The name Liu Xiaobo throws out 27,800,000 results (0.08 seconds), yet most of us do not know about him. Now don’t question your memory or your general knowledge either. This gentleman is locked inside a prison somewhere in Northeastern China- (sentenced for 11 years of prison on 25th December 2009 by the Chinese authority under the charges of “inciting subversion of the state.”)
The tenth month of his prison stay fetched him the ‘Nobel Peace Prize, 2010’. The Nobel Prize Committee website reads, “The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 to Liu Xiaobo for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has long believed that there is a close connection between human rights and peace. Such rights are a prerequisite for the ‘fraternity between nations’ of which Alfred Nobel wrote in his will.”
Liu Xiaobo participated in Charter 08 for which he is serving an 11 years imprisonment.
So, you still do not know and/or heard about Liu, don’t be surprised, even fellow Chinese do not know.
"First, people don't know who Liu Xiaobo is. Second, they don't know what the 08 Charter is. Third, they don't even know what a charter is. They don't know, and they don't want to know, because it's dangerous to know," said Zhou Xiaozheng, director of the Law of Sociology department at People's University in Beijing, reported in LA Times
As we Indians celebrate freedom and make an unimaginable comparison with China, I thought of assimilating information, the Chinese way. Reacting to Liu Xiaobo’s prize act the Chinese government adjectified the western forces by terming “blasphemy.”
Mr. Liu, 54, an intellectual, activist plus the main author of the pro-democracy manifesto Charter ’08, which seeks higher liberties and a complete end to single-party rule in the dragon country, China. According to reports, Mr. Liu has dedicated ‘the nonviolent spirit in which those who died fought for peace, freedom and democracy’. Mr. Liu was an active participant of the pro-democracy demonstrations held during 1989 in Tiananmen Square and the Chinese troops and tanks all combined crushed a non-violent way of protest.
Post Nobel announcement, what the Chinese did:
1. Blocked ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ related Google results and ‘Liu Xiaobo’. The search results bring in blank screens & error messages
2. Put Liu Xia, wife of Xiaobo under house arrest and her telephone and internet connection snapped, she is not allowed to meet the media, friends and relatives
3. Nobel related news are blacked out of the Chinese television
4. On Friday the Chinese authority arrested 20 people (most of them were academicians, lawyers and bloggers). All of them gathered over a Champagne party to celebrate Liu’s achievement.
Now do you know who Liu is? I’m sure yeah, so did I. But do you think that’s enough? Maybe you say why I should care. Huh!