilled over the Pacific to China. Then Jiang Zemin had to do another spring cleaning in 1999 when Falun Gong became so widespread that the policemen were hitting their own parents in the crowd, it being a small world. Both the cleanings have turned out to be very lucrative for China. Falun Gong has made China the organ transplant capital of the world where, for a fee affordable by the capitalist West and without any waiting period, you can get matched organ, fresh from a living prisoner of conscience, thus helping to liberate his soul from the dungeon called China whose gaolkeeper has been called the “Engineer of the soul”. Tiananmen Square has made the Chinese thirsty for American blood; at least Xi Jinping believes so.
It is thus that Mao’s jacket, that covered the individual and his emotions, has reincarnated during Xi’s reign as police jacket that covers the individual’s emotions sprayed on the wall. Since the supreme leader, whether Mao or Xi, has the monopoly of generating thoughts and ideas, the police chiefs looked up to Xi for solving the problem that the present jackets are too small and cover only a few of these corrupted, characterless Chinese characters on the walls while some of these keep peeping and taunting the troops. Xi cogitated on the issue and ordered that jackets be made much bigger and longer irrespective of the girth and height of the soldier. He gave a touch of his genius to the design and now the jackets can be zipped together, horizontally as well as vertically, to form an instant curtain of unlimited length and height. Since then, the students have been spraying graffiti on the jackets while still on the back of the soldiers and these jackets, when zipped together, form a giant billboard for the students’ emotions, dwarfing the banner that had been hung by the original creator of these slogans from the bridge in Beijing. That poor flyover is rumoured to be marked for demolition lest it become an icon for the counter-revolution.
As the graffiti was spilling outside big cities and was covering the walls of even the Party offices across China, morning sun showed all these buildings covered in black paint. The students responded with graffiti in white flourescent paint, visible even more glaringly at night. The CNN report gave examples of the graffiti that are used as slogans also by the students. “Open your eyes and look at the world, dynamic zero-Covid is a lie”, “Need human rights, need freedom”, “Don’t want Covid test, want freedom!” and “Don’t want dictatorship, want democracy!” Xi Jinping is justifiably worried with these dangerous creatures called democracy and freedom, that had been extinct in China for decades, making mass appearance and scratching at his door, At his wits’ end but not permitted to take advice from any living Chinese, he repaired to the tomb of the Yellow Emperor to meditate for enlightenment. Sages do not keep VIPs waiting; the four-headed common ancestor of all Han Chinese soon appeared in Xi’s thoughts. He is always cryptic, giving out aphorisms as advice. “Freedom is evil, morally corrupting. Its adherents are tenacious, it creeps in through the tiniest crack. There is no antidote.” Xi is not used to being addressed like that in fatalistic terms. He is the master of China’s destiny. He blurted out angrily, “Not under my watch!” “Yes,” said the Yellow Emperor. “Freedom will not come to China under your watch. It will come soon.”
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