Erzya, what do you choose for your people? Life or death?
Many states, regardless of difficult historical periods and lack of raw materials, feel quite prosperous and self-sufficient. For example, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia… They have a rich historical past, a prosperous present, and, I am sure, no less successful future! Everything that they have achieved did not fall as manna from heaven, but is the result of creative work in the conditions of democracy, freedom of speech, fair laws – all that without which the development of society is impossible. Yes, life in these countries is not a paradise, there are also shortcomings and contradictions, but it is hard not to agree with W. Churchill’s words that democracy is bad, but mankind has not come up with anything better. And Russia, its entire history, is an example of what the absence of democracy leads to! More and more people began to realize that the process of disintegration can no longer be stopped. We are witnessing the collapse of the state system of government. The disintegration is inevitable.
At the same time, pro-government predictors “predict” about the impossibility of the existence and development of regions and republics without Russia. In the same way as they shouted that without Moscow, the union republics would freeze, die of hunger and other misfortunes. No one froze and, moreover, no one regrets leaving. They took advantage of the window of opportunities in the early 1990s.
Now we have such a chance. Most likely, this is the last chance for our peoples. By and large, we, the Erzyans, have nothing to lose, and there is no other choice!
Russia, at all times, regardless of the name, “grew” through violence, deceit, bribery! It was made up of territories where peoples with different languages, lifestyles, religions, history, and traditions lived! So it was with other empires, but they collapsed, because the world is developing, the time required cardinal changes – and today it is already at the next stage in the development of civilization. Only in Russia nothing changes. The first university was opened in Italy in 1088, and in Russia – in 1724! Here it is, the real backlog! In civilizational development, Russia lagged behind and lags behind the countries of Western Europe for six hundred years!!! And this gap does not get smaller in our days, a time when the pace of technology development resembles an explosion process. But this does not apply to Russian society and the state system of government. They are still there, in the fourteenth century! The population of Russia is still in the position of slaves! The slaves who do not need reforms, elections, free press! The slaves who do not need freedom, since it implies responsibility for the decisions made, for the elections, from local one to the elections of the first persons! Therefore, everyone needs a king, priests, boyars who will decide everything, and the people need to respect them, fear, believe, and they will provide believers with a soup in the common trough and the opportunity to die for the king-father or the president – it does not matter what it is called now!
A significant role in Russia’s lagging behind was played by the Russian Church, whose reactionary essence is manifested literally in everything, from forced baptism to the consecration of nuclear weapons. There is nothing spiritual in it for a long time. And there was not! And there cannot be! The authorities and the church throughout the long history of Russia go hand in hand and diligently fulfill their imperial mission, turn the occupied territories into Russia, and the peoples into Russians, that is, into slaves. Therefore, the history of Russia is constant upheavals, mass ethnocide, genocide, hunger, poverty, lack of rights, and the creator of all this is the Russian state.
For many hundreds of years, the struggle for freedom, against the oppressors, for decent living conditions – uprisings, strikes, armed struggle did not stop in the Russian Empire.
Unfortunately for us, they all ended in the brutal suppression of the insurgents, for various reasons: disorganization, disunity, naivety of the insurgents, who did not know how to correctly formulate their goals and objectives, while the Moscow army, under centralized control, was numerous and well armed.
Erzya people remember the names of their heroes from Inyazor Purgaz to A.P. Ryabov, Ya.Ya. Kuldurkaev, Yovlan Olo, Nuyan Vidyaz, Kshumantsyan Pirguzh, Anoshon Tumay and many, many others! Contemporaries did not fully appreciate their contribution to the preservation and development of the Erzya nation, their active opposition to violence, assimilation and Christianization. I believe that our descendants will pay tribute to them and they will forever remain in the memory of the Erzya people.
History clearly and unequivocally shows that the ruling power has never had a desire to promote the development of indigenous peoples, at least at the level of changing basic living conditions, primary education in their native language, primary education in the native language, and the preservation of traditions. On the contrary, the non-Russian population was expelled from their native places, where the royal entourage, landowners, churches, monasteries settled. Erzya prayer places were defiled, sacred groves and forests were cut down, which for the Erzyans were the meaning and basis of life. It is noteworthy what P.I. Melnikov writes about the Erzyans and other indigenous peoples of the Volga region, “And that is why, perhaps, strangers (indigenous peoples – author’s note) love their native forests, that in the old days, having no cities or fortresses, they defended their will for a long time in inaccessible wilds, first from the Tatars, then from the Russian people …” Now we understand what the invasion of the barbarians led to: the indigenous peoples of Russia are driven out from all spheres of life – social, cultural, linguistic, political. There is only one privilege left – to sing and dance until one loses consciousness, without asking questions about the preservation of the language and, consequently, the people. If we touch on the moral and ethical side, then in On the Mountains book by Andrey Pecherskiy there are remarkable lines, “In the old years, clumsy forests grew on the Mountains, in some places they have survived to this day, more in those places where the Chuvash, Cheremis and Mordovians live … not a single one of them will touch a tree without need; to cut down the forest without a path in their own way is a great sin, according to their ancient law: the forest is the dwelling place of the gods. To destroy the forest, to destroy its house, to call punishment on oneself. This is what the Mordvin thinks, and so do the Cheremis and the Chuvashinin. Further, “… the Russian is not like that: he is a born enemy of the forest, to cut down a centuries-old tree in order to cut an axis or a shaft from a branch .., he also cut down hundred-year-old oaks only to take acorns from them to feed pigs … The habit remained; and now on the mountains where the indigenous Russian people live – not a mixture with strangers, but a purely Slavic breed – there are no more forests…” These remarks of the author “on the mountains” are not about the forest or nature – they reveal the essence of the empire, its corrupting influence on everything around, and of course, first of all, the attitude of the imperials towards the conquered peoples, namely the arrogant, derogatory, in which they succeeded, not without the help of corrupt representatives of the same indigenous peoples. Yes, yes, we have to state this fact, because without them, without their help, the conquerors would not have been able to occupy the lands, assimilate indigenous peoples, and deprive them of their identity. There are many examples from the past and present.
So what is the Russian empire for non-Russian peoples? This is a reservation, in the worst sense of the word. A maniacal preoccupation prevails over the empire in order to “secretly steal” something somewhere! In all ages, the main concern of the aggressor has been to expand, to “add”! So it was under the kings, and today’s character, well-known to everyone, echoes them, “Russia has new territories … this is a significant result …”.
And what is the result of all these “accessions”? Over the past five hundred years, Russia has managed to decorate only a shop window, the facade of the empire, Moscow, St. Petersburg and several other large cities, and behind the facade is the degradation of the indigenous peoples, miserable earnings and pensions, hopelessness, drunkenness, unemployment …
And for all these five hundred years, peoples have been artificially mixed through campaigns, wars, migrations, various “great” construction projects, “virgin lands development”, BAMs, separations and unifications of everything … As a result, mixed marriages leading to the loss of identity. Today, Putin is trying to elevate mixed marriages to a virtue and talks about the development of some kind of “powerful genetic code” that is supposedly an advantage. All such statements are from the evil one. As well as the statement that “… the country, like a vacuum cleaner, drew in representatives of certain ethnic groups, nationalities …”. Apparently, one of the goals of the empire is to improve the genetic material of Russians – at the expense of non-Russians.
This “vacuum cleaner” is activated by imperial colonial policy. As a result, they “sucked it up” so much that the majority of non-Russian peoples are at the last stage of survival. Loss of language, territories, demographic catastrophe, these are the main results of the attitude of the imperials towards the conquered peoples.
Over the past ten years, the number of Erzya has decreased by two hundred thousand people, but of the remaining, mostly elderly, few know their native language. Imagine, from 1.5 million at the beginning of the last century, there are only 200,000 native speakers left! It should be noted that even 50-60 years ago in Mordovia there were 12 pedagogical schools that trained teachers of the Erzya language for primary schools. Where are they now? They were destroyed, destroyed purposefully, depriving the future of the Erzyans, depriving the foundation where the foundations of the Erzya society were born. Do you think such a catastrophe would have happened in the Erzya state? Of course not! The indigenous peoples should not put up with the arbitrariness of the authorities and humbly wait for their death! A person from birth is a priori free, a sense of freedom is given to a person by nature, and no one has the right to usurp it!
Each national republic has the right to self-determination, according to the constitution, according to international norms! That is the right to form an independent state. It is so in theory. But in practice, this is impossible, because the Russian authorities are arranged in such a way that the declared desire will be nipped in the bud, because the federal structure is only declared and is nonsense – regions and national republics are deprived of all rights. Autocracy, plutocracy, life according to concepts, where there is no freedom and its inherent democratic institutions reign in Russia, therefore the natural and legitimate desire of the indigenous peoples to form their own state that corresponds to their interests is met with fierce resistance by the bureaucrats. Many current democrats and oppositionists are against the collapse of Russia, they scare with the inevitable chaos, civil wars in the process of disintegration. They are already afraid, they have a bacillus of fear and disbelief in their own strength, and therefore they frighten us. The disintegration of Russia is not a global flood, not a universal catastrophe! It will be necessary, for example, to solve common problems, to unite some regions of the Volga region following the example of the European Union – no one will forbid it! Leaving Russia within its current borders, there remains a loophole – no, not a loophole, but a wide gate – for the return of the expansionist policy, a repetition of the events of the 90s of the last century. Today, vassal Mordovia is completely dependent on the Kremlin, it is not a subject of law, they decide in Moscow, and in Mordovia they obey unquestioningly how to teach, what to teach, how many optional hours to allow Erzya children who sit in the classroom mixed with the Russian majority! What kind of learning the Erzya language can we talk about in such circumstances? The Erzya language is considered the state language on paper, but the authorities treat the people as if they are second-rate!
The central government brazenly pumps out oil and gas from the depths of the republics, cuts down forests, pollutes rivers and reservoirs, leaves miserable crumbs for the peoples from what is extracted and sold, and all the stolen goods are sent to the “decaying” West, to NATO countries, and at the same time, scares with NATO its own population. It is obvious that any reforms in Russia are impossible! Even if Putin’s KGB regime is removed from power, there are no other options and they are not foreseen, because today’s Russian, in words, liberal opposition has nothing to do with liberty, with freedom. It is the Moscow opposition elite who only dreams of taking the Kremlin chairs.
Therefore, I support the Resolution of the Erzya Congress: the Erzya have no other alternative than the formation of the independent state! To remain in the current humiliated state is like death, because in 10-15 years there will be no Erzya, speakers of the Erzya language, and instead of the Republic of Mordovia they will hang a sign: “Saransk or Mordovian region.” We should take advantage of perhaps the only and last chance today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow it will be too late! Answering Putin, we have the right to say, why do we need Russia if there are no Erzya in it?
I call on everyone who has a lingering sense of belonging to your nation, who cherishes his history, traditions, culture, who has not lost respect for the memory of your ancestors who gave their lives for freedom, to get a sense of responsibility to their descendants! For the sake of our children and grandchildren, I urge you not to be afraid, not to be silent, but to the best of your abilities to make a feasible contribution to the elimination of the evil empire and the construction of your native state Erzyan Mastor! The state of Erzya, the state for the people!
Author: Buran Sergu