China to rewrite history; Mao era to be rectified
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 17:28
Beijing: China is all set to rewrite its history once again mainly to "correct errors" made in the first revision carried out during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution which is blamed for cleansing the government of "liberal bourgeoisie"

The first revision took 20 years, ending in 1958, but was "interrupted and distorted by the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), which brought great calamity to the country and people, causing the most serious setbacks and most damaging losses", Xu Jun, who leads the revision the history project, approved by Chinese government was quoted by official media as saying.

When revising the books, even punctuation was altered to satisfy the politics of the time, Xu said apparently referring to the violent ideological pursuits of the Cultural Revolution, aimed at cleansing the party and the government of "liberal bourgeoisie" to prevent China's return to capitalism.

During that period, violent purges were carried out in the military, workers, and the party leadership itself and virtually lasted till Mao's death in 1976.

After that the forces within the Communist Party that opposed the Cultural Revolution led by Deng Xiaoping, gained prominence which reverted to reformist agenda in the name of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

The present Chinese leaders were regarded as Deng's followers and want the history to be rewritten.

Describing the limitations of writing history under Mao's era, Xu said "All sentences used to praise feudal kings, generals and ministers should not end with exclamation marks, while the texts describing peasant uprisings should be reduced to a single paragraph."

In 2005, Zhonghua Book Company, one of oldest publishers in China, wrote a proposal to correct the errors.

Premier Wen Jiabao, a product of Deng's era approved the proposal and the project has been granted special funds.

The revision project is expected to be finished in 2015. The primary draft is expected to be ready by 2012.


First Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 17:28

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