Saturday, September 10, 2011

Sri Lanka in great leap forward

Today's headline in the Daily News gave me a bit of a shock.

Given the country's fascination with all things Chinese I was wondering if Mao's Great leap Forward had inspired our policymakers.

Phew! Luckily it seemed that it had not, although we see a renewed interest in state directed economic production.

Interestingly enough those who sing the praises of China and praise its ancient society conveniently forget the violence of its recent past. Nor do they remember the aggressive attempt to erase its past. In fact China under Mao was a terrible place, violent and chaotic; such drama naturally inspires political commentators and analysts, especially those with a fascination for power. Rulers with similar passions will naturally identify with these.

However, it is only after China started to shed its baggage of Mao and socialism did its people witness an improvement in their lives. So when China moves slowly Westwards, it does not make sense to go Eastwards. To be sure the path is the same, but the direction is opposite.

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