A Flower

Everyday / Saturday, February 26th, 2011

I am back from an exhilarating and excruciatingly painful journey to Emei Shan. Trip report of that will come shortly, but first I must go back a week. Last Sunday, I went to Tianfu Square, which is the center of Chengdu. I had mentioned then that the Square was just crawling with cops. It seemed a trifle unusual.

Not just the police, there was the Army too doing marches up and down. At the Square, with the towering presence of Mao looming over you, it was hard not to feel the tension. A group of Chinese, around 5 or 6 gathered around discussing something animatedly. A minute was all they had before a policeman swooped down on them and urged them to move on. I didn’t think twice of this till I reached home, and Birdy showed me a BBC World News article about the flower. The flower? Yes, there is a particular flower which I can no longer search for on the Internet in China. It’s fragrance is mesemerzing – so much so that it brought down a government in Egypt. I won’t mention the flower – I would like to access this blog still. But you know what I am talking about. I came to know that online forums were buzzing about growing similar flowers in China. Apparently, there were several protests – all of which were quickly dealt with by the police. Looking at what’s happening in Libya, and the sort of sweeping changes that have shaken much of the Arab world, one always wonders if such a flower will bloom here too.

And you know what? I don’t think so. There is no one-man dictator here. There is a functioning government, which has done more than my democratic government back in India in lifting millions of Chinese out of poverty. True, freedom to speak is a fundamental right. So is eating and sleeping and well…living. The world’s second largest economy can’t be doing much wrong in THAT aspect at least. I feel that the people here are more worried about the Big M. Money. It moves. It talks. It even can lift your soul. China is moving on to becoming the world’s next superpower.

Unlike the other countries, a lone thug does not dominate here. And that’s why I feel that Materialism and Money will win the battle here. I may be wrong. For now though, I wonder what will happen in Libya. The Chinese will, just go on…making money.

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