Instead of engaging in economic reform and addressing the problem of corruption at all levels of government, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, “declared war” on traditions.
On May 24, 2007, at the presentation of the new Law “On the streamlining of traditions and rituals”, where the heads of administrations of cities, regions and districts of the republic were invited, Emomali Rakhmon literally said: “Taking the oath, I promised that for 5 years the standard of living of the Tajik people will change. And I will do it. This law is only the first step. ”
“I can’t understand why the president, who has been in power for 15 years, just now remembered the need for“ cardinal transformations, ”says a teacher at one of the capital’s universities (who did not want his name to appear in the press):“ Instead of deciding economic and social problems, the head of state regulates the personal lives of the citizens who elected him. ”
State officials say that “the purpose of the document is to protect the public interests of the citizens of Tajikistan, raising their standard of living, and reducing the level of poverty.” However, the initiators of this document were not public associations, but the president himself (or one of his advisers). By the way, the Public Council of Tajikistan is against the adoption of a new document.
Here's what the president said: “... 4.5-5 billion somoni is spent on holding weddings and mourning events in our small republic; while the entire budget of Tajikistan is only 3.3 billion somoni ”. In numbers, a clear mess. 3.3 billion somoni is almost $ 1 billion, and according to the Ministry of Finance, in 2006 the republic’s budget amounted to only $ 400 million. And by what formula it is possible to calculate the amount of money that citizens spend to treat guests at private events ?
“The latest statements by the president simply discredit him,” said an economist well-known in Tajikistan, who also wished to remain unnamed: “The national budget of the republic is tiny; pensions are allocated to education, health and social development. At the same time, not only on the streets of the capital, but even in remote regional centers you can see private foreign cars worth several hundred thousand dollars. In the capital, hundreds of luxury homes with attics, swimming pools, underground garages, surrounded by tall fences. Is this not evidence of the prosperity of the shadow economy? "
In any city market they will tell you who owns a particular mansion. The owners of luxury villas are famous people. These are influential officials whose interests are protected by law - flexible for some, and tough for others. “Others” are ordinary citizens, honest workers, who will not take to the streets and organize demonstrations. Why? Because a thin world is better than a good quarrel, and the war in Tajikistan was long and bloody. Here they remember the military gangster lawlessness, which lasted almost ten years.
“The President prohibits family celebrations, but encourages holding lush“ state ”anniversaries,” the forum participant said on one of the Tajik Internet sites: “For some reason, the authorities do not tell the people how much money from the state budget was“ swept ”into celebration last year The 2,700th anniversary of Kulyab and the 2,500th anniversary of Istravshan. We do not know how much the construction of the “Palace of the Nation” and the stupid water park in the center of the capital costs ... There are three private residences near the President himself! If he really cares about the life of his people, if he is worried about the future of the nation, let him build houses for orphans; let them hire teachers for children who beg on the streets, sell plastic bags and carry carts in the bazaars. ”
Tajikistan has ratified the UN conventions on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor, however, apart from “policy development”, compiling voluminous reports for international donors, endless round tables and seminars with the participation of foreign consultants, nothing really is being done in the country. There are several non-governmental organizations that help street children - at the expense of grants from international organizations. By the way, foreign consultants receive fees from loans that Tajikistan willingly takes from international institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Last year, the International Monetary Fund urged Tajikistan to reduce the volume of foreign borrowing, which could lead the country to a cash default.
One well-known metropolitan musician told the Oasis correspondent that last year he had to bury his father and mother. The funeral cost "a pretty penny." Mullah in the local mosque demanded a new carpet and $ 300, so that “everything was according to the rules.” No matter how hard the musician tried, he couldn’t invite all the neighbors to the commemoration and he heard plenty of reproaches about “non-observance of customs”. “I still thought,” says the musician: “If this law came out then, I would not have fallen into debt ... But this is one side of the coin. Now, when the law was passed, the circus began. In the evenings I work in a restaurant. Last week some people came and, referring to the “new regulations”, demanded a “certificate”. It turns out that in order to sing at a restaurant at a wedding, you need to get permission from the Ministry of Culture. The administrator of the institution had to give a bribe checking. But after all, they will come again - for the next dam ... So we are thinking - it seems that the president’s initiative is correct, but only “by and large”. In fact, it turns out like in that “catch phrase” of a Russian politician - “they wanted the best, but it turned out - as always ...”.
“My colleagues and I recently witnessed how the authorities“ cleanse national rituals and traditions from superstition and fanaticism, ”says one well-known journalist:“ At the suburban post, traffic police stopped a wedding procession of 10 cars. According to the new law, in such a tuple there should be no more than 4 cars. We ourselves saw how the GAI officers received “100 somoni as a gift”, and the conflict was settled. ” According to the journalist, another ridiculous law was adopted in order to distract citizens from “negative thoughts” and real economic problems. This is an attempt by the authorities to create the appearance of turbulent activity and concern for the fate of the people.
In the comments published in the Asia Plus weekly, it states that "... the new law, in fact, is a strictly regulated procedure for how various events should now be carried out in the private life of citizens of the country." But this is PRIVATE LIFE. Article 8 of the Law prescribes that citizens of Tajikistan have the right to hold their birthdays ONLY IN A FAMILY. From now on, festive events can be held on weekends from 10 am to 11 pm; on weekdays - from 6 to 11 pm The duration of any event - up to three hours. At the same time, there are huge fines (and dismissal from work, if the violator is a state official). “The law applies to state bodies, as well as to all organizations and enterprises of the country, regardless of form of ownership, as well as to all individuals, regardless of social status and nationality.”
The press reported on the creation of a special Department under the presidential administration, as well as standing committees under local government to implement the new Law. It also says that "all organizations of the country, regardless of the form of ownership, with at least 30 employees, should create public commissions to streamline traditions." The authorities, however, do not report how much money from the state budget will be spent on the maintenance of all these departments and commissions.
At the presentation of the Law, Emomali Rakhmon attacked the ministers of worship. The president said that “serving religion cannot be a profession,” stressed the ignorance of the clergy and urged citizens not to make religious donations, because “the funds may not reach those to whom they should be spent, according to the instructions of the Koran.” For the proper distribution of funds, Emomali Rakhmon proposed the creation of a “Public Charitable Foundation of Tajikistan”.
“We have reached absolute cynicism,” says another interviewee of the Oasis correspondent: ““ Only country houses and private hotels are built in the country. No one will incur any funds in any "public fund".
Iskandar Asadullayev, Ph.D. in his commentary on the adoption of the new Law, published in the same issue of the Asia Plus weekly, argues that the reforms of religious practices and folk traditions "can significantly limit the influence of the uneducated clergy and (reduce) its income." Asadullayev advises the government to apply "ideological and political methods" in the implementation of new laws, and to fight against officials who will try to extract their benefit from their application in practice. However, the government consists of these same officials. Who will fight with whom and how?
Now in Tajikistan there is one Islamic university and more than twenty religious schools. Next year, there will be only one religious institution in the country - the Islamic University, which will be funded from the state budget. The President proposed to include secular sciences in the curricula of a religious university.
“Obviously, the head of state is trying to prevent the entry of radical forms of Islam into the country,” said the mullah from a mosque in the capital region of Shohmansur: “On the one hand, the state should not interfere in the spiritual life of citizens. On the other hand, organizations such as Hizbut-Tahrir continue to recruit illiterate young people into their ranks. Reform in the system of religious education is necessary. The question is how to develop and conduct it properly. ”
The people are afraid that such initiatives will become fashionable and there will be more of them - of these initiatives - in fact, by and large, no one is outraged ...
About thirty years ago, the rock group "The Time Machine" performed the following composition: "... but no one believes that there is no wind in the world, even if the wind was banned." Actual text, is not it? But these are all lyrics ... Are there international conventions that "prohibit heads of state from imposing bans" and regulate the PRIVATE LIFE of citizens?
I know about Tajikistan firsthand and every time when the president of this republic invents his new plans for the development and improvement of the Tajiks, he takes on laughter and only. After all, quite recently this collective farmer had no idea even about elementary things, and today he allegedly decides the fate of the people. It would be better not to watch the people having fun, and press them, but on the contrary, help the poor, fight the drug business, which their family is probably involved in, and eradicate corruption. All Tajiks, without exception, are trying to go to Russia to earn money and are subjected to all sorts of violence and humiliation, so they need help, and not inventing all sorts of stupid laws on which the President himself and his relatives are trying to get even more rich. It is a shame, a shame and a shame again. It is 21st century, and the Tajiks still do not know what hot water and a packed refrigerator are.
After reading this article, I once again realized how sorry I was for my homeland ... for my compatriots. I am over forty and until recently I lived in Tajikistan and felt and saw all this mess from the outside. And every time I have a desire to take at least some part in changing the life of our people ... I still have an education ... I am not alien to the problems of my people. I come from an intelligent family, would be glad to be of use. Here in Russia, when I see my people it becomes very offensive for me, and I cannot look without regret at the deprived state of affairs. And even worse, the government allegedly does not see all this or pretends not to see it. These lines are the cry of the soul. I would like to be useful ... tell me how? .. I do not want to stand aside at such a time ... I wish you all the best and good luck.