Out of respect for the dead, it is worth sparing a thought for the dreadful fate suffered by so many poor students and normal citizens peacefully protesting for their rights and for freedom and democracy 30 years ago when they were shot and run over by tanks of their own government’s army.
To fully grasp the horror of the massacre, some perspective is helpful in considering how society tends to have short memories when it comes to abhorrent atrocities, and how people often only pay heed to things that happened within their own lifetimes or just the recent past.
The “Great Leap Forward”, with between 30 and 50 million people who starved to death from famine that was caused directly by government policies, plus at least 2 million more murdered by the government and its militias, is perhaps an occasion that justifies at least as much remembrance.
Likewise, in the “Cultural Revolution” from 5 to 10 million people were murdered. If these events were all consigned to history, and those held responsible for these crimes against humanity were held accountable for their atrocities, then it might be possible to move on.
However, even right now, Uighur, Hong Kong, Buddhist and Tibetan people are being murdered, tortured, locked up and persecuted in their millions. Let’s sincerely hope that people do not continue to face such atrocious, despicable treatment in the future.
Perhaps it is worth sparing a thought for those who at this very moment are enduring intolerable conditions of imprisonment, persecution and torture just because of their faith, ethnic minority, culture or beliefs – not just for the poor souls that were butchered.