Looking back at the success we have achieved after 30 years of Doi Moi (renovation), it is not difficult to see the lesson about the power of consensus, seizing and taking advantage of opportunities that we learned from the August Revolution, which still shines until today.
VietNamNet would like to introduce guests who invited to the seminar “Vietnam after 30 years of Doi Moi”: Prof. Vu Minh Giang, Senior Specialist, Chairman of the Scientific and Training Council of the Vietnam National University, Hanoi and Prof. Tran Ngoc Vuong, lecturer of the Literature Faculty of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
VietNamNet: What do you think when you review the period of 30 years of Doi Moi, and 70 years of the country’s independence?
Prof. Vu Minh Giang
Professor Vu Minh Giang: The success of the August Revolution and the National Day 2/9/1945, when Vietnam stated the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to the world are the major events in the national history. There are many articles about these events. However, I think that there are two things that need to be clarified and strengthened.
Firstly, seizing power on August 19, 1945 is not only a great success of a revolution under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, but also the result of the career of struggling for national independence that lasted nearly a century, which ended the rule of colonialism in Vietnam.
But on the other hand, although it has an extremely important meaning, this is just the beginning of a process full of sacrifices and hardships in order to unite the country to get full sovereignty.
Secondly, the great significance of the August Revolution is also the end of the monarchy that had reigned for thousands of years, and in the waning stage, the last feudal dynasty lost vitality and became factors hindering the development of the country, even surrendering to colonialism, betraying national interests.
Thanks to revolutionary achievements, social justice was executed, and all classes of society, including vulnerable people such as women, the labor strata ... had access to the right of freedom, which they had not dared dream of before.
Professor Tran Ngoc Vuong: As a researcher, I see some different points in this event.
It is strange that, usually with traditional historic inertia of our nation, forming great dynasties, except for some special cases that were formed by the orthodox way of the court, were usually created after a process of struggling for national liberation by means of war and violence, and solving major problems of the society by the armed path.
But in this revolution, the violent element played a very small role. The main factor contributing to the formation of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was the path of peace.
To shape up the new regime that way, I highly appreciate the political genius of President Ho Chi Minh. Facing all pressures and difficulties, and the limitation of the old absolute monarchy state, then Japanese fascism... to establish a new type of state, with a new social structure not by violence, only an outstanding person can do so.
In my mind, with that context, if the monarchy state headed by King Bao Dai at that time used the armed forces to fight against fiercely, not to mention other political forces in the Tran Trong Kim government, they held the government and if they were determined to fight against, it would have been impossible to establish the new regime.
But as history showed, many people in the government of Tran Trong Kim followed the revolutionary forces and gradually became the key members of the new administration. King Bao Dai also gladly accepted the invitation to become an adviser to the new-style state. In King Bao Dai’s abdication statement, he said: "I'd rather be a citizen of a free country than a king of a slave country".
Clearly, they put the interests of the establishment of an independent state above personal interests. So I would like to highlight the important factors contributed in establishing a new type of state, which are consensus of ethnic forces and the entire society at that time, and patriotism of all the forces to converge into the power to liberate the nation by peaceful measures.
Prof. Tran Ngoc Vuong
Another point that I want to mention here is that it was the first state model of that kind not only in Southeast Asia but Asia. We enlisted the victory of the allies to overthrow fascism and to be the first setting up the new regime in the region. The Chinese State of the new style was formed in 1949 while India gained independence from British colonialism in 1947.
Of course, the path to perfect the state of new type remained rocky and arduous, but it reflects the responsiveness of the political decision makers at that time.
VietNamNet: The August Revolution 1945 is the revolution to father democracy, with very clear goals: Independence - freedom – happiness. What do you think about the importance of these goals in the nation’s past, present and future?
Professor Vu Minh Giang: The first goal of the revolution is to gain independence.
Vietnam is a country with a very special historical process, unlike other countries in the world. We only wished to have an idyllic life in independence but it was very difficult.
There were many reasons, but mostly due to our geo-political position, cultural interference or our position as a neighbor of an ambitious empire that we did not have long peaceful time in the past.
Just a short time after founding the country, Vietnam felt into slavery for up to 11 centuries. After gaining independence for less than four centuries, the country was ruled by the Ming Dynasty for 20 years, and then 60 years in the French-rule period ... Therefore for every citizen of Vietnam, national independence is not only noble, but also very sacred.
After regaining power in 1945, it took us more than 30 years to conduct the war of resistance against the French and US. Not until 1975 was the country truly independent, fully unified. But then we did not have peace as we had to face the southwest and northern border wars, and now the East Sea (South China Sea) conflict.
Looking to the past and present, we see that our country has always had to try to maintain independence.
The value of independence is very noble and it is the top priority for Vietnam. It is always challenging to keep this sacred word of “independence”.
Of course, we are gradually implementing the next goals - freedom and happiness.
President Ho Chi Minh made another statement that is also worth pondering: "If in an independent country the people are not happy, then independence would mean nothing." It means that, independence and the people's happiness are our final goal.
Looking at the reality we will see, in order to achieve the wishes of President Ho Chi Minh, we have to think a lot and do a lot of things.
Professor Tran Ngoc Vuong: I also agree with Mr. Vu Minh Giang, to implement the guiding principles of independence, freedom, and happiness, we had to pay dearly in the past. History has shown that the nation was willing to sacrifice and struggle to gain national independence. It is tradition and also the great strength of the nation that made all the forces that wanted to betray the national interests fear.
Until today, the issue of national independence still continues. It means that the revolution for national liberation and independence should be still implemented aggressively. So if we forget that, and still think that we have had independence and it is enough, then it is disastrous.
There were a lot of studies about history but in my opinion, it seems to lack a huge topic - reviewing and assessing the impacts of wars, not only for a family and a regime but for the whole society of Vietnam.
The war is not just about bombs, but it distorted the whole initiatives of social construction and the right policies.
To be continued ...