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Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State calls to abstain from idealizing the past

06 june 2013, 14:04
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Marat Tazhin. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Marat Tazhin. © Yaroslav Radlovsky
Marat Tazhin, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State, has called the Kazakh society to be unbiased when interpreting history of the 20th century, a Tengrinews.kz journalist reports.

“Both extremes are equally dangerous: we should abstain from idealizing the past; history books should unveil the dramatic events of the 20th century without nostalgic feelings towards the allegedly “orderly [Soviet] times”. Millions of our ancestors know what it takes to live in such an “order”. It’s the duty of historians to expose all the horrors of solving the issue of inter-ethnic relations in a totalitarian state”, Mr. Tazhin said when speaking before the inter-agency working group on national history.

“At the same time, we should be unbiased towards the past and respect not only feelings of the older generation (…) we should understand that in history there can be nothing unambiguously white or unambiguously black (…) the whole 20th century calls for a balanced, unbiased (…) approach”, he said.

Secretary of State emphasized that the Kazakhs are one of the most ancient ethnic groups in Eurasia, adding that history of Kazakhstan is also a history of other ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan, sometimes against their own free will. Historians should objectively study the process of the multi-ethnic nation being formed, he believes.

“We should be fully aware that the most debated [in the media] part of Kazakhstan’s history in the 20th century is the collision of national interests and interests of the totalitarian regime. It’s a history of suppression of the national identity by the pitiless political machine; the machine didn’t care whether it was a Kazakh, a Russian, a Ukrainian, or an Uzbek (…) we should be aware of the real history mechanism”, Mr.Tazhin said.

“The life of generations of Kazakhstanis in the Soviet times is full of its own sense, its own joys, winnings and achievements (…) it would be wrong to blacken this layer of history and the generations of people living in that particular time (…) it’s our duty to rightly evaluate the past epoch”, he said.

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