My Chinese Impressions – Part 7

Democracy, Communism, what the heck!

If you ever thought about India and China – democracy, communism and the impact on people would have crossed your mind. Well, me being me and having the tendency to ignore the over-hyped stuff – I ignored all the ruckus around me on restrictive information access in China. I thought, how tough can it really be if I don’t know what I’m missing – I’m not really going to be affected – right? Right in a way, but that is where the catch was, to begin with.

As I was browsing in my hotel room in Shanghai, the shocking revelation of dawned on me. A lot of websites were blocked, news was filtered, some of my favorite blogs were blocked (heck, some entire blog platforms were blocked) and I was squirming at the message on the browser like a child who had set its heart on something and couldn’t get it…knowing very well that it was within reach and maybe, (the well-intentioned) parents had hidden it from view.

Well, I did think about this a lot later and it was a good opportunity to discuss with colleagues and friends off-hand while I was in China. Some of our longer taxi conversations evolved into long winded politically loaded discussions with people taking strong sides…on are people genuinely happier in a democracy? Has democracy really delivered, what is this hype about? What about the monarchies we used to have 400-500 years ago – were they happier times? What does a communist state imply? Are our bureaucracy and judiciary systems running communist states of their own? Who is responsible for welfare in a federal, democratic state in which people still identify themselves by the factional caste they belong to rather than the nation? If there is growth and progress around and people around you also had similar lack of rights to own property or have more than one child – would it really bite you that you didn’t have those rights?

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