У дураков две беды -
дороги и Россия.

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№ 108 (3258)  07.07.2006
Notes of a press-secretary
The last President of Tatarstan (8)

Political and economical situation in Tatarstan is much safer, then in Dagestan for instance, yet it is not ideal. We have no gap between different nationalities. Russian, Tatar people, and people of all the other nationalities are equal before a system of bureaucracy. Yet the gap between social groups grows day by day.

It is not bad in principle that the son of the first President is rich. He is in the top 100 of the richest people in Russia. It is great that friends and relatives of Tatar officials make their business and get rich. Yet it is terrible that other people in Tatarstan who have no such relatives or influential protectors are bounded. And the society of unequal possibilities is a fertile field for recruiting people for Wahhabists organizations or criminal groups. These people are children and grandchildren of those, who could not find themselves in modern reality.

Certainly, this is not only a problem of Tatarstan, but of Russia on the whole. Not only young people, but the whole society has a lack of valuables. The elder generation of "outcast" is anemic, these people have no strength and they don’t want to struggle with moral decay. Yet their children and grandchildren do not want to put up with hereditary poverty and despair, they do not want to resign themselves to the absence of possibilities to study, to find an interesting and well-paid job, to make their own business. For they see so many examples of a life style of children of high officials and nouveau riches who drive their luxury cars through city streets, who squander big money in expensive restaurants and despise the losers, born in "bad" families. Twenty or thirty years ago such situation was impossible. Not only because fathers and grandfathers were responsible for what their offspring do. Every official could easily loose his post. The system did not welcome putting the parents’ achievements on the show. Who are one’s parents was not really important for most of the children and teenagers.

In the spring of 1983, being at the end of the fourth semester in Kazan tank school I met Lilya Frolova and we became good friends. It was an intelligent, sympathetic and sociable girl. She was not notable between her coevals – she had no haughty look, no prodigious clothes, no diamond rings and earrings. She visited a normal school and went there by tram. Just once the difference was noted, as she walked under the rain and caught cold at the school-leaving party, she was treated in a good hospital of the District Committee of the Party on Chekhov’s street in Kazan. Just then I got to know that her grandfather was Salikh Galimkhanovich Batyev, one of the leaders of the Republic, the Chairman of Presidium of Supreme Soviet of TASSR. Batyev had been the head of the Supreme Soviet for 23 years, and in 1983 he retired on the pension. His granddaughter went by a simple regular bus even to the summer cottage of her grandfather, which was given him by the state. These cottages are not present now, luxury palaces have grown on the place of highly modest, even ascetic houses. The palaces are still called summer cottages, yet they re private. The children and grandchildren of the owners of these and other residences behind high fences in sovereign Tatarstan not likely know the price of a bus or tram ticket. Their life is in sight of everyone. Cars, clothes, jewels, parties are demonstrated unconcealedly with great pleasure in glossy magazines and on TV screen, in the TV shows, which pretend to be glamour.

Yet what do the other people feel, the ones, whose parents are not so "cool"? Young people take social disparity especially, inability to self-actualization painfully. I do not justify them, yet can it be wondered then, that young people become radical and join criminals or extremists? It is their way to struggle against the society of unequal possibilities, their way of self-affirmation. They find "human attitude" on criminal groups and extreme religious organizations, where they are needed and respected. It is very important. Many people at a mature age, not only young people miss it. Everyone wants to be needed.

The demarcation of youth people is a distinguishing feature of modern times. The Soviet system allowed getting good education and finding one’s place in the life whether one’s friends or parents were. There were even quotes for children of collective farmers and workers in the high educational establishments. Today we would concern this story funny - a story about a seventeen-year old boy from a Tatar village Azeyevo in Ryazan district, who went to Kazan and changed his bats shoes to normal ones just before his trip. The whole village equipped him and collected money. Yet it is a real story. This way Fikryat Akhmetzhanovich Tabeyev came to Kazan and entered historical and philological faculty of the university, and then, as he was 32, he became the head of Tatar district committee of Communists Party of the Soviet Union and in 9 years in 1969 he appointed 32-year old Mintimer Shaymiyev the Minister of melioration and water economy of TASSR.

Shaymiyev himself entered Kazan agricultural college by a miracle. Mintimer Sharipovich likes to remember how he wrote several versions of compositions for the entrance examinations and learned them by heart. Young Shaymiyev was lucky: his trick worked.

Nowadays it is impossible to enter an institute or the university without any support even if you have perfect knowledge. Parents start to search for ways to bribe long time before the entrance examinations start. Competitions of entrants became competitions of their parents. Shaymiyev does not know it, or he just pretends. His speech on one of the meetings in Moscow, devoted to the educational reforms, was touching: "Do not we deprive village children of possibilities to enter higher educational establishments?".

If there are many of them, of girls and boys from the country, who mange to become students? Does anybody collect this statistic? How many sons and daughters of tractor drivers, herders and milkmaids study at the Kazan state university for instance? On the faculty of law, or of history, where Tabeyev studied?


Continuation. Read the beginning in № 98, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107.

(To be continued)


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