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Indoctrination Versus Indocility!

Dear Ayese, you will be known as ‘Kim Lee’ from today! Saddam, you will be ‘Cheng Hui’! You all have to accept this, it is the rule… and listen, the Chinese Han family will adopt your son… your son will be theirs!!! You will get Yuan 10,000, if you get your children married with the Hans… and you people should as well visit the newly established educational institutions to learn the great tradition, customs and belief of the ‘pure’ Chinese people! You have to adopt all these… whatever you have been knowing about history, is wrong! That is why the Government has set up re-education camps!
The Chinese Government has decided to educate the minority Uyghur community, living in north-western Province of Xinjiang, in a proper manner in order to help them join the mainstream… What can be the plausible reason(s) behind it?
It is because the Uyghurs are different! Uyghurs – a Turkic people who primarily practice Islam – have their own languages, customs, dress-code and folklore, which are completely different from the Hans’… and, the top political leadership in Beijing is well aware of this! The official name of the province is Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. Although it is termed a provincial-level autonomous region of China (just like Tibet), there is no autonomy in Xinjiang in the real sense! The region has long been under strict control of Beijing, and the Uyghurs do not appreciate it! They, as a community, have always wanted to lead a free life… However, the Communist Party of China (CPC) considers this natural desire as rebellion! The entire Uyghur community had to suffer a lot after some of their members carried out terror attacks in different parts of the Asian nation.

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Riot Police move in to try to quell confrontation in Ürümqi

As the clash between the Uyghurs and the Chinese forces claimed at least 200 lives (mainly of the Chinese soldiers) in Ürümqi (the capital of Xinjiang Province) in 2009, Beijing decided to use force against the minority community! Moreover, the province shares international borders with eight countries! So, the province is strategically important for China, as well! That is why Beijing has adopted the policy of repression in order to protect the province! Since the 1980s, the Uyghur people have experienced the state-sponsored terror, brutality, bloodbath and death, many a times. In 2014, the Chinese authorities executed 55 people inside a stadium in the presence of thousands of Uyghurs. The move was aimed at showing the people that Beijing was fully prepared to tackle terrorism!
China, it seems, has realised that the ‘policy of repression’ is not enough! With the Uyghurs demanding full autonomy, the Chinese Government plans to change the demography of Xinjiang by allowing Hans to set up residences there… This way, Beijing wants to make the Uyghurs a ‘minority’ in that province! In 1949, three-fourth of Xinjiang’s total population were Uyghurs, and now, the ratio has come down to less than half… Still, the CPC is worried about the ‘movement for self-determination’ launched by the minority community. As a result, the Party plans to destroy the Uyghurs’ self-identity… the extreme condition of subserviency!

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Now, how would a person feel, if his/her name gets changed forcibly? It is often seen as an attempt to change the person’s identity and existence (and that too, by using force)! The Chinese Government recently published a list of names, asking the parents not to use those while christening their children. The Government has also asked the parents to change the names of their children (under the age of 16), if their names match with those mentioned in the list! The Uyghur parents have no other options, but to follow the instruction, else their children might be facing difficulties while taking admission in the educational institutions or getting jobs. Also, the Government has decided to decrease the number of ‘Turkic’ and ‘Altaic‘ medium institutions that impart education through those languages. It has also become difficult for the Uyghur graduates to get jobs… even if they manage to get one, they receive lower salary compared to the Hans. Beijing seemingly is doing all these in order to erase the ‘identity’ or ‘distinctness’ of the Uyghur community!

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Security cameras installed at the entrance to a mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang

Another important move is to set up the re-education camps in Xinjiang Province! Beijing has made it mandatory for the minority community to learn the History of China. It is not possible for the students to run away, as those camps are guarded with barbed wires. Aged parents have been instructed to ask their children, living in foreign countries, to return to China as soon as possible. At least two million Uyghurs have reportedly been imprisoned in those camps, and people can compare these camps with the Nazi concentration camps, or Gulags!
The global community has strongly criticised Beijing for torturing the Uyghurs. The UN, too, has published a report on violations of human rights by China, mentioning the condition of the Uyghur community. However, top Chinese political adviser and a senior CPC member Wang Yang told the press that the situation in Xinjiang was “continuing to develop well”. He met the media after visiting Kashgar, Tumxuk, Ili and Ürümqi from March 20 to 25. (In other words) it can be assumed that Wang wants to say it has been possible to bring the Uyghurs under control!

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Wang Yang (R) meets Uyghur people

The concerned authorities in China have also set up surveillance camps in Xinjiang in the pretext of strengthening the security for Uyghurs. There are some places where the distance between two such camps is just 500 meters! At least 10-12 Police personnel are stationed there to monitor the movements of people in surrounding areas. Each camp maintains close contact with others through advanced technology. Therefore, Uyghurs are under close surveillance, and that too constantly!
Surveillance is not done only by the Police, as each and every member of the Uyghur community has been asked to monitor the activities of his/her neighbours. If they find anything suspicious, they have to report to the Police. Then only, the Chinese Government can ensure the Uyghurs’ security!

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The answer to the query as to what lies in the future of the Uyghur people will naturally be: Time will tell the tale … The condition of Uyghur only helps us realise the strength of the majority, which is capable of erasing the food habits, dress code, religion, practices, lifestyle and even names of the minorities, sans much difficulty!
There was a time when the Communists (and the Socialists) supported the ‘right of self-determination’ of existing national movements of the oppressed, unconditionally. They used to believe that the right was a means to fight chauvinism and racism in the working class. For Soviet revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, self-determination was ‘not a necessary step on the road to Socialism, but a decision of the oppressed groups themselves‘…
Perhaps, Xi Jinping’s China is overlooking these basic tenets of Socialism!!!

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