Intellectual devotion

Posted at: MONday - 08/09/2014 10:49 - post name: Nguyễn Thị Thùy

Intellectual devotion

History has proved the role of intellectuals in the victory of Vietnam’s revolution. In any of the nation’s historical periods, Vietnamese intellectuals have devoted their intelligence, enthusiasm, and patriotism to the struggle for national independence.

 Throughout the history, especially since the Communist Party of Vietnam was founded in 1930, Vietnamese intellectuals have always side by side with the working class. Together they have contributed to the country’s final victory. The successful August revolution vividly proved the important role of intellectuals in the nation’s history.

During the century-long struggle against the French colonial rule, from the Can Vuong movement by patriotic scholars and intellectuals to those by political groups in the early 20th century, Vietnamese intellectuals always showed their patriotism and national spirit in different ways dependent on the social situation.

The spring of 1945 marked a turning point of Vietnamese intellectuals. Not until the Viet Minh Front called for contribution did they really devoted their life to the struggle for national independence. They put the national interest over their personal aims and were willing to fight for national independence.

Historical intellectual witnesses

Meeting Mr. Nguyen Trong Xuat (Sau Nhan), a historical witness, a revolutionary veteran, we are aware that this man had a special feeling with intellectuals who had great contributions to the revolution before the August Revolution. He said Vietnamese intellectuals at that time had a great sense of nationalism. Many of them had to lead a secluded life because they did not want to collaborate with the French colonialists while others tried to persuade the French to improve people’s living conditions or promote freedom and democracy.

Mr. Xuat reminded that in 1945 when Japanese staged a coup d’état against French, they suggested uniting young people to form a pro-Japanese and against-French union. They asked Dr. Pham Ngoc Thach to lead the union. The Southern Regional Party Committee then decided to found a Youth Union, with the participation of young intellectuals. The force was the key one who contributed to seizing power in the Southern region.

The Youth Union quickly developed, attracting millions of young people in Sai Gon and neighboring provinces. Most of them were lower middle-class students and pupils. But they were not a pro-Japanese force as expected by Japanese. All what they did was to devote their talent to save their country.

In the North, young intellectuals also played an important role in seizing the power from French. Mrs. Le Thi, Prof. Duong Quang Ham’s daughter, said the lower middle-class students and pupils were the major force who made the August Revolution a success as armed forces did not come back to the capital from war bases in time.

Influence of intellectuals

Revolutionary intellectual Nguyen Trong Xuat said the Youth Union in the South raised the flag for the public to follow. People believed in the Union because they saw such intellectual as Pham Ngoc Thach being a member.

In fact, the revolution recognized outstanding students such as Huynh Van Tieng, Luu Huu Phuoc, Tran Buu Kiem, Nguyen Viet Nam, Vo Van Khai and Mai Van Bo and well-known intellectuals like Dr. Pham Ngoc Thach, lawyer Nguyen Huu Tho and Trinh Dinh Thao. They all contributed a great deal to the historical victory of the August Revolution.

Dr. Ho Nhat, chief author of the “Sai Gon – Gia Dinh intellectuals 1945-1975” said western-educated intellectuals disseminated the socialism and capitalist democracy in Sai Gon. In the struggle, they united people and directly faced the enemy.

Mr. Tran Van Giau said, Vietnamese intellectuals, especially those in Sai Gon – Gia Dinh, were always able to unite people. In the Youth Union and the Viet Minh Front, there were many qualified and wealthy intellectuals who used to work for the French colonial government. They then joined hands with other intellectuals and working people in the struggle for national independence.

The revolutionary history has proved the huge influence of intellectuals. They successfully used media and art to educate patriotism. Articles by Tran Huy Lieu and Huynh Van Tieng produced a stir in Sai Gon while songs by Luu Huu Phuoc, Van Cao and Nguyen Dinh Thi encouraged people to seize the power from the enemy.

When the French colonialists came back after the August Revolution, the declaration of independence signed by 200 intellectuals really influenced public opinion worldwide. People from all over the world raised objection against the French war in Indochina.

Nearly seven decades have passed but the images of intellectuals remain the images of the Ho Chi Minh era.

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