George Orwell Lives: The Times of India

George Orwell’s novel 1984 describes an unsettled society under constant surveillance by a totalitarian government promoting ignorance and striving to control every action and thought. In the absence of trust, leaders expect citizens to agree mindlessly with any proclamation regardless of the facts. Nayan Chanda compares the novel to China’s propaganda and censorship in touting its leadership role and authoritarian system while rewriting history of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country fails to acknowledge responsibility for failure to provide timely warnings and contain the virus. “Chinese television is showing an endless loop of Chinese doctors and medical supplies being rushed to virus ravaged Italy and Iran, and receiving warm thanks from countries around the world,” Chanda writes. He criticizes China for waiting 44 days before informing the World Health Organization about the virus, punishing physicians who raised concerns, condemning countries for imposing travel bans before establishing one of its own, supporting conspiracy theories that the United States arranged release of COVID-19, and blocking discussions and scrutiny at the UN Security Council. Leadership during a global crisis does not evade responsibility. – YaleGlobal

George Orwell Lives: The Times of India

China’s propaganda machine describes heroic fight against COVID-19, yet eliminates key details, including lack of timely warning, silencing of whistleblowers
Nayan Chanda
Monday, April 6, 2020

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past. ― George Orwell, 1984

Read the essay from the Times of India about China's use of propaganda in providing a history of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nayan Chanda, founding editor of YaleGlobal Online, is a US-based journalist who writes columns for TOI.

Read 1984, written by George Orwell in 1949.

Read an obituary for George Orwell, reprinted by the Sydney Morning Herald 50 years after his death at age 46: “he told his contemporaries that they were rushing to their own destruction in a headlong stampede.”

Copyright © 2020 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved.