Is the Constitution a song of triumphant democracy or something that does not exist?
This holiday has been celebrated in the republic since 1992. The Constitution of Tatarstan was adopted on November 6, 1992 at the XII session of the Supreme Council of the Republic. The pathetic phrase “the creation of this important legal document played a significant role in the development of the political system of the region” is difficult to refute. But what is the result? And what were the hopes, do you remember?
“The legal foundations laid down in this document have become the key to the development of the region, and the holiday has been embodying for 30 years respect for the history, traditions and values of the peoples living in Tatarstan,” this is how the officialdom tells us. And for some reason, “the most democratic in the world Stalinist constitution” immediately comes to mind. It is paradoxical that it was really almost the very best in the world! Citizens were endowed with as many rights as few authorities in any country dared to offer the people. But the “leader of all tribes and peoples” was not afraid, he provided a lot of rights and privileges to the very edges, and why would he be afraid, anyway, no one was going to fulfill this constitution. Foreign lawyers praised it for its formal completeness and democracy, but they called it “normative”, as the set boundaries of rights and freedoms were needed as a “landmark to strive for.” And the investigators in the NKVD said to those under investigation who dared to mention about the Fundamental Law, in a simpler way, “The Constitution was not written for you, you bastard, but for me!”
But let’s get back to the present. Today, on the Constitution Day of the Republic of Tatarstan, the State Council held a round table on the topic, “The Constitution of the Republic is the foundation for the successful development of modern Tatarstan.” The event was attended by deputies of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, legal scholars, authors of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan.
I am reading deeply into the lines of official-patriotic speeches: praising the “wise leadership of the republic”, glorifying personally M. Shaimiev and R. Minnikhanov, reports on the successful development of modern Tatarstan – “a dynamic, future-oriented region with ambitious plans in the economy, education, and the creation of innovative industries”. In short, a complete set of ritual, mournful and boring lie, from which make one’s teeth itch. The only thing that attracts attention is the phrase “in 27 years, 17 changes were introduced into the Fundamental Law of the Republic, the last of which was made on July 2012. Those changes that were made to the Constitution of our republic stemmed from the adopted federal laws.
What’s the use of a constitution if it is being adjusted to the demands of the federal center? I would like to slightly change the beautiful quote from our Fundamental Law given in the speech of F. Mukhametshin, the Head of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, “According to the Constitution of the Republic, the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in the Republic is its multinational people”, replacing the words “its multinational people” with “federal center”. In this form, the flowery phrase gets a logical and complete form. As in the army joke, “I don’t care if crocodiles fly or not, the main thing for me is that the answer should be UNIFORM!”
Of course, not a word about the war, not a word about the most burning thing – about the dying Tatar culture, the language disappearing as unnecessary, about the actual lack of rights of the Tatars in the fight against Russian chauvinism and assimilation. Distracted and thoughtful, I involuntarily imagine myself accidentally coming to this solemn meeting of the statesmen. So I raise my hand, ask for a word, ask a question about a sore point, about the war, about the language, the culture, I try to appeal to reason and conscience, appeal to constitutional rights, but I hear in response, “This is written not for you, bastard!” and I wake up with a cold sweat.
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