‘Thanks to the first Tatarstan president’s say, now we have great Russia’
“Mr Shaimiyev’s life experience is a prime example and benchmark for the growing generation of Tatarstan residents”
A bronze bust of First President of Tatarstan, State Adviser to the republic Mintimer Shaimiyev was solemnly opened in Anyakovo Settlement in Aktanysh District of the republic — in the birthplace of the statesman — on 26 August. It should be reminded that Shaimiyev was awarded the title Hero of Labour by the Russian president’s order, and the monument was erected on this occasion.
The bust was placed on 10, Shaimiyev Street next to Sharip Shaimiyev’s Museum House, the father of Mintimer Shaimiyev. The Union of Artists of the Republic of Tatarstan regional creative public organisation did the work, Fanil Valiullin is the sculptor.
Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov and Vice Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian president in Volga Federal District Igor Panshin participated in the solemn opening ceremony.
“Mr Shaimiyev’s life experience is a prime example and benchmark for the growing generation of Tatarstan residents. We should bring up the younger generation, real patriots following such examples,” Minnikhanov said at the opening ceremony.
Projects and programmes aimed at Tatarstan resident’s urgent needs are connected with Mintimer Shaimiyev’s name, the president went on, such as elimination of ramshackle houses, gasification of settlements, social mortgage. The republic was and remains first in Russia in many programmes and projects.
Minnikhanov noted that Mintimer Shaimiyev’s activity was also recognised by the authoritative international organisation UNESCO, particularly projects on the revival of Bolgar and Sviyazhsk, which were supported not only by residents of the republic but also benefactors of our huge country’s and foreign countries. The Muslim community is grateful to Mintimer Shaimiyev for the creation of the Bolgarian Islamic Academy, while the Orthodox world is waiting for the revivals work in the Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral to end, the president added. Mintimer Shaimiyev also deals with a project on the creation of a chain of multilingual schools, Minnikhanov reminded the audience.
“I personally, not as a president, want to thank Mr Shaimiyev, you’re our teacher,” Rustam Minnikhanov added.
“What we see now is our joint work. I want to say to Mr Putin that there are a lot of successful managers, people who work well. It is necessary to see and be able to appreciate them. In this case, I got this chance of receiving such high praise in our dear Tatarstan. I want to deliver kind words from all of us,” Shaimiyev replied.
Vice Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian president in Volga Federal District Igor Panshin remembered Mintimer Shaimiyev’s merits during the creation of the contemporary Russian Federation.
“Mr Shaimiyev’s life experience became a prime example for all political activists of our country. Mr Shaimiyev has been a bright political leader, and his voice is always heard on the big political stage of our country. Thanks to Mr Shaimiyev, the interethnic and interreligious peace has been conserved across the Republic of Tatarstan. This became a good example for all republics when they wanted to follow their own road in the 90s. But thanks to the first Tatarstan president’s say, now we have great Russia.”
Mintimer Shaimiyev’s sister: “He opened our eyes, we felt that we were Tatars”
The solemn event began with a concert. Vocal and dance groups, actors of Tinchurin and Kamal theatres performed on the stage outdoors. Outstanding people of Tatarstan, heroes of the Great Patriotic War, heroes of Labour were remembered: their photos were shown on the screen. Then there appeared photos of the period when Mintimer Shaimiyev ruled the republic — life-changing meetings, construction projects, milestones.
Mintimer Shaimiyev’s younger sister Madaniya Ilyasova was also at the event. In a talk with Realnoe Vremya’s correspondent, she shared childhood memories of the first president of the republic.
“We grew up in the Soviet Union. Internationalism, heroism were given pride of place. Our parents, especially our father, was a big example for us in life. Life itself brought us up. <…> We did well at school, kept the house. While Mr Shaimiyev has been determined and organised from an early age. I admire my brother because he is the founder of contemporary Tatarstan. The Tatars were discriminated then — after the 10th grade we went to Kazan to enter university, we were afraid to speak the mother tongue in public transport. While he opened our eyes, we felt that we were Tatars, we had our moral wealth that had been forming for years. The culture blossoms, the people is awoken, and this is seen in today’s event.”
How the first president’s birthplace is doing
After the solemn opening of the first Tatarstan president’s bust, Rustam Minnikhanov walked in the park where the monument is located. Here one can walk and go down to the water, there are a playground and a sports site, parking and even a square with a fountain.
“Modern, convenient infrastructure determined people’s lives. Sports venues, leisure facilities must be available in any settlement of the republic regardless of its size. It delights me when I see that a lot of even remote corners of our republic have such sites that don’t give way to urban parks,” Rustam Minnikhanov noted.
As Realnoe Vremya was told by Niyaz Nurtdinov, head of Poiseyevo rural settlement Mintimer Shaimiyev’s village is part of, Anyakovo had 15 households in the 1990s.
“It is a big merit of Mr Shaimiyev’s that Anyakov was conserved and grew, the settlement develops. Dramatic changes have taken place in the last 20 years here. A new kindergarten for 120 kids was built in Poiseyevo in 2017 with Shaimiyev’s support, roads are repaired, the school was repaired, the local hospital had a major overhaul. There is a lot of work in the closes settlements as well. 23 young specialists have recently been provided with dwelling in different programmes,” Nurtdinov noted.
According to the locals, about 400-500 people live in Anyakovo now. Moreover, the population doesn’t decrease, in contrast, it grows: as worker of the local Children’s Art Centre Leysan Gazizova says, even the youth don’t want to move to the city as soon as possible, they stay in the village.
“I have been living in this village for 15 years already, I work here, I got married here. I like it very much. Everything is done for the people. We have so wise managers, they see everything beforehand, try to create jobs. Our people don’t move anywhere but work and live in their village. The youth in many other villages want to escape to the city while ours stay because they have a place to live and work in.”