A Transition on Record
Manoranjan Mohanty
CHINA AFTER MAO: A REPORT ON SOCIALIST DEVELOPMENT by Govind Kelkar Usha Publications, New Delhi, 1980, 172 pp., 55.00
Jan-Feb 1980, volume 4, No 1-2

Between Govind Kelkar’s visit to China in April-May 1978 and mine in May-June 1979 there was a year full of rapid policy changes. She travelled in China when the Chinese leadership was inclined to retain the overall orientation of the Cultural Revolution and integrate it with a programme of four modernizations while denouncing the extremism of the Gang of Four. By the time I visited China the leadership was fast swinging in favour of those who denounced the policies of the Cultural Revolution in toto, redefined the theory of class struggle and opted for a new line of four modernizations. Kelkar’s account records this transition period which existed for about two years in 1977­-78 and was overtaken by the new line adopted at the Third Plenum of the CPC in December 1978. Kelkar’s report is im­portant for yet another reason. Its vivid descriptions of communes, factories, hos­pitals and schools that she visited reflect some real achievements, especially for the rural people without minimizing the enormous problems that they still face.

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