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 106 (3256)04.07.2006
Notes of a press secretary
The last president of Tatarstan (6)

The ruling elite of Tatarstan is convinced that the authority is a "Vicar of God on Earth". They just had to convince the people of the Republic. Yet this was not so easy in the situation of stratification of the society. The people have lost the revenge before the power and started to understand that the officials are the same people, who are just employed for these jobs. And these jobs are temporary.

After the August 1991 the process of "brainwashing" became avalanche-like. Yet the powers understood that the clever people are dangerous. They had to set the situation under control promptly, to rebuild fear and trembling.

At Stalins time the selfish ends were suppressed by irrational fear or by abject delight with power. There is no fear and no delight now, and the self-interests mean the most. The society seems to be in the net. This net is cult of money and richness. Morally poor and mentally defective people became exemplary. Nevertheless everyone understood well that the society can not be controlled by the fear to loose something important (wealth or possibilities) only. Or that it can not be controlled by the fear of punishment, of power. The authorities needed to stimulate achieving its goals positively, and a new system of strict obedience to the powers decisions. The Tatar Social Center (TSC) was a bad ally in this case. So the power distanced from this organization which was recently so powerful.

Lets take the idea of dissociation from the idea of Volga-Ural republic. In his interview on Echo Moskvy Radio Mintimer Shaymiyev even ascribed this idea to German Nazis: "This ideology comes not from Russia. No one in Tatarstan did ever take this idea seriously, yet, if you know the history, such ideology was a part of Fascists plan in case of their victory in the Second World War" (Echo Moskvy Radio, 30.03.2005)

It is clear that territorial rearrangement of Russia is a utopia. All the civilized lands join hands with each other, so nowadays there is no sense of talking about separation of every nationality. Yet Mintimer Shaymiyev knows very well that the idea of Volga-Ural republic was formulated by Gayaz Iskhaki in his work "Idel-Ural". I wrote down in my diary on the 30th of August 1999. "We have visited Chistopols district today. In the Yaushirma village, where Gayaz Iskhaki was born, a grand opening of the historical and ethnographical memorial complex in his honour took place. As the meeting finished, we examined the memorial estate, where the atmosphere of Iskhakis time is recreated, we also visited a spring nearby. The President surprised me: It turned out that he knows Iskhakis works very well. How does he manage to do so much? I just know that there was a great Tatar Gayaz Iskhaki. Thats all to my shame. I have to fill a want in my education".

In a week I wrote down a new post in my diary: "One has to keep his promises. I have read Iskhakis works. I found out that his works did not stay theoretical only. They were active used. The concept of a united Tatar-Bashkirian state was proclaimed in 1917 by the National Assembly (Milli Medzhilis), which worked in Kazan. So on the 23th of March 1918 the Soviet government of the republic had to proclaim the establishment of the Tatar-Bashkirian Soviet Republic. Yet this decision was not realized. In summer of the year 1918 the territories of this newborn republic, which was not formed yet, was occupied by the White troops of Kolchak. As the Red Army recreated Bolshevikis they preferred to forget the idea of Tatar-Bashkir republic ".

Many people have forgotten it. Yet someone remembered it. For TSC for instance the book "Idel-Ural" by Iskhaki was a kind of manual. And the separatism of this organization, based on Iskhakis works, was a bugbear for the Federation, as the Kazan Kremlin convinced Moscow Kremlin that TSC has many allies in Tatarstan.

As Tatarstan managed to get all possible benefits, to achieve preferences they could just dream about, TSC became useless, so it was moved away from the main political processes. The power found a new favorite. It was the religion. Both Islam and Christianity came in handy. It is written clearly in the Holy Writ: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.... Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted... Islam preaches that "the Supreme Being has established every authority". Even the authority that oppresses for it is given to the people as a punishment for their sins. Religion became an instrument to make the people obedient to the authority.

The religion became nearer to the state. Yet the results differed from the expectations of the authority. Wahhabism became very strong in Tatarstan and very quickly. And it was the result of involving the authority into the religious matters. The authority did not even thought that no one can mot make a person believe in something under compulsion.

The faith is very personal. I think nevertheless that Mintimer Shaymiyev is not religious. He had been grown with Communistic ideals, and he stays an atheist. The fact that he does not makes so as he would study Koran secretly, that he never prayed before cameras, is worth our respect. Shaymiyev treats people, who called religion "Opium for people" for several years and nowadays pray for forgiveness of their sins in churches and mosques and do not forget any religious holyday.

We visited Tyulyachy district one time in the holy month of Ramadan. The chief of the Presidential Protocol Service Dinar Ismagilov made the head of the districts administration do without traditional sweets and make the ceremony more frostily. Everything was sedate on public, the official program of the visit finished by the time of a noun pray (namaz). Shaymiyev told everything he had to tell, and heard everyone who had to say something. The believers went to the church, Shaymiyev and his officials went to dinner.

Every time during the meal toasts were proposed in our trips. "For Presidents health", "For Tatarstans prosperity", "For a good harvest " It was Rustam Karimullins (who was the ex-head of Tyulachi district and head of "Tatpotrebsoyuz" then) turn to propose a toast.

Karimullin did it and took his place. Shaymiyev noticed that he did not drink any thing himself.

- Why dont you drink, Rustam? - the President knitted his brows.

- Because of sawm, Mintimer Sharipovich...

- Why, do you have so many sins, that you must fast? - Shaymiyev wandered, yet he allowed Karimullin to leave his glass on the table.

I know Shaymiyev`s meaning according the religion, so I am sure: all the bustle around the building of Kul Sharf mosque, of reconstruction of Blagoveshensky cathedral (Annunciation cathedral), returning the copy of the Kazan Our Lady icon are just for image-making, it is just promotion of the President.

Kul Sharif mosque is just an architectural construction for Mintimer Shaymiyev at first, and its religious meaning is not so important for him. Shaymiyev watched the project closely. He has chosen the place for the site; he visited the building site every time he could do it. He watched closely how his ideas are realized, guided the builders, chose materials, colors of the glass, ornaments of the parquet. Shaymiyev often climbed as high as possible and watched Kazan rapturously.

Irek MURTAZIN.

Continuation. Read the beginning in 98, 101, 102, 103, 105.

(To be continued)

 


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