Reviews

In the 1940s and early 1950s, a large-scale project was undertaken for the redefinition of Tatar national consciousness, as it had been formed through the action of generations of Volga-Muslim scholars and intellectuals.  This project, achieved through a full set of measures of diverse nature, was reflected in the positions adopted by the Party in 1944, 1948, and 1952.  It was only a piece in the Communist builders’ overall plan for the formulation of a Great-Russian, national and Bolshevik, imperial ideology.  As to the Tatars, the ideologists of the time had to fulfil a couple of specific missions.  They blacklisted the historical period of the Golden Horde, and attempted to “forget” about the medieval opposition between Tatars and Russians.  Moreover, they tried to transform the Volga Tatars into companions of the Russians in the latter’s struggle against the “yoke of the Golden Horde.”  As to modern history, the negation of Muslim reformism and Jadidism was intended to transform the Volga Tatars into a “proletarian nation,” internationalist-minded from its very beginning, and shared the social struggles of the Russian proletariat.  A part of the Tatar intelligentsia, in particular historians opposed these ideas since the 1940s. In the 1980s and 1990s, they opened a new period in the course of national history and identity, claiming intellectual ascendance from Shihab al-Din al-Marjani, a nineteenth-century Bukhara–educated reform-minded ‘alim from Kazan, and one of the leading historiographers of the early modern Muslim communities of the Middle Volga region.

The Redaction
CER: I-3.2.D-227