Bashi-ing Emomali Rahmon

by Teo on 4/18/2007 · 9 comments

Another cartoon from Tom Wellings
Context:”Recent presidential decrees like the de-Russification of surnames, as well as bans on gold caps on teachers’ teeth and lavish parties, remind us of the late Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. The latest decree was, first of all, populist. Second, it is an attempt to overshadow the problems in social, economic, political, and cultural life in Tajikistan and to direct people’s attention to unimportant issues.”
– Shokirjon Hakimov, head of the Faculty of Law and International Relations at Tajik International University in Dushanbe

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Faramarz April 18, 2007 at 7:26 am

This website should rather look at its own foolishness, how could you put a statue of terror and genocide Temur the Lame there in your website???

Secondly, Pres Rahmon, is far more progressive and far better than the old Karimov-begi.

Nathan April 18, 2007 at 9:00 am

Somebody’s a bit defensive…

First off, I don’t mean anything by using the Timur image off of the 500 so’m note. I’m not Central Asian, and I don’t have a side in the fights between different Central Asian nationalities. I would just have soon used a nice image of Manas or Ismoil Somoni had one been available when I was doing the redesign. Of course, then I’d be getting complaints the other direction. The fact of the matter is, I chose it because, having lived in Uzbekistan, I have lots of so’m sitting around. It was a good thing to grab a recognizable image off of.

Second, to say something about Rahmon is not to automatically compare him to Karimov. I think the general consensus around these parts is that Karimov sets the bar for abusive rule in Central Asia.

Joshua Foust April 18, 2007 at 9:31 am

At least, he does every since Turkmenbashi died.

Brian April 18, 2007 at 9:41 am

I think if you did a search on this website you’d find FAR more negative posts and comments about Karimov than Rahmon.

It’s not a competition, it’s a discussion.

Teo April 18, 2007 at 11:34 am

Faramarz –
Most readers of Registan have probably already read your views on Rahmon at neweurasia and BBoyd’s blog. As someone who taught a year of university in Dushanbe, I mostly agree with Rahmon’s latest rulings. Cellphones and silly clothes were something teachers regularly came to blows over with students. De-russification makes plenty of sense, even if it was possibly timed carefully and overall slightly impractical.

Still, Registan is an open blog where readers are encouraged to contributek, for the debate it allows – or just the smiles. Nathan & Josh didn’t make that cartoon, nor did I.

An aside I’m hoping someone can shed some light on –
(Look carefully at the banner above)
Why does Timur have a hook for a left hand?

Nathan April 18, 2007 at 12:51 pm

Why does Timur have a hook for a left hand?

Cause he’s a pirate?

(Really, I’m not sure. All I know is I scanned the image, changed the coloring, and took out some of the background. I don’t think I removed anything from his hand.)

Nick April 19, 2007 at 2:29 am

There is nothing new under under the sun. Every generation of nationalists think’s it is the first to identify and apply the real precepts of national identity, whether they be language, culture, ethnicity, or, in this case, names. The dropping of the Slavic suffixes to the surname is neither here nor there. I mean, you can’t really get much more Tajik than a) being born in Tajikistan, b) speaking Tajik, and c) being called Emomali Rakmonov. Dropping the ‘-ov’, ‘-ev’ whatever isn’t going to make anyone less ‘Russian’ and more ‘Tajik’. I undnerstand it’s supposed to be a volunary decision and up to the individual, but does raise the spectre of someone who retains the Russian-style name of being regarded as somehow non-Tajik or unpatriotic.

Michael Hancock April 19, 2007 at 10:28 am

I’m going to say that, looking at my own so’m very carefully, I think it’s not a hook, but just the horse reins wrapping around his hand. However, if they wanted to give Amir Temur a hook for a left hand, I would be all for it. Think of the stories that would generate! Was it the result of a duel with one of his generals? Maybe an unsuccessful fight with one of the political/tribal rivals of his youth? And what uses would he have found for it as the head of a marauding army, going off like so much medieval napalm across the steppes and deserts of Central Asia? I can only think of the options that would have lain before him. I smell a “graphic novel” — someone call Frank Miller!

Kiropol April 23, 2007 at 7:34 pm

yes, changing the last name might not make any difference. However I would say that some of the rules set by the government to tighten the frame of control over the students was agreeable when it comes to the issue of the nations mentality. For example: female students outfit control would draw more local (less-moderate) families to let their daughters go to schools and acquire their high school degrees. Thats just a personal thought. We are (in Tajikistan) practically losing 40% off the total educational resources of the population by not letting girls to go to schools. and another 30% (who are men) are leaving the country to earn money in Russian and other countries. Again, the statistics are made on my own judgments based on the current news.

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