Pol Pot was a Cambodian progressive pioneer. He served as the general secretary of the ‘Socialist Coalition’ of Kampuchea. His system is regarded as one of the bloodiest in the annals of the 20th century.
The sheer scale of the horror that he unleashed can never be justified. It was also silly as to its point and method. If all he wanted was the establishment of an agrarian utopia, he might have taken a less brutal course.
However, his system was liable for a decimation that systematically wiped out a fourth of the populace in Cambodia. His policies were inconceivable. He targeted educated people, who in some other nation would have been considered resources.
Pol Pot used poor people, uneducated, and susceptible to execute his commands; he prevailed upon them with claims that he was fighting American imperialism and then kept them on his side with tall guarantees.
Dread, outrage, torture, neediness, hunger, and the sentiment of helplessness left a horrible scar on the age of Cambodians. Individuals who survived his system are as yet attempting to deal with their previous, a chilling token of a man’s frenzy.
Childhood and Early Life
Pol Pot was born Saloth Sâr on May 19, 1925, in Prek Sbauv, Kampong Thom, French Indochina, to Pen Saloth, a rice rancher, and Sok Nem. He was the eighth of nine children born to the couple.
In 1935, he left his town to go to ‘Ecole Miche,’ a Catholic school, in Phnom Penh where he stayed with his cousin Make. Not an extremely bright understudy, he switched to technical examinations.
In 1949, Pol Pot got a scholarship to contemplate radio hardware in Paris. There, he joined the ‘Cercle Marxist,’ comprising of the Khmer understudies in Paris, and the French Communist Party.
Pol Pot failed twice in his tests and headed back to Cambodia in 1953. He advised the ‘Cercle’ individuals, who returned home, to join the Communist progressive association, ‘Khmer Viet Minh.’
In August 1953, he covertly ventured out from home for Krabao where the Viet Minh’s Eastern Zone Headquarters was situated. Here, he was appalled to find that the Cambodians were considered second rate compared to the Vietnamese.
With the Cambodian autonomy following the 1954 Geneva Accord, the ‘Khmer Viet Minh’ were forced to separate and he returned to Phnom Penh. He joined the ‘Leftist faction’ and hoped to impact its policies.
Pol Pot and his companions decided that a transformation was required when Khmer Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, who had abdicated the force, rigged the 1955 races, which were held as a component of the Accord.
Following Cambodia’s autonomy, he turned into an individual from the ‘Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Party’ (KPRP). After a force battle within the KPRP in the early-1960s, he took control of the party.
The KPRP, which was renamed the ‘Socialist Faction of Kampuchea’ (CPK) in 1966, was all the more regularly known as the ‘Khmer Rouge.’ Khmer King Norodom Sihanouk had embarked on quelling his dissenters. Hence, Pol Pot took asylum in the jungles.
In 1964, with the help of North Vietnam, he established a base in the fringe district and called for an armed battle against the Cambodian monarchy.
By 1968, he had become the sole authority of the party. Even though ‘Khmer Rouge’ didn’t have mainstream uphold, he decided to actuate a rebel against the Cambodian Government.
In 1970, Sihanouk was overthrown in a military upset by General Lon Nol. Around a similar time, America started to bombard Cambodia. Presently, ‘Khmer Rouge’ was fighting American imperialism and hence gained broad help.
In 1975, the common war ended with the overthrow of General Lon Nol and ‘Khmer Rouge’ seized power. Their chief started calling himself ‘brother number one,’ keeping up his real name a mystery.
The system banned religion and scattered minority gatherings. Buddhist priests, Christians, Muslims, and educated individuals were arrested and imprisoned.
In 1976, Pol Pot evacuated Phnom Penh and transferred the individuals to rural zones. As indicated by an AUN examination, 2–3 million died of starvation or executions, yet he attributed them to the Vietnamese invasion.
He was dubious of Vietnam and carried out invasions into their territory. Fed up with the hostility, the Vietnamese powers invaded Cambodia in 1978. They took control and ended Khmer Rouge’s standard.
‘The Khmer Rouge’ and their chief retreated to the far off region of Cambodia along the Thai fringe. Feeble and powerless, he resigned as the head of ‘Khmer Rouge’ in 1985.
In 1997, he had his old partner Son Sen murdered, spreading dread among other ‘Khmer Rouge’ individuals. He was tried for the homicide and sentenced to house capture forever.
After catching Phnom Penh in 1975, Pol Pot started to execute the ‘Year Zero’ idea, which ordained uncommon de-industrialization and initiated another progressive culture within the general public.
Pol Pot Personal Life and Legacy
Pol Pot was married twice. Khieu Ponnary, his first wife, turned out to be mentally sick when he came to control. In 1986, he married Mea Son, who brought forth a daughter.
Not long before ‘Khmer Rouge’ was going to give him to an international tribunal, he died on April 15, 1998. Though he was experiencing facial malignant growth and a paralytic stroke, there were doubts about self-destruction and murder.
‘The Killing Fields,’ a movie about the ‘Khmer Rouge,’ was directed by Roland Joffe. Based on the encounters of two journalists, the film is probably the best portrayal of the system’s cold-bloodedness.
This pioneer justified his activities with these words, “I didn’t join the opposition development to murder individuals, to execute the country. Take a gander at me now. Am I a savage individual? My inner voice is intelligible.”