Freedom is not a bargain

On the occasion of 28th anniversary of Declaration on the State Sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan

August 30 continues to be an important and symbolic day for Tatars. For them it is a holiday, a possibility to take part in mass all-family entertaining events, to remember the past, to feel themselves as a part of the Tatar people, to feel themselves as tatarstanians. For others it is a national day of work on errors.

Self-examination was and still remains to be a difficult and even painful process. To confess one’s own errors with further making efforts for their recovery is a challenging task, that can be performed only by strong individuals and also organized and cohesive communities.

Until now not all Tatars are ready to confess the obvious: Tatarstan became a gas-station of Moscow, and we Tatars are just a fertilizer for Russian nation.

The Tatar elite resorts to conscious self-censorship: “That’s the way things are going. We were not ready to freedom, we were not ready to our own state system. We’re out of luck with geographic location, we’re out of luck with neighbours…”.

Making a choice between freedom and tutyrma in 1990 – 1994, Tatarstan leaders made it in favour of tutyrma. For many years Shaimiev and Minnihanov consoled us: we did not yield on provocation of radicals, we gave up independence… but we have unique status, the very exclusive agreement with federal center, our official language is obligatory to study in republic and so on. Today there’s just post of President of Tatarstan remains to be very poor and short leftovers of this “tutyrma”. And even this sausage tail will be swallowed by Moscow cat in 2020.

That’s true, that a nation, which favors tutyrma to freedom, will have none of these. As soon as Tatars to heave up their eyes to the sky, we at once begin to hear all frightening gossips of the world. They say, that freedom and dignity is not for you, Tatars… your fate is to be eternal and replete slaves on Moscow gas-station. Do you remember that old meme: “That’s supper time in the prison now, time for pasta”? We are offered three meals per day in a prison chamber with frightening stories that behind prison walls there is horrible snow-storm raging and hungry wolves prowling.

Yes, today’s situation is difficult, however not hopeless for our people. I believe that the Almighty Allah granted Motherland to Tatars, with all its riches, not in order to pump oil for payment of Russian wars in Ukraine or Syria. I never acknowledge that our fate is to be a fertilizer on Russian political field. I do not wish such fate also to Bashkirs, Chuvashs, Mari, Udmurts, Erzya and Moksha.

We have a right on freedom. However freedom is achieved not only by words. To tear the vicious circle of slavery, assimilation and humiliations, we need to be prepared to greater tests. There is no chances to bargain our freedom, to persuade Moscow into confession of our national and political rights. The road to freedom is difficult and thorny. I know, what I’m talking about.

I call upon all Tatars, upon all those, who have blood of shakhid defenders of Kazan still pulsating in their veins: incinerate slavery in your hearts, blame any loyalty to Moscow, dream about our freedom and independence. Teach your children of that greatest dream, teach them to have no fear. Let all the fear before FSB, investigative committee and police will vapor from our hearts. Let our only fear will be the fear of Almighty Allah. Inshallah, this sacred fear will lead us to freedom and independence of our Motherland Tatarstan!

Rafis Kashapov, co-founder of Free Idel-Ural civic movement

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