Image credit: Edwin Lee.
Former Red Guard leader and prominent leftist Kuai Dafu allegedly told an audience of Tsinghua University alumni that Mao Zedong’s portrait should be removed from its place of honour overlooking Tiananmen Square, according to Boxun.
During Mao’s disastrous Cultural Revolution, Kuai Dafu led a number of Red Guard troops, denouncing, among others, Deng Xiaoping, and Bo Yibo, father of Bo Xilai. Kuai Dafu was blamed for much of the chaos in Beijing caused by Red Guards, including an incident at Tsinghua University that left five people dead and over 700 injured.
Despite calling for the Great Helmsman’s portrait to be removed, Kuai Dafu apparently maintained that he was not anti-Mao, calling the late leader “a Chinese national hero”.
According to historian Maurice Meisner, Mao himself said in 1955 that personality cults are “poisonous ideological survivals of the old society”. He would go on to create one of the most pervasive personality cults China has ever seen only a few years later.