Disrespecting memorial days crosses a line

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-12-15 0:18:03

Saturday was the first National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims. The commemoration has drawn wide attention from all over Chinese society, and has also managed to put this bloody event from history under the international community's spotlight.

Besides condolences and expressing grief, some acrimonious voices appeared on the Chinese Internet, some of which questioned why the memorial day had not been designated earlier. Some even claimed that total casualties in the Chinese civil war, the three years of the great Chinese famine (1959-61), and the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), all put together, are way more than those caused by Japanese aggression.

While not those of the mainstream, these voices are grating. China has become dramatically different. Diversification of values is so profound nowadays that some people are abusing their rights to criticize even on some fundamental issues of right and wrong.

Chinese society is getting used to many subversive ideas like these. In a mega-society with a population of 1.4 billion people, non-mainstream minds can always find a place, especially on the Internet.

It doesn't mean all non-mainstream voices deserve to be broadcast. These oblique accusations, by taking advantage of the Memorial Day, have maliciously tarnished the solemnity of the event.

If some people uttered these disrespectful voices on occasions such as the 9/11 Memorial in the US or Victory Day in Russia, they would probably be damned.

Some Chinese people have lost their judgment on many fundamental issues. Their opinions are also seen as unacceptable in a pluralistic society.

These people are running counter to the government, opposing what the government calls for only for the sake of opposition. They are too narrow-minded to realize that there is no government, like they have described, that always goes against the people's will. If these people persist in their stubborn anti-government philosophy, they will find that they are in opposition to the majority of the people.

These people must be aware that winning some thumb-ups on the Internet does not mean they can represent the people. Chinese society has the tenacity and tolerance to allow different voices, but silence won't always be kept if these voices cross the line of values and morality.

Chinese mainstream society faces challenges in reshaping its system of values. The old society where only one voice could be uttered has long passed, and diversification is admired by this new society. But calling for diversity does not endorse unconditional attacks against the core values of Chinese society. The range of free speech is waiting to be demarcated.

Posted in: Editorial

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