If a nation does not know its history, if the country loses its history, then its citizens have nowhere to go.
Mirzhakyp Dulatuly

Alash party and the meaning of independence

Alash party and the meaning of independence - e-history.kz
This article touches upon the sacred meaning of independence, the successive interrelation between the ideas of the first Kazakh intellectuals of the last century and modernity.

The national breakthrough strategy continues in the initiatives, ideas and activities of the First President of independent Kazakhstan and affects all spheres of public life, domestic and foreign policy of the state. The longer we remember the Alash activists, the less often we will experience the bitterness of disappointment in the trials of adherence to justice, compassion and mercy, the ability of each of us to show personal responsibility for what is happening around us, to resist lies, not to succumb to the temptation of selfish and greedy enrichment at the expense of others.

The Alash idea, that emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century, continues to serve the interests of independent Kazakhstan and its people. Time will pass, new generations will come, but in the next decades and centuries a worthy legacy of social thought and spiritual experience of the Alash intelligentsia will be supported by the Kazakh people in the stream of history.

The historical path of Alash is only two decades of struggle. Even for one human life, this is not so much. But if to measure history not by time, but by deeds, it was not just a lot that was done by Alashevsk citizens. They made the most important thing; The concept of Kazakh statehood was formulated, which even today sounds like it is not hundred years old at all. A quote from the “Project of the Alash Party”, included in the section one noted that the value of democracy is state governance on the part of the people. The significance of the federation is the association of equal states. In a federal republic, each state will be independent, but will cooperate together. Each of them is self-directed. Section three called “Basic Rights” posits that people will be equal regardless of religion, origin and gender. Freedom of assembly, organization, speech, publishing books; state servants without the permission of the owner should not enter anyone's home; no one should be detained without legal grounds. For opening someone else's letter, a fine, for reading - punishment. Section four entitled 'Religious affair' claims that religious activities should be separated from state affairs. All existing religions have equal rights, freedom of religion. Freedom of entry and exit.

The Alash movement was an epoch-making phenomenon. His activities, ideas, programs laid the foundation for the formation of national statehood. In one of his interviews President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the Kazakhstani people must respect and appreciate those who fought for the freedom and independence of our country. Members of the “Alash” movement sincerely believed that the overthrow of the king would bring long-awaited freedom to the Kazakh people. But that did not happen instantly. People died for the idea, but it was them who awakened in us the desire for independence. The happiness of its sovereignty fell to our generation. The legacy of Alash left to us is to preserve our historical and cultural unity. The legacy of Alash is to protect and strengthen the agreement.

“Alash” is a national idea that brought the people together. This idea originated from the rule of Abylaikhan when he tried to unite the lands of three hordes under a single command.

However, this did not happen due to the fact that the younger Zhuz became part of the Russian Empire. “Alash” is an act of awareness by the nation of its territorial affiliation, determining the share and contribution of the people who have their place in the sun. “Alash” is a completely new social and political force: the Kazakh intelligentsia, the spiritual and intellectual elite, which put forward the idea of ​​national consolidation. Above all, they put spiritual and national independence. However, such a definition of Alash did not always exist.

Alikhan Bokeikhanov, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Forestry Institute, would become a scientist naturalist and ethnologist. Or maybe he would have become a prominent folklorist, who never managed to write down one of the versions of Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan-Sulu. Or the theorist of literature was so brilliant his article “What is a novel”. Or a translator between times, a man enthusiastic about politics, translated Tolstoy, Chekhov, Korolenko, Mamin-Sibiryak, Maupassant into Kazakh.

Akhmet Baitursynov did not receive such a thorough education, but he probably would have continued the path started by a Turkologist, teacher and, above all, a fabulist poet. He could have become the first Abay historian of Kazakh literature: his essay on this subject is the first essay of this kind in the national culture. And, finally, he could have won great fame as a reformer of the Kazakh script. Zhakyp Akpayev, a graduate of the law faculty of St. Petersburg University (gold medal), the first Kazakh LLM, would surely make a brilliant lawyer’s career. Khalel Dosmukhamedov, another St. Petersburg student who also completed the Imperial Military Medical Academy with a gold medal, could become a first-class surgeon.

Baktygeren Kulmanov was a member of the first and eleventh State Duma of the Russian Empire. Graduated with honors from St. Petersburg University as an interpreter of oriental languages, he brilliantly defended his thesis and received a Master of Science degree, he could become a scientific figure in the field of Oriental philology, or a politician, a diplomat fluent in many languages. Akhmet Birimzhanov graduated with honors from the law faculty of Kazan University, a deputy of the State Duma, a deputy of the Russian Constituent Assembly. A brilliant speaker, whose fiery speeches inspired respect and made him listen, would certainly have become a professional politician.

Khalel Gabbasov taught algebra at the Semipalatinsk Pedagogical College. Together with Alikhan Bokeikhanov he negotiated with Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin on the recognition of the Soviet government Alash autonomy. A graduate of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of Moscow State University, he could become a mathematician or maybe just a teacher. But everything turned out differently. All these writers, philologists, lawyers, doctors, mathematicians, translators, and school teachers were irresistibly drawn into public life. They were very young, the oldest was a little more than forty years. Intellectuals of the first generation, they felt an increased measure of responsibility for the fate of their compatriots. The paths are different, but the end of these knights of national independence is one link, prison, shooting.

However, let's get back to the story of Alash. Let us recall how events developed, what was conceived and what was done, how close the victory was and how, one by one stroke of a pen, these first knights of the national statehood and their affairs disappeared into oblivion for many years. A few words about what it means in translation from the Kazakh language “Alash”. The explanatory dictionary gives several meanings: this is the name of the very first ancient union of the Kazakh tribes battle cry; numerous community of people, people, synonymous with the word "Kazakhs". It seems that the very existence of such a capacious word in the Kazakh language made the emergence of the organized patriotic movement of the Kazakhs a natural and natural fact. However, the main reason for the emergence of the Alash movement should be considered the maturity and progressive development of Kazakh society in the conditions of the tsarist colonial policy. The autocracy forcibly divided the historically formed single people, dividing its management into wealthy administrative bodies, forcibly seized the ancient lands of the Kazakhs, implanted a system of education that would lead to the disappearance of the native language of culture. This policy could not lead to protest.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, it became clear to everyone that autocracy was no longer popular and was becoming obsolete. The first Russian revolution between 1905 and 1907 had reached the Kazakh steppe. The formation of the “Alash” movement dates back to this time. Alikhan Bokeikhanov, the recognized leader of the movement, and subsequently the party, stood at the source. Having joined the political struggle in his student years, when he entered the so-called “Zar zaman” group (“Time of Troubles”), which the colonial administration looked at very closely, Alikhan in 1905 joined the Cadet Party, and in a short time created something like its Kazakh branch, which received the name "Alash". The movement began to spread rapidly throughout the Kazakh steppe, multiplying its supporters. Leaders of the “Alash” movement took concrete measures to implement the idea of ​​consolidating Kazakh society: one after another, there were two all-Kazakh congresses, the Alashdeputies spoke at the meeting of the Second Duma with a report on the destructive influence of the Russian Tsarist resettlement policy on the Kazakhs' economic life. Then, on May 16, 1907, the State Duma not only did not hear the report of the deputy Karatayev, but also cynically interrupted it by claiming that in the twentieth century, it was imperative to stop the nomadic way of life of the Kirghiz people.

But the struggle of Alash activists continued. And in 1913, they created their own newspaper, entitled 'Kazakh' (editor-in-chief Akhmet Baiturshov), which became the print organ of the future party, Alash Orda. When the hard times reached the Kazakh steppes, the leaders of “Alash” decided to protect the people from new disasters and save it. That is why they called on the Kazakhs to execute the Tsar's Decree “On attracting the male alien population of the empire to work on defensive installations.” First, they believed that the external danger looming over Russia also affected the Kazakhs. Secondly, they sought to prevent the armed intervention of practically unarmed Kazakhs against the regular Russian army. And finally, in the event of a victorious outcome of the war for Russia, they hoped to ease the fate of the Kazakhs and create national autonomy.

The emergence of prominent Kazakh "Alash" figures is uniquely conditioned by objective circumstances of the late 19th - early 20th century. A situation that can only be characterized by a single phrase: the lower classes do not want to live in the old way; the tops cannot manage in a new way. The Russian empire was feverish; revolutions led to anarchic powerlessness, and under such conditions, individuals who at this point of the crisis, having shown remarkable willpower, would become the leaders of social and economic transformations. This was the moment of truth. National liberation movements, led by national leaders, intensified throughout the territory of Russia. The first state formed on the ruins of the empire was the Ukrainian People's Republic, and then the Democratic Republic of Bashkortostan emerged. It was followed by the creation of independent republics such as Georgia, Azerbaijan, and others.

With this respect, the Kazakhs occupy a special place. After all, practically all the settled peoples of the Russian Empire already had their own representatives of the bourgeoisie (albeit a few), and they were the leaders of the national liberation movements. All the newly created republics were bourgeois-democratic, led by their influential bourgeoisie. And this is natural, because it is the capitalists who are more eager to preserve and multiply their wealth. And Russia's colonial policy did not allow them to fully develop their business. (Although, for example, Azerbaijan produced up to 5% of the industrial output of the entire Russian Empire before the revolution).  At the same time, in the vast expanses of the Kazakh steppe, there was practically no bourgeoisie, because there was no capitalism as such. The feudal and semi-feudal relations still dominated, and most of the Kazakhs continued to lead a nomadic life. Existing factories belonged mainly to Russian and foreign entrepreneurs. At the time of impending socio-political and economic crises, the role of national leaders was assumed not by the feudal lords and the bourgeois, but by scholars, writers, and enlighteners.

All these serious territorial contradictions demanded a lot of courage and selflessness from representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia to defend the interests of the indigenous population. Having disagreements on many issues of the national-state system, they were unanimous in the territorial issue, and this unshakable unity became the main catalyst for the formation of an independent republic. After all, as is known, Lenin initially was against this. However, it was him who convened a special meeting of the Council of People's Deputies in 1920 to resolve the Kazakh territorial issue. Having listened to all sides, he gave the order not to divide disputable steppe areas in the west and east and completely transfer these lands to the newly created Kazakh Autonomous Republic. And in the same year, Lenin signed the Decree on the formation of the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, according to which all disputed territories became part of the Kazakh autonomy. But the territorial disputes did not end there. Repeatedly, the Siberian Committee has made serious efforts to divert disputed lands. The Kazakh intelligentsia defended every inch of the Kazakh territory, entering into open confrontation with the Bolshevik authorities.

The drivers of the nation As such a large, very rich in resources and opportunities territory was recaptured without weapons, army and finance? How, without having serious levers of pressure and sufficient representation in the central government in Moscow, the Kazakhs managed to defend virtually all-territorial interests? Why did Lenin completely accept the side of representatives of the Kazakh intelligentsia and did not agree to a compromise solution of the territorial dispute? Of course, there was a whole range of reasons for that. Firstly, the Kazakh delegation reasonably proved that those were originally Kazakh lands. Secondly, the Soviet government was still in a difficult political situation and could not allow for greater ethnic strife. However, if we remember that with many other peoples the Bolsheviks did not particularly stand on ceremony and fairly freely defined the borders of the autonomous republics, the above-mentioned reasons can hardly be called the main ones. There was a subjective factor. This is precisely the influence of the individual, and in this case of personalities, on the course of historical development.

As you know, Lenin was not in favour of the intelligentsia and somehow called it "lousy," adding that it is not the brain of the nation. And what was his surprise when it was the Kazakh intelligentsia, which had no army or organized proletariat behind their backs, led a desperate struggle for the integrity of ethnic territory in an effort to form the basis for the ethnopolitical, cultural and economic cohesion of the nation. The Kazakh intelligentsia was not only the brain of the nation, but also its heart, the centre of its spiritual impulse, and a voluntary victim. And Lenin could not help assessing this. The people whose intelligentsia selflessly and voluntarily sacrifices themselves in the name of the idea of a national ascent has the right to greatness. Despite the fact that for many decades the independence of the Kazakh Republic, as well as of other republics of the Union, was formal, the very fact of having legal independence played a huge role in 1991 when Kazakhstan became independent. The creation of the Kazakh SSR was undoubtedly the achievement of the Kazakh intelligentsia, the followers of "Alash", who, without sympathy for Soviet power, nevertheless recognized it and served it for its people. They skillfully used the opportunity provided by the revolution, without pursuing short-term interests, but implementing a far-reaching strategy. And in this sense, they can be called the founding fathers of the Kazakh Republic. Neither khanates nor states, but a single, integral nation, which, largely thanks to their self-sacrifice, has preserved self-esteem and national dignity in the most difficult trials.

But, despite serious successes in the territorial-state plan, they failed to fully defend the economic interests of the Kazakh Republic. The Alash figures undoubtedly adhered to the right-wing views, the essence of which was the need for an objective analysis of socio-economic conditions and a consistent, step-by-step solution of existing problems. First of all, this concerned the transfer of nomadic Kazakhs to a settled way of life. Repeatedly the Alash kept in mind the disastrous consequences for the Kazakh population of the measures taken by the Soviet leadership in the 1930s. Their position was based on taking into account specific natural and climatic conditions, established economic relations, and traditional way of life and culture of Kazakhs. However, supporters of Stalinist collectivization, accusing the Alash of national deviation, established norms for keeping livestock in 6-7 heads in personal property, which led to a mass extinction of the Kazakh population. The Alash figure actively opposed the ongoing industrialization in the form in which it was carried out in Kazakhstan, that is, the creation of a raw material base for the industrial development of the Russian centre.

Their arguments were based on economic calculations and justified facts of the existence of all conditions for the development of the processing industry and the production of goods in the republic itself. They prophetically raised the problem of the "raw curse," which today is perhaps even more relevant than a hundred years ago. And now, as then, this issue remains unresolved. The Alash put paramount importance on national interests. Therefore, considering such a serious factor as the inertia of the socio-economic development of the people, they insisted on a gradual transition from a nomadic way of life to a settled one. In order to take into account the concerns of people, time and appropriate conditions were required. It was necessary to offer people alternative activities, including through the creation of new jobs. To do this, you must first build factories and farms; you have to change people themselves, and noticing the advantages of sedentary life, will change the traditional way of life. Propaganda and ideological work should play an important role. The question of the inertial development of the people is also relevant today when the transition from the socialist mode of production to capitalism has been realized. The majority of Kazakhstanis, even twenty years after this transition, remain paternalistic, especially in the provinces.

They rely entirely on the state and sincerely believe that it will take care of them. This is an objective fact of the inertia of thinking. Only a small percentage of active people can quickly rearrange and radically change. Therefore, the state should not relieve itself of responsibility for the social welfare of the population (while creating conditions for the development of entrepreneurship in the country). And even more so, you cannot blame people for not wanting to or do not know how to work. Incidentally, similar reproaches were directed against the Alash figures, when they defended the Kazakh population from an early and forced a transition to a settled way of life and collectivization. Ignoring the objective factors led to massive losses, the consequences of which would affect our people for a very long time. This huge tragedy in the history of the Kazakhs became the forerunner of yet another tragedy, no less significant in its significance and consequences: the physical destruction of vivid members of the Kazakh intelligentsia. But to destroy a person physically does not mean to exterminate his spirit. And the Alash figures were exceptionally creative, spiritually sublime; the energy of their spirit was indestructible.

They represented the interests not of any particular class, as occurred in all revolutions at all times, but of the people as a whole: wealthy and working class, nomads and urban residents. This is the most striking and unique fact. After all, usually in revolutionary events, the intelligentsia played the role of spiritual inspirers or passive observers, but in no way active participants in political battles. In the Kazakh history, at the beginning of the 20th century, almost every creative figure considered it his direct duty and mission to actively participate in the formation of the Kazakh Republic. Not all of them were members of the "Alash" party, but all of them can be called adherents and champions of one national liberation idea, and in this sense, they were all Alash. After all, according to ancient Kazakh traditions, Alasha Khan, the ancestor of the Turks, was the founder of the first state of the ancient nomads of Eurasia.

The cult of Alash khan, the first steppe khan, was a national idea of nomadic tribes, which was especially evident during the formation of the Kazakh Khanate. After hundreds of years, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Alash figures, the descendants of brave ancestors, without a sword in their hands, but possessing an unprecedented strength of spirit and self-sacrifice, united and realized the national idea by founding the Kazakh Republic. It can be noted that this was the era of the Renaissance and Enlightenment in Kazakh history. Indeed, almost all the figures of Alash were creative people: writers, poets, scientists, and enlighteners. None of them pursued the narrow-minded goals of preserving and multiplying their own wealth or possessing unlimited. All of them were above all patriots of their land and people, and people with an active civil position. Getting our lands back It is the sincere conviction that they are entrusted with the great mission of creating the Kazakh Republic, and inspired the masses. Therefore, the popularity of the Alash figures among the public was enormous, and the influence on minds was quite strong.

This produced some concerns amongst first the Provisional Government, and then the Bolsheviks. Representatives and followers of Alash were able to defend the borders of the Kazakh ASSR, and later of the Kazakh SSR, precisely in the limits that we have now. A vast territory with well-known large reserves of natural resources, already inhabited by Russian and Ukrainian settlers, was torn apart, and the study of historical documents shows how hard the Alash figures collected the Kazakh lands disparate as a result of the administrative and territorial policy of tsarist colonialism. After all, as part of the Russian Empire, Kazakhstan as a collective administrative-economic and political unit did not exist. In the Asian part of the empire, there were nine regions: the Urals, Turgai, Akmola, Semipalatinsk, Semirechenskaya, Syr-Darya, Trans-Caspian, Samarkand, and Fergana. There were also two generals-governorships: Steppe and Turkestan. It was almost impossible to collect the Kazakh Republic from all these regions and provinces as an integral ethnic territory, considering that even then half the population was Russian, and the Siberian Bureau of the Bolshevik Party actively resisted the reunification of the original Kazakh lands. 

Implementing the tactics of a reasonable compromise with the empire, the leaders of Alash highlighted the idea of ​​the survival of the people. However, in the summer of 1916, the Kazakh steppe became the scene of violent clashes. Kazakhs paid dearly for trying to achieve freedom. In general, the loss of the indigenous population amounted to about one million people, including those who left their homeland. The truth about the scale and cruelty of the repressions was brought to the public by the same “Alash”. The advanced public of Russia supported Alash residents in this right case. The future prime minister of Russia, Kerensky, traveled to the Turkestan region to learn about the state of affairs. At a meeting of the State Duma on December 13, 1916, with his characteristic pathos, he declared that it was them (pointing towards the Government) who are to blame for the destruction of this blooming outskirts. It was them who created the conditions under which the local population begins to starve. Already at the end of 1916, ninety State Duma members signed a request about the consequences of the decree of Nicholas in Steppe. Among the signatories were prominent Russian political figures of that time.

Nursultan Nazarbayev once said that we must pay tribute to the political courage of Russian democratic figures who, in the most difficult and tragic period of life of the people of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, who experienced real genocide by tsarism, came out in defense of them. News of the overthrow In February 1917, the leaders of the Kazakh national intelligentsia greeted the monarchies enthusiastically. It was a historic chance to implement the ideas of “Alash.” It was Alash’s finest hour.Temporary governments headed by Kerensky adopted a resolution on the formation of the Turkestan Committee, which included Alash leaders Alikhan Bokeikhanov and Mukhamedzhan Tynyshpaev. For the first time, representatives of the Kazakh intellectual elite joined the governing bodies of Kazakhstan. Alashevskogo movement in the political life of the region. The overthrow of the tsarist regime and the democratization of life in the country allowed the organization to formalize the movement "Alash". In July 1917, the Alash Party was formed at the All-Kazakh Congress in Orenburg.

Soon a draft program of the party was developed, consisting of ten sections. The main goal of the party was the creation of the Kazakh autonomy within the Russian federal democratic republic. In November 1916, during the elections to the Constituent Assembly, “Alash” won the majority of votes and took eighth place among the fifty parties that existed in Russia on the eve of the October Revolution. In December 1917, at the Second All-Kazakh Congress in Orenburg, a resolution was adopted on the formation of Kazakh regions with the name “Alash”, which was to become the basis for the formation of Kazakh statehood. The document read that in order to save the Alash region from the general collapse of anarchy, to organize a temporary people's council Alash Orda, consisting of twenty five people, ten places of which should be given to Russians and other peoples living among the Kazakhs. Alash Orda’s places of residence temporarily elected Semipalatinsk. Alash Orda immediately took over all executive power over the Kazakh population. Unfortunately, these plans were not destined to be realized.

The democratic alternative to the development of the country, developed in the program of the “Alash” party, was never implemented in the context of growing authoritarian tendencies. The real possibility of recreating national statehood was lost due to the establishment of the dictatorship of the Bolshevik Party. Negotiations began with the new government, which at first went smoothly. However, the parties decidedly could not come to an agreement, because they shared the principle. Alikhan Bokeikhanov and his comrades rejected class thinking, cared for all the people, not only the working man, and despised the dictatorship.