Vitaly Milonov: ‘We should avoid the concept ‘a titular nation’ in Tatarstan, as well as in other national republics’
The scandalous deputy – about the post of ombudsman for ethnic affairs, rights of small peoples and unnecessary terms
A deputy of the State Duma Vitaly Milonov has recently proposed to establish a post of plenipotentiary for interethnic affairs in Russia. A new ombudsman is to be a mediator in the palette of different cultures of the peoples of our country. He shared the details of his initiative in his column written specially for Realnoe Vremya. Besides, the columnist commented on an initiative of his counterpart from Tatarstan Ildar Gilmutdinov on the extension of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs to the ministry level. In addition, the parliamentarian explained the term 'Russian nation', a law on which President Vladimir Putin instructed to draft.
'We are speaking about a state control'
Plenipotentiary for interethnic relations is necessary for protection of the constitutional right for harmonious neighboring, fraternal coexistence. It is a special post that could solve many problems avoiding its public aggravation. In other words, we need the plenipotentiary for friendship of peoples.
Earlier I had an idea to introduce the ombudsman for religious relations that would protect one of the main constitutional rights — the right for freedom of religion. Here it would be possible partially combine the functions.
We need to form a system of protection in our multicultural, multireligious country with of interests of various groups. When we shift this issue on the representatives of the national organizations, there may be a difficulty associated with the fact that interests will prevail in favor of one who offer. But there should be an independent expert who would not be engaged in conflicts but who would prevent them.
'We appreciate the Gypsy culture as an integral part of the Russian culture. In order not to allow the extremists to use some national nuances to convert them to a destructive direction.' Photo: lenta.ru
It is clear that in a Siberian village the Gypsies sell drugs and almost burned a house of a person. On the other hand, the Gypsies are citizens of our country, and children in Gypsy families should feel themselves not only the sons and daughters of those who sell drugs, but also they should understand that they are respected, appreciated. We appreciate the Gypsy culture as an integral part of the Russian culture. In order not to allow the extremists to use some national nuances to convert them to a destructive direction.
We're not talking about protection of some peoples from the others. We're talking about a state control over observance of normal harmonious ethnic relations. For example, in a Russian region there is a predominance of one nation. It will be necessary to do so that the rights of other ethnic groups would be protected. The rights of small ethnic groups, whom the extremists are trying to win over to their side, should be protected and it applies not only to the groups of adolescents, who practice Islam, but also others.
In St. Petersburg, for instance, the rights of Finno-Ugric peoples have been completely forgotten. Although it would possible to do so that the rights of the indigenous population of this territory would be protected. In order not only the Finns came here with a missionary task to study the Ingrians, but also in order our country remembered that the Ingrians are the same Russians, like the Russians and Belarusians.
'I disagree with the proposal of Ildar Gilmutdinov <> My apologies to the Committee, the deputy, I do not want to criticize, but if we had seen what serious work is going on here and that they do not have enough powers, then it would be possible to speak about any additional load.' Photo: Maksim Platonov
What does the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs need additional powers for?
The Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs won't be able to solve these problems. After all, we are talking about an independent person, an ombudsman. But the Agency is involved in politics. Agencies, ministries — it is an administrative component. We are talking about an ombudsman with a guarantee of his rights for an independent point of view. We could entrust the protection of human rights to the Prosecutor's office because it is one of the branches of law enforcement body. But the office assumes detachment. It should be a person who is vested by the society with independent control.
Besides, I disagree with the proposal of Ildar Gilmutdinov (the chairperson of the State Duma Committee for ethnic affairs, a deputy from Tatarstan — editor's note) to expand the powers of the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs to the ministry level. My apologies to the Committee, the deputy, I do not want to criticize, but if we had seen that serious work was going on here and that they did not have enough powers, then it would be possible to speak about any additional load and its new functions. But I still don't see it, perhaps, due to the fact that I just do not know. But since I can't see, I can't believe that they need a lot of powers because they do not always support those that they already have.
'The Russian nation – it is an ideology that should be in Russia'
Also, I would like to tell a few words about the instruction of President Vladimir Putin to draft a law on the Russian nation. The Russian nation — it is not a political notion, not referring to ethnic groups. This is an attempt to understand what our State is, because the Russian nation can not be an ethnic group or a union of ethnic groups, like some people say. There should be developed a general idea that is acceptable to all peoples living in our country.
In other words, the Russian nation – it is an ideology that should be in Russia, a cementing foundation, on which the strategy of development of our country is built.
'I would like to say a few words about the instruction of President Vladimir Putin to draft a law on the Russian nation. The Russian nation — it is not a political notion, not referring to ethnic groups. This is an attempt to understand what our State is.' Photo: kremlin.ru
This law should not contain such concepts as 'the state-building people' or 'a titular nation'. What will we tell about a titular nation in Tatarstan or Bashkortostan, the republics of the Caucasus? It is difficult to count a number of nationalities in Dagestan alone. This should be evaded.
We should avoid the concept of 'a titular nation' in Tatarstan, as well as in other national republics, because this issue is very dangerous. Where does it begin, where does it end? It turns out very difficult: in a village there is a titular nation and not a titular nation. When we live in a civilized mutual understanding based on shared imperishable values, not just a flag or national anthem, which can be changed, then everything will be fine.