Shaimiev about the treaty with Moscow: ''I hope we will find common language with the leader of our country''
An extension of the treaty with Moscow, the wrong interpretation of Putin's words and the decision to create Milli Shura discussed at the 6th World Congress of the Tatars
''The fate of the Tatars is in our hands,'' said the president of Tatarstan when welcoming the tribesmen from all over the world in Kazan. Judging by the topics raised at the meeting of the 6th World Congress of the Tatars, Rustam Minnikhanov is close to the truth. The forum participants raised crucial for the nation issues: preservation of the native language, new standards in education in light of the recent speech of Vladimir Putin, an extension of the treaty on delimitation of powers with Moscow and others. Read more in the article of Realnoe Vremya.
Sabantuy under the protection of UNESCO
The delegates and guests were gathering for the main event of the 6th World Congress of the Tatars — the plenary session — under the music. At the entrance to the Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Dzhalil they were met by actors in Tatar national costumes.
''This day is festive for all Tatars,'' opened the meeting Chairman of Tatarstan State Council Farid Mukhametshin. At the beginning of the forum, he read many greetings and telegrams from different regions and countries addressed to the congress participants. President of Russia Vladimir Putin also sent greeting words to the participants and wished fruitful work to the delegates. The telegram spoke for itself, ''I think the forum is a large public event. The diversity of cultures, religions and traditions are the wealth of our country. I am sure that the Congress will have a creative, constructive way.''
President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov welcomed the guests in Kazan also noting that this day is long-awaited and historic. He highlighted the importance of the role of World Congress of the Tatars in the unity of the nation. He called it a promising project, which brings together people from around the world, who cares for the nation and its future. Over 25 years the Congress has become the initiator of many large deeds. Annually with the support of Tatarstan they hold mass events such as All-Russian Entrepreneurship Congress of Tatar villages, The world forum of Tatar women, the forum Business Partners of Tatarstan, the festival Tatar Zhyry and others. The president noted the work of foreign and regional Tatar communities, he urged to use new forms of interaction. He also highlighted the role of Sabantuy, which today is held in 32 countries of the world and 59 regions of Russia.
''Thanks to the festival, people abroad learn more about the Tatars, our unique culture and traditions. The festival has become a people's cultural heritage. It would be useful to include Sabantuy in the list of the intangible cultural heritage of UNESCO,'' said Rustam Minnikhanov, the audience supported his proposal with applause.
In his speech, the president noted the role of congressional leaders: the former and current ones – Indus Tagirov and Rinat Zakirov.
''The Tatars need strong Russia!''
Wherever the Tatars lived, they consider Tatarstan their historical homeland. This imposes a great responsibility on the republic for preservation and development of the language and culture, and agreements at the government level help to support this uneasy task, he added. Today Tatarstan has 26 intergovernmental agreements with foreign countries and 74 – with Russian regions.
Against the background of recent events connected with difficult relations with the federal centre, everyone was waiting what the president of Tatarstan would say in the address of Moscow. The answer was not long in coming.
''The Tatars need strong Russia that would guarantee a successful development of national languages, cultures and traditions of the peoples throughout the country,'' said Rustam Minnikhanov, and a reliable guarantor of these issues he called the head of the state. ''His position is consistent and aimed at supporting the ethno-cultural development of the peoples of the country, preservation of peace and harmony.''
The modern world mounts many challenges, it is imperative to resist them, noted the president. For this, we need to support the best initiatives for preservation of the national language and culture. But, unfortunately, the state and municipal authorities do not always have an understanding of the importance of this work. ''It would be correct that these important issues were reflected in the new federal law on the state national policy in Russia,'' said Rustam Minnikhanov. He reminded about how many eminent scientists and artists from around the world have Tatar origin.
Highly appreciating the role of the Executive Committee of World Congress of the Tatars, he urged to pay more attention to creation of a broadly representative body, which would include the most prominent and authoritative representatives of Tatar organizations. He suggested changing the charter and creating a board named Milli Shura elected by the congress, the head of which will be a respected leader with large powers.
''The State Council, Tatarstan government recognise the responsibility what Tatarstan means to the Tatar world. We will make all efforts for joint creative activity. The fate of the Tatars is in our and your hands. It depends only on us how we will preserve and develop the language, culture and traditions, what place the Tatars will take in the future,'' concluded the president.
Putin did not say about oppression of national languages, he was worried about Russian
The next speaker, the head of the Executive Committee of the Congress Rinat Zakirov, told about the support of the Tatar organizations in 41 countries of the world. He noted how prettier Kazan has become as well as the whole republic in recent years. He stressed the importance of a prolongation of the agreement between Moscow and Tatarstan, elaborated on the results of the work of the congress, on account of which there are 10 large projects. They made a great work on the preservation of the native language, but there also have been setbacks. In national schools, the education in Tatar has started to decline, the state exam will not be allowed to be taken in the language of Tukay. The leaderships of educational institutions refer to the wishes of parents, saying that they will have to take the exams in Russian anyway. But using such methods we may go back in the 1980s, said the head of the Executive Committee of the Congress.
''Many people with great attention were listening to the recent speech of President of Russia Vladimir Putin. The problems of preservation of national languages of all the peoples of our country are of great importance for establishing international relations,'' said Rinat Zakirov.
''Much has been said about the speech of Vladimir Putin. There were different comments, absurd hypotheses about the future development. But if you carefully listen to him, he didn't speak about an oppression of national languages. His anxiety concerned the Russian language. And we need to talk about it and make some decisions,'' expressed on the same subject State Advisor of Tatarstan Mintimer Shaimiev.
According to him, we need to find new methods of preserving the Tatar language. Therefore, in the education, there may appear new standards based on digital technologies. But it is important to start learning the Tatar language since early childhood in family and kindergarten. It will largely depend on us whether the language will live, said the state advisor. Besides, he reminded about the role of Islam in this matter. In mosques, it would be better to preach in the Tatar language with a simultaneous translation into Russian.
About the treaty with Moscow: nobody wants a strong Russia, but we do!
Speaking about the role of World Congress of the Tatars, Mintimer Shaimiev highlighted the results of its work. The most important achievement — the rise of national consciousness. Although in his view, it is not easy to work with the Tatars, there is the saying for a reason: ''Where there is a Tatar, it is bad here,'' he joked. He praised the congress for the work in holding Sabantuy around the world. It's not just dancing and fun, the festival creates a positive image of Tatarstan, it has ''a deeper meaning and unique manifestation of people's diplomacy''. A positive phenomenon for the republic Mintimer Shaimiev called the Islamic Academy in Bolgar. He remembered that once Vladimir Putin said that Islam has no higher education system, and now there is.
Perhaps, the most important statement, which was expected from the state advisor, was the theme of a prolongation of the treaty on delimitation of powers between Moscow and Tatarstan. In his opinion, the document is of special importance for Russia itself, it is one of the important factors of preserving the integrity of the Russian state.
''They say that Tatarstan enjoys benefits of Russia. But the 2007 agreement included only legal issues, there were no economic preferences!'' said Mintimer Shaimiev. ''We need to discuss it in Kazan and in Moscow — these complex legal issues we need to resolve together. When we figure it out, our development will go easier. I hope we will find common language with the leader of our country. Even in difficult times, we have always sought to strengthen Russia. We approved it by our work. In the world, there are different opinions, no one wants a strong Russia. But we need a strong and powerful Russia! We need the federal state. For this, we need to work together.''
However, collaboration is not done in one day, said the state advisor, alluding to the fact that solving the issue will take time. The agenda of the Congress included also other issues: the adoption of the address of the Congress to the Tatar people, the amendments to the Charter of World Congress of the Tatars and the election of its leadership.