Jahangir Mamatov: Uzbekistan:THE DARK DAYS

jmreston2.jpgIDEOLOGY?
After the collapse of Soviet Union to demonstrate their freedom of communist ideology new independent states began to choose their own way or to declare that they have their own way. However they giving up old ideology, which applied to all spheres of the society, did not get any result. On the one hand it seems natural. Because of being free of survivals of seventy years at once is difficult. Choosing wrong way and making mistake in the sphere of ideology might bring the state and nation to irremediable crisis. But being without ideology is also tragedy, it deprives the person from own advantage i.e. being without ideology becomes ideology.
What is the mafkura? Mafkura is an ideology that unites the people under the unique idea, goal, aim and hope. Mafkura is a great idea and a big sea where people flow like brooks becoming big rivers on the way and turn into great force. In other words they become sea. Like other states today Uzbekistan is also on crossroads on the way to mafkura. It is in front of four roads: Islam, Turkism, Uzbekism and Nationalism.
1.ISLAMISM
Islam is ideology not created by people. It was granted from heaven. It is the way, which was shown to people by God’s wish. Allah showing this way does not force people to walk on it. He gives choice to people. The choice should be based on the mind, which given to people by Allah. Well, this idea is alive in the world about one thousand four hundred years. In several countries of the world at certain times Islam became a power, i.e. the ideology united all people and embodied their wishes and hopes.
After October Revolution communists paid main attention to the struggle against Islamic ideology, against religious ideology. They tried to replace it with their own ideology. It is known that before Russian revolution there were three states in Turkistan region; Bukhara, Khiwa and Quoqon khanates, which were based on people, not on nation. There lived uzbeks, tajiks, barlas, kungirat, nayman… in the territory of Bukhara khanate. More shortly, all people lived as one nation. The same thing was in the territory of Khiwa khanate. There were turkmans, qaraqalpaqs, Uzbeks and other Turkic people. Also Quoqon khanate was residence of uzbek, nayman and qirghiz people.
Well, is it possible to return to this basis? The former mufti of the Department of Muslims of Mawaraunnahr, member of the Rabita Islamiya, expert of Islamic sciences Muhammad Sadiq Muhammad Yusuf giving an interview to Hamid Ismail, editor of Uzbek Departmnet of BBC, answered “No” to the question about possibility of establishing Islamic State in Uzbekistan. He substantiated this as follows:
First. There is no one country in the world today, which can be considered as Islamic in its full meaning. I cannot see any country, which we would follow or take an example.
Second. Uzbekistan has lived seventy years under the atheistic pressure. Today there are in Uzbekistan no religious persons, who know Islam very well. With whom we will establish Islamic State?”
If we look out of Uzbekistan’s border, Qazi Akbarjan Turajanzada, leader of Muslims of Tajikistan, declared same point of view five years ago at the interview with “Komsomolskaya Pravda”. Actually each Muslim scholar including mentioned ones wish Islamic state, but they know absence of proper conditions. Although they are leaving establishment of Islamic State for the future, are actively propagandizing ideology of ummat(religious society). Naturally, this is not inside of Uzbekistan’s territory.
2.NATIONALISM
This idea also has a long history. This idea also had a power sometimes. Great scholar, historian Yusuf Akchura, who left Russia and lived in Paris, Istanbul in his article “Three kinds of politics” analyses that some of the Ottoman Turkish sultans choose Islamic way as an idea; some of them choose Turkism; and some of them tried to convert ideology of Ottoman people unto general ideology.
It is known that there were in the territory of Ottoman Empire not only several nations, but also several religions existed. There were believers of all religions having the Book. It was not possible to Ottoman state to neglect them. Some sultans were scared if Islam or Turkism will be chosen as an ideology their position would worsen. They began to create the ideology of “Ottoman people”.
Eventually this idea has resulted in crisis of Ottoman Empire. But this idea was caught by another empire, state of communists. During the period of seventy years the ideology of Soviet people was developed. Especially such as leaders like Brejnev, Chernenko, Suslov with all force tried to release Soviet people from other nationalities and ideologies. When they declared that this ideology has overcome their empire being without ideology collapsed.
After becoming independent Uzbekistan adopted new Constitution on 8th December 1992. I am one of those obstinate representatives of nation who did not vote for this constitution. Eighth article of this Constitution declares “People of Uzbekistan consists of citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan irrespectively of their nationality”. Although 12th article of the Constitution declares, “No ideology can be established as a State ideology” it is obvious that the nationality inherited from communists went deep not only into Constitution, but also became main ideology of the State. Any person who read book of the President of Uzbekistan can notice it. Most pages begin with “People of Uzbekistan” and ends with “People of Uzbekistan”.
Although this ideology became as a work instrument for the State the people cannot accept it. Therefore it is impossible to say that this ideology is alive or is leading.
3.UZBEKISM
Since “Uzbekness” implied certain shortcomings in our national behavior, some people suggested using “Uzbekism” (pan-Uzbekism) instead. This was an especially important issue in 1993–94 when the issue of national ideology was being debated and some historians suggested adopting an ideology of “Uzbek ethnicity.” However, there were close to one hundred different ethnic groups living in the former territory of Turkestan (and the very name “Turkestan” suggests that most people living here were Turks).
When the Russian Empire created the republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, their most important goal was to crush the Turks, give them different names, and then turn them into separate soviet republics. Although the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was founded, even now nobody knows how many Uzbeks actually lived in this geopolitical region.
Those who suggest this ideology [“Uzbek ethnicity”] know that the history of the Uzbeks begins with the Golden Horde and Uzbakhan. Some western historians, who analyze the history of Uzbekistan according to this theory, say that this history began by the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth century. If that is the case, what happens to our history during the times of our forefathers, such as Horazmiy, Beruniy, Forobiy, Avicena, Tamerlane, Babir, and even those before Christ?
Indeed, since no one will deny that the very idea of “Uzbekness” was introduced by the Russians to cause enmity among ourselves, it is difficult to disparage us for “chasing” them out.2 Lately, however, some writers and poets are actively supporting the delusion of “Uzbekness.” Some of them say that the term “Uzbek” does not refer to a single ethnic group but to larger group containing many other ethnicities, and that they had simply adopted this name to express that they are their own masters.3 It is worth mentioning that at the dawn of Uzbekistan’s independence most of them were in favor of changing the republic’s name back to “Turkestan,” and even of moving the capital to our Samarkand, our historical center.
Obviously, they have not completely decided on that issue yet. Or rather, they are afraid of expressing their wishes for the wind may blow from above.4
4. PAN-TURKISM
The history of the Turks, according to some, begins with the empire of Kukturks. Some, however, start turning the pages of history with the Hun Empire. But what is known for sure is that the history of the Turks is very ancient and that they had their own alphabet, language, and culture.
After the Turkic empires became history, pan-Turkism developed when the divided and crushed Turkic peoples promoted the idea of reuniting and reviving their culture.
Pan-Turkism, especially during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has emerged as an ideological movement. In Turkestan, there were element of pan-Turkism in a movement called “Jadidism”5 organized by Munavvar Kori, Behbudiy, and others. Prominent thinkers such as Ziyo Kukalp, Ismail Gasparali, Zaki Validi Tugon, and Nihol Otsiz were called “pan-Turkists” in Turkey. Ziyo Kukalp is from Turkey, Ismail Gaspirali is from Crimea, and Zaki Validi Tugon was a deputy of Munavvar Kori. They were all united by the pan-Turkism ideological movement.
We have not stressed the history of political movements since there are hundreds of books written on each of them. Since our goal is not to define their history but to show the current ideology, we would like to focus instead on the current issues. Right now anyone can use the terms “Turkestan” or “Turan” in Uzbekistan; such terms are no longer banned. But not many people think in terms of pan-Turkism.
In fact, all linguists and thinkers know that we are Turks. According to popular thought, however, “Turks” live only in Turkey, even though Uzbekistan is the historical center of the former Turkestan. By saying that we are Turks, they worry about associating us with Turkey. However, the Turks in Turkey did not come there from Mars. They migrated there from Turkestan, retained their name, and even named the country after themselves. Thus, this is a serious subject for us to analyze. In fact, the largest territory for pan-Turkism is the geographical greater Uzbekistan. The historical foundation is so strong that the first thing that comes to mind when reading the works of Alisher Navoiy or the “Great Turkish Dictionary” is Turkism.
Instead of a Conclusion
Nowadays, the new movement of Turkism–Islam is being presented as a package. Some pan-Turkists, or “Turanists,” ask whether ethnic groups such as the Gagauz or Sahas would be excluded. Logically, it makes sense, since some Turkic groups are of a different faith from Islam. They are correct to promote the idea of uniting all Turks under the movement of Turanism, which is the last flagship of this ideology. But today in Uzbekistan, the center of the former Turkestan, which movement will lead us into the future?
Some Islamic scholars reject the concept of ethnicity and only rely on religion. An Islamic scholar, Obidhon Kori Nazarov, in an interview with the BBC World Service answered this question thus: “Islam does not reject an ethnicity. Allah created all nations with their own languages, custom, and traditions. The Koran also states that people are divided according to their ethnicities and faiths. Thus, we cannot ignore the existence of an ethnicity. On the contrary, Islam protects ethnicities and their cultures.”
As you can see, Uzbekistan finds itself in a somewhat hesitant position at the crossroads of ideology. The government chooses one way, intellectuals another, and historians yet another. At first glance it seems that they all live separately, but looking at their essence shows that they are all going in opposite directions.
What concerns us and what prompted us to write this article is that when Yusuf Akchura began writing about this subject in 1904 he stressed Islamism, populism, and pan-Turkism. He dreamed of a single unique ideology that would take all ethnic groups towards a unified horizon. After nearly one hundred years, instead of coming to one single ideology from these three options, we are debating a fourth one. At such a pace, someone one hundred years in the future will be writing about “Kungirotism” or “Naymanism.” (Kungirat, Nayman- tribal names).Unfortunately, we are heading that way. Alas, our poor nation!

INDEFINITENESS

Today much is said and written about the increasing role of Uzbek publishing and journalism. It is popularly believed that journalists’ professionalism is the reason they do not write bravely and openly about the illnesses of the people, about human rights, and about socioeconomic problems. Is this really the case?
There is an unsigned article entitled “If the Newspaper [News(?) – editor] Is Boring We Cannot Write Interestingly” on the front page of the August 6 (of this year) edition of the newspaper Hurriyat. Although the article is not signed, it is narrated from the first-person perspective of one writer. In particular, there are the following words: “I want to say that if our publishing does not reach a higher level, we shouldn’t place the blame on anything other than our own sluggishness and professional inability.”
I do not think that this is a proper diagnosis, because when I read through the newspapers Yozuvchi (Writer), Turkistan, Vatan (Motherland), Milliy tiklanish (National Restoration), Adolat (Justice), and Sohibqiron Yulduzlari (The Stars of Tamerlane) I find very interesting articles. Nevertheless, an unseen pencil touched some parts of them, eliminating the strength of the words and turning them from depictions of reality into abstract and subjective critiques. Interestingly, this disease affects other newspapers as well. For instance, there is an almost one-page article, “The Trends of Worship in Poetry,” by philology candidate Tohir Shermurod in the August 22 issue of Uzbekiston Adabiyoti va San’ati (The Literature and Arts of Uzbekistan). The author analyzes a beautiful and important theme: he looks back on the poetry of poets who, during Soviet times, forgot Allah and worshiped human beings. He gives examples from different poems. Although there are poems by poets who worshipped Stalin and were against Allah, there are no names mentioned in the article. This gave me the following impression: Tohir Shermurod wrote the names of the poets whose work he quoted, but an unseen pencil has erased them. I have also felt the impact of this unseen pencil several times.
Aside from newspapers, this trend affects journals as well. For example, I quote from an article by Nazar Rajabov, “The Symbol of Our National Unity,” published in the August issue of the journal Muloqot (Talks): “At an international conference dedicated to Amir Temir, one historian began his speech with greetings in the native language, but immediately switched and gave the remainder of his speech in Russian. However, 90% of the participants knew the native language and those who didn’t were provided with translating facilities. A group of people left the meeting. In addition, the chief accountant of one of the largest publishing houses in our country still does not speak Uzbek. And although 95% of the staff is Uzbek, all business is conducted in Russian.”
As you can see, an unseen pencil has erased the names of the well-known historian and the publishing house mentioned in this article.
The same situation can be seen in Ibrohim Gofurov’s article, “Tomorrow Will Also Be a Beautiful Day,” published in the newspaper Sohibqiron yulduzi on August 19, in Abdukahhor Ibrohim’s article, “Post, Bureaucracy, Bureaucrats,” printed in the newspaper Hurriyat, and in almost every issue of the other daily newspapers.
It is troubling that, in addition to this, even small social-political articles that praise the President hide the names of the middle-level people who are criticized. If a critique pertains to everyone, it is no different than praise. A critique can yield results only when it learns its aim.
In general, the following conclusion can be drawn from all of the above.
First, journalists and writers are writing about these issues, but their superiors, who are afraid of losing their positions, company cars, and status, soften the critique of the articles, thereby removing any influence they might have.
Second, they blame journalists and writers for misleading the people. They try to depict them as unskillful and lazy.
Third, these people are chopping away at the independence, development, and statutes of Uzbek publishing with axe in hand. Every line erased by them erases the prosperous ways of our history and replaces it with indefiniteness.
Today, in order to raise the status of Uzbek publishing, one needs to save it from the indefiniteness of general articles that do not have a beginning or an end. Or rather, it is necessary to free Uzbek publishing from the unseen forces erasing the beginning and the end of serious articles. The easiest way to do this would be to entrust publishing to the younger generation. Their bravery, talent, and skills are waiting for it.
This young generation will save our media from the wielders of the unseen pencil whose only skill is wearing a suit and tie. Give way for them! They are the healthy force that can help us through our hardships and into a future of prosperity. They are the enemies of indefiniteness and the friends of truth!

ESSENCEI OF THE DISCUSSION

Though there are words that said Uzbek media is free, international committee to protect journalists while raising for the general discussion tasks and problems related to journalism, included Uzbekistan into the list of states with non-free media. Well then, what is the reason for this decision and is there any way to free ourselves of this scorn?
I think that I have a moral right to speak, think, and to be concerned about Uzbek journalism. Because I am in this field for 25 years. I have witnessed its problems and illnesses, by first-hand living in this field. Also, by for already three years, working for newspaper, prestigious not only in Asia, but also in Europe, I had an opportunity to watch Uzbek media from abroad.
Generally speaking, every journalist, every person has a right to speak, tell his/her thoughts, express his/her opinion. Because the media is related to the life of each of us.
It is known that in the Soviet period, media was centralized. Despite the fact that newspapers and journals were printed at the Communist Party’s printing house, they went through political censorship. There was criticism, but criticizing had been done by order or instruction from above only. Namely, there was existing system of criticism directed from above to below. At the openness [glasnost] and restoration [perestroyka] period, this tributary began to flow in opposite direction, saying more correctly, the tributary which was forced to flow in wrong direction, got its right way. Among with ordinary people, officials in high positions also began to drink this water. However, every single moment the second one felt that officials were not able to digest this [fresh water, criticism, openness]. Working at such a manner “You look I will get you”, were waiting when Solomon die and giants will be freed .
But at this period, Uzbek journalism could prove what it can do. Particularly in 1986-91, Uzbek media had lived in the time of happiness. Weekly “O’zbekiston Adabiyoti va San’ati” (Literature and Art of Uzbekistan), newspapers such as “Xalq so’zi” (Peoples’ Voice) “Erk” (Freedom), “Mustaqil Haftalik (Independent Weekly), “Olila va Jamiyat” (Family and Society), “Turkiston”, “Qishloq Haqiqati” (The Truth of Village/Countryside), were able to put for people’s discussion the most important issues of the period. Problems which people had been afraid to mention [literally: take into mouth] for decades, at this time were put for discussion at this time. Cotton mono-culture, tragedy of Aral Sea, fate of Uzbek mothers, mis-reporting on health, education, culture, falsification in the history, and at last, the question of independence – all, all of them were thrown into middle (of the discussion table) at this short period. At this period, a dynasty of well-known journalists had been grown in the Uzbek media. It was very difficult to see any journalist in the Soviet parliament. However, during election held during glasnost period, 22 journalists had been elected to the parliament of Uzbekistan. It was an attitude expressed by people to journalists.
But, when the government started political pressure, the sharpest tip of the sword cut heads of journalism. “Erk” newspaper had been closed, “Mustaqil Haftalik” choked, by dismissing the core of the “Halq So’zi” newspaper, the orientation of the newspaper had been changed. Those in other newspapers were also restrained . Naturally, there is also contribution of journalists themselves to such development of events, because they were not able to be become a whole, by uniting. They lost their own interests and dignity of newspapers. People’s attitudes had been immediately noticed. Newspapers read by millions suddenly dropped to thousands. This severely damaged not only their (newspapers) quality, but also pockets, earnings of journalists.
If media were free, today, it also could transform to arena for competition. Newspapers would rebuild their technological resources, based on the growth of advertisements and subscription. The most advanced technology of the West could already enter our country. In this regard, I would like to give an example. Until very recently, media in Turkey had also been under state control. When it was freed and when roads for private publications opened, in these last 10-15 years, it became ahead of all countries in Europe. Today, the only newspaper in world that received International Quality certificate, that newspaper is from Turkey. Today, in the field of newspaper printing, operativeness of radio and TV programs and broadcasts, Turkey is considered the first in the world. Because media in Turkey went far further than the fourth power , and cane to the position of the first power, its (media’s) matters are being discussed.
In our country, our media lost even self-sustainability , not speaking about the fourth power . Because we are shaking , are standing on reins of political control, it is hard to estimate where we are our place is.
Some think that criticism only rises the media. That is wrong. The strength of the media is in its independence. If needed, with its criticism, if needed, with its analysis, if needed with its praise, it comes out. But its power keeping it on its own foot is dependent on its work of providing news. Well, you can say that today our media is full, over flooded with news. But the weight of the news is in its correctness, efficiency, objectivity.

STATE SECRET

It is known that in the Soviet period, there was special representative sitting in each media outlet on guard of state secrets. His other name was a censor. Today, in majority of countries of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), this agency became a history.
Censorship of the media is also prohibited in Uzbekistan’s laws. For instance, in the Article 4 of the law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the Protection of the Journalistic Activities” such [a word] is said. However, above-mentioned representatives are still sitting in their offices. Without their approval, way for publication is not open. Each individual is commenting on this practice differently [on his/her own]. For instance, Hurshid Do’stmuhammad and Abboskhon Usmonov, Chief Editors of “Hurriyat” [Freedom] and “Halq So’zi” [People’s Voice] newspapers said at the interview to the radio during their trip to Great Britain that “Every country, big or small, has its own secrets”.
That is right, each state has its own secret accordingly. It [secret(s)] could be divided into three groups:
FIRST: Secrets related to national, strategic resources, for instance, their maps.
SECOND: Secrets related to military, national security, for instance, their addresses.
THIRD: Secrets related to strategic research, for instance, data, which they provide.
Protection of secrets in each group is relevant to those who are aware of them, those who live with them. This is a rule adopted in the world today. Sitting at the media and watch, it is a Soviet-style anecdotal situation. Because, if state secret reached journalist or media, it means that its secrecy had gone.
Soviet Union also could not protect any of its secrets because of putting the guard post in a wrong place. Because, those who had access to state secrets saying “it is not my concern, there are people who guard them [secrets]” did not feel responsibility. The same situation is continuing today. Moreover, the meaning of state secret concept has been widened further.
For example, for Uzbek media today, ways are open to accuse opposition, “Birlik’ [Unity] and “Erk” [Freedom]. But ways are closed for positive coverage of this matter or publishing opinions of these party-movement members. It means that this is also included to state secret.
Or, our people would like to know the status of the budget. Writing [on] this subject, analyzing, is not hard. Accounting office has [one] thing named balance, credit in one side, in the second [side] is written debit, namely incoming and out-coming. Well, how much money had been allocated for health care, education, culture, science, and where have they been spent? Despite the guarantees by the law of people’s right to get information, nobody can write this either.
Another example. Look at cadre’s matter. Selecting cadres, their appointment [appointing] and firing, in bringing the Hokim/Khokim [Governor/Mayor] to the position: were his talents and organizational skills analyzed or not analyzed – [this is] a state secret.
It is well also. Forehead of a journalist who is going to write about statistic data, on [what is] behind the scene in realization of [state] targets, about falsifications, over-reporting, will be struck to stone wall – state secret.
State secrets are wretchedness, poverty, bribery, abuse [of authority] by high-rank leaders, violations of rights by law-enforcement bodies, injustice.
So, there is one subject, which is not the state secret. Its name is “praising”. For this reason, all journalists today are busy with praising.
Media should be eyes, ears, and mouth-heart of the people. [If] this eye is closed, this ear does not hear, this tongue plays role of a silent, and this heart considers not a feeling of honor, in such society even existing sparks of democracy will be dying. Media will loose not only itself, but also the people. In the report recently issued by the International Committee to Protect Journalists, Uzbekistan [still] has been in the list of states with strangled free media. This [assessment], while it is a serious criticism of the government, is equally heavy scorn also for our journalists! There is only a way [of how] to liberate [ourselves] from this scorn, it is to free [ourselves] from the state secrecy concept. You can object saying is there [any] a state without secrets? Yes, it is there: a state without secrets is a democracy.
In the democratic conditions, free media is not strangled under the mask of state secret.
In democratic conditions, state secret is protected by its masters. It is not guarded by creating some kind of office or inspection.
Today, [while we] study democracy, it is necessary to begin the [this] work with liberating [ourselves] from an obstacle under the name state secret. Actually, when this obstacle is removed, routes of the future will be open automatically and Uzbek journalism will join with its real spirit.

CHOKING THE FREEDOM

One can divide famous [criminal] case #300 made public in 1994 into two pieces. The first piece is about charges directed against newspaper Erk [Freedom] printed abroad. The second piece is about charges directed against concrete individuals.
Before bringing to your attention the first part of the issue, there is need to remind some things. It is known that in 1991 Erk paper became the first among papers printed in Uzbekistan not only by circulation [and by number of printed copies], but also by contest and content. This [situation] had shaken the government. In order to limit it [Erk circulation], printing paper prices had been increased, “UzLit” [Agency to Preserve State Secrets in the Media], or censorship body hired new employees who understood the literature and poetry.
Despite consistent removal of articles from the paper pages, [the government] could not stop the rise of the Erk weekly. There was one reason for that. It [the reason] was that because all [other] papers became the “left pocket” of the government, people were disappointed with them.
At last, the government initiated a criminal case against Erk paper. Beginning with those who wrote article[s] and up to those who edited article[s], all were called to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for questioning. Where money came from, had been honorarium paid, where color inks for the paper were purchased from, what funds had been used [to pay] for printing paper, etc. As [people] say, shoes of the one who harries would be disgraced, at the time [then] Cholpon’s poems had been printed by the Erk, investigators had issued invitation [call] for Abdulhamid Cholpon also. If [we] describe [it] poetically, our [authorities], if [they] allowed, would bring dead man from cemetery site and question him. But such [kind of] circumstance raises

about how literate are ours [our officials].
So, [officials] saying that [all journalists and employees of the paper] beginning from Editor-in-Chief to ordinary photographer had abused honorarium [funds], passed [criminal] cases to the court. Although they [Erk journalists] were altruists who spent their own money [for common cause; for paper]. [Individuals] who embezzled state funds were left untouched, those who printed a newspaper on their own money were in trouble. King had asked why you have two eyes, when he needs an excuse [, as story tells].
Soon after, by the decision of Media committee of Uzbekistan, paper had been banned from printing. According to law on media, such authority was given only to the court. Illegal closing of the Erk [paper] laid base for continuation of its activities abroad. Therefore, the government itself was responsible for such development.
Let us touch articles used as base [reason] for accusing Erk paper. Official charges make following quotes from 1994 issues of the [Erk] paper printed abroad. Here are what “Official Charges” prepared by the NSS [National Security Service] and approved by the Prosecutor [General] of the Republic say:
Pages 6-7: piece from #5-issue of the Erk paper printed abroad: “In Uzbekistan, the repression is rising day-by-day. In order to choke dissatisfaction of people whose economic conditions became very difficult as result of not conducting [lack of] political and economic reforms and delay in currency reform, [and] to threaten them [people], the government is repressing its [people’s] known childs.”
What is a crime in this piece? But when the truth is [announced] a crime, where conspiracy became truth, it would be even more laughable [thing].
For instance, “Official Charges” present following words as a crime: “We call the international community, champions of democracy, political parties, organizations … providing control of execution of the international documents signed by the Republic of Uzbekistan, not to be unconcerned.”
Such words are words repeatedly used by all opposition parties, if [when] their governments are ignoring treaties, conduct policies against own people. That does not mean calling to kill anybody; perhaps, it is only a call not to be unconcerned, when international laws and documents are signed, but not observed.
Is it not a proof that the investigation and court that considered these words to be offensive are followers of Stalin era and Vishinsky methods?
[That is] Well, take a look at other words considered by investigation to be an offensive: “From article “Soul’s Concern”: “If president intends to protect himself from people, there is no need waste money to buy 20 “Mercedes” cars and a helicopter for that [matter]. Because those who fight against him are not against his life, but [they] are fighting against the system. We have witnessed that it is impossible to preserve the system not only by helicopters, but [also] by any means.
These are words found [from materials printed in the paper accused with coup-d-etat] during the investigation to be “dangerous” and base for charging some people as criminals and imprison them [put behind iron fences]. You will be surprised what kind of reason investigation was following

VICTIMS OF PERSONAL STATUS AND BENEFIT

In Soviet times one of the most widespread ailments was the “yes sir, yes sir” illness. The fact that we became renowned for this illness is well known. When we received order, whether right or wrong, just or unjust, if it came from above, nothing would come out of our mouths other than “yes sir”. This sort of blind obedience to orders is contrary to democracy. Democracy is a platform for thought. It means participating in all issues. The blind carrying out of orders is specific to all sorts of regimes that use it to stay in power.
After Uzbekistan became independent, rather than this illness of blind obedience disappearing, it spread even more. Leaders who worked in high levels [of government] upon whom the fate and future of the country and the nation were directly bound, know only one way to maintain their positions, in the old parlance, “nomenclature’, or blind obedience. And for precisely this reason, they equated carrying out orders with trampling their conscience and good intentions for the sake of position and personal benefits.
If the order came from above, even if it was illegal, against the rules or outside the bounds of humanity, they would close their eyes for the sake of personal status and benefit and blindly carry it out. This became completely commonplace. It’s necessary to think about whether this is done blindly though. Because the person carrying out the task knows what he’s doing and in private conversation he’ll admit as much in order to relieve himself of the weight of his conscience. But because his attachment to his position and his own interests he withdraws into the shell of blindly obedience. Ever person with any kind of position sees his fate, his future, his advancement and his living a good life being derived from his carrying out orders. There isn’t anyone who doesn’t know that if an illness isn’t treated in a timely manner or isn’t prevented eventually it will only bring pain. It’s simply ignorance to close ones eyes to a sickness.
We wrote again and again that when a person puts aside the law and his own reason and says “yes sir, yes sir” into the telephone receiver without being appalled by the orders being given, then that person will eventually place his own head into fetters.
We don’t have to look far. Early in 1993 these lines were in one of my articles on Radio Liberty: “If it’s said, ‘bring a do’ppi’ [Uzbek skullcap], several leaders whose heads have been cut off long already, have become victims of their own obedience to orders. We don’t want to kick someone who’s down. But it’s our duty as a human being to why they fell. The first secretary of the Supreme Assembly of Uzbekistan, Mirzaolim Ibrohimov, Hakim Berdiyev who served as mayor of Surhandarya, Ubaydulla Abdurrazzoqov who closed down the first independent newspapers, presidential advisor Shahobiddin Ziyomov who blamed the events in Ferghana, Osh, Parkent and Buka on the Birlik movement, state secretary Rahim Rajabov who fired on the opposition, Alixon Otaxonov who brought dark days upon people’s deputies like Murad Jurayev and Shohruh Ro’zimurodov in Qashqadarya, presidential advisor Baxtiyor Nazarov who kicked the great warrior Boymirza Hayit out of the country and others have all become victims of the sickness of blind obedience.”
In mentioning these names we hoped that it would be a lesson to others. But rather than drawing this conclusion they couldn’t see their own futures in this and simply fastened themselves even more tightly to carrying out orders. The poet Erkin Samandarov who worked as the deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan who selflessly strangled sparks of democracy that could be seen in the emphasis on the indication of the truth by some newspapers of the events in the students’ city in Tashkent. And he was rewarded by being fired. Another poet, Usmon Azim, formed a puppet party in order to do away with the opposition on orders [from the government]. Despite having played a lead role in this game which had begun to catch the attention of the world, he was kicked out of the party. Muhammad Bobur Malikov who worked as the justice minister took the breaking of law to be the basis of law. He wouldn’t register several public organizations. And carrying out an order [he received] he closed those that had been registered. In return for this he was declared a traitor.
One of the people who best exemplified this obedience to orders was the chief of the Supreme Soviet, Shavqat Yo’ldoshev. He violated the freedom of speech in Parliament. More than that he summoned deputies illegally and had several sent to prison. Shavqat Yo’ldoshov who persecuted and exiled deputies that were thinking about the people suffered exactly the same fate as others.
The governor [hokim] of Samarqand province, Po’lat Abdurahmonov, created his own school of blind obedience. On the basis of orders from above he exiled tens of people along with their families. He knew very well that they weren’t guilty of anything. In fact, even though the orders from above was to get rid of the individuals themselves, he imprisoned and exiled the members of their families and relatives so that that there wouldn’t be any questioning of his having carried out his orders. Then one day the cane struck him on his own head. All his attempts and efforts were for naught and he was declared the most unsuccessful governor in Samarqand’s history.
Within a short period the number of people who became the victims of their own obedience to orders that counting some of their names, in itself, says a lot. For example, the governor of Bukhara, Damir Yodgorov, the mayor of the city of Tashkent, Adham Fozilbekov, Presidential advisor Mavlon Umirzoqov, Prime Minister Mutal Hoshimov and others are among this number. And the fate of these people wasn’t a lesson to others.
Not being able to learn a lesson is blindness. Shavqat O’razayev, Jamol Kamol, Po’lat Nu’monov, Sayfullo Saydaliyev and, these days, the governors of Jizzakh, Sirdarya, and Namangan provinces, Alisher Toshkentbayev, Burg’ut Rafiqaliyev and others who were dismissed know this very well. But late. Work is stronger than work [?], and a brick stronger than its mold. No matter how much they regret it now it won’t hold their position.
Allah forgives! For Allah, those individuals who oppressed our loyal people might be forgiven. But, can they forgive themselves?
The reason why we decided to talk about the sickness of blind obedience, was the statement made on Radio Liberty by Dilbar Mirsaidova, whose husband is Shukrulla Mirsaidov and whose son is Hasan Mirsaidov, who along with simply expressing a mother’s sorrow also said that the blind obedience to orders is gradually getting stronger. It’s not known whether they will be able to conclude something from these kinds of ailments of blind obedience or not. But there is another event that will be a lesson for them. This one is from history.
There is a story from the life of our great forefather Amir Temir whose 660th anniversary we just celebrated: When Amir Temir listened to a song sung by a bard he would be carried away by the power of the song. One day, palace officials claiming that the bard had sung a song against Amir Temir and that the song has spread widely among the people, were able to get an order for his death. The devonbegi [minister] that was sent to arrest knew very well that the artist was innocent and that those envious of him had slandered him. But since those who attested to this slander were in the majority there was no use in objecting. For this reason, he secretly smuggled the bard out to Baghdad. Several years passed and Amir Temir started to miss the bard’s songs and regretted that he had signed the order [for his death] but he didn’t do anything. When Amir Temir conquered Baghdad a bard was brought to the banquet in his honor. Since his hair and beard had grown white it was difficult to recognize the bard from his outside appearance. But his moving voice hadn’t changed. While listening to the song tears began to form in Amir Temir’s eyes. He sighed and said, “Believing the lies of the court scoundrels I gave an order for the death of a nightingale like you.” Seeing that Amir Temir was suffering, the devonbegi placed the truth out in the open and said, “Forgive me, but this is that very bard. I smuggled him out.” To this Amir Temir said, “the thing that makes a king a king are those who surround him.” This is just a story but the point of the story being that today we have neither Amir Temir’s nor devonbegis. But there was a time when our people raised and gave the world people like that and after this too there is no doubt that people like that will rise from among them again. From this perspective the life of sickness of blind obedience is fleeting. But I don’t know if this will this be a lesson for our functionaries or not. If it is a lesson, it’s to their own benefit and they won’t be ashamed of their fates like their predecessors.
Only democracy will bring an end to blind obedience. Where democracy, freedom of speech and the press, and human rights are predominant, thought reigns, not obedience. This being the case, if those who today don’t refrain from all sorts of appalling acts for the sake of personal status and personal benefit cross over to the side of democracy they will firstly be saving themselves. Blind obedience is slavery. There is nothing easier than to place the head of a slave into fetters. This means, choice! Choose what it is that you want.

DICTATORSHIP’S ENTERTAIMENT STAGE

Lately, the way we criticize looks like trying to spit against strong wind, or spitting to the sky. We come closer to the subject. For example, when president told the deputies of the Oliy Majlis to speak about any facts of tramples of human rights, and everybody kept silent, we, for months, have been criticizing them. We don’t disclose the essence of their silence.
Indeed, seventy years had convinced us that the power was concentrated in hands of the Soviets. In the actual fact, everything was in hands of the communist party, and the Soviets were merely their stage mask. After the Soviet Union broke up, the mask was torn apiece. Everywhere, except Uzbekistan. In Uzbekistan, it became even stronger and solid. Because the mentality, having gotten used to the old habits, would rather support the old instead of accepting something new and unknown.
After Uzbekistan got independent, the parliament had adopted several democratic laws. In particular, many countries might have an interest in the new constitution of Uzbekistan. Like in Soviet times, there is one peculiarity: everything is on the paper, and nothing in real life. The 70-year old Soviet history is a proof to that.
Avoiding common talks, let’s come to certain examples. Today the election of the Uzbekistan Oliy Majlis is held in accordance with the articles 11 and 24 of the new constitution. The candidates (nominees) were promoted by the former communist party that has changed its name to People’s Democratic Party, “Vatan Tarrakiyeti” Party, the Oliy Kengash (legislative organ) of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, and kengashes of all oblasts and the city of Tashkent. By appearance, it’s very democratic-like.
In every electoral district there were up to three candidates to run the election. In times of the Soviet Union, the communist party personnel department was in charge for making the list of candidates, with further approval by the bureau and the party Plenum (session). First, the post (“tailor’s dummy) was created, and then they would look for the most perfectly matching candidates. Every detail was designated by percentage: age, nationality, religion, party affiliation, and profession. The number of people’s deputies would correspond to number of seats in the building. In Moscow, the Kremlin Palace of Congresses would fit in five thousand people; therefore the number of the USSR Supreme Soviet deputies was five thousand, and five hundred in Uzbekistan. In keeping with the new constitution, there were to be 150 deputies. Khokims (governors) of oblasts and rayons (both administrative divisions) wrote an appeal to the president: ” If we don’t control the situation from the inside, in this complicated period it is hard to trust anybody”. After that, the number was increased to 250, so the warning against the shepherds did work on the president.
In short, the candidates were named. A stranger from aside could have thought that democracy in Uzbekistan was alive. Those who were familiar with such games in the past, needed just to slightly raise their heads to see the real faces of the soviets (councils). The names of the runner-ups against the khokims were not known even in their neighborhoods.
In particular, very unusual circumstances surrounded election of the Russian-speaking candidates. So that Uzbeks led by national motives would not elect fellow Uzbeks, only Russian-speaking candidates were running the election in some districts. For example, in the 21st Mevazor electoral district the oblast kengash named Mikhail Omelnitsky, “Vatan Tarakkiyeti” named Ernest Rizaev, and the PDP named Vitali Povarovsky as their candidates for election. Maybe that was a coincidence? How come three different organizations name a national minority as their candidate in the same district? Not a coincidence probably. Vladimir Ivanov and Liudmila Yurikova were the runners-up in the Karmana district # 77, and Alexander Klimenko and Nikolai Kuchersky – in Zarafshon district # 80. Alexander Kim and Ilya Ten (both Koreans) were the candidates in Karadaryo district # 114. You might have thought that only Koreans live in the district? I’m afraid they were the only two Koreans there. Simply because the majority of population are Uzbeks in Karadaryo that is considered the center of Kattakurgan rayon in Samarkand oblast. Overall, there are many such examples. That means there was no choice left for the people. They mandatory had to give their vote to anyone listed. Whatever ordered should be done! – The requirement of the communist regime.
The same “democratic” approach was applied in relation to age and profession as well. If a musician was to be elected, the list included only musicians. Need a poet, or a writer? Here they are in the list. Interesting note: unlike in the past, the election was not over in one day. The “democracy” game would continue. However, even after three rounds of election, a designated result would still come up from the sack. For instance, in Kashkadarya oblast thirteen candidates from the oblast kengash, five – from the PDP, and one from the “Vatan Tarakkiyety” were elected. In Samarkand, 17 were from the oblast kengash, seven from PDP, and one from “Vatan Tarakkiyety”. In other oblasts results were identical. That means, the candidates from local kengashes added up to 68 percent of all the deputies.
In the past, it was a problem sometimes to put reins on deputies who did not follow the government line. The center kept provinces under pressure, while provinces didn’t have any power. In other words, if this time majority of deputies were elected from political parties, it would have looked like a single child with two-three fathers. If one of the fathers would oppose the government, it would boil the situation. That is why nearly 70 percent of the seats were given to provinces. The reins are in one hand, chairman of an oblast kengash. If someone from his representatives would raise his voice, the oblast khokim was accountable for that. However, they were empowered to recall such deputies back. Thus, they avoid rather complicated game of recalling deputies through the former procedures of people’s initiatives of recalling.

THE TRAGEDY OF BUKHARA

The first of September, which is Independence Day in Uzbekistan, reminds us of one of the most tragic days in history. On the same day—September 1, 1920—the Red Army attacked Bukhara and captured the Bukhara Emirate. Thus, the first of September became the last day of the Bukhara Emirate or State of Bukhara. When we celebrate the independence of Uzbekistan by remembering the collapse of the Bukhara Emirate on September the first, it forces us to look into our future.
Indeed, at the end of August 77 years ago the murderous Red Army began it attack on Bukhara. About ten thousands infantry soldiers, three thousands cavalry soldiers, five artillery units, more than 200 catapults, five armored trains, several heavy weapons, and 11 airplanes were mobilized for this attack in accordance with the decree signed by Mikhail Frunze on August 12. The attack, which began on August 16 in Chorju, was directed at old Bukhara on September 1. Zinovev, the head of this group of murderers laying siege to the city, wrote that Bukhara was burning on September 1. Houses, buildings, and monuments were all on fire while the innumerable bodies of the dead filled the streets. At the time when the airplanes of the Red Army were bombing the city, thousands of innocent people, both old and young, both mothers and children, were in a horrible situation. Later, Leskin the pilot, the murderer who mixed these people with the earth, was given the Award of the Red Banner. Historical monuments, including towers from which the call to prayer was given for over a thousand years, were bombed. Sitorai Mohi Khosa was covered in flames. Registan was reduced to ash. The Bolsheviks did not stop until they had devastated the entire city. They broke the trunks in the emir’s court and took away the gold. Innocent people were also robbed of their valuable property. The Red Army sent two special trains with riches to Russia. Thirty-nine sabers decorated with gold, turquoise, and amber were sent to the Bolsheviks. There were about 40 diamond pebbles on these sabers. Frunze and the member of revolution committee Ibrahimov, who were the organizers of this terrible and horrible attack, were rewarded with these golden sabers. The destroyed Bukhara was not only left in ruins, but it was also turned into a cemetery of unburied corpses.
Until recently, the Hamza theater at the Khadra palace of Tashkent has been presenting a play set during this period twice a week. There is nothing in this play which mentions these terrible events. Those events are depicted as a revolutionary victory in the play. But even after achieving independence, the real nature of the tragedy of Bukhara has not been explained to the people yet. At that time, the emir of Bukhara Sayyid Alimkhan had about 20,000 soldiers. Although our historians are still scared to answer this question, we should talk about and be guided by the truth even it is difficult. There was internal treason during this event. In the report of Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Chicherin to Lenin on May 18, 1920, he reminded him of the necessity of recognizing the independence of Bukhara and wrote, “Our attack on Bukhara may worsen our policy in the East.” After that, ambassadors from our country met Sverdlov and Lenin and asked for troops to be brought into Bukhara. If today we do not learn the truth about these events we will not be able to say that our future is guaranteed.
It is necessary to answer three questions concerning that terrible event: first, what role did Fayzulla Khojaev play?; second, who was it that directed Lenin to the East, who was aspiring at that time to the West, in order to attain a power that turned our people into the target for bullets?; third, when we will demand that Russia return our cultural heritage and historical wealth? When we will put them in their place?
If we do not answer these questions we will continue to revere traitors as heroes. Streets will still be called by their names and songs will be devoted to them. However, the souls of the thousands of people who were killed 77 years ago in Bukhara still sob above our heads. If we will not answer these questions it means that we have not built our independence on a strong foundation but on sand. The concomitance of Uzbekistan’s independence with the events of September 1 must impel us to raise the curtain from the terrible misfortune that came to Bukhara on September 1, 1920.

A FAKE ART

This year (1997) traditional celebration Navruz holiday was celebrated very differently compare all previous years. Navruz holiday is not only yearly holiday, but also mirror of national culture. Due to that we have to take a look seriously at this question. “Some nation or people will worship to you if you get rid of their culture” this was Russian Czar slogan.
The national culture can not be annihilated, but can be assimilated with other culture, that is to say be integrated, this was Lenin’s main point. Yes, a main principle of soviet ideology was a fake culture. The founder of this, Vladimir Lenin in his program like article entitled “Party organization and Party literature” forwarded thought that literature, art and all culture must be party literature. The organized socialist proletariat must keep an eye on all work, supervise it in its entirety, and, from beginning to end, without any exception, infuse into it the life-stream of the living proletarian cause. For seventy years we followed these principle.
Today we are independent state. An external powers attempted to fake our culture in past. Unfortunately, it seems this kind of power to be appeared among us. Our dads and granddads said that you can’t complain for a misfortune which came from yourself.
If today we do not took carry this danger then the proverb turns out to become a reality. There is no one place would leave for our complain. Czar Russia and Lenin caused damage to culture, after them this is a third crucial damage to our culture, which we consider a top of our national value.
Recently I saw television film entitled ” Navruz 97″. This film was devoted to Navruz celebration held in Tashkent at Alisher Navoii park. After each shot was shown Islam Karimov, a president of Uzbekistan and Abdullo Oripov, a chairman of Writers Organization of Uzbekistan which proves that this film produced by Uzbek State Television Company. If the purpose of this film would be production without intention of introducing Uzbek culture and not offered several world national television stations for demonstration , then we just put up with and would keep mouse shut. However the topic of film on the subject of national culture and we can not just ignore, it will be moral suicide.
This year Navruz celebration dedicated to convey 12 month eastern animal system of chronology. On scene is appearing people wearing in different animal costume-masks. First pigs, then cows, behind snakes, monkeys, dogs, mice… These costume- masks were wearing not only young ladies and men but also elderly moms and dads. Our people not dislike animals. Especially a horse, a deer we consider to be portraying a positive image in literature and art. However a monkey, a mouse, a dog always portraying a negative burden. In case like that how to explain on an official celebrated scene some people be dressed in dogs costumes and obligated to barking, some people grunting like pigs ? Our people, who song as nightingale, but never barked as a dog. This scene is insulting own people or show that if I wish you can be a dog, or if I wish you can be a mouse? On top of all this girls wearing snack costumes were hissing, smiling guys in monkeys’ costumes jumping from ground to up, biting their nails and all this in Navruz day, Navruz festival, around statue of Alisher Navoii.
O yes, This kind of plays exist in a world. We don’t mind if you would show this in some theatre. Even more if you would play in some kind of kids parks we will support it. Nevertheless, before presented this show to world public you should thoroughly think about holiday, which celebrated during thousands years by our people and articulated our identity. Really, is it possible to describe our national identity by a dog, a snack ?
Starting from Greek mythology including present West culture lay down this foundations. Ku-Klux-Klan organizations, as well as Brazil festival people wearing animals costumes , even donkeys is symbol of political parties this all exist and its normal. For that reason these cultures do not undermined it, but this opposite to our eastern culture. From this conclusion follows, that this year celebration of Navruz was held based on Lenin’ national cultural change thesis. On Navruz scene you will see a fake goat giving milk, hand made a fake cow udder to be exposed it reminded of demonstration on 1 May by Soviets. Then on trucks fake cows, moving heads sheep passing through a rostrum. This similar meaning they want to put on Navruz with what purpose it is not hard to understand.
Furthermore, it is very interesting to notice from screen that players themselves were embarrassed from their status. A sham overcome the naturalness. As for songs and music it seems disks from year the 1933 up to 1978 has been change, it sounded a strange and an unreal.
The Russian Czarism destroyed Muslim schools, bombed graveyards, but our nation have had maintained own culture. The soviets attempted for 70 years, but they became victims of a fake. Therefore, one day who attempting to laugh at our cultural holiday Navruz would see themselves on screen what would be surprising? And this is not a fake, this will be a real show. In reality we are not wished to be happened it, but this historical proven truth.

ARE THERE “CLANS” IN UZBEKISTAN?

When analyzing the mystery behind the bombs exploded in Tashkent in February of 1999, the American press mentioned several possibilities. Among these was the presence of “clans” in Uzbekistan and the possibility that they took part in this terrible event. Even our homegrown politicians agree with this idea that there are “clans” in Uzbekistan and that they are very powerful. Firstly, since the term “clan” in Uzbek refers to tribalism, we have decided to put this word in quotation marks throughout the text.
Well, are there “clans” today in Uzbekistan? In an attempt to answer this question, Zurab Todua, a scholar at the Center for Area Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, has tried to explain all of the changes in Uzbekistan through the presence of “clans”. He has even explained the protest against the Karimov’s policy in 1992 in the Uzbek parliament as an unsuccessful struggle by the Tashkent “clan” under the leadership of Mirsaidov. As a matter of fact, the failure in the aforementioned session was due to Mirsaidov’s statement that ” I don’t need a position,” and the statement of one of the leaders of the opposition that the meeting was a coup d’etat by the Communists.
Today, Erkin Halilov, the leader of the parliament, is considered the leader of the Tashkent “clan,” while Prime Minister Otkir Sultonov is considered the leader of the Fargona “clan” and President Karimov the leader of the Samarqand “clan.” This is nonsense. It is true that in some parts of Xorazm and Kashkadarya, tribalism (urug’-aymoqchilik) is still maintained, but it is not a force that governs this state.
If we want to give it a name, then there is “regionalism” in Uzbekistan. However, it exists at the level of institutions. It still has not reached to the steps of government. It has not become a force which is governing the state in different guises.
If we try to explain the present situation through the phenomenon of tribalism or regionalism, then we pave the way for an enormous political mistake. By doing so, we conceal the widespread bribery and corruption which has turned into a chronic illness in Uzbekistan. Today, whoever has money has the power to buy any kind of position and rank. Today money supersedes any kind of tribalism or regionalism instantly.
Some refer to an increasing number of people from Samarqand in the government as the “clan of Karimov.” However, Karimov got rid of them very quickly, as if he was changing his socks. Because they bought their positions in the government and Karimov himself knew that they were not serving his interests.
Today, money–that is to say bribery and corruption–has become a force which determines everything. No brave person has remained who can stand against this. Even the President is weak on this issue. Last year in his speech delivered at the Samarqand and Navoiy provincial sessions, he admitted the presence of widespread corruption in Uzbekistan and declared that he was launching a struggle against corruption. This campaign did not last long. After taking one or two steps in this campaign, he realized that the issue of corruption could dethrone him. Because the issue of corruption is like the patricidal son, who will not recognize his own father even if he stands against him in his path.
Instead of attributing everything to tribalism and regionalism and deceiving ourselves, we should speak clearly and not mislead the American press. Only after that will people understand us.

FALSIFYING HISTORY

During the soviet period the history was written according to the order and wish of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, that is, people there would create history according to their will and try not to mention anywhere the events and happenings that they did not like in order to erase them from the pages of history. Therefore today there is no belief in the history created by them, and everything is being rewritten.
The tradition of rewriting history is continuing in Uzbekistan as well, but as it said that the bird does what he saw in his nest, our respected historians and scientists are heading on the path of their predecessors. For example, the communists tried as hard as they could in order to eliminate hundreds of names such as Qodiriy, Chulpon, Fitrat, and Usmon Nosir. Today we are doing exactly the opposite in this sphere. Namely we are passing through that shore (obstacle) and filling history mainly with their names. We are being one-sided in studying them. If it continues this way, it would not be surprising if a new generation arises and rewrites history as it wants, saying in the future that there topical satires were published about destroying mosques and exiling the religious leaders in “Mushtum” (The Fist) journal of Qodiriy, and that Chulpon and Fitrat tried to go along with the Soviet system and became victims of this.
If you look into the “Encyclopedia of the Republic of Uzbekistan” published this year by the main editorial office of “Komus” (Statute) you will be highly surprised. Some time before, during the times of perestroika and publicity Mr. Nurislom Tukhliev, who led the propaganda and dissemination machine of the Central Committee of the Communistic Party of Uzbekistan, printed tens of publicist articles, saying that “closing the truth is the crime.” The word is different, the work is different; you will feel this immediately if you leaf through the encyclopedia where Nurislom Tukhliev was the chief editor.
It is said in the introduction that “The Encyclopedia of the Republic of Uzbekistan” is a historical book with importance. Following the traditions of the Encyclopedia, each theme begins from its emergence to the situation during the last years. But there is some kind of legacy between the past and the future. There is an important task for an encyclopedia to provide this legacy. We hope that this encyclopedia will also serve this direction.
To study the sincerity of this opinion, we open to the part of the encyclopedia on public organizations that consists of 16 parts: The People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, Vatan Tarqqiyoti, Adolat Social-Democratic, The Party of National Resurgence, Trade Unions, The Committee of Women and Girls, The Association of the Organizations of Notable People, The Center of Spirituality and Enlightenment…
Well, where is the people’s movement “Birlik” that began the national freedom movement in Uzbekistan? Instead of it (“Birlik”) another movement established by the government in 1995 – The movement of the People’s Unity is inserted. Well, where are the parties “Erk” and “Birlik?” Is it possible that these movement and parties did not have a role in the process of Independence of Uzbekistan? Is it not falsifying history by closing eyes on them when the whole world recognizes these parties and movements? Answer this question not for us, but for your conscience!
We open the encyclopedia to the part pertaining to publishing. All of the press is there. But there is not a single line about Uzbekistan’s swallow of independence, the “Erk” newspaper. Besides, those years tens of papers like “Independent week”, “The View”, “Erkparvar” (Freedom-loving) served the independence of the Motherland. Maybe one day the well-known scientists who wrote these pages might find a reason, saying, “We wrote it, but censorship did not allow it”, but you are not writing a political article if you are blaming censorship. This is history after all. History is full of the good, bad, bitter and sweet. But you want to show it in a partial manner, without a hand, a leg or soul.
In the parts of the encyclopedia such religion, law, literature, and perestroika, the eye was closed to the people and organizations whose names were linked to the opposition or disliked by the elites. More precisely, they (the elite) tried to erase them from history.
To learn the true meaning of this falseness, we once again appeal to the introduction of the encyclopedia. It has phrases such as: Aside from the widely-read person interested in Uzbekistan, the Encyclopedia of the Republic of Uzbekistan is also important for the researchers, especially the new generation of students and pupils. Any reader interested in the history, culture, science, the country’s economy and the situation in other spheres of his country can find the appropriate information in the pages of this statute.
Thus the goal is clear. It is to make the new generation, the future, blind; to make its soul one-sided. This was practiced by the Soviets for seventy years, but was fell into disgrace in the end. If our historians also look for seventy years, they will make a mistake. Because this falseness will not live seven years, much less seventy.

THE ROAD TO HELL

To prostrate oneself to a human being, or to worship a human being is contrary to our religion and to today’s social thought. Unfortunately, despite this we’re forced to repeat the phrase “person-worship” again and again.
A person who knows his own value, in other words, who knows himself, wouldn’t worship another person like himself and separate himself from his enlightened existence. In the Soviet system in which we lived, and in today’s society, there is no person-worship. But, there is the worship of status and personal interests. First the person of Lenin, and later Stalin were, for all intents and purposes, worshipped. Then Khrushchev stood up and no sooner had he condemned the worshipping individuals than he himself was caught up in this whirlpool and became the object of adoration. The chain stretched all the way up until Gorbachev. And in Uzbekistan too, whoever sits at the top, that person will be worshipped. It didn’t matter if he was intelligent or an idiot, whether he attained his position by chance or through deceit, or whether he was talented or slow-witted.
In the days when Rashidov was being condemned for being the epitome of person-worship at the foot of the Bobatog’ mountains in Surkhandarya I spoke with a splendid individual. The old man said, “Son, what’s Rashidov’s crime? It’s all about the throne, position. If they put a donkey on the throne, they’d find somebody to prostrate himself or herself in front of it. Particularly you writers. You would write articles, poems and books about how beautifully his ears move and how musical his braying is.” When I went ahead and wrote what the old man had said in the newspaper they accused me of defending Rashidov.
But my complaint is something else. Like the old farmer said, the eyes of those who hold a pen in their hands, i.e. those who sing praises aren’t blind, and their hearts aren’t hard. They know well high from low. They have the ability to give a comprehensive evaluation of the one who is sitting on the throne.
Erkin Vohidov writes in the foreword of the collection of articles published by the “Fan [Science]” publishing house entitled The Art of Intrigue: “The ownerless period in which we lived for many years separated people from a free heart and an independent soul.” Erkin Vohidov also has another article in the second volume of the book: “The heart that doesn’t fit into its surroundings.” It’s about Usmon Nosir. A piece from the article [is as follows]: “Today, if we apply everything to a person and the worship of him, we will not have given answers to all of the questions. What’s the power that brought that person to the top of the state, and to that worship?”
Actually what is the power that brother Erkin wanted to mention? Isn’t it the feeling of buzzing around the throne and pursuing position and benefit from it? What other explanation can there be for writing an epic devoted to the giving the one who sits on the throne the title of generalissimo and reading off praises of the person who sits on the throne because he has received the Order of Amir Temur?!
But this fact remains. It’s not the person on the throne that is being worshiped. It’s the position. On page 220 of the book mentioned above, The Art of Intrigue, we find the following lines: “The lines that Usmon Nosir devoted to Stalin are very sincere. In fact, the rhymed letter written on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Georgian SSR in the name of the Georgian people and signed by millions of people was translated from Russian to Uzbek by Usmon Nosir.” And we know that the murderer Stalin didn’t spare that great talent, Usmon Nosir.
Or Erkin Vohidov in the poetic story, “The Dawn of Great Life” that he wrote to V.I. Lenin’s youth. He writes about Volodya’s great struggler for happiness, the Soviet system, as “the system that has given happiness to millions.” He continues in this spirit in the epic, “The Call”. In 1967, Erkin Vohidov received the Lenin Komsomol prize for the aforementioned works. But the day came when after he wrote the poem, “My Uzbek” that the mallet fell on his head. This sort of thing is found in the biography of every poet, every writer. But today too, because this tradition continues to be lived without any lessons having been learned it proves that the problem isn’t with the person who is raised up to the heavens with praise but with we ourselves. At the very least, each artist is capable of not writing, not speaking. This doesn’t speak of his truthfulness to others but to himself.
In the discussion circle on Radio Liberty our young artist friends mentioned that the people have stopped believing in poets and writers, and they won’t follow them anymore. While in one respect this is a disaster, in another it’s probably good. Because in the course of the last 80 years our people have essentially learned person-worship, i.e. to be subservient to position and make a mockery of themselves, from our writers. Today, if our people have begun to not believe them, it means that bright days aren’t too far away. In order to preserve our independence, for our country to join the circle of developed nations and to open the road to our people’s prosperity we need to begin by being rescued from the illness of person-worship, or more specifically worshipping position and personal benefit.
The person who understands himself won’t be misled. The person who knows himself won’t worship another. Anyway, a servant [of God]’s worship of Allah is the path to freedom and liberty, but the worshiping by a servant [of God]’s of another servant isn’t. The highest throne, the highest station is in His presence. To forget Allah, and to worship a transitory throne, worship those who occupy a transitory position, and worship personal benefit through their agency is to set onto the path to Hell.

FAZILBEKOV IS GONE TOO

President of Uzbekistan has fired Adham Fazylbekov, mayor of Tashkent.
Adham Fazylbekov. Who was he?
In the past, first secretary of the Tashkent city committee of the communist party, after communist party renamed into people’s democratic, he still remained in his leading chair; considered himself as one of the most devoted and close to the president.
Those who watched TV have noticed him to be always around the president, using any opportunity for a hug, or a handshake with the president. Adham Fazylbekov used all his skills and talents to remain in the favor. During the election the president, as well as the government mechanisms worked on his election. Without any alternative candidate, and despite a negative image among the Tashkentis as man who had mastered the rules of political intrigue, he was elected a mayor.
To repay the favor gifted to him, January 16th, 1992, he personally headed the shooting of striking students on Tashkent campus. Later, when his close companion and friend Shuhrat Nusratov had publicly criticized the president for his mistakes on the 7th sessions of the Uzbek parliament, Oliy Majlis, he right away, in the parliament building announced that Nusratov was fired from his position of a mayor of Frunze rayon (a subdivision in Tashkent). Without any abilities but ready to do whatever to please the president, he would promote anybody from president’s favorites. For instance, he appointed as mayor of Mirzo Ulughbek rayon (another administrative subdivision) Shawkat Mirzieyev, a man who was so distant from any leadership experience, and spent his life, prior to that, in dissipation.
In one-on-one conversations, Adham Fazylbekov could easily give an impression of a sincere and a hearty person, nevertheless, to prove his loyalty to the president he ordered to fire on the opposition. President trusted him, and they have done a lot together.

THE LIES OF THE KINGDOM

A Kingdom historically and today implies a court. We always associate kingdoms with the kings, their castles and the diabolical atmosphere around the kingdom. The lead article “the Kingdom of Happiness and the Happiness of the Kingdom” (“Mulokot magazine, 1998 issue #1) is also a small part of this atmosphere. While the people of Uzbekistan suffer many hardships, those in the kingdom or in the court are happy, they live in the Kingdom of Happiness.
Historically, the court poets and historians shared this happiness and ate from the abundant table by writing lies, expressive tales and sparkling preaching. The plenty from the table closed their eyes to the real condition of the people. This trend increased during soviet times and reached its peak right now.
From a political, historical and social point of view, the article mentioned is based on three serious mistakes.
The first mistake: to compare Tamerlane and Islam Karimov. Some may say that the author had a hidden goal – he successfully applied all his talent by blackening Tamerlane’s name, humiliating him, destroying him, to tear him out of people’s hearts. However, the court poets never had such talent. Besides, their fear would affect their minds. Someone with independence of mind does not become a court poet.
Tamerlane in his works indicated 12 major principles to govern a state. For example, supporting independently thinking scientists, intellectuals and clerics was one of them. Islam Karimov, on the contrary, persecuted free thinkers – some of them are in exile, some are in prisons. Tamerlane said the might of a state is in its army. Islam Karimov by surrounding himself with a garrison of 700 presidential troops left our motherland to the will of the Russian troops. Islam Karimov’s activities are all opposite of what Tamerlane said in his 12 principals. Thus, disturbing our dear ancestor Tamerlane’s soul is a betrayal of history and to the whole truth itself.
The second mistake: The Renascence is a term describing a period of several centuries of awakening in science, art and rise in social life. Historians are still debating the issue of the first Renascence. Westerners consider the antique culture of Greece as the first Renascence. They also consider dozens of our greatest thinkers such as Beruniy, Farobiy, Avicena and Horazmiy to be Arab scientists. Not a single independent Uzbek thinker has yet brought forward this concept to the westerners.
The culture of the Timurids had been painted badly for 70 years. For the last five it has been praised. Up until now this period has not been researched enough in Uzbekistan. Our contemporary historians are unable to go further than the works of Yakubovski, Pugachenkova, Bartold, and Vamberi, which might have a certain purpose of their own. Thus, it not only ridiculous to talk about a third Renascence in Uzbekistan, but is like offering a lollypop to a crying child in order stop him crying. Moreover, by comparing myths with existing history it seriously degrades the principle of evaluating the results of its impact on the historical process.
Finally, the third mistake: To talk about the independence of Uzbekistan and tie it to Islam Karimov, would be scorning the truth. We accepted the Declaration of Uzbekistan in the second session of the Higher Council in 1990. Because he had foreign guests, Islam Karimov was late to the session. I was the chairman of this committee. As soon as he arrived, in the presence of the Prime Minister Mr. Mirsaidov he said to me: “Why have you accepted this document? It is stabbing someone in the back, it is treason! Where are we going to go with our independence? We don’t have any water, railways or any other means of access to the world. Separation from Moscow means the destruction of Uzbekistan!” When deputies Erkin Vohidov, Nurali Kobul and Salay Madaminov (or Muhammed Solih, an opposition leader, currently in exile – translator’s comment) entered the room, the oral debate almost turned into a fistfight. I have written about this at length in my diary piece “Palace games,” and in a historical novel “Persecution”.
And now I will tell you a little secret. The Independence Declaration accepted on June 20, 1990 was not announced in any media. After long demands it was published with the cuts and changes. The term “Independence” was changed into “Sovereignty”. Expressions such as “The laws of the USSR will stay in effect in Uzbekistan” were added. The Declaration, which was signed by 176 representatives and the whole parliament was not recognized by the First Secretary of the Communist Party Islam Karimov. The Communist Party hurriedly called its 14th plenary session and discussed the issue. The chairman of the Higher Council was accused of arbitrary conduct and sacked. They began their persecution of me and a number of other deputy representatives. The supporters of independence were turned into traitors and those who were against it turned into heroes. Naturally, not in the real history but in the court poet’s version of the history.
I also would like to stress the greatest tragedy. While those who wanted Uzbekistan’s independence have been persecuted, their views about Independence, dreams of building a free, democratic future have also been persecuted. The group of people headed by Islam Karimov chose an authoritarian, repressive way and altered ordinary people’s views that Independence would bring them happiness. People began to understand that independence only brought happiness to those in the palace and sufferings to the ordinary folk.
The article in the “Mulokot” is yet another tale made up to cover up this tragedy. Or it is a deceitful story of the kingdom built on lies.

PEOPLE’S WILL-POWER

Outcomes of the survey conducted in Uzbekistan by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems’ James Wagner have been widely commented in the media.
First of all, it is necessary to say [the fact] that one foreign organization conducted interviews with [not less and not more] 1830 people, if say differently [OR: in other words], survey, is an important event. Because, in the year after [achieving] the independence, there was no opportunity to conduct such action [OR: step]. First, the government did not give permission to any foreign organization for such activity. [As for] Second, a citizen, knowing that his/her response could come as cane to his/her [OR: own] head, ran away form such action.
Well, what happened today? Has the government been changing or people?
Declarations of the government in past 7-8 months have been mainly aimed at its acceptance to the international democratic community. Adoption of over 20 Laws, Decrees, and decisions and holding of over 50 events on human rights only also point to this.
Indeed, there is gap between the words and actions [OR, literally: word is one thing, action is another one]. But such actions of the government, even if they are in words only, in some sense, are tying its [government’s] hands and legs. Survey conducted by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Uzbekistan is a result of such [policy, OR: situation].
At first glance, [the name of] survey looks like survey works for the benefits of the government. In reality, however, these outcomes are for the benefits of our people. And, at the same time, [they, OR: these outcomes] are evidences proving that demands developed by opposition for the past five years are demands of the people, and that there is no difference on this matter. International foundation made five conclusions. Otherwise [OR: more correctly], [it] divided respondents into five groups. They are satisfied democrats – 25%, dissidents or those who are not satisfied, [people] thinking in other [different] ways [OR; dissenters] – 19%, those who lost [their] direction, intelligentsia [who] lost their status, and old conservative guard – they are also 19%.
Therefore, survey outcomes draw following conclusions.
First: Outcomes bring nothing to the opinion that people are not ready for democracy. It is known that democracy is governance of the government [OR authority] by people. Namely, this system eliminates the governance of the people by the authority. [If] you look at survey outcomes, despite the political and highly serious [nature] of questions, respondents answered all [questions] by not escaping [OR: avoiding]. For instance, response by 32% of respondents that [their] life “became worse” after independence, itself proves a lot. Of course, while 56% of respondents said that [my] ‘life improved”, among their [ranks] are those who were under pressure, [who] were afraid of suppression [OR: oppression], [those] who indifferent [OR, literally: say “it does not matter for me”]. But the group of 32% [of all respondents] are consistent, [it does, OR: they do] not hide its [OR: their] opinion and are ready to defend it. Or, while 43% of respondents say that criticism should be allowed, 49% say that criticism should not be allowed.
Indeed, in today’s conditions, 99.99% should [OR: supposed] to say that criticism should not be allowed. Obviously, this is true [OR: the case]. Therefore, our people not only want democracy, even are fighting for democracy.
Second: survey outcomes are proving that well-publicized [literally: luxurious] policy in social sphere has faced crisis [OR: failure]. Respondents appeared to be divided into two groups on questions about economic reforms since independence, as to [OR: if is, when] questions asking difficulties in the family arise [in the middle], [they] abandoning defense, began to attack [literally: they cross to the attack point]. Namely, 71% of respondents say “I experience big difficulties in the family”. That means this group has been out of social protection. Well, is it possible to speak about success of social policy in the society where 71% of people have stayed out?
Third: survey outcomes put on the [middle of the] table the need to start real political reforms. Today, [we] must say [OR: speak about] democracy and real democracy, economics and real economics, human rights and real human rights. Because the government for five years spoke about democracy, [but] did not allow its sparks [OR: flickers]. [It] said reform in the economy, economy stayed without reform, said human rights, human rights are ruthlessly trampled. It is already eight months, [government] says political reform, but in reality there is no visible outcome. Therefore, there is need for real [ones] among these steps. Over 70% of respondents [those who responded to survey questions] made [OR: said] quite clear that [they] want democratic state. So, [if] government listens to people, first of all, for its own benefit, [it] will save its [own] future. From this point of view, survey of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems are useful also for the government. If [the government] can not make conclusions [even] from this, [it] will prove again that [its] actions do not match the words [literally: it’s different in words and different in actions], and [it] will bring even more close own day of decline.

TWO-SIDEDNESS

One who studied and learned what he studied, one who is wise, clever, intelligent and educated, such people are called bright in the Turkish world. The bright people are the light that eliminates the leaves of night and darkness. The bright people are eyes and power, the progress and pride of the nation. Another meaning of the word bright is also “from the moon.” The moon rises when darkness covers the world. It comes leading stars, hopes.
We say the bright people are intellectual. It means distributing knowledge and light. Teoman, who ruled the country of Asian Huns, the first Turk khanate, said: “Even the days of the land without intellectuals is dark.” This was told in hundreds of years before Christ. If we go forward towards after Christ, beginning from Metekhon whom we call Ug’izkhan and khan of the Northern Huns Attila, until Bobir Mirza, from Boysunqur Mirza to Anvar Padishah – all of our great ones especially valued bright, intelligent people, and linked their hopes with them.
As it is said, when Amir Temur had returned from his yearlong trip, the situation in the country became more difficult, and the people were under heavy taxes. Before the celebration in the honor of victories held in the palace, Amir Temur met with Mirsaid Baraka, the leader of the intelligentsia, to learn the real situation. But at the celebration, poem and novel writers praised Amir Temur and raised him into the skies. Then he told one of them to bring a poem written while he was gone. The poems of the poet were built on lines of desperation, complaint, hardship and resentment. Then Amir Temur said to the poet: ” Why are you being two-sided? Why is your poem different and you are different?” The poet hung his head and stayed silent. Then Amir Temur said: “Both the good and the bad that comes to the head of this nation comes from its bright people.”
Recently while talking regretfully about the difficult situation in Uzbekistan, one of our friends expressed his hardship by means of the poetry of one poet. The author of this poem that is full of hardship and resentment is one who sits in the palace, on the first seats, the one that Amir Temur said his poems differ and that he is different. I did not mention his name especially as one can meet such intelligentsia everywhere in Uzbekistan. If you look at the composition of the Presidential Apparatus, eighty percent of its staff is from the intelligentsia. They prepare the speeches, books, programs, and meetings of the President. One can meet well-known intelligentsia in many other parts of the government.
Their novels, stories, and poems talk about the difficult situation of our people. Namely they secretly complain about the hardships of the people to people themselves. They have another world here. They close their eyes before these hardships in their lives, are afraid of harm to their interests, and show these hardships only in the frame to someone. Most of them were at the highest levels and meetings during the Soviet times as well. These are the bright people whose personality and works are different.
There are some bright people who glorified communism for fifty years and now are glorifying the government. We are not complaining about them, because it is known who they are. Everyone knows well that they have sold their profession, their works, views, and talents for benefit. But our two-sided bright people are our major drama. The people love them, learn their poetry, link hopes to their novels, give children their names, but do not know that all the evils are coming from them.
I know Sayora Rashidova well. She is a talented scientist. At the times when Sharof Rashidov was hurled from the land to the skies, and from the skies to land, Sayora-opa (sister) and her mother Khorsand-aya (mother) came to us, journalists, and cried saying: “They even took our home.” They said, you are not writing the truth, you are afraid of it. Because those journalists wrote, Sayora-opa saw the light. Today she is the main person responsible for human rights in Uzbekistan. But she is closing her eyes to the truth that there are tens, hundreds of those whose rights are violated, and who are even being killed in prisons. Today there are many bright people who just yesterday saw cruelty and now are benefiting. They are another tragedy of ours. All of our hopes were connected to them and passed away at last, because a doctor is not the doctor, when the doctor passes from his head (an Uzbek saying).
The third type of bright people is those who lead our newspapers, journals and publishing houses. Today it is being criticized from everywhere that there is censorship in Uzbekistan. From some point the government is right in saying that there is no censorship. There is no need for censorship, because there are these editors today. The tragedy is that they keep serious critiques written by journalists with different pretexts on the table. When the President says: “Why are not you writing a critique,” they say, “What is the need for a false critique? Everything is fine, the world is fine.” Because they know that this answer is expected.

THE BLOOD WAS CAUGHT

As the legend tells, one violent shah could not die when his time had come. Doctors and notables were very surprised. When the night passed into the day, the shah opened his eyes.
“Your excellence, what do you have yet to do? Order us, let us fulfill it” – said the main doctor.
“Chop off the head of my advisor!” said the shah.
Everyone went into silence. During the past three days shah had ordered the death of guards, bailiffs, ministers and officials. Now…
“Your excellency, that person is your most trusted principal, your shadow and pride. How can we…”
“I didn’t make an order for discussion, but for fulfillment!
After showing the head of his principal:
“Thanks be to God,” said the shah, “Now I can die. But you, doctor, you want to ask something. Ask and you will get your answer!”
“Your excellency, why have you killed your most trusted people?”
“Doctor, this is policy. They were not my trusted people; they were my slaves. They could not even permit themselves to ask a question like you have. But they knew my many secrets. But I do not entrust my secret to anyone except the Creator! They were good slaves and died like slaves, but I (will die) like a shah …
This is, of course, only legend. But its roots are in life.
On the 29th of December 1993, the second Chairman of the Supreme Council of Independent Uzbekistan resigned because of his “worsening health.” Why are we saying the second? Because in 1990, during the time of the Soviet Union, the Supreme Council adopted the Declaration of the Independence of Uzbekistan. Mirzaolim Ibrokhimov, who was the chairman of Supreme Council at that time, had been seriously criticized at the Communist summit for giving power to deputies and for their adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Mirzaolim Ibrokhimov, unable to resist such pursuits, wrote a statement about his dismissal and was discharged with the 70-year sentence for cadres: “Because of worsening health.”
Well, he was very old man. But the approximately 50-year-old second chairman was dismissed with the same sentence. It is not that getting a position is happiness, but dismissal is a tragedy. Besides, they don’t kick the fallen. We have no desire to kick anyone. But when a person leading the legal office of Uzbekistan for such a difficult period of time, influencing the future of the country, gets driven away from political arena, it is our duty to analyze his activity. Whether we want it or not, he worked in a position that will be written into history. History needs to know everything.
Well, how did Shavkat Yo`ldoshev emerge into the political arena of Uzbekistan and what good did he do?
He was sent to his land when he was working in Moscow at the Central Committee of the CPSS (Communist Party of Soviet Union). Much was expected of the person trained in the democratic school of Mikhail Gorbachev. He could begin his work with bravery and could enter the history of Uzbekistan as the person who became the reason for turning the country into a democracy. Such an opportunity is not given to anyone.
While the KGB of Moscow divided the people of Ferghana into two parts and made them fight, Shavkat Yuldoshev was sitting with silence at the Congress of Peoples’ Deputies of the Soviet Union. Then he asked the leaders to make the military enter into Ferghana. The person who was the “first” in the communist office of Ferghana region was sitting under the shadow of murderers near the building of the party committee when people of Toshloq and Quqon were shot.
The Ferghana events raised lots of issues. Yet even though the Soviet Union has been already broken they will not tell the people about the organizers of these events. Well, the party was able to get rid of some people because of this. But Shavkat Yuldoshev was rewarded.
He was brought as the chairman to the office of the party control under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan. In those times, this office could even question the Central Committee. In the conditions of the communist regime, its chairman had to be the second person in the republic. Internal reforms of the party were trusted to this office. At this time it was strange that Shavkat Yuldoshev could escape accusations, and that he was suddenly a stranger to the events in Ferghana.
Beginning his work, he organized programs on Uzbek television about his promotion to a high position. He said: “The aggressors Gdlyan and Ivanov imprisoned many of our Communists with false charges. I will seriously study the fates of these Communists. Their families and children are suffering.”
“Was it possible to be untouched when the nation was blood-stained only yesterday?” – such question hurt many souls at that time.
It was difficult to believe that the person who, as a peoples’ deputy of Soviet Union, couldn’t tell anything against even Gdlyan could devote himself wholly to this question.
After a while, he was made a deputy in place of one of the deputies. No one knew for which of his services this was presented to him, the same as no one had noticed how he became the peoples’ representative.
Indeed, a politician should be brought up by the time and the world. If someone brings him up, he will become someone’s property.
One enters the political arena from the very day he says something against the view of the politician having higher position than him.
But Shavkat Yuldoshev received the status of politician as a gift…
He even came to the 3rd session of the 12th convocation of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan not as an ordinary deputy, but as a chairman of the Council.
He had gone through several approvals before the session of the Supreme Council. At the session, the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan said, “The party has found Yuldoshev suitable for this position”.
Some deputies from Ferghana became angry. President Islam Karimov calmed them down.
As a Chairman of the Supreme Council, Shavkat Yuldoshev will identify who was behind the events in Ferghana. This position will give him an opportunity. He said the party is entrusting him with this responsible task because he was a witness to these bloody events.
“On duty” deputies, prepared beforehand, supported him.
As soon as Shavkat Yuldoshev sat in the position of chairman of the country, he began illegal, inhumane activities. It rose to such degree that he called deputies to personal talks and talked about the mistakes of President. He said that “You will tell this in session, I will give a speech in the session” and quickly notifying the President that these deputies are going to critique him, began a big game.
He accused the deputies, who spoke critically in the session, of conspiracy. With total lies and slander, the fate of twelve deputies was crushed. Evils that could be measured by either law or conscience were committed openly.
Shavkat Yuldoshev bears great guilt for Uzbekistan remaining in a economic and political catastrophe. He signed tens of decrees leading to economic and political crisis.
If the imprisonment of the peoples deputy of Uzbekistan Inomjon Tursunov, who tried to disclose his faults in Ferghana, the imprisonment of peoples deputy Samandar Quqonov, the ceasing of the commission of several deputies, the dismissal of about thirty deputies from their positions and confiscation of their homes, show that Shavkat Yuldoshev would do everything to reach his political goals, abandoning the laws that would determine the path of Uzbekistan and the emergence of decrees putting people into difficult situations indicates his betrayal before the nation.
Being the chairman of the Supreme Council, Shavkat Yuldoshev lived with the only aim. His aim was to keep his position and its pleasures. After the breakdown of SSSR in 1991, he was granted a “Jiguli” car from Moscow. The trade ministry had changed it into more expensive one. He had sold the car in Bukhara at the trade center itself. This had continued. Cars came and left. During this period he bought apartments for his daughter and nephews in the eighteen story buildings at Khamid Olimjon Square, governmental apartments for himself, and for other children and aides, comfortable apartments from the homes of the generals of the Turkiston military region (okrug).
The staff of newspapers “Khalq So’zi” and “Narodnoye Slovo” (Peoples Word – in Russian and Uzbek) went on strikes in 1992 against the actions of Shavkat Yuldoshev. The same day Shavkat Yuldoshev signed a decree and closed the newspapers where three hundred people worked. After the continued strikes of writers, the newspaper was restored but the activists of the staff faced persecution. The democratic newspaper “Khalq so’zi” was turned from being heroic into a government glorifying newspaper.
Shavkat Yuldoshev accidentally signed the Decree about canceling the Publicity Committee of The Supreme Council. When he felt the disagreement of deputies, he abolished the decree. Very shortly he had to abolish his own Decrees sixteen times.
He would come across illegal and inhumane decrees. Because he could not say his own opinion, and performed tasks as soon as received them.
If those who suffered from Decrees signed by him met with President and found the ways of getting rid of the obstacles, Yuldoshev would accept the counter task and would immediately change the decree.
The people also feel that the chairman of the Supreme Council has become a toy. The talk is not about the fact that the chairman became the toy. The issue is that the Supreme Council was thrown under the feet of President.
Indeed, President needed this. Shavkat Yuldoshev has fulfilled his duties. Therefore he (the President) has thrown him away. He found a new one. He also has his own duties. He is also needed. As soon as he completes his task he will be also abandoned. Everyone knows this “worldly” experience of our President’s work with cadres. However it is pity that those who have swallowed the bait try not to show that they are caught on the fishing rod.
Shavkat Yuldoshev, the independent Chairman of independent Supreme Council of Independent Uzbekistan, will remain in our history not as a deceived person or as a person ruled by someone else, but as an independent Communist. Indeed, a Communist is a slave when he fulfills the task, but he is independent when he reports!
The people have also said their verdict about Shavkat Yuldoshev. It has concluded, “The blood was caught.”
Well, the one born by blood certainly catches blood!
Although this does not mean that Shavkat Yuldoshev has yet escaped the President.
As it was told in the legend, the fate of those who know secrets secretly turns into a secret!

HABITUAL USERS OF BAD LANGUAGE

In Turkey, if a journalist harms someone’s reputation, the journalist will have to go to trial and either pay fines for slander or go to jail. This is the only way to teach a lesson to people who can’t control themselves, or who disrespect the principles of journalism. However in America, this is in the past. It does not matter how angry journalists are; they never break the norms of ethics, and they never use insulting language.
People became aware of Miloslavich’s killing of innocent people during the Balkan War. Even as they discussed setting up his trial for his crimes, people who disliked him addressed him as Mr. Miloslavich. Even people like Osama Bin Laden, who maligns America and bombed some of parts of it, are not openly called criminals by American journalists. They say that is the court’s responsibility.
Yes, journalism should be this way. There were ethics in journalism even in a brutal Soviet time. However, today it is difficult to tell from the newspapers of Uzbekistan in which direction they are headed. Slander is becoming one of the characteristics of Uzbek journalism.
Action speaks louder than words. For example, take a new publication of National Democratic Party, their newspaper “Fidokor.” Let’s look at one issue of this newspaper, since the style of each issue is alike. The front page of Number 23 of “Fidokor” from Thursday, June 3, 1999 features an article entitled “Poison Snack’s Nest Should Be Wiped Out.” This article, written by editor Abduga’ffor Omonboev, discusses “Polvon, a Muslim from Farish whose words I reproduce here.”
Let’s read some fragments from this article: “Abdulafi, a scrawny goat, who is he? Why does he wiggle like a goat with a stomachache? We villain at him as we did at the faces of Tohir and Juma, whose beards became louse-ridden. It has became known that Abduvali is gay…. Again son of beach chopped off 17 heads and buried dead bodies like dogs; when those stinking goats would have spoiled our food, they made us mad. Those rogues shame Uzbekistan’s name and dignity.” There are not merely one or two, but six examples of this kind of article in this issue of the newspaper. From this article we can make the following inquires and conclusions.
First, can it really be that Uzbeks, who live in villages, talk this way, use foul language, and call each other names? Or is the aim of the newspaper to show that Uzbeks lack culture?
Secondly, when helpless people call names, it shows an absence of morality. If a person who feels defeat cannot debate, or argue like a normal person, he starts to slander. If this new newspaper reflects this lack of values, we don’t need to discuss the rest of Uzbekistan’s published newspapers.
Thirdly, a dangerous part of this problem that these kinds of actions are the enemy of independence. You serve your enemy by uttering nonsense or absurdities about him or her. If you, coming from Uzbek culture, personal slanders provoke people to take revenge. Some newspapers provoke this Uzbek self-esteem and incite revenge. We might conclude that the President of Uzbekistan created the “Fidokor” party for this reason. On June 5, two days after the fragment of the article published in “Fidokor,” the newspaper “Turkestan” published an article entitled “Great Pray.” At the beginning of the century, says this article, according to Russia’s demands, the faithful who prayed were slandered. In this paper, slander occupied a place like the previously-mentioned fragment from “Fidokor.” Today those who slandered prayer in the past are called traitors and now prayer is considered great.
This article indicates that we are still standing behind in the past century and we have not progressed towards today. “Fidokor” exhorts us: “We have to kill the traitor inside.” If we do not do this it will be too late. The Uzbek Constitution says “encouraging another to kill someone is considered a crime.” In one hand official newspaper slanders people who spread some kind of leaflets and another hand encourages campaigning to kill someone.

THE UZBEK MOTHER

There is a name for each year in Uzbekistan. The last three years were associated with mothers. What did these years give to mothers? What is the condition of the Uzbek mother on the threshold between the end of the first year and the beginning of the second?
It snowed not in the mountains, but on your head, my mother!
The gallows looked not for the enemy, but for your son, my mother!
While your life is losing another year,
Songs are filled not by melody, but by your screaming, my mother!
If there were a worldwide competition to find most remarkable, striking, and glorifying words about mothers, an Uzbek would be the winner. When speaking about one’s mother, who else praises her by saying that he will prepare the way before her as if he were laying a carpet in her path (an Uzbek saying that indicates immense respect), that he will not allow her hands to suffer, or that there is nothing he would not provide for her?
Let there be no poet in this nation who doesn’t create poems and odes to his Mother.
Let there be no singer in this nation who doesn’t sing heart-rending songs saying, “My
Mother.”
Let there be no politician in this nation who doesn’t talk heartrendingly about the Mother.
Let there be no son of this nation who wasn’t proud of his Mother.
The best words in the world are said to the Uzbek mother.
But is it not the same Uzbek mother who, from sunrise until the sun is straight above one’s head and even when the light of the world goes down and makes a bloody sunset, is in the cotton fields on all fours among the shrubs?
Is it not the Uzbek mother who put the firewood into the tandir (a kiln for bread), and, when she could not find flour, buried her complaints in her breast and went to the mardikor market (unofficial, unskilled labor market)?
Is not it the Uzbek Mother who watches her children shiver with cold in the winter and suffer from the heat in the summer, who also worries that some court official will take them from her?
Is not it the Uzbek Mother who has lost her child and was imprisoned for her child’s views or her own belief in Allah when she unintentionally said the truth?
Is it not the Uzbek son whose cries seem to shake the land after his Mother, left in a sea of troubles, leaves this world? But will this belated scream reach the soul of a Mother whose blood has turned cold?
Is it not the Uzbek son who built marble stones in a cemetery and every three days gives a ma’raka (feeding common people as an expression of grief), moaning, “My Mother”?
During the breakup of the Soviet Union, 80% of mothers living in the villages of Uzbekistan suffered from anemia. Uzbekistan was the world leader of child and mother mortality rates. They would make proclamations about healing the sick mothers and saving the children, but in reality no one saw the mothers sitting miserably on the street corners.
Today, even figures that were once disclosed are kept in secret. The sickness of mothers is also a state secret. Is it not the Uzbek mother who stands with a hurting heart in the doorways of hospitals, with failing hope when a doctor does not treat her because she has nothing in her hands, with crying eyes because she does not have the money to allow her book-loving son to enter a university, who ends up burning herself as a last way out or hanging herself as a revolt against her sorrowful life?
Is it not the Uzbek Mother who is in a Delhi prison because of opium trafficking, imprisoned in far Bangladesh, suffering in the jails of the United Arab Emirates, living a as serf among common Russian people, leaving her child at home to baby-sit the old or young in the West?
Is it not the mother of today’s independent Uzbekistan who is sleeping [on the iron] in trains, crying without a voice, linking nights with mornings (i.e., not sleeping) in hostels, trembling with cold in her nimcha (sweater), becoming whiter than the snow on snowy days, lacking even a kerchief to cover her head?
Is it not the Uzbek mother who cries faintly when policemen take, without reason, the child she raised in immense suffering and beat him until it hurts his internal organs, break both his ribs and his spirit, and uncover his nails?
Is it not the Uzbek mother who takes all the problems on herself when her sons get married, saying, “He should not feel ashamed before his bride,” who keeps her suffering to herself when her daughter gets married, saying, “She has to obey her husband,” who sews a cover for her student son’s book from the dress she is wearing?
Is it not the Uzbek mother whom one does not see among the advisors of the country, the leaders, the ministers, the khokims (mayors) of regions and districts, or the politicians?
Those who are scientists are lost in the crowd; those who are faithful are lost in the world. Those who believe in religion have gone astray; those who believe in the nation are desperate for justice. Is it not the Uzbek mother who has a broken heart, hopes, and dreams?
When the year is passing, just think of what we did for the mother who became pale from jaundice and sick from poverty, who could not find sugar if she found bread or could not find meat if she got oil, who left without a salary even after having worked for it, and for whose memory we cried but could not appreciate. Just come down from the kingdom of glorious words into the valley of
suffering and repeat the questions similar to those above, and maybe something will change in your stone-hardened heart!
We said that your place is on top of our heads,
My mother, you were left under feet!
We said heaven is under your feet,
My mother, you were burned as if in hell!

POETRY IN PRISON

Some are enchanted with joy,
Some suffer in prisons,
For some this world is the throne of a great man,
For some it is the grave where one’s hope is buried!
In the East there is a tradition and a custom. First, they would destroy their intelligent sons with cruelty, then they would exalt them. This terrible tradition was not limited to Turkestan. From the exile to Astrobad of the great poet, the conqueror of the country of words, Mirzo Alisher Navoiy, to the gallows constructed for the head of Boborahim Mashrab this custom has continued to exist.
We do not need to go too far back. Those who have started a clamor by saying that Stalin killed Fitrat, Qodiriy, Cholpan and Usman Nosir are the same ones who slandered them and turned them over to Stalin. It looks like they are concealing their identities.
In other words, those who killed their owns sons with the hands of Stalin are today applauding them as heroes. It is certain that one day the Uzbeks will remember the names of Evril Turon ( a.k.a. Mamadali Mahmudov) and Yusuf Juma and will exalt them. And they will say, “He was the honor of Uzbek literature, he was an immortal rock whose liver was pulled out by the hands of oppression, his words were sharp as the sword Zulfiqor, and he was as strong as Alpomish”. Those poets and writers who live in palaces today will say these words tomorrow in order to hide themselves, and their successors will say these words, too. They will say these words shamelessly and unabashedly. They will say these words without shame and they will be the heroes of their period again. Who knows?
But these two writers–Evril Turon and Yusuf Juma– today are kept in prison and this is a shame and the biggest disgrace of the Uzbeks. While those poets who are now wearing the medal of heroism were considering Volodya Ulyanov as their father, Evril Turon broke the chain of colonization and brought this spirit into literature. Evril Turon wrote a book against the oppression of Russian colonization at a time when it was difficult to speak out against it.
When today’s palace poets were sucking up to their oppressors, Yusuf expressed the sorrow of the nation in his poems. When the excellent children of the nation were being killed in prisons, Yusuf Juma did not remain passive. He was a poet and he expressed his sorrow in his poems. If today’s palace poets want, they can find a way to free these two writers. But they do not want it. If the talent of these two poets is acknowledged by the State, the remaining poets will become nobody! See! What else can we say?
When the court poets say nation and national interest, country and human being, they understand different meanings behind these words. If it is against their interest, they will give up the nation and the country.
The U.S. government has expressed its concern about the future of Mamadali Mahmudov a number of times. The imprisonment of Yusuf Juma disgraces Uzbekistan in the eyes of the world. In December 2001, in a declaration of the U.S. government, which is leading the war against terrorism in the world, read at the permanent meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, it was stated that the imprisonment of Yusuf Juma is a violation of human rights. The Uzbek government, however, wants to stamp him as a terrorist. Turning the war against terrorism into a war against the poet is beyond any reason. His son is being accused. His daughter is being insulted and the poetry written by her has been confiscated. They are trying to do harm in the poet’s village in Bukhara. It is the MXX, the heir of the KGB, which carries out these actions.
All this is a war against thinking, intellect and against poetry.
Poetry is the reflection of the human heart. To put a poet in prison is to put poetry in prison.

“THE ACCUSING THOUGHT”

Criminal case #300 against the Uzbek opposition was initiated in 1994 according to the claim of K. Eshnazarov from Kashkadarya. Well, who is this person and what objections does he have to the Democratic opposition? Maybe there is no such person? The former KGB, the current NSS (National Security Service), does not do such a coverup. It is not a big surprise if Ernazarov is one of its spies or a sneak who receives money from it. His name is registered in the section of witnesses and says:
“On the February 1994 Qobil Temurovich Ernazarov informed that his relative Boymurod Eshov said that some person called Bozor-aka from the neighboring village, whose surname was unknown to him, was organizing a special sport and body-guarding training group for sending to Turkey; went to the house of his co-villager Bektimir Normurodov together with his relatives (of the same age) Ikhtiyor Juraev, Asqar Juraev, Boymurod Eshonov and met there with Bozor-aka; the next day they, nine people, went to the home of the person called Shavkat in Mubarak city; then next day they took a train to Ashkhabad and met the person called Anvar-aka; the same day they took a picture to get a foreign passport; but Anvar-aka sent them back home saying that there were no planes going to Turkey.”
So, the criminal case was initiated according to the complaint of this person. It turns out that he does not have any relationship to the Erk party and came to NSS complaining of his own relatives. Ok, that is not important. Considering that the numbering of the articles of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan used in this criminal case has currently changed, we would not bring up their numbers. This can mislead many people. We would only tell what accusations are made according to these articles. Thus, on the basis of case #300, the former People’s Deputy of Uzbekistan, the former Chair of the City council of Mubarak, Murod Juraev, born in 1952, had been charged on six articles of the Criminal Code of Uzbekistan and accused of possession, calling against the regime and the president, single dangerous crimes against the State, exiting the state border without permission, the dissemination of a publication slandering and cursing the president and preparing false documents.
If the word “did” was used for Murod Jo’raev regarding the crimes in these articles, the charge with the phrase “there are signs” together with the above articles – as well as keeping narcotics – was added for Shavkat Sanaevich Kholboev. Shavkat Kholboev, born in 1964 in Mubarak city, has three young children and works as an operator in the LPU office in Mubarak.
After this, the phrase “there are signs for the crime” the charge against Ne’mat Fozilovich Akhmedov was declared. Ne’mat Akhmedov was born in 1960 in Kitab city, is unemployed, and has three children. The same articles as Shavkat Kholboev, viewing hard punishment, are also charged against him. The fourth person charged with the same articles is Hoshim Suvonov. Hoshim Suvonov was born in 1957, is a teacher of music in a secondary school. He has three children. The fifth of the charged is Shavkat Sharipovich Mamatov. He was born in 1972 in Koson city, is not married, and is unemployed. The sixth person found guilty is Erkin Hamrokulov Ashurov. Erkin Ashurov was born in 1939 in Samarkand, and has a higher education. He has four children. His name has been added into the list because he was with Jo’raev Murod when he was caught in Almati by the NSS staff of Uzbekistan. Along with the above articles, Erkin Ashurov was additionally charged with producing below-standard products, causing serious damage to state interests. Finally, the sixth person charged with some of the above articles is Dilorom Isoqova, born in 1955 in Tashkent – she has a higher education, has one daughter, and is considered to be one of the leaders of the Erk Party. She led the part of the party in relations with mass media.
The only member of the Erk party among those charged as guilty is Dilorom Isoqova. The others have no connection to the party. Murod Juraev had repeated a lot that he would not become a party member and that this was due to his inability to agree with the way chosen by the party leaders. He told in the court that he was never a member of the Erk party. Our opinion is also proven by the fact that they could not find any document proving his membership in the Erk party.
As for the only Erk member, Dilorom Isoqova, the court could not pin any charge on her, gave her a penalty, and then abandoned it by way of delaying it. Thus, the verdict read by the court, which imprisoned Murod Juraev for twelve years, Shavkat Kholboev, Nemat Akhmedov and Erkin Ashurov for ten years, and Hoshim Suvonov, Shavkat Mamatov for six years, will be remembered by many and repeated by Uzbekistan television even now. But the talks behind the curtain are still closed.
1994-2000

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