Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Tishkov Article Shows Moscow Plans to Expand Attack on Non-Russian Languages and Peoples, Dagestani Commentator Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 16 – In advance of the November 4 holiday, Academician Valery Tishkov, former nationalities minister and former director of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, published an article in Izvestiya which shows that Moscow plans to step up its attack on non-Russian languages and non-Russian peoples, Amil Sarkarov.

            The deputy director of the Derbent Foundation for Social and Cultural Development says that Tishkov’s article (iz.ru/938473/valerii-tishkov/obshchnost-bytiia) “designates a new place – or more precisely the lack of any place – for the peoples of Russia and their languages in the all-Russian political space” (riaderbent.ru/yazyki-narodov-rossii-gajki-mogut-sorvatsya.html).

            Admittedly, Sarkarov says, Tishkov writes there that “ethnic culture is also important” but not as something in and of itself but only to the extent that it “becomes part of all-Russian culture by enriching it.” And he makes clear that for Moscow now “the all-Russian [obshcerossiiskoye] is to be combined with the ethnic Rusisan [russkoye].”

            In essence, the advisor to Vladimir Putin “sweeps aside the ramified character of our country as expressed in the delimitation of the responsibilities between the center and the subjects of the federation, the generally recognized principles of equality and self-determination which are reflected in the Constitution and must define the domestic policy of our country.”

            “But Tishkov doesn’t limit himself to the borders of the country,” the Daghestani commentator continues. “In the context of celebrating the Day of National Unity, he writes about compatriots who in his opinion, “along with the citizens of Russia are the same people.” Indeed, “his article begins” with references to them.

            According to the academician, “this broader community, the Russian World, are people united above all by a knowledge of the Russian language and love for Russian literature and history.”   

In this way, Tishkov excludes from the category of compatriots those who have a different ethnic self-consciousness “based on their own culture and language.” That argument “corresponds to the nationality policy of our country which doesn’t recognize the Circassians as compatriots” and “ignores the problems of Lezgins and other divided peoples in the Azerbaijan Republic” (cf. kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/1927/posts/13716).

Putin’s words about “troglodyte Russophobes” attacking the Russian language and the Kremlin leader’s call for a new language law to defend Russian (but not non-Russian languages) follow naturally from Tishkov’s line of argument, Sarkarov says. And the words of both Russians suggest something else as well.

They suggest that Moscow isn’t satisfied with its defense of Russians and attacks on non-Russian languages and peoples to date and intends to “tighten the screws” on the latter still further – clearly forgetting, the Derbent writer says, that if it does so, the entire construction may snap apart (riaderbent.ru/iz-lyubvi-k-rodnomu-yazyku-v-otchayannoe-samosozhzhenie.html).

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