The Country always comes first.
I have been to places you may never see, I have dealt with kinds you wish never existed and I have done deeds you won’t even prefer to know. You cannot imagine all this sitting in your comfortable homes and busy in your comfortable dreams. I have seen my country rise against all odds and against its troubled past. I have seen sacrifice of family and friends and after a million similar deeds, our country emerged as we see it.
After all these years I have only realised one thing, that country comes first. If only you can instill this sense in each and every citizen, no one can stop your country.
I am sure you have heard my name but just as a custom, let me tell you. I am Mao Zedong, the Chairman of Communist Party and the father of Great People’s Republic of China. I am the same Mao whose pictures you have seen in text books, I am the same person whom people revere and fear in equal terms. Love me or hate me but I am what I am.
China was not always great. It had seen corrupt kings who were weaklings and governments that never existed. That was before I reined in. Do you know once upon a time, we did not have even enough to eat? You heard it right; the great People’s Republic of China had not even enough to feed its citizens and people died on streets. It was fifth decade of last century and enemies of the state ruled the roost. Farmers toiled in the fields selflessly, soldiers struggled hard to safeguard the country and millions slept hungry.
Today you may laugh at it but do you know who kept the country hungry? That little nasty beast bird, sparrow.
You just have to believe that country comes first. Keep that faith and never rest till you have attained your aim.
If you ask what can be done from those experts having long beards and wrinkled face, they will take hours and hours to tell you it is complicated (their eyes look silly behind those thick eyeglasses). They are the reason why problems persist. They will never tell you what you should do and it is your own judgement, your own ability to decide which you can do to take the country through.
One day in the afternoon after my siesta, I sat up with an old farmer’s manual. It was full of those truisms and one of that was warning farmers from smart sparrow. The answer was in front of me. Productivity of farms was never the problem, it was that nasty sparrow. It ate a huge chunk of food grains and all our renowned experts, our worthy leaders of past age could never see it.
I have always been meticulous. A leader just cannot do the things; a leader should also be in control. I called my entire cabinet and made them wait for an hour. I called party men and press and then did I tell them, and along with them told the entire nation too, give me your fifty days and world is yours.
I gave them a decisive plan, area by area, field by field and I asked them to give up sleep for some days; the only thing they had to ensure was there was no sparrow left. They were trained to beat drums, they were trained to shoot and the only thing they had to do was to do this relentlessly for fifty days.
You can never imagine the power of ordinary citizens. You ask them once to sacrifice their hours for the country and they will sacrifice everything.
The country always comes first and I made them believe it.
There were millions of people on this job and soon we just had carcasses of those beasts. It was almost magical to hear the drumming of those drums, the energised rural populace and the celebration when the last beast is killed.
And then there were those who come like bees following honey. Slowly they start whispering this is bound to fail. They also write on the neighborhood walls and then publish it in obscure newspapers and books. It is not that I cannot swallow dissent but the only thing I cannot bear is dampening the spirits of those set out to change the nation. If you cannot aid in nation building, at least do not laugh at others who do it.
These people will talk of ecology, they will blabber natural balance and myriad other intellectual things but ask them about the toil and hard work of the farmers and they will turn clueless. How can they be so far from reality?
What if yields in one area were less and some people died. People die all the time. Which great thing ever came without any suffering? Our soldiers have been dying all along the borders. Did these intelligent people ever shed a tear in their memory?
They say sparrows eat insects and these pests have increased a million times. Yes, this may be partially true but in the long run, imagine what would be our productivity. Can this huge campaign which has taken shape of a revolution not give desired results?
Our experts went directly to the people and exposed their lies. Farmers were happy and full of enthusiasm. We were responsive to the changing situation and daily instructions were issued how this plan should progress. 92% of our citizens were all for this campaign. They were willing to suffer not for 50 but for 5000 days. Today was the time they could do something for the country.
The country always comes first.
It has been four years since we started the glorious campaign and today our entire country believes in this concept. The enemies of the state do not know where to hide their face. They will whisper to anyone who would lend them ears that forty five million died due to this but no one believes.
Killing of bedbugs was an important step for building the overall hygiene and the better health indicators that we see today are only because of the great campaign. Once the ordinary citizens realise their power, no power in the world can stop them. When we went against bedbugs, many said were foolish to have this exercise. A huge smear campaign was started that we actually intended to kill sparrows.
And how does it matter anyways? Nation building is a task that these people will never understand. Did anyone ever include these humble peasants and common citizens in nation building? Did they ever complain they were suffering? What is anyways in their life than pain and suffering? Most of the questions in this world are moral not economic. The main objective was to involve these men in nation building. You have to make the populace believe in their leader. Only when we all march together towards a common goal, we can achieve for what we had set in.
We have to fight our common enemy and identify those who say we cannot do it. They should believe that peasants, soldiers and any other countrymen are together and united.
You again ask me what we gained out of all this. Everybody learnt that country comes first, always before anything and no sacrifice is big enough for our beloved country.
PS: The only inspiration for this story was the Four Pests Campaign undertaken in China in the years 1958-1962. All other insinuations are purely imaginary J