‘The Students Talked Of Freedom Without Realising What It Meant’


The 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square uprising and massacre is being observed today on June 4. Three decades ago, protests by students and workers rocked the Chinese capital Beijing with the well-known Tiananmen Square becoming the epicentre of the protests. Jayadeva Ranade, President of the Centre for China Analysis and Strategy was posted with the Indian embassy in Beijing during those tumultuous days. In this interview with SNI Editor Surya Gangadharan, Ranade recalls the “carnival-like atmosphere” that prevailed at the iconic square with the student leaders consumed by the desire to gain liberty and the struggle within the Communist party’s central leadership that contributed to the turmoil in 1989. He also recalls the “surreal atmosphere” in Beijing as armoured personnel carriers rolled onto the Chinese capital’s streets to quell the protests.