Tajiks of Uzbekistan E-mail


Dariush Rajabian

Freedom of expression brought by perestroika in the late 1980s is described as a double-edged sword for many Central Asian governments. Accepted axioms and decades-long established facts were put in doubt and history was about to be re-written. Among many other cases Uzbekistan’s demography was independently re-scrutinized by Tajik intelligentsia in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and claims were made about the inaccurate census statistics that put the number of Tajiks in Uzbekistan under one million. The process of Tajik national awakening was interrupted by a brutal civil war in 1992 and the reverse process accompanied by Tashkent’s swift repressive measures is still going on. Tajikistanweb will look into the past and present of Tajiks in Uzbekistan in a series of articles.

The post-perestroika years were abundant with talks about Uzbek chauvinism and Tajik irredentism that cast shadow over Tajik-Uzbek relations. The rise of national consciousness among Tajiks of both neighbouring republics appeared to be the gravest threat to Uzbekistan’s plans to build a uniethnic, unicultural and unisectarian state. The 1924 and 1929 national territorial delimitations as one of the most neglected areas of Soviet inter-ethnic relations were discussed among both republics’ academic circles. Facts that became widely known did not please the Uzbek authorities at all.

A process that began by the end of the 19 th century to promote a Central Asian Turkic national consciousness at the expense of the Persian one was inherited by the Soviet nomenklatura of the region. "The Pan-Turkists had their own interpretation for Karl Marx' slogan, "Proletariats of the world Unite!" In their version, the slogan "international union of all the workers of all countries" and "the oppressed peoples of the world" were changed to "a union of all the Turks." (Rahim Masov, The History of a National Catastrophe).


Regionalism Vs Nationalism E-mail



 Dariush Rajabian 

Once considered the major element of the Soviet ‘divide and rule’ policy, regionalism in Tajikistan has proved to be the main obstacle that precludes the building of civic nationalism. Following its unexpected independence Tajikistan has witnessed an enormous upsurge of regionalism as both an unwritten political ideology of the government and an open matter of press confrontation between Tajik intellectuals from various regions of the country. As promised before, tajikistanweb will try to shed light on the regionalism mosaic in Tajikistan and threats it poses to the consolidation of the nation.

Regionalism attributed to less developed societies could be seen in some of the most advanced countries like the United Kingdom too. However, the North-South divide in Britain contains only the economic and cultural differences between southern England and the rest of the kingdom and has nothing to do with politics. A person’s place of birth could not be a decisive fact in her/his CV. Whereas Tajik regionalism is based mainly on politics and one’s place of birth could be more important than his/her academic degree or career record in defining his/her future.

Tajik regionalism (a loose translation of mahalgarai) previously expressed in people’s surnames (Bokhari, Samarqandi, Khojandi, Vanji) evolved into something more than just a regional self-designation under the Soviet reign. National-territorial delimitation by the Soviet planners excluded the majority of Tajiks and most of their areas from the Tajik republic during 1924-1929 to ensure Moscow’s control over the region. The topic has been discussed by tajikistanweb in "The Axed Persian Identity". Here the links will be drawn between the obviously unfair delimitation and the rise of Tajik regionalism.

The Importance of the Samanid State in The History of Islamic Civilization E-mail

 By Abdulmuhammad Hiloli

A factor, which came to have importance in the political, social, cultural, and religious life of the Muslims during the Abbasid period, was the disintegration of the regions and the establishment of local dynasties in the western and eastern parts of the caliphate.

The emergence of independent dynasties in some instances was possible due to political weakness, which accompanied the Abbasids during all period of their rule. The caliphs could never have real authority, either political or religious, over the Islamic world, and they always unsuccessfully tried to establish it relying on the support of Persians and later nomadic Turkish tribes. Replacement of the Khurasan recruits by the Turkish in the time of the caliph al-Mu’tasim (833 – 842) increased political struggles in the court of the Abbasids, and caused restriction of the caliph’s authority. As a matter of the fact, the caliphs were not able longer control the huge territory, from European Spain to the deserts of Central Asia, and a process of disintegration was expanded.

Thus, the conflict from the court of the Abbasids spread to the regions, where some local dynasties established their authority. Although, some of them were in many respects independent from the Abbasids, like the Fatimids, the majority of those dynasties formally recognised the legitimacy of the Abbasids. To the list of that kind of dynasties we can enter the Samanids (872 – 999) of Central Asia, which is the theme of discussion for this paper. Alongside with the other Iranian dynasties of the Tahirids (821 – 873), the Saffarids (861 – 908), and the Buyids (932 – 1055), the Samanids had made some contribution to the process of Iranian Renaissance.1

The Path of Alexander The Great through our Country E-mail
By Tahir Kabuli

The path of Alexander the Great through our country has fascinated many people and researchers. In this brief note, I would like to trace his path through the existing borders of our country. Alexander, after defeating Darius III of Achemanshid, entered our country’s existing border and reached Aria or today's Herat. The ruler of the city, Sati Barzan, realized his weakness to face Alexander alone, made peace with him. Alexander left Sati Barzan more or less in his position as the city's ruler and tried to reach Bactra to defeat Fori Bsus, who had declared himself as ruler of Bactra (today's Balkh).

Alexander was on his way to Bactra, when the news of Sati Barzan rebellion reached to him. At that time the center of the city of Herat was called Arta Kowfa and archaeologists place it where today's Akhtiarudin Fort is located. The ruler of Herat, Sati Barzan, killing the Greek military observer along with some of their soldiers, fortified his positions by the time of Alexander's return. After Alexander reached Herat and the two sides were engaged in fierce fighting and eventually the city of Herat fell back to the Greeks. After this rebellion, Alexander was weary of future rebellion and tried to keep the conquered city under control by building a military fort in Herat. This fort was called the Alexandria of Aria or Alexandria of Herat.This was the first of a series of garrison towns he built in our country.
Zardusht and the Aspa dynasty of Balkh E-mail
By Tahir Kabuli

Zardusht's relation with the Aspa dynasty of Balkh is an important proof that leaves no doubt as to the home of Zardusht. Zardusht was an important religious figure of ancient Balkh. His fame was such that his name was known and appear among Greeks, and Romans in different forms.
The name Zardusht consists of two words that is Zar(gold) or Zard(yellow). These two are still in use in Dari and carries the same meaning. The second part usht is today's ushter or shtur, meaning camel. So the name Zardusht is translated as the Owner of Golden Camel or Owner of Yellow Camel. The father of Zardusht's wife was Faraushtra or Farusht. This name is also consists of two parts: Fara and usht (ushter or shtur). It means the Owner of Early Camel.

In both of the above names the word ushter (camel) is visible. However most of Zardusht's other relatives have the word Asp or Aspa (meaning horse) in their names. The word Asp is still in used in today's Dari and still means horse.

Father of Zardusht was called Puroahpa or Puroaspa(Puroasp). The word Puro means pir (old) and therefore the name  Puroahpa can be translated as the Owner of Old Horses. The fourth grand father of Zardusht was named Heycheyt Aspa or Heycheyt Asp. It means the Owner of Strong Horses.
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