12 February 2010, Friday, 17:12

The forthcoming World Kurultay continues old traditions of Bashkir kurultays

author: Marina Shumilova

Bashkortostan is actively preparing itself for the III World Bashkir Kurultay, which is to be held in Ufa on June 11-12, 2010. The forthcoming forum continues the tradition of ancient Bashkir kurultays. The most important vital problems of Bashkir nation were solved at these gatherings.

At the beginning of the XX century Bashkir kurultays have played very important role in foundation of the Bashkir Autonomous Soviet Republic. After the February Revolution in April 1917 the representatives of the Bashkir national movement have come out as an independent fraction with the demand to return all lands to Bashkirs, taken away earlier. In May 1917 the 1st all-Russian Muslim congress took place in Moscow and the Bashkir delegation also raised the question concerning self-determination of Bashkirs in the form of the national-territorial autonomy. The 1st all-Bashkir Kurultay has taken place in Orenburg on July 20-27, 1917, and its declaration also stated that in free Russian Republic Bashkirs had to receive their own national autonomy. The 2nd all-Bashkir Kurultay, held in Ufa on August 25-29 same year, confirmed this decision. On December 8-20, 1917, the 3rd all-Bashkir Kurultay has taken place in Orenburg and it confirmed the decision of two previous congresses and founded the Bashkir Government. Therefore the first all-Bashkir congresses (kurultays) have become the foundation of the Bashkir national autonomy and in many respects contributed to foundation of this autonomy in practice. After that the tradition to hold the all-Bashkir kurultays was stopped and, as it turned out, for a long period of time.

In the middle of 90s last century the necessity to hold a kurultay has become evident because Bashkir nation faced too many problems that time: the aggravating economic conditions, the reduction of Bashkir population as a result of assimilation and migration processes, certain washing out of Bashkir language and culture. These disturbing symptoms encouraged Bashkir public organizations to come out with the initiative to call a new Bashkir kurultay as the supreme form of Bashkir national movement, called to contribute to social-economic development of Bashkir nation and to more complete meeting of its cultural and spiritual needs. Preparation for the Kurultay was held by the instructions of the Decree of President RB Murtaza Rakhimov.

For the first time in the history of Bashkirs the representatives of Bashkir nations have gathered in Ufa fr om all over the world. Along with the delegations from Bashkir towns and regions the delegates from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, CIS and foreign states – Kazakhstan, Latvia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Hungary, China, Peru, Poland, the USA, Turkey, Finland and many other countries have arrived in our Republic to join the forum. About 600 delegates and more than 200 guests took part in work of the First World Bashkir Kurultay, having taken place in Ufa on June 1-2, 1995. The forum was opened by its oldest delegate and prominent public activist Zekeria Aknazarov. President of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov has taken the floor with the report “Our goal is agreement, renovation and progress”. The foundation of the World Bashkir Kurultay – the leading all-Bashkir organization has become the main outcome of the 1st World Kurultay. Its main goal is consolidation of Bashkir nation and all-possible assistance to social and national-cultural development of Bashkirs irrespective of their residence. The II World Bashkir Kurultay has taken place on June 14-15, 2002. More than 800 delegates and guests, representing Bashkir regions and towns, 33 Russian regions and 19 countries (Israel, Italy, Canada, the USA, Turkey, Japan and others) took part in its work. 12 sections were working within the frames of the forum, wh ere the most urgent problems of Bashkir nation and the role of Bashkir nation in the world community were under discussion.

Republic of Bashkortostan as the historical motherland and the only place in the world for consolidation of Bashkir nation by all means contributes to the all-sided social and cultural-spiritual development of all Bashkirs, including the Bashkir diaspora abroad. The state program “Bashkirs of Russian Federation”, worked up in the Republic is aimed at that and the World Bashkir Kurultay has become an important instrument for its realization.

The activity of the World Kurultay is highly appreciated both in the Republic and beyond. As President of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov said in his message of welcome on the occasion of the World Bashkir Kurultay’s 10th anniversary, today “this is the authoritative public organizations, actively partaking in all creative deeds for the good of our Republic and the whole of Russia. Its activity on development of the national self-consciousness and culture of Bashkir nation and on consolidation of our multinational civil commonality is worthy of sincere respect”.