A bout of dictatorship and massacre seems fast approaching

A bout of dictatorship and massacres the kinds that the human civilization have witnessed during the rule of dictator Nazi-Hitler in Germany between 1933 to 1945 during which brutal Jewish Holocaust happened followed by devastating World War II that destroyed among others Japan’s industrial hubs Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the sites of 1st and 2nd dreaded nuclear bombing and till date only nuclear-weapon attacks), and the massacres that took place in communist dictators Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong ruled USSR and China respectively in the 20th century seem fast approaching. Both the dictators’ Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong ruled for life with the mandate of their countries the so-called constitutions. Here, this author is not discussing much earlier genocides and massacres; history is packed with several such crimes against humanity in previous centuries.

A float with a giant portrait of China’s President Xi Jinping passes by Tiananmen Square during the National Day parade in Beijing on Oct. 1, 2019, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

The above apprehension first came to mind of this author in 2018 when Xi Jinping then aged 65 got for his candidate-specific constitutional amendment, which in 1983 had fixed China President’s tenure for a maximum of two terms (might be fearing dreaded Mao kind leadership reappearance), to rule China for life. Again the apprehension got solidified when Xi Jinping’s China refused to disclose the actual number of victims of Covid19 pandemic when there were reports of 21 million mobile numbers had gone missing (as reported by James Alavi in The Eastern Link, the USA, on 16 May 2020) mostly in Central China in and around Wuhan city, the epicentre of the dreaded virus since the start of rampaging run of the dreaded pandemic in late 2019. The pandemic has been alleged to be originated in Wuhan Wet Market or in Wuhan Virology Laboratory; the later one is allegedly engaged in developing artificial virus as alleged by China’s dissenters and the US. If the missing number of mobile numbers is linked to deaths, is it any less of a massacre either due to mismanagement of pandemic in originating nation in which World Health Organisation(WHO) was allegedly remained silent spectator (if not facilitator)? By any day from today, the number of deaths all nations in the world put together due to Covid19 infection may reach one million figures. The deaths/massacre due to pandemic linked unemployment and poverty and hunger are not taken into consideration in this discussion. The suppression of fact on a number of Covid19 victims in China brings to mind Mao Zedong’s 1958-62 programme of ambitious Great Leap Forward, which allegedly killed, mostly in rural China, between 20-46 million people due to hunger.

In July 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin aged 66, who has already ruled Russia for long two decades plus one year starting in the year 1999 as PM and President alternatively with de facto power irrespective of positions, following Xi’s laid path got his country’s constitution, his candidate-specific amendment, to rule Russia till 2036 or up to the age of 83 as country’s supreme leader. Here all who matter must not miss the fact that Vladimir Putin is a product of dictatorial communist Soviet Russia’s dreaded KGB, and every time, he has been elected, there are allegations of poll rigging apart from allegations of suppression of political dissents throughout his tenure, which has in the meanwhile been a new normal in Russian politics. If recent past several news reports including BBC News are to be believed, the Russia prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been found poisoned and struggling for his life in Berlin hospital he had been airlifted from Russia for treatment after falling ill in a flight to Siberia in August and had been in coma since then.  

Apart from the above points, the most bothering aspects are: 1. China is the world’s second largest economy, almost controlling world 30% manufacturing supply-chain and has strong armed forces with annual defense budget of $179 billion (2020), nearly three times that of India, the home of world’s second largest population. 2. Russia is a big arm power with world’s one of the best arms export industry, and is a large untapped resource rich nation spread over Eastern Europe and Northern Asia.

Since 2017, Xi Jinping’s China has been a virtual occupant of resource-rich South China Sea throwing to wind all littoral countries’ claims over the sea and refuses to abide The Hague based international tribunal’s rejection of China’s sovereignty over it. SCS is also one of the world’s very busy shipping routes (30% world ocean-based trade). And, there in Eurasia, in Balkan Sea, Vladimir Putin’s Russian forces occupied Ukraine territory Crimea peninsula virtually disregarding world opinion in 2014. In Middle-East, in near about decade long Syrian civil war, Russia is a big player in so far as arming a faction lead by Syrian dictator Assad and his backer Iran.

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Image source: ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

When a leader rules a nation for record period, he is bound to commit governance lapse like seen in India during its first PM Jawaharlal Nehru’s rule, which led India to a humiliating defeat in the hands of China in 1962 with massacre of thousands of poorly equipped Indian soldiers in the hands of well-equipped and prepared PLA on the suffocated Himalayan height despite their exemplary valor. Again, such kind of rulers use to develop in them ego that prevents them to admit their mistake, and to protect their egos they go on committing one after another governance misdemeanor as seen in India’s former PM Indira Gandhi who did not learn anything from her imposed draconian National Emergency in 1975 that she again allegedly facilitated Punjab, Assam and JK crisis which caused huge human tragedies in first half of 1980s, and J&K crisis is yet to cool down. Apart from the above, when leaders rule for an unprecedented period of time, they earn internal political enemies who have ambition to rule or have different policies for nation but denied. These politicians to satisfy their ambition or to do something difference use to not hesitate to revolt. And they use to get support from their fan followers, and at times, seek foreign hands supports. Also there are instances of mass revolts inside the country leading to high-handedness of security forces that use to cause massacres and genocides; the human civilization history is packed with plenty of such examples.

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Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong had more or less restricted their genocides and massacres within their countries as their neighbours were protected by much powerful world powers during their tenure. But, international politics has much changed since then like the ice has melted in the Arctic. While yesteryear powerful European nations are now found almost withdrawn from world policing and the superpower US under Donald Trump playing hide and sake game (pending November Presidential Election), Xi Jinping’s China in all spheres grew much bigger than 20th Century Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China, and in-between China has built a network of rugged nations in Asia using infamous BRI debt diplomacy which is touted by many as 21st Century innovation of new colonialism. In the worst case, if power-hungry Putin and Xi join hands a la infamous Axis Power of Hitler-Mussolini-Hirohito to save their dictatorship from internal threats and external political-trade embargo, the scope of 1939-45 tragedy in the form of World War II, if not of that scale, may not be ruled out. As had happened during 1939-45, small nations were the biggest victims with large-scale massacre apart from the destruction of lives and property of ethnic minorities, the same cannot be ruled in near future. Already the sign of the same have been seen with Putin’s forced occupation of small Ukraine isles and Xi forces sinking of fishing boats of small littoral countries in the South China Sea and putting millions of Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps back in Western China’s Xinjiang province.

In this given situation, when the United Nation with less representative character (As world’s 2nd populous and 3rd largest economy in PPP India has no Veto power, and so also Latin America and Africa have no Veto power representations in UNSC) now has reduced to the level of the League of Nations of pre-WWII period, the unity of democracies the kind echoed in British Parliament on 25 June 2020 in the speech of Conservative Party MP Flick Drummond may be a best choice for world peace from lurking danger of devastation as apprehended by this author. This author is not purposing the unity of WWII Allied Power kind, but at least some innovative kind keeping in mind 21st century nuclearised world, which can protect smaller nations from aggression of Putin-Russia and Xi-China or both together, and save the world from repeat of WWII ethnic minority Jew Holocaust and the furious devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which still prevent majority of Japanase to go for amendment of Article 9 in their constitution to maintain armed forces with potential to fight war despite threat from rugged North Korea and expansionist Communist China in the close neighborhoods.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Bimal Prasad Mohapatra

Bimal Prasad Mohapatra is Assistant Professor of Management Studies at Trident Group of Institutions, Orissa

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