Word on Abai
WORD ON ABAI
Speech of the President of the Republic of Kazakstan N. Nazarbayev
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we hold an unforgettable celebration. All of us have gathered, today in this magnificent palace to express our eternal unflagging love of never fading ac¬knowledgement to our glorious son and wise teacher. It has become our long-standing tradition — get together in such a way each decade celebrating the anniversary of birth of this great man so as to worthily give credit to our past and weigh our close objectives on the balance of reason. And each time the name of Abai reaches ever greater heights thus glorifying the honour and dignity of our nation. True, there were times when we rejoiced immensely the fact that the invaluable legacy of our illustrious poet had not been trampled upon by the ruthless boots of class ideology and acquired its due import in all the coming generations. Afterwards we were filled with legitimate pride becoming aware of the obvious fact that the Poet`s fame was not confined by purely national scope but it made up the cultural treasury of neigbouring peoples and far off countries. Small wonder that the holiday we mark today is ever more significant. We have every reason to heartily congratulate each other without concealing this altogether national jubilation.
As is well known Abai`s dream was to become a son of his homeland rather than that of his father. Today we may well maintain that his dream has come true for he seems to proudly sit in the most honourable place at our festival as a truly world-famous, wise and sagacious Teacher, Poet and Genius for all mankind. Sheer evidence thereto is the fact that the celebration started its triumphant march not in Almaty or Semey, not in Karaul or Zhidebai – birth places of the poet, but in the developed countries of East and West, in well recognized states of Europe and Asia, in such major centers of the world as Moscow and Istanbul, Paris and Beiging. For all this we have to give credit to the good will of one of the most authoritative agencies in the world – UNESCO which treated our request with great sympathy and consideration. It thought possible to break decades-long tradition of making «round» dates of calendar, it announced the year of 1995 that Abai, it passed a decision to mark the jubilee under its ages throughout the world. We have every reason to regard it as a high moral and political support it accorded to a young state that has only recently gained sovereignity and has entered the community of independent states as its equal member. It may well be regarded as sheer good will and beneficial attitude to our people. I think it my particular duty to express — on behalf of all the Kazakstanis — my most sincere appreciation, gratitude and recognition to UNESCO, to its Director General, a prominent public figure, well known poet, honourable Mr. Federico Mayor. Most whole-heartedly we thank all the states and authoritative international agencies which have already celebrated or are yet to celebrate Abai`s days, for their making a sizable contribution to propaganda of Abai`s legacy. It is they who have delegated their smartest repre¬sentatives to our festival. All this is a tangible evidence of nascent new spiritual approaches testifying to the victory of ideals of democracy and humanism the world over.
Genuine fraternity is in spiritual unity of people united in joy and grief. Kazaks would say, «an ambassador joins peoples while the one who breeds strife separates them». We do not conceal utter satisfaction to the effect lhat Abai being one of the brightest advocates of the honest and open soul of our people has become in our day a brilliant Ambassador of spiritual unity calling all nations of the Globe for peace and accord. The true son of the country, he did all to glorify it and now the grateful land brings glory to its illustious son. Nowadays, when Kazakstan experiences a truly historic period, our nascent state has already managed to present itself to world community as a reliable partner, a well-wishing ally and a devoted companion on the way to civilization. Time and again we thank our stars that in Abai`s personality we have obtained such a worthy, proud spiritual support. Just as much we are gralef ill to our Creator for the chance given to our nation to demonstrate to all the world the ability to honour and worship its sacred legacy. In fact, we are happy to live in such an epoch and to loyally serve to such nation and such society. We regard it as a gift of our lucky stars. Awareness of this rare benefit strengthens our spirit adding new enthusiasm and confidence. Tremendous wisdom of multifacet and laborious history that had brought up such unprecedented intellectual giant as Abai is in fact a natural continuation of those momentous events which we live through experience nowadays. If we manage to profoundly study and analyse all complex vicissitudes of Abai `s life and his spiritual strivings, to make due conclusions, we are sure then to succeed in perceiving and comprehending this misterious link that connects Abai with the stage of development we experience today and to learn quite a few useful things thereof. Then it would have become all too clear to us: just as Abai couldn`t help deliberate and write so bitterly and painfully in his far from easy days we too can hardly help taking great pains to cope with the tremendous challenges of our time.
Dear guests and other participants of today`s function.
As is well known uncommon circumstances urge one to seeking just as uncommon actions and endeavours. Such circumstances bring to life particularly powerful will and talent. That is why from times immemorial the eternally uneasy and restless human kind, invariably striving ever up and up, to ever new heights, in its endless spiritual finds and highly honours audacious and wise personalities, trail-blazers capable of identifyiog fine goals and the right way looming large in the dark of the future.
Nothing can be gained without some lofty guiding idea. No seeds of honour and dignity in human soul would ever give their noble fruit without it. A man deprived of such facilities would hardly grace his fellowmen let alone himself. Without those features national self-concience is a mere fiction. For then one would fail find the way to progress and prosperity, in fact, then one is doomed to dragging along the deserted path having to resignedly eke out his miserable existence. To bring the nation and society out of the impasse, out of the state of decay and poverty, the people had lo give birth to a chieftain, a leader bestowed with extraordinary faculties and selected be the very nature and history. In a word it should have been a man with prophetic vision, angelic purity in thoughts and a lion`s courage in deeds.
These were actually faculties inherent in Abai, substantiated with mockingly smart intellect and powerful spirit. That`s that made him superior to his epoch of social stagnation thus ranking him one of the first among the true elite of spiritual knights of mankind. Which is why it is impossible to get the true insight of Abai`s creative legacy without minute analisis of his epoch.
Those were real hard times in the history of Kazakhs. One can easily imagine iremendoiis vastness of infinite Kazakh steppes that happened to be on the crossroads of strategic interests of the empire resolved to occupy an ever greater portion of the Globe advancing as far as possible both to the South and the East across Cential Asia. At any event the Empire would have hated to lose such tastiest bit. However the «noble objective» implied destruction of the historically es¬tablished national system of administering the country. To gain imperial goals one had to forcibly impose on the Steppe vicious procedures, rules and form of power of the omnipotent Metropoly. In a desperate hurry and quite artificially there have been set up several tiny Khanates thus breaking up erstwhile ethno-territorial integrity. Then they reduced the nation and the Khanate lands to volosts and auls after tribal criteria. Consequently the Khanates were aptly dismembered like a sheep`s body depriving then in passing of their sovereignty and forcibly incorporating them in the composition of various gubernias to subsequently turn the nation into mere settlers. The thrones of recent Khans were occupied (naturally on promotion of the tsarist government) by volost rulers from among the «loyal Kazakh subjects». Having dislocated all the previous traditional links which consolidated the unity of people they imposed an altogether foreign way of the lowest level, i.e. in auls and volosts all power belonged to local elite, «atkaminers», while the uyezds and oblasts were managed by military officials loyal to the Tsar. As a result on the land of their own Kazakhs into mere, newcomers deprived of basic social rights. In fact the nation became deprived of not only national but also tribal unity, such policy gave birth to discord and confusion among fhe population. At the supreme order «from above» the country was «distributed» among the frontier gubernias of Siberia, Orenburg, Astrakhan and Turkestan while Manghystau was first subordinated to Transcaucasian and then Transcaspian oblasls. Indeed one can hardly imagine a more miserable lot that could have befallen a once single nation. To be sure there are few nations on the Globe who escaped the yoke of colonialism, yet another such people as Kazakhs who had suffered from so crushing and relentless reforms, from so severe predicaments and trials is indeed hard to find on the Mother Earth.
Such was the perfidious colonial policy whose goal was to turn enormous area occupied by nomads into a strategic spingboard for ever greater expansion of its territory. Pursuing this goal the empire would not stop short before ruiving historic statehood and depriving its aborigenes of basic human rights. It`s an open secret though that to this day here and there one can evidence similar imperial ways and ambitions in all sorts of appeals and programmes of bellicose politicizing hawks and patent bawlers. Particularly outrageous are utterances of some «oracles» dreaming of the return of the epoch that has long since sunk into oblivion, the epoch when one could afford voluntary re-patterning of territories, driving whole nations off their age-long habitats, turning them into resigned cattle-breeders with the goal of themselves becoming absolute masters of the territory rich in mineral resources. Such petty tyrants were all too plentiful in Abai`s days too. More than that: they were not satisfied with polluting the land and humiliating the people, they would like to poison national conscience, mock at the language, faith, rites and traditions, they fried to do all to make people forget their ancient unique art, trades, history, to instill a feeling of shame of one`s national uniqeness. Such policies were practised with particular refinement, subtlety and methodicalness. That`s how an altogether new disgusting phenomenon was born: «culturizalion of non-Russians.» It was the only small fry swallows the bait, «tie way a moth is thoughtless driven towards a fire. Quite soon unity and concord were forgotten. Selectively, — in education, in service the government pursued the aim of undisguizes russification on the one hand and instigation of envy and enmity — at the other. More fhan that; even enlightenment has acquired a tinge of evil-scheming. In fact, they set about perfidiously trapping (naturally under a guise of particular concern) the nation that all throughout the century desperately upheld its honour and dignity. Those who got afraid of the government that built fortifications instead of schools, that flooded the steppe with guns rather than with books, thought it better to get out of the way moving off to lonely deserts. Others who persisted in staying on their native lands had to be satisfied wifh a miserable lot of a petty employer or even a hired man. Only migrants from all over empire provinces could affotd fertile lands, cushy jobs and noble service. From that time on the resources allocated foi the development of provinces were spent on improvement of settlers` life. Those who sincerely advocated education of non-Russians were openly laughed at. As was put by one high tsarist dignitary in the latters letter to the steppe Governor «for extraordinary love to fellowmen». If the number of Kazaks who obtained Russian education reached 1% by the beginning of the new century, it was achieved mostly at the expense of donations accorded by local tycoons, and by a handful of aborigine enthusiasts craving for knowledge. All and every living being strives to light and life. There is no living being on Earth that would dream of suicide. Neither do people. Regardless of privations and victimizations suffered by people, they would always hope for the best. If for the benefit of that grand goal some eight centuries ago one of our compatriots set out on a long journey to the South of Asia in search of knowledge, in the last century the number of such audaceous men with same enthusiasm was legion. Yet just as we cannot maintain that lofty designs of Al-Farabi were cast by the fatherly concern on the part of Arabic Khaliphate, it would have been equally futile to look for a manifestation of particular concern on the part of tsarist autocracy in the audacious deeds of a handful of desperately brave sons of steppes of the last century who were thirsty for knowledge. Educating non-Russians from provinces also betrayed a well considered system. Yet it started working mostly from the second decade of current century. Consequently one should regard striving to education, to knowledge pronounced before the period at issue as a spiritual endeavour of certain individuals prompted by acute expediency of national life. In fact, it was an enviable manifestation of farseeing national self-conciousness, always on the rise. It anticipated utter decay of the outdated economic and social way of life, it was sure that a new social — and — economic system is yet to come. It is not just a chance but a natural phenomenon. Viability of national spirit abhors such approach and prevents us from deciphering the essential phenomenon of such genious personality as Abai . Magnificence of Abai`s genius lies in the fact thai in. the epoch of colonial opression and humiliation he managed — contrary to all visissitudes — ennoble fortitude of national spirit, instilling per¬sistence and daring rather than wary cowardice, purposefulness rather than confusion, sfriving to knowledge rather than ignorance and career-seeking into the minds of his fellow-tribesmen.
Abai experienced all the burdens of this confused time to full extent. His father, Kunanbai, was a conspicious personality, influential among both steppe tycoons and tsarist officials, he felt sure enough regardless of ongoing changes. Somehow it was a unique man characterized by one of European travellers as a «steppe Cicero». Wise, masterful, and ambitious, Abai`s father took his young son from both Moslem medresse and Russian parish school to get him engaged in matters of administration. The young man happened to be in the very thick of struggle between the new and the old, between tribal traditions and cynical psychology of tsarist colonialism. At all events he tried hard to be an advocate of the all too humiliated people deprived of all social rights. Soon however he evidenced complete futility of his efforts. Tsarist officials met him with mistrust while his fellow-tribesmen envied him. He felt disappointment quite eariy, kissed good bye to his recent illusions and planges into creative activities devoting to it the last twenty years of his life. And now his work has become a proud legacy of the whole of mankind. As a poet Abai raised improvizational poetry of Kazakhs up to the standard of genuinely realistic written poetry. He expanded its thematic range quite tangibly. He introduced genres and forms it had never before. Rejecting traditional insignicant descriptions and empty verbiage he created highly philosophical lyrics which displays to advantage the innermost feelings of being. Gentleness, melodiousness, sensuality of Oriental poetry were rendered in. Abai`s poetry an inimitable accoid with intellectuality and psychologism of western literature.
Indeed no truely Abai`s school could be ever born without Abai — a school of written literature of the early XXth century with its civil pathos, stilistic diversity, sharply social colouring and a bright artistic range. In lyrics by Magzhan Zhumabaev, Berniyaz Kuliyev, Shangerei Bukeyev, Shakarim Kudaiberdyjev, in scientific and political journalism of Alikhan Bukheikhanov, Akhmet Bai-tursynov, Omar Karashev and ofhers there has found brilliant expression an, altogether new, profoundly national-and-aesthetical tinge of the literary school that has been elaborated and systemafized by the genious experience of Abai . Ennobled by this sacred source our rich multi-genre fiction became a reliable spiritual basis that withstood all tragic calvry of the XXth century. It not only served devotedly not only to its nation but also mei most exquisite aesletic requirements made by the multinational reader of the now expired USSR and the world itself, in this context we feel deeply obliged to Abai`s unique talent who — as long ago as the last century — dared expanding the limits of national world perception.
Worth noting is that Abai has succeeded in becoming a world-famous figure not only owing to his literary endeavour. More than literature served for Abai peculiar golden gates to the infinite world of Universal Spirit extending from ancient days to space wastes. It cannot be encompassed and only literature makes it possible to grasp all spheres of being, all aspects of man, Nation, History and Spirit in their inalienable unity, to broaden the confines of human knowledge. Reality of the epoch predetermined tremendous scope of Abai`s thought, his research pathos. It was he who comprehensively analysed the life of his people measuring the whole depth of its tragic lot. He would set about seeking a remedy to people`s woes. Full of compassion and sympathy, Abai himself rose to the heights of universal humanism. He overcame all petty troubles which would always happen between people and nations: he treated the neighbouring Russian particulary closely heed Abai`s meditations, for our time of transfor¬mations. One thing is clear:
The great philosopher in way appealed to shedding tears of sympathy over the poor. He saw genuine love to people in awakening its honour and dignity, its civil activity and ambition, for if to be able to manage its own fate. Abai was pressed for this by both humiliating policy of tsariam and by ever growing plebeian ways. But Abai also saw thai it was futile to combat it openly. Yet he was never hied to find a way to spiritual Renaissance.
Here`s Abai`s advice: work, get rid of poverty. For a hungry man is hardly able to remain sensible and honest, let alone strive for knowledge. To feel the need for knowledge and culture one should be free from daily concern about bread and oiher nations with invariable profound respect. He was guite sincere in his love to the great Russian culture and always ready to learn from it. He was sure of one thing: spiritual interaction joins people, both big and small. All people are friends.
So what`s the way out? Says Abai: «You should master Russian language for that people possesses wisdom and developed science and high culture. Russian science is a sure key to world comprehension. Possessing this key would substantially improve the lite of our people.»
Тhе answer might seem unexpected and embarassing. Isn`t it too simple? Isn`t it the same what tsarist officials uphold? No! For it goes not about humiliation of a steppe dweller but about the lafter`s envobling, making him equal in his rights and dignity with other uations. According to Abai: «to avoid vices specific to Russians, to borrow their achievements one should study their language. It`s a sure key to feeling equal with them.» The conclusion is clear enough: to uphold one`s dignity one should first become equal in cultural and educational stand¬ards with those who try to humiliate or oppress you.
This very creed of his which on the surface seems to be sheer obstinacy Abai proved by his very life. Living in a far-off Kazakh аul he managed not only to study not only most of Russian classics, but also to translate them into Kazakh end was an aideni advocate and propagandist of their works.
More than that: through Russian Abai got acquainted with immortal creations of Byron, Goethe, Schiller, Lesage, Dumas, Mizkiewicz and he even «sound-scared» them in Kazakh. Abai`s inquisitive mind made its way to the intellectual treasure of ancient Greece and Rome: he closely studied woiks of outstanding thinkers from Aristoteles and Socrates to Spinosa and Spenser. Just as powerfully he was attracted by Darwin`s research, by the work written by John William Dreper, a New York University professor. He tried hard to get the insight into the history of development of social thought in Europe so as to comprehend the interconnection between catolicism and science. Small wonder that he admitted once: «My Kaaba moved to the West».
A sensitive poet and thinker he tried to grasp the life of steppe through the life of rest of the world. Time and again he looked through thick volumes in Arabic and Persian getting yet another insight in poetry, history and philosophy of the Orient giving new appraisals and comments. Particularly closely he studied works by Tabari, Rabguzi, Rashid ad`Din, Babur, Abulgazy. Quite substantially lie mastered Oriental logic and Moslem law. He was pretty well informed about cultural and spiritual life in Central and South Asia of his time.
Just as comprehensive and profound was Abai`s knowledge of national culture. He was both delighted and saddened by the pathos and fury in works by Korkut, Asan — the Lamenter, Atalyk, tale-narralors as Sypyr, Kodantaichi. Kartugan, Dosmambel, Shalkiiz, Markask, Zhiembei, lofty truth in wise improvisations and behests of Bukar-Zhyrau, of biis Tole, Kazybek and Aiteke.
Suffice it to add to this list sacred names of illustrous Turan scientists, historians and poets — those of Khodza Ahmed Yassavi, Al Farabi, Yasif Balasaguni, Makhmad Kashgari, Mukhamed Khaidar Dulati, Mukhamed ibn Kais and one would involuntary be struck by tremendous encyclopaedic knowledge and unp¬recedented world outlook of our great compatriot. True, one can only wonder how the ancient infinite steppe wastes that embrace two huge continents with its gold¬en bowl gave birth to such a remarkable giant of Spirit and Intellect whom could haidly encompass any traditional conceots, schools, cultural trends.
Indeed, intellectual outlook of Abai was immence and just as immense was the range of his emotions embracing all spheres of the Universe. Sensitive heart and sober mind, imaginative and sensual perception of world at large, severe criticism and subtle lyricism hai-momously combined in this complex personality emphasized integrity and wise maturity of this unigue character. There was no room to whatever smugness or narrow-mindedness. Rather it was truthfulness and tragedy dialectically combined.
Why? What are the whereabouts of so great spiritual rationalism and maxi-mal ism with the steppe bald who born and worked in remote Asian province? What have they come from — these proud and valiant moral ideals that put a Man in the center of all that lives and exists? These all — embracing views claiming radical transformations in society? Probably he was just urged by his existence, dull, bedraqqled and cheerless? It may well be: he got tired of petty squabbles, of his fighting a thousand singiehandedly. With bitterness he might have got the awareness of futility of his efforts, he felt depressed being witness to a dire poverty of the steppe which went on eking out miserable exist¬ence while the world round it was changing beyond recognition. He felt deeply sorry for his simple-hearled but spiritually somnoient countrymen.
Why? Only yesterday, listening to self-satisfied mocking stories of his villagers he thought with poorly disguised pride: «There`s no other raoie worthy and noble nation like Kazakhs.»
And now taking a closer look he saw only too clearly thai those who were laughed at have long suice advanced far ahead. He ask for himself: some could cultivate any thinkable plant, others have roamed the world over, still others could make any thing. Some nations are fine soldiers, they are capable of withstanding hardships, facing death wilh dignity, caring for schools and honouring religion, they can work and collect wealth...
There are others though: who spend all their time in discord and squabble, whoare no good even as servants... Is there any ground for jubilation and mirth? It was the very painful question that tortured Abai`s mind.
One cannot afford being blind to human sores. One must do all to find the way out. Having studied wise people of West and East he came to the conclusion: «God is an absolute truth and true are his words; never he instilled — be foul, idle, so without following Phophet, it`s impossible to get rid of wrong-doings; one has to crush greedinees in oneself, ff we don»t truck the right road in the society the society shouldn`t bo straightened; to reform the nation each is to be self-perfected. With this end «one shouldn`t be happy to each trifles and be ashamed of matters one shouldn`t be ashamed. «So the main refuge is work. For Abai work enriches cognition. Work strengthens memory. Work elaborates knowledge, selects important from unimportant, inspires person`s brains. Then, work is the basis of all benefits, industriousness is the main meaning and objective of a human life. Idleness on the contrary is the source of all virtues, it gives birth to obsequioussness, double — facedness, hopelessness. The only thin that won`t let a person, to turn over a beggar — is agriculture, trades, commerce, sciences. One has to be diligent. Abai is complaining: «God endowered you with power, for you to work, but you`re not using it for a fair job: God presented You with sciences, but you`re not studying. God endoweied You with reason but what you used it for? If you would be living creatively you could become rich».
Abai was convinced that only thanks to labour a person reaches morale perfection and is able to bring up within a family a new attitude to such definition as the fatherly, motherly, friendly in-terrelative duty. In any case lazybones and loafers squandering the wealth are doing every utmost to seed up parasits traits. No one can discuss the change of morales.
According to Abai , the only measure¬ment in the Universe is the attitude towards Labour. Let`s lend our ear to his «Sixth word». As the Kazakh jargon would have it: «Unity is the beginning of every success». But what kind of unity he is at? They say it is the unity of property, food. If it is so, then whet`s good of the wealth and what`s bad of the poverty? Is it worth toiling for the wealth, not avoiding firstly of relatives? Alas, the unity should be in minds, but not in the unity of property. Brothers should go living in concord, without being in the interdependency, just hoping for own fate. Otherwise they`d leave God on oblivion, and won`t take down to business, just search foi grievences for each other. How can one rich unity?
«Life is the basis of well-being. What kind of life he is at? Just about commonplace living for the soul not to quit the body? But a dog can lead such a life. No, it is about the life with the clear brains and living soul. If you are alive, but your soul is dead, words of reason won`t reach your conscience, and you won`t be able to earn your living fairly».
Good words, indeed! Frankly speaking we shouldn`t search for good intentions somewhere abroad. Abai has everything. Abai gives us the answers to all vital and topical problems of current domestic and foreign policy. His will «love the brother the humankind» is not but a basis of diplomacy of coexistence and the integral principal of the human unity and brotherhood. This is the cornerstone of our current policy, which is the must for our relationship with neighbourhood and overseas countries. Abai time and again persuades us to do what the rest of the world is busy doing, acquire their culture and science. With this end we are in need of cultural, economic, political interrelation. To speak modern we need integration.
His next postulate «If a Kazakh isn`t a friend to Kazakh, the life will be unbearable»— is the main principal of our national wealthiness. We are in great need of friendship, concord, unity in our struggle for future. Thus, for our own sake we have to be more careful to Abai`s words.
It was Abai, who was the first to say that it`s impossible for a nation to live in the old way, and it`s inevitable to work hard, acquire trades, get to know commerce. Otherwise, he was the first to suggest the Kazakh people the social and economic reforming of the society.
He was well versed that thfi only salvation for Kazakhs, deprived of land, in¬dependence, freedom is protection of their own self, human dignity and honour. Only in this way it`s possible to preserve the national mentality. Fot this he lived and fought.
Having thoroughly read Abai`s works, one can`t but be convinced that his ideas are consistent with our current market economy. Abai`s world — is our lodestar. It won`t lead us astray. We set the pace by it. Long long ago he answered all the most difficult questions. The Groat Normadship could be directed the right way if one had followed his advice. Unfortunately somebody lacks time, the other are deprived of will and desire.
Not a rarity when the pace is being Curved because of our absence of desire. Every person who is longing for the best of his nation, should time and again follow his wise advice. Let`s recall: «If you`d like to be among intelligent people, ask once a day, once a week, or once a month: How do you live? Have you done anything beneficial for your education, for your everyday life? Wouldn`t you be tormented with regrets? Or may be you don`t remember how you`ve been living».
If each of us overcoming the former routine of the life, should examine one`s life and doings, namely for the decade from Ihe starting of perestroika or for four years of gaining independence, we`d see all lost possibilities — many of our people according to the traditions, who are not hoping for themselves, but for the «kind Uncle», «our power», can`t but be turned to a new life.
Because of our idleness and lack of initiative they are feed ill at ease either at their jobs, or at home. The old disease hasn`t been cured yet to wait for commands, to pass running hat, and it»s the reason why the enterpreneurship is changed by dodgering, business by blan-blan, proposal by request, proof — by different tricks, kind advice be an offence.
I`m greatly worried about the fact that the possibilities, wealth are not in a proper usage. Nobody is to be blamed. Our sovereignty has been declared timely. Assistance has been rendered. Godwill, partnership relationships with many countries have been established. We have everything for business contracfs. We lack as Abai would have it, diligence, thoroughness. We are not doing the utmost in education, work. It is being changed as once Abai laughed — off lack of will, Mister Кnow-Allness, envy, robbery, intrigues.
Lots of bitter words were uttered by Abai — realist over local and global ethnic and social virtues that ruin the morale of the people. One can go along quoting these Abai`s vital, figurative lines. One can`t be offensive and disappointed having seen all these defects around us. We should be blamed! But how can`t we be disappointed when we forget that «life spent uselessly is the life of a wind». One can`t but be angry that some squabblers, without fear for their wrong¬doings before the God are busy with brains-storming, seeking for a scandal? One can`t but be offended when hearing that such kind of actions, and chattering, which are the result of misunderstanding and indifference make little for our inde-pendence, sovereignity. And do you want lo know the answer why your kith and keen is angry tit you, when your horse is the first on races? People are in search of ptace, and calmness, but when then have it, every¬thing becomes dull to them. Why? Why villains are so bold? And why some poor are so arrogant? And why Kazakhs don`t follow good advice, just leaning their ears to rumours?
Wasn`t it Abai who meant these words for us to our modern society?
You know quite well that at all sorts of such meetings I keep saying about the necessity of concord and unity of out people. It`s as old as the universal truth. There`s no country without it.
At all turning-points of history if Kazakh lost the fight or dispute, it`s only because of lack of unity and concord. Wasn`t he grieving for it? Addressing his people he used to say:
«All notorities dream of glory, Fussing, fidgeting, interfering. There is no place for unity, for concord and maybe this the reason for your herd of horses to be vanished ... And you can`t be happy, though have you wealth and brains and brotherhood. And there`s a place only for envy».
He used to say: Our ancestors possessed two dignities, which we are lacking now. What traits is he at? In Antedelluvian times there were people called «el basi»— head oi the people and «top basi»— the eldest man of the community. They were settling disputes, managing the life of the people. The elected representative of the people was granted with the reins of government and the community and from then on they did the utmost to back him up, hiding his pros and glorying his cons. Then the influential men couldn`t step off sense, so how couldn`t they take care of their people, where they lived in brotherhood with common property?
Second. People cherished as an apple of the eye the unity if somebody called for assistance, everybody tried to give a helping hand withot offences and disputes. They used to say «Brothers quarrel but they don`t renounce each other. «If six people are bogged in quarrels, they would lose everyhting they have, and if four people live in concord, then there is a place for paradise.
And so where are these dignities? And we badly need these qualities in a turning period of our history.
But I can`t complain as Abai to complete lack of the above mentioned among my people. Beacause as much as twice my compatriots endowered me with the trust, granting me the reins of government. They executed their duty. And I, on my side do the utmost not to let them down. They are my brothers and we have the property joy and grief in common, hopes and troubles — are common to us. Nothing is to bе divided.
Thus, knowing the necessity to tear myself away the current transition difficulties, in pursuance with the legislation 1 have brought up the New Draft Constitution for universal discussion. All layers of the society partook in the discussion, making lots of amendments, modifications, proposals. Critical remarks and approval have been thankfully admitted and considered. We are in great need of such a Constitution, that won`t hold the development of the country, but would include us to the global process of civilization, granting every other citizen the maximum possibility to uncover the best in individuality. If the Draft Constitution will be approved universally at the forthcoming refe¬rendum, then it will serve as the best proof of our unity and common aspiration. 1 do believe that it would be so. And here we have to reitteratc: we don`t give up either from economy reforming or from democracy. If there is no democratic freedom, there is no freedom in economy. We are able to notify all those provisions, which have become an obstacle in reaching our cherished goals. No one desires to gain the personal power, becoming conceited as a God vicegerent. I know not by hearsay that people have been bearing indifference and lack of will for a long time, but they never could stand tyranny. I do care not of myself,— I do care of my people.
Personal demands never occupy my mind; there is place only for demands of my country. May be some neighbourhood or overseas politicaos don`t understand or they don`t want to recognize it, but my people do realize it. I`m very thankful to it.
Abai`s ideals are not limited ethnically, they got global sounding. Only now it`s time for their real implemenatation on the Kazakh land. We are honoured to have such a fate, because we`re the sole heirs-at-law of those generations, which were seeking for these ideas, but favourable luck endowered us with such high historic and morale mission. We are representing the generations which stand neatest to Abai — Great Democrat — Thinker, and Spiritual Reformer. Realization of it imposes on us special responsibility. Execution, implementation of high ideals, taught by Abai — is depen¬dent on us.
Real humanism, consideration of people`s demands and needs, truth in life depicting, spiritual maximalism, which is entailed in being indifferent, non-acceptance of idleness, greediness, illiteracy — all these assets of Abai`s talent should define the main meaning and content of all our beginnings.
Abai thought that a person could be happy only When his aspiration and etforls are recognized and understood by others. Kind attention inspires. It was not at random that he told: «Friendship calls for friendship». He was keeping as invocation over ethnic unity, called for mutual under¬standing, peace and concord. For the people to prosper it has to live in confidence and peace with neighbouring countries. It`s one of the main historic factors, defining the fate of the nation for today.
We are trying to be loyal to these Abai`s spiritual lessons, try to vision the ethnic unity, interethnic concord, kindred of different cultures with Abai`s eyes.
Talented thinker who is honoured by the thankful World, even in the last century, in his Asian god — forsaken place, far from the world civilization predicted the way and manner of governing the society, which would be based on freedom and equality of peoples, confessing peace and concord.
Now we`ve got the moral possibility lo build such a universal developed society, which had been imagined and defined by the golden heart and bright mind of our great compatriot. Today there`s nothing remarkable about science, trades, education. The people are educated. Experts are ready. Peace is in the country. Youth under 30 years makes the third part of the population. Time itself is for implementation of Abai`s cherished dreams. There is only need for the science to provide for conscience, education to broaden the capacities of a man and youth — to reveal its creative power and aspiration.
It`s good to hold Abai`s Year. It`s blessing — to learn Abai`s poems by heart. But it would be better if Abai`s deep though is and sincere revealation wouldn`t be reiterated socially in vain, but be a basis for our everyday matters. One has to strive for it. It is the only demonstration of our loyalty to wise invocation and will of Abai, our children`s duty before the memory of Teacher of Kindness and Justice.
Faith is the main current asset for implementation of all tasks. Lack of faith in the future would lead to betrayal towards your own country. Even in the most mournful days in the hislory of our country Abai didn`t lose faith to the future of his nation. The evidence of it are his words: Who error hasn`t been in trouble? Only for a weak person is to lose faith. It`s true that there is nothing invariable on the earth, but evil isn`t forever. Isn`t the lull blossoming coming after cold winter?
May your words come true, our Great Ancestor! And I do believe that all difficulties of today are not forever; and. that in a while we`ll be living in lime will fill the hearts of people with joy, happiness and new hopes.
Only on this very way we will obtain everlasting harmony, unity with Abai . May us be worthy of Abai`s never to be forgetten memory! May his genius never be dwindled!
Thank you for attention.
Source: Nazarbayev N. Abai turaly soz= Slovo ob Abae=Word on Abay. - Almaty: Rauan, 1995. – 114-158 р.