One man’s utopia is another man’s dystopia. Utopia is a dream we aspire; an equilibrium that dignifies all human survival. When faultless notions embrace immorality and audacious obstinacy emitted from one solitary individual, an illusionary veil is fashioned camouflaging tyranny, torment and nightmarish endurance. On every occasion of my understanding Mao and his political explosion, I cannot help but to refer to my old frayed copy of Orwell’s 1984 blaring the ubiquitous caption:-“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”.
The Great Leap Forward or “China’s Economical Sputnik”, whatever you may designate, was Mao’s calamitous infrastructure vehemently assembled on infinite human suffrage and radical collectivism. Mao reminds you of an overtly pushy anxious kid who would do anything just to get a pat on his back. The Great Famine paints a portrait of a murky hell endured by the Chinese for five uninterrupted years (1958-1962).The fact that one man can persuade a God-like authority to govern the free-will of individuals at the cost of their disintegrating corpses is enormously enraging. Mao’s obstinate pursuit to propel China into a superior industrial opulence uprooted the very essence of a country’s survival. A hallucination of profusion resulted not only in genocide but in cataclysmic damage to the agricultural, industrial and financial sectors of the country. Afflicted with starvation, dreadful diseases, disintegrated abodes and besmirched regulations; China became a mere crumb of existence laced with dreadfulness of boiling cadavers for fertilization purposes and impecunious villagers selling their offspring for a meager meal of steamed buns.
“Mass killings are not usually associated with Mao and the Great Leap Forward and China continues to benefit from a more favorable comparison with the devastation usually associated with Cambodia or the Soviet Russia.”
Unofficial reports deduced a figure between 50-60 million deaths demarcating it to be communalist genocide. Amid the aftermath of the famine still claiming more lives Mao Zedong pronounced ‘Cultural Revolution’ in 1966.
Dikotter pens a transfixing and meticulous study of the demoralizing man-made tragedy that questions the authority of a single man and his right to vision himself as the redeemer beneath a garb of narcissist fanaticism and sycophancy.