|№ 103 (3253)||28.06.2006|
Notes of a press secretary
The last president of Tatarstan (4)
Nowadays, as the sovereign euphoria is far away, it becomes clear that the treaty about delimitation of authority and mutual delegation of powers was required to the political elite of Tatarstan as a symbol for existing of an outward treat, which hinders the prosperity of the Republic. The procedure of preparing the text of the treaty became some kind of national idea, helping the leaders to consolidate the masses. They used to say that everything would be good after signing the treaty. The treaty is signed. Yet the life stays the same. It turned out that most of Tatarstan`s inhabitants do not really need this treaty. Let us think how much ideas of all that the treaty made possible are realized? It seems that the only one enclosure which was fully realized is the treaty about property. They know where their interests lie! Yet they are not all the people of Tatarstan, but a small group of people, in whose hands all this property is now.
Not by a pure accident the power started to obtain the signature of a new one after the end of the validity period of the treaties enclosures just to put itself right with the people. Yet what is the need of this treaty to the Republic? Why does Tatarstan`s authority cling to it? Whatever is written there, Kazan`s total dependency from Moscow is an actual and stable in the foreseeable future fact.
We have already used to the fact that Shaymiyev tells his resolute "yes" to all Moscow`s initiatives and his circle creates a visibility of his belongings to the decisions of the capital. A voluntary refusing of all the agreements with Boris Yeltsin would mean a political suicide for Mintimer Shaymiyev. For this treaty was propagandized in Tatarstan and over its bounds as a corner stone of Tatarstan`s politic, the main sense of political life of Shaymiyev himself. Though the circumstances made him struggle for this document, as he hurried to make a decision one time in his life, he supported GKChP (the State Committee of the state of emergency 19.08.1991 - 21.08.1991). This quickness could have the worth of his political career. Mintimer Shaymiyev seems to be the only one leader of a region, who supported GKChP and kept his post.
The authority of Boris Yeltsin at the days after the collapse of the putsch was extremely high in Russia and in Tatarstan too: he could remove Shaymiyev from his post without any risk. The Republic would not complain in any way. Shaymiyev understood it very well and tried to meet Yeltsin to confess to him. Yeltsin forgave everything – strong people are generous. And Shaymiyev understood that he needed the support of masses. This support only could guarantee him that such situation would not happen again. That`s why he played with religious leaders, tamed the Tatar Social Center, which could demonstrate the explosion hazard of "Tatarstan without Shaymiyev" to Moscow. The ruthless exploitation of the "Tatar model" of tolerance and real activities of the authorities – a great gap between words and deeds resulted in the breeding ground for national and religious conflicts. Yet the power considers keeping peace and stability the main achievement of "Shaymiyev`s age". The Chairman of the State Council of the Republic Farid Mukhametshin is sure that "for all that tenseness of the situation we were able to keep up the most important things – peace and order in the house that we all share – in Tatrstan, in every house of it" ("Republic of Tatarstan: contemporary history").
It must be confessed that I also have a hand in the image-building of Shaymiyev as a peace-maker, as I, being a reporter of a news program "Vesti" (RTR channel) in Tatarstan, and then President`s press secretary, spoke about the stable co-existence of the multinational people of Tatarstan, the conflict-free leaving together of different religions, which would be worth all-round study. I do not justify my actions, yet I must mention that my erroneous views of that time were formed in comparing Tatarstan with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and Chechnya.
At the end of the eighties I was an officer and I traveled all over Transcaucasian republics, which were parts of the Union then. I got there not by comfortable buses, by armored combat vehicles and by army helicopters "Mi-17". Then I had some business trip to Chechnya as a journalist. Against a background of the great human grief of thousands of people who lost their relatives and home in Caucasus "Moslem" Tatarstan really was an oasis of well-being. Personally I needed time to understand that comparing our republic to Caucasus is not correct. For different nations have been leaving together peacefully in Tatarstan during hundreds of years.
I will not go into the heart of the matter, yet who will say that even in the times of Fikryat Tabeyev, Rashit Musin or Gumer Usmmanov Tatars and Russians, Chuvashs and Maris, Udmurts and Ukrainians were fighting to death? Nothing like that! Nobody was interested which nationality one`s neighbor has. There were no national groups in labor collectives or in educational institutions, among the Party`s political executive establishment, and even in the criminal world. Known in all Soviet Union "Kazan phenomenon" – the criminal groups of young people - was also international. The victims of criminal conflicts were just buried in the different cemeteries: someone – on the Russian Arskoye, someone – on the Moslem Old Tatarian.
The nationality of students did not interest anybody too. The word "tolerance" was not used then, yet there were tolerance everywhere. No one came to the idea to be grateful to the authority or a concrete person for it. It was absolutely normal.
That`s why it is astonishing to hear about a peculiar national politics of Tatarstan, about an example of the peaceful co-existence of different religions, about national tolerance. And the dithyrambs to Mintimer Shaymiyev sound improperly, when they arrogate him to create peace and order on earth of Tatarstan. Life is not easy now, they say, yet "anything rather than war" lke in Chechnya. One could thing that Tatarstan was a kind of caliphate, permanently fighting with Byzantium, the land of noble Caliphs, who conquered Byzantium`s provinces after the death of the prophet Mohammed and propagated the religion which was only right from their point of view on the great part of the world from the Indus to the Pyrenees. Then a Messiah came and established peace on the land of Tatarstan.
In real life the Republic was able to keep peace not because of, but in spite of many authorities` steps at the turn of millenniums.
Continuation. Read the beginning in № 98, 101, 102.
(To be continued)