Well by by Mao. A week after a gigantic golden statue of Chairman Mao was erected in rural China it has been torn down after becoming a source of criticism and ridicule. The 120 foot tall mega-Mao, which reportedly cost 3m yuan (about $470,000), towered over Tongxu county near the city of Kaifeng in Henan province. Henan province was one of the areas worst hit by the famine during Mao’s devastating Great Leap Forward. Chinese writer Yang Jisheng estimated that about 3 million lives were lost there because of starvation.
Liu Jianwu, the dean of China’s Mao Zedong research centre, reported: “In contemporary China, Mao Zedong represents the embodiment of fairness and justice.”
Historian Frank Dikötter, who teaches at the University of Hong Kong, reports that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward in 1958, in an effort to catch up with the economy of the Western world, he was responsible for overseeing “one of the worst catastrophes the world has ever known.” At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over four years.
“It ranks alongside the gulags and the Holocaust as one of the three greatest events of the 20th century…. It was like (Cambodian communist dictator) Pol Pot’s genocide multiplied 20 times over,” he said.
Between 1958 and 1962, a war raged between the peasants and the state; it was a period when a third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertiliser and when the nation descended into famine and starvation.
He discovered carefully catalogued Public Security Bureau reports, showing state retribution for tiny thefts, such as stealing a potato, even by a child, would include being tied up and thrown into a pond; parents were forced to bury their children alive or were doused in excrement and urine, others were set alight, or had a nose or ear cut off. Suicide reached epidemic proportions.
80 per cent of all the villagers in one region of a quarter of a million Chinese were banned from the official canteen because they were too old or ill to be effective workers, so were deliberately starved to death.
He has published the book, “Mao’s Great Famine; The Story of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe.” Between 1958 and 1962, China descended into hell,” he writes. “The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known, destroying tens of millions of lives.”
The People’s Daily newspaper noted that the Mao statue had not gone through the correct “approval process” before construction.