Forbidden Books

From Manager, April 17, 2013
Top left: During the dictatorship, there were many forbidden books, such as those of Sri Burapha and Jit Phumisak.
Top right: Even in the period of capitalism, many books are also forbidden, let alone during periods of dictatorship.
Bottom left: Ha!… During this period? What’s the name of the book?
Man: …the Philosophy of Self-Sufficient Economy.

[Sri Burapha is a pen name of Kularb Saipradit who was born around the end of King Rama V era. Kularb was one of Thailand’s most famous writers. On November 10, 1952, under Chief Marshall Plaek Pibulsongkhram, 104 people including Kularb were arrested on a treason charge. A number of the people arrested were members of the Thailand’s Peace Committee of which Kularb was vice chairman so the event was called ‘peaceful treason.’

Chit Phumisak was born during the Chief Marshall Plaek Pibulsongkhram era. He was a brilliant academic in politics, a historian and a linguist who was well known for being anti-dictatorship. Most of his books reflected the social conditions of the country and expressed his ideas against the old regime. He was arrested and charged of being a communist. Chit joined the communist party of Thailand and travelled to Isan in 1965 to join his comrades in a fight against the military regime. He was shot dead on May 5, 1967 in Sakol Nakhon Province.

The cartoon ridicules the unexpected and massive government borrowing. This borrowing tends to diverge from the Thai economic philosophy of self-sufficiency that was developed and promoted by the monarchy to bring prosperity to the countryside without creating massive work programs from the central government or resorting to socialist-style handouts. Thaksin’s political rise was founded on attacking the Democrats for borrowing heavily and this tact was repeated every time a non Thaksin-directed government was in power. Thus, it is seen as hypocritical that the present government is engaging in the largest borrowing in Thai history with the reason from Thaksin being that it will create prosperity.]

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