Sunday, August 17, 2008

Testing Chinese Style 'Openness'

Nicolas Kristof, whom I have often quoted on my blog, is one of the few New York Times Op-Ed Columnists who are readable and have something worthwhile to say. Most of the others are either infantile (TF), hysterical (MD) or plain dull (PK). In his most recent Op-Ed column, Kristof decides to personally test out China's new experiment in allowing protest demonstrations provided prior permission is taken. It's a hilarious description of how the oppressive Chinese system works. Read it here. My take on this? Once the Olympics are over, it's going to be back to business as usual. Nothing will change (though I would be happy to be proved wrong on this one). Even now, if it were not a NYT columnist but a Chinese coming to get permission, he would just be labelled a counterrevolutionary and thrown in jail. This is not just me being predictably cynical about China. Zhang Wei who applied for the requisite license was promptly arrested for “disturbing social order.” Read it here para 5. There are no depths to which the perfidious Chinese system will not sink. Come to think of it -- why don't we send our comrades (whose admiration for that country is legion) to China to hold their hartals, bandhs and protest marches? Hopefully we will never hear from them again! Tailpiece: "Mr. Putin’s already stratospheric popularity at home has grown to Phelpsian proportions" - quote from the second article above. We now seem to have a synonym for 'Olympian' :) Update 19 August 2008: And so it goes on ... ...and on

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