Sometimes a Bear can be a Fox
Do you remember the children’s fairy tale about two clumsy bear cubs who could not correctly divide the found block of cheese until the fox “helped” them? It seemed to the poor bears that the main trouble was that the other had a larger piece. The fox came to help. She made and made equal until she left tiny pieces to the greedy brothers. But absolutely equal.
Sometimes, reading and listening to the arguments of the Tatar and Bashkort unfortunate patriots, I cannot get rid of the impression that the situation is very reminiscent of a fairy tale from childhood. So much has been written and said about unproductivity … no, rather about the harmfulness of mutual reproaches for the struggle for the rights of one’s people, but no, senseless showdowns and mutual reproaches flare up again and again. Medieval grievances are recalled – who betrayed whom and when, centuries-old territorial claims are discussed – to whom what piece of land belongs by right of real primacy. With perseverance worthy of a better use, both parties are trying not to defend their rights but trying to at least slightly infringe on the rights of the other party. Of course, this is noticeable and understandable to the whole world. Of course, the third party takes advantage of the situation for its own purposes. The same cunning and cynical Fox from a children’s fairy tale, eating two simpletons who do not know how to look at themselves and the whole situation from the outside. The reader, I think, can understand who at the moment gets the role of the Fox.
Which language is older and which one developed from another is another burning issue, the solution of which is far from a reasonable compromise.
Both one and the other disputants insist on the condition that their language was the second state language in a foreign republic. Moreover, if you seat a Tatar and a Bashkort at the same table and give both the same task – to write a program for the development of a foreign language in their republic, they will write absolutely identical texts. But they completely refuse to exchange these texts and use them in practice.
Again, a fruitless and harmful dispute begins, destroying the prospects for mutual understanding and reducing the effect of the joint struggle for the rights of the same dying native language.
But few people care. In plans for the future, some people rely on Islam, others hope for the help of mighty Turkey. It is not clear what prevents them from believing in their own strengths and synergy from interaction with Muslim Turkic neighbors.
That’s why! I have already written and I will repeat once again about my vision of solving the problem:
in territorial matters – to renounce mutual claims. In these showdowns, nothing can be gained, one can only lose. At the very least, to apply to international arbitration, agreeing in advance to accept any of its decisions;
in national and cultural issues – while remaining a citizen of the country of residence, to develop cultural autonomy within the diaspora: to create their own schools, hometown associations, folklore ensembles; to seek material and moral support from fellow countrymen-neighbors, to send talented youth to study at their place, to establish scholarships; to reward authors working in the national-patriotic direction, etc.;
in issues of language – the state language in Tatarstan is Tatar, in Bashkortostan – Bashkort language. The Bashkort language for the Tatar Bashkorts is a second foreign language in schools, along with English/French/Chinese. For those who wish, Sunday schools of their native language and culture are organized. Similarly for Tatar in Bashkortostan. For 30 years the Jews have been acting like this in the vastness of the entire former USSR, it works flawlessly;
It is better to stop talking about the organization of the national autonomy, at least for the near future, otherwise strife and bloodshed will begin. The population density and strip system in this matter is such that it cannot be overcome in a peaceful way. Imagine how some people will reproach others that “we are few and you oppress us.” Others will say, “there are many of us, we are on our own land, and you are stray and illegally fighting for your rights.” The Fox guarding nearby will support both disputants, and then offer to be an intermediary … And all the successes of the previous struggle will go to waste.
The leaders of the Tatar national movement should stop positioning the Tatars of Bashkortostan as a Trojan horse: just a small thing and we will arrange a referendum and we will show you all! The analogy is not obvious, but Tatarstan should reread the history of Nagornyi Karabakh and draw conclusions from fair desire of Yerevan to have something more than a diaspora. “After all, there are vast territories in the west of Azerbaijan where Armenians have lived for centuries!”, everyone knows how this story ended for the Armenians. By the way, it was also not without participation of the cunning Fox. And let the Tatars not be embarrassed by the comparison with the Armenians, and not with the Azerbaijanis. In this story, they will play exactly from the positions from which the Armenians started.
Here is advice to the Bashkort brothers. If you really want to build a political nation, and I believe in the sincerity of Ruslan Gabbasov’s intentions, you need to clearly state to the Tatars of Bashkortostan that being part of the Bashkir political nation does not mean giving up your national “self”. Tatars in independent Bashkortostan should be given the opportunity to create Tatar political parties, Tatar organizations and charitable foundations that will protect the interests of the Tatar population of the country. This is how the civilized world lives. The field for action is limited to one taboo – irredenta, the same Trojan horse with which the hot Tatar heads of the Bashkorts love to scare so much.
The project of the Idel-Ural confederation is more like the European Union than the CSTO.
It makes no sense to start a war because of the border transfer, since every nation without exception has all the political tools for a fair fight and competition, up to influence on the state policy. However, how to influence this policy is already the decision of the citizens of Bashkortostan, and the Tatars in particular.
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