Chinese Rules


Chinese invent novel rules to discipline their citizens. The latest one to make the student pedestrians to salute the car on the way is mistaken. In order to request the coming to go slow in the busy traffic roads in front of the educational institutions the Chinese administrators have introduced this rule. Unfortunately this has been twisted as the intrusion on personal freedom. Of course personal freedom is not easy to be practised in the upcoming superpower. But that has become the pushing force for China to become one of the top emerging nations in the world. Freedom needs to be compromised to attain superpower status. Especially a country which is the largest populated in the world disciplining has been done at all costs. I asked a Chinese friend of mine what she likes and dislikes about India. She told me “Freedom here is what I like and disliking of Chinese is what I don’t like”.

The Times of India writes (27 October 2009)

All the students at Luolang Elementary School, a yellow-and-orange concrete structure off a winding mountain road in southern China,
know the key rules: Do not run in the halls. Take your seat before the bell rings. Raise your hand to ask a question.

And oh, yes: Salute every passing car on your way to and from school.

Education officials promoted the saluting edict to reduce traffic accidents and teach children courtesy. Critics, who have posted thousands of negative comments about the policy on China’s electronic bulletin boards, beg to differ. “This is just pitiful,” wrote one in a post last year.

This is hardly the only nation where local bureaucrats sometimes run a bit too free. But in China, where many local officials are less than well trained and only the party can eject them from office, local governments’ dubious edicts are common enough that skewering them has become a favorite pastime of China’s web users.

Often, the skewering gets results. In April, one county in Hubei province drew nationwide ridicule after officials ordered civil servants and employees of state-owned companies to buy a total of 23,000 packs of province’s brand of cigarettes every year. Departments whose employees failed to buy enough cigarettes or bou-ght other Chinese brands would be fined, the media reported.

But a 2003 regulation that bars male officials in Sichuan province from hiring female secretaries may still be on the books. China Youth Daily reported then that the official who initiated the regulation wanted “to ensure that work can be carried out.”

No one ever precisely pinned down the origin of an order this May to kill all dogs in the town of Heihe, on the Russian border in the far northwest. Media reports suggested one town official became irate after a dog bit him as he strolled along a river. But the official refused to confirm that.

In comparison, Huangping county’s policy of roadside salutes is arguably benign. Education officials say compliance is strictly voluntary. Asked whether they follow it, elementary students tend to burst into nervous giggles. The rule’s purpose is twofold: to keep children safer on the county’s corkscrew mountain roads and to teach manners. Nearly 30 schools are located along roads without sidewalks or speed bumps. Signs posting speed limits are few and far between; virtually no signs indicate a school nearby.

Long Guoping, deputy chief of the county education bureau, said those measures were coming. “Little by little, the government is installing them,” he said. In the meantime, the salute “might avoid some accidents,” he said. “It allows the drivers to notice the children and the children to notice the drivers.”


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