In a primary school in Russia, one day the teacher asked the students, “Can you tell us the size of the Communist Party?”
Some students stood up and said, “It is so vast. It has countless people.”
Then another group of students stood up and said, “It is more than countless. It is infinite.”
Everybody was satisfied except one boy.
The teacher said to the boy, “Now there are two groups. One has said the Communist Party has countless people, and the other said it is infinite. What do you want to say?”
The young boy said, “I want to say that the size of the Communist Party is five feet, eight inches tall!”
Some of the other students laughed, some were shocked and some were furious at the boy’s answer.
The teacher asked the boy, “Why do you say such a thing?”
The boy replied, “My father is a communist leader. He is six feet, two inches tall. Every evening when he comes home from work, he says, ‘I have had enough of the Communist Party. I have had it up to here.’ Then he points to his chin, which is about five feet, eight inches high when he is standing up! He says, ‘I am not going to be a member of the Party any more.’ But again the following day he goes back to work.”
Everyone in the class was shocked because the boy’s father had spoken against the Communist Party. The other students wanted to thrash this boy. But the teacher said, “No, no. If all of you thrash him, he will die.” So the teacher did not allow the students to beat the boy.
After school, the teacher took the boy home and said, “From tomorrow, you will not be able to come to school. Otherwise, those unruly children will surely thrash you.”
The following day, the teacher felt compelled to go see someone very high-ranking in the Communist Party and report to him how a child in his class had told them his father’s words against the Party.
Meanwhile, the child was at home crying because he would not be able to go to school for a while. He did not know that his teacher was reporting his father to the Communist Party.
The parents were very concerned and asked their son, “What have you done that you are not allowed to go to school?”
The boy told his father, “When the teacher asked me what was the size of the Communist Party, I said that you always say that it is up to your chin — five feet, eight inches tall. For that, I cannot go to school.” The boy was so miserable.
No sooner had the boy uttered these words than the police came to the house, arrested the father and took him to jail. The child and the mother were crying and crying.
On hearing what had happened, the teacher felt sorry for what he had done. In a short time, he was summoned by the communist leader, who asked him, “How could you have kept such a bad student? Why did you not examine him previously?”
The teacher told him, “He is just a little boy. That day I had asked the students about the size of the Communist Party. He just repeated what he had been hearing from his father.”
The high-ranking communist leader said, “Have you nothing else to ask your students? Look what you have done! When the boy’s father’s jail term is over, he may create real problems for us. He is very talented. We are afraid that he will become a spy and send reports to America about us. Since you have done this, we have to take revenge on you. Since you are the problem-maker, you also have to serve time in jail.”
So the teacher was thrown into jail.
This story shows that at that time in Russia, nobody could open his mouth without getting into trouble.