Some university students got agitated and verbally aggressive, when they felt their university was making a test on Putonghua unreasonably difficult. The university decided quickly to suspend the students before the students appear in front of the discipline committee; in fact, even before hearing from the students - but after the students have apologised. Why the haste, and why so harsh? This is not an isolated incident. When some young people “crossed the line” in protesting, our government pursue them relentlessly, prosecuting again and again until these young persons receive long sentences in prison. Knowing full well that young protesters often get radicalised in prison. Is the government trying to create more violent opposition, to justify their increasingly heavy-handed stance?
On the other hand, when high level government officers break the law, we are asked to 包容 (forgive?). Why are we so lenient on high level government officials, who hold such weighty responsibilities? Also, this is happening again and again.
On the one hand, our adults are so harsh towards our young, condemning so quickly twenty year old students who acted impulsively in the heat of the moment. On the other hand, they are so accommodating, forgiving mature, professionally trained adults who violate the law, who have plenty of time to consider and plan, knowing full well the consequences of their actions.
We lament the behaviour of the young. But are the adults behaving more honourably?
It is clearly double standards. It is not the rule of law, equality for all. It is certainly not the way that we should be educating our young people. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? That we should educate our young with accommodation and forgiveness? But be demanding high standards from experienced adults in high positions responsible for our wellbeing?
I fear for the future of our society if we continue to govern and educate in this warped manner.