There is saying that one should not speak ill of the dead.

This Chinese professor did not only speak ill of the dead, he cursed a revered man, Mao Zedong who is reputed for founding modern China.

Of course, the Chinese authorities did not take it lightly as they considered him taking his freedom of speech beyond limits.

Professor Shi Jiepeng has been sacked after he called Mao Zedong a “devil” on social media.

Shi Jiepeng, a classical Chinese assistant professor at Beijing Normal University, said he was fired last month.

You see, in China, you don’t just say what you like especially about its politics or political heroes.

Mao, who died in 1976, is still officially venerated by the ruling Communist Party as the founder of modern China and his face appears on every yuan banknote.

Shi “had for a long time made mistaken comments online, which cause a negative impact in society”, according to his dismissal note which has been circulated online, the authenticity of which Shi confirmed to Reuters.

The university declined to comment.

Shi had been attacked on leftist websites as unpatriotic for comments on his Weibo microblog in which he not only referred to Mao as a devil but also said China should cast aside Chinese culture and fully accept Western civilization.

But Shi says his views are not as extreme as made to appear.

“Actually, what I said was very moderate, like what Lu Xun wrote but far from as deep,” Shi told Reuters, referring to a man revered as a founder of modern Chinese literature who often wrote scathingly of traditional Chinese culture.