By Time Mao’s revolution transcended to the conclusion that his China needed cultural cleansing to forge ahead, ideological purity zeroed in upon the educated and ‘experts’ such as Deng were vilified, indeed, persecuted, to the obvious discomfort of survivor and mentor Zhou. Whatever would have happened to the Chinese ‘miracle’ had the ‘Gang of Four’ emerged victorious should have been thrashed out vigorously and minutely by Mao’s ideological clones in our country. That it has not is obvious in the many claimants for the school department in the integration attempts of the NCP, the reasons clearly highlighting the politics of organization in the country’s education system. Had they done their homework on Mao and his aftermath they would perhaps have been educated in the arduous ideological strength it took the rehabilitated Deng to break through the bamboo curtain and send thousands of Chinese to study abroad in order to undo the damage of a ‘red first, then expert’ policy. The debacle at Tienanmien in 1989 having been crossed, Chinese communism sailed to exemplary economic accomplishments that is the envy of not mere communists and the role of education for the expertise required for development should have been valuable ideological lessons for any emulator of Mao. Of course, there maybe, and are, purists who would idolize the ‘Gang of Four’ and see the reactionary in Deng. And, hey would of course have to be in Nepal as well. But it is as if the Chinese coined the word pragmatism and they have their miracle to prove it. But not so it seems in the case of Nepali variants. The reds here need to organize in schools and there is political power in children being indoctrinated and he who takes charge of this at public expense wields power in the party and he who wields power in the party rules the state.
But of course, the reds are no exception in the country. The Nepali Congress, bereft of state power currently, remains squabbling over control of its students union. As much as one would wish it away, it is Nepal’s preciously built academic institutions that were the first targets of political agitations time and again. Indeed, king Mahendra who is now, finally, although grudgingly, recognized as a nation-builder, floundered first in the failure of his original concept of an independent student union represented in the panchayat. The first effective student agitation in the country under the panchayat ended with the termination of that union and the concession of ‘independent’ student elections in educational institutes launching the congress and the left’s student unions. The Nepal Student’s Union and the Federation of All Nepal Students Union’ (and its many later factions) bore the brunt of partisan actions against the panchayat until it was toppled in 1990. Ever since, the educational institutions have been manned by partisan academics to the point of saturation whence calls for non-partisan academic behaviour and performance have now come from the parties themselves. Instead, politics has found it convenient to organize at the very school levels since, after all, school teachers are handy tools for indoctrination and mobilization at public expense.
Yes, such political moves and doctrinaire behavior has facilitated the party of course. But how this has plunged national behavior into doldrums of unproductive public behavior is now too stark to cover up. But the NCP-NCP discussions only prove that we are still out to make our schools red and party men are still out to go whole hog for its control. They still, it seems, insist that we need reds more than experts. Doesn’t bode well for our future, does it?