China to rewrite history; Mao era to be rectified

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.

PTI



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

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