Product ISBN : 978-1-78902-007-6
Publishing house: Glimmer Publishing
Number of pages: 87
Author: Glauco D'Agostino
Tatarstan and the Middle Volga region are a crossroad of geo-political interests extending to Central Asia, a hub of Turkophone communities. It’s a historical and geographical evidence Tatarstan is part and parcel of Russia. It’s as sure the Tatar ethnic group has a right to preserve the peculiarity laid down by its traditional minority status, including institutional prerogatives. The use of language, the educational and cultural policy, the autonomous status are the core of the issue. Centripetal and top-down for Moscow, associative and of self-government for Kazan. The road to compromise is fraught with difficulties.
The Tatars know membership in the Federation is not only forced but is a world power shield providing security and stability. Out of any independence demands, a negotiation path remains in order to concede at least a historical uniqueness, which today could be recognised at an institutional level (its Constitution, State Council, Presidency, language) after the erosion suffered in the first two decades of this century. If the Idel-Ural Nation emblematic myth grown in the collective imagination serves this purpose, it is welcome without idealising it as the flag of a troubled unity, but even making sure its foes did not manipulate it as an anti-Kremlin message.
Tatarstan is also experiencing an Islamic revival after the disastrous fall of communism and its atheist ideology. It’s perhaps uncomfortable to someone, but hard to deny even in the light of past historical events, that Islam maintains a role unifying Tatar identity, without applying the Umma powerful conception.
The equilibrium of stances is still in the hands of republican institutions and the Kremlin, which will succeed in pointing out a road balancing ethno-religious visions if both actually see the values at stake: a regional social stability, as well as a stimulation of a civil awareness to a complex and multifaceted state-building making room for all cultural and custom expressions in the area.