«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Short but Meaningful life of Shokan Ualikhanov

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Short but Meaningful life of Shokan Ualikhanov
The name of Shokan Ualikhanov rightfully occupies an honorable place in the history of culture and social and scientific thought in Kazakhstan.

This outstanding scientist and educator, undertook a number of very fruitful scientific research in the field of geography, history, ethnography, folklore of the peoples of the East, and made the trips connected with huge dangers to mysterious, at that time, countries. One of the first among his compatriots, he contributed to the spread of progressive ideas in the Kazakh steppes, played a beneficial role in strengthening the friendship of the Russian and Kazakh peoples. In his works and all his activities, he proved that the Kazakhs are associated with Russian historical and even blood relatives. As the first Kazakh, educated in a European way, Shokan attended institutuion in Omsk, where, beginning in the middle of the 19th century, advanced ideas of Russian social thought were widely spread. Here he met with exiled Petrashevsky, writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, outstanding Russian scientist-geographer Semenov-Tyan-Shansky, scientists-orientalists Berezin, Yadrintsev and others, which had a decisive influence on the formation of his worldview.

The Siberian Cadet Corps in Omsk, where Shokan Ualikhanov studied, was considered one of the best educational institutions of that time. Many prominent public figures and scientists came out of it. Some of them have become famous for scientific researches and geographical discoveries. The place he studied at had a broad general educational profile. Its curriculum included, along with other disciplines, universal geography, geography of Russia, geodesy, and general concepts of the natural sciences. Geography as an object also included ethnography and anthropology, the study of various human races, the classification of languages, the division of languages ​​into main families, the differences of peoples in terms of religious and lifestyle. The economic geography of Russia was studied, including statistics and questions of industrial and agricultural development. A great place was devoted to the study of Asian countries, the geographical and political division of Turan. The population, origin of peoples, religion, way of life in these countries were considered.

Geography of Kazakhstan in the Cadet Corps was mainly studied in the military-strategic plan. More attention was paid to such issues as the borders of the Kazakh steppes, the space, the nature of the terrain, the rivers and lakes, the routes of communication, the mountain passages for caravans, the climate and natural conditions, the number of Kazakhs, their origin, language and religion, the beginning of citizenship, the management of Kazakhs and fortified places in the steppe, etc. The Cadet Corps was distinguished by a highly qualified staff of teachers. Shokan entered the cadet corps, not knowing the Russian language. But thanks to his extraordinary abilities he quickly overcame this difficulty. Shokan was well ahead of his Russian comrades, he was such a capable person. During the summer holidays, Shokan left for the steppe, to his native village of Syrymbet, one of the most beautiful places in Kokchetavshchina.

Those trips gave him great pleasure, gave an opportunity to look even closer to the life of the Kazakh people, record folk songs, legends and fairy tales and sketch pictures of life and nature. Sketches from life he considered as one of the best means of reproducing the life of the people. Shokan was attracted by hunting with eagles. At the last courses of geography and ethnography of the Kazakh steppe Shokan helped friends to fill the notebook with their stories. They brought in it a detailed description of the falconry of the Kazakhs .. he told me, they wrote down, he then illustrated friends' text with drawings of nuts, falcon eyecups, falcon pedestals, drums, powder guns, rifles, etc. 

He fulfilled wonderful things during his short life. Kazakhstan rightly reveres Shokan Ualikhanov as one of his first scientists and enlighteners and the first revolutionary thinker, artist. Shokan's journey in a trading caravan to Kashgariya-western possessions of China was dramatic and dangerous. On all the way, the caravan was attacked by robbers and local chiefs. But the discoveries of the young lieutenant of the Russian army and the descendant of Kazakh khans and sultans were brilliant. They elevated him to the rank of one of the most outstanding geographers of the world. Shokan owns the famous works on ethnography, history, geography, sociology, economics of Kazakhstan, records of Kazakh folklore, and the discovery of the outstanding Kyrgyz epos, Manas, are well-known.
 
Shokan repeats the line of his ancestors - well-known Kazakh rulers for the steady deepening of relations with Russia, but does it his own way. He led his people towards Russia and other civilized countries, not through wars, political intrigues, but through Knowledge. He was going to tell Russia and the whole enlightened world about the life of the Kazakhs, their secret aspirations, thoughts and hopes. To open your people to other peoples and to make friends with them. This is the lasting value of the short-lived, but bright and multifaceted activity of Shokan. In this he is an innovator compared to his ancestors.

According to Shokan, in the times of the steppe not far from us became the haven of a diverse, freedom-loving people. From the words "free man" and displays the scientist name of the people "Kazakh". It was the hypothetics of a young scientist, confirmed later by sources. Shokan Ualikhanov carefully restored the genealogy of the Kazakh torah and Khoja, who called themselves the white bone, and the common people - the "black" bone. Carefully analyzed all related facts.According to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Shokan was as popular as very well-known Western enlighteners. In notes about his countrymen, Shokan brilliantly overturned preconceived ideas about nomads as hordes of ferocious savages. Shokan spoke with conviction about the high poetry of the Kazakhs, the existence of an ancient culture with which the people did not part in the most difficult years, and which he managed to save, no matter what. Shokan enthusiastically recorded amazing steppe legends and songs, various versions of the poem about Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan-Slu, to which Pushkin showed great interest.

Shokan described the original mind, the ineradicable kindness and morality of the steppe people. He did not humble himself with requests to pay attention to his own, but rebuked the Russians for his disdainful refusal to study his Kazakh and Central Asian neighbors. In Shokan's essays on the Kazakhs, a profound scholar and fiery publicist is inseparably merged. Shokan Ualikhanov angrily protested against the introduction of corporal punishment in the Barrens, proving that the Kazakhs did not have him. At the same time, he had to withstand a furious struggle with such irreconcilable opponents and representatives of the tsarist authorities as Yatsenko and others.


 
Yes, Shokan fought vigorously with some Russian, and was was gentle and friendly with others. It is known how Ualikhanov and Dostoevsky admired each other warmly and affectionately; what kind of confidential relations did Shokan and Kolpakovsky connect? How strong was the friendship between Ualikhanov and Potanin. Now you can seek and find tension in the relations of Kazakhs and Cossacks. In this connection, an episode is recalled. Somehow in Omsk, at one of the meetings, the famous astronomer Struve started talking about imaginary hatred between Kazakhs and Cossacks. Shokan stood up, smiling at Potanin, who was near, and said that he was raising his glass and kissing his Cossack friend.
 
What is noteworthy, Shokan Ualikhanov completed his life in the year when Kazakhs of all three zhuzes completed their entry into Russia and simultaneously - a reunion into one big, promising in all respects people. Shokan could rightly say, although he did not say and would never say that in his historical accomplishments there is also his contribution. This was said by others. We are aware of the fact that the expectation from the descendant of Kazakh khans and sultans and the Russian officer of great and important revelations about the fate of the Turkic peoples. Unfortunately, the premature death of Shokan took away these aspirations.

In short but precise and verified words, it is recalled that Shokan Ualikhanov was an outstanding Kazakh scientist, educator-democrat. A great influence on the formation of his outlook was rendered by a Russian writer with a world reputation, Fyodor Dostoevsky and a well-known geographer Semenov-Tian-Shansky. Shokan entered the academic world as a researcher of the history and culture of Semirechye and Kirghizia, and Eastern Turkestan. A lot of personal courage required his trip to Kashgariya. The works of Essays on Dzungaria, On the State of Altyn-Shar, On the Western Territory of the Chinese Empire, and others put Shokan Ualikhanov on a par with prominent travelers and explorers of Europe and Asia. Shokan deeply studied the ancient and medieval history, the spiritual and material culture of the peoples of the East. Recognition of the scientific merit of Ualikhanov was his election as an active member of the Russian Geographical Society. Shokan Ualikhanov's scientific works on history, ethnography, culture, geography, law, religion of the Turkic and Mongolian peoples were an important contribution not only to Russian, but also to world oriental studies.

The last months of Shokan Ualikhanov's life are covered in mystery. If you read the detailed biography of the scientist, then immediately pay attention to one feature: about the last year of his life, the information is very scarce, one can say, deliberately closed access to information, especially about the last days. Who was close to him in the last days of Shokan's life, if he was sick, then how and how he ached, whether there are data of local doctors or testimonies of relatives about his illness, how they were buried, who was at the funeral, where the records disappeared, the documents of the scientist. Even Shokan Ualikhanov's biographies of different authors sin in fundamental contradictions, inconsistencies in essential details that might shed light on the cause of his death.

Let's consider some versions. In 1983, the publishing house "Young Guard" in the series "The Life of Remarkable People" published a book "Valikhanov" by the Moscow researcher of the biography of a scientist Irina Strelkova. Some authors quote her stating that there is a conspiracy that Shokan Ualikhanov died not from tuberculosis, he was killed. Everything is possible. Perhaps these words were removed in the indicated edition, or they were sounded in another work by many authors.

In any case, such a conclusion begs from the scant materials about the last months of the scientist's life. For this reason, it is necessary to read "between the lines" known sources. For example, the tuberculosis, which allegedly was sick Shokan Ualikhanov, spoke after his death! The certificates, letters, documents referred to colds, discomforts, Shokan's diseases, but about consumption - not a word. Nevertheless, tuberculosis is the main cause of death of the scientist in his official biography. This, in spite of the fact that Kazakhs used to not know tuberculosis earlier, including in the nineteenth century, thanks to the active consumption of koumiss. This is a medical fact. And Shokan was drinking koumiss. The circumstances of the death of Shokan are no less controversial until now. The official version of his death is tuberculosis, still contemporaries was met with distrust. Here is what, for example, a prominent scientist Gaines noted that the administration of Siberia was offended that without the mediation of its Shokan presented in St. Petersburg, the sovereign, and he fondled him. A series of insults and insults began that laid Shokan in the present year in a coffin.

"The famous traveler and explorer of Central Asia Semenov-Tian-Shansky, assessing an outstanding contemporary, at the general meeting of the Russian Geographical Society declared:" In the depths of the Kirghiz steppes, on the border of Russia with China, the gifted Kirghiz Sultan Shokan Ualikhanov. Death took one of the most enlightened people from the national suburbs. He was only thirty years old. The great scientist did not accidentally use the term perished and publicly confirmed that Shokan "died from someone's hands". Otherwise, he would simply die and note the cause of death - consumption. Even in the official mourning message, Semenov-Tian-Shansky did not hesitate to ignore the request of the special services to focus on the disease with Shokan's  tuberculosis, said that the pupil and close friend died. Both A. Gaines and Semenov-Tian-Shansky were not cabinet scientists: they traveled a lot in the Kazakh Steppe and met with many eyewitnesses of the events around Shokan Ualikhanov. For example, A. Gaines visited the village in the tract Kochen-Togan at the foot of the Altyn-Emel Range, where Shokan died and saw his widow.

The "fitted" official version of Shokan Ualikhanov's death was "lowered" from the military departments of the Russian Empire, and not composed by scientists. From this fact there is an unambiguous conclusion: therefore, there were reasons for compiling such a version without factual material and disseminating information in hindsight about that Shokan had been ill with tuberculosis since his stay in St. Petersburg. And later the "tubercular" detail during the work of the Sultan in the northern capital began to be included in his biography of various authors. This version was persistently introduced, despite personal assurances of the scientist in the reverse. For example, in a letter to his father: he said that during his stay in St. Petersburg, he began to feel better than before. Apparently, the climate was not so bad for him.

There is a version that the special services of tsarist Russia worked out a legend about the incurable disease of Shokan in advance. His scientific works, a secret trip to Kashgariya, revealed in him not only an outstanding scientist, but also a potentially independent politician or public figure whose views did not coincide with the policies of tsarist Russia. High-ranking officials of the Asian Department, where Shokan Ualikhanov worked, were hostile to Shokan for his shrewd and independent judgments. And it is not without reason that in St. Petersburg a spy was assigned to him-Batman Seyfulmulyukov. That the batman was spying on him, Shokan himself was sure.

In addition, he was ill to do his business. It is claimed that after the reconnaissance to Kashgariya, Shokan fell ill in order to finish the academic works on the journey thoroughly and to delay the time before the trip to St. Petersburg, where he was persistently invited to report. Similarly, the Kazakh scientist was ill in St. Petersburg for a secret trip to Paris, where he sort of traveled by indirect data. It is not for nothing that the "Bell" of Herzen later appeared anonymous articles about Kazakhstan, apparently written by Shokan. Even in order to squeeze the Sultan from St. Petersburg, his enemies partly used his certain diseases as a reason, while not forgetting to accompany sneaky - Batman Seyfulmulyukov. Captain Shokan was seriously ill, especially infectious tuberculosis, he probably would have retired and been treated, and did not continue his service and active scientific work. But even the official version of the scientist's death does not answer a number of simple questions. If Shokan was sick with tuberculosis, and in an open form, then how did he get into the army of Colonel Chernyaev in June eighteen sixty four? Of course, a sick military man could not get: his death came on April 10, 1865 - if from tuberculosis, then before the military campaign he must lie in bed and be treated. As you know, death from tuberculosis with an open form occurs after three or four years.

All the data is hidden by a veil of secrecy, but these meager, sketchy evidences speak of Shokan Ualikhanov's exile to the outskirts of the empire, followed by poisoning. In one letter, Shokan wrote that his throat was so sore that he could not swallow food. In a letter to the father he noted that he was tired, and that there was no power, all dried up, there were only bones, and that soon he would not see the light. This was his  last letter. Is not it like poisoning? Even on such a question, how Shokan Ualikhanov got into the mountains of Altyn-Emel, there is no exhaustive answer. It seems that the Sultan himself went there after a quarrel with Chernyayev; there he was sent by the military department to follow the events in the troubled border area of ​​China; And the major general had a direct relationship, if not to the death of the Sultan, or to his stay in a remote area: he had the reports of a scientist that Kolpakovsky presented as  private letters.

The significance of Shokan Ualikhanov's feat before science, first of all, is that he erased another "white spot": Kashgariya ceased to be a mystery to Europeans. It was he who made the first step in the study of Russian travelers in Central Asia. After him went his classmate on the cadet corps and a close friend Grigory Potanin, and in Kashgariya traveler and geographer Pevtsov. It seemed that brilliant prospects opened in front of Ualikhanov in St. Petersburg. But the disease undermined his strength. And in the spring of 1861 he was forced to leave Petersburg to his native steppes, taking with him unfinished manuscripts and still dreaming about scientific work. The city of Verny was a stronghold of the Russian Empire in the Semirechye. But the south of modern Kazakhstan was then under the rule of the Kokand Khanate.

Russia continued to conquer Turkestan, sending its troops to these lands populated by Kazakhs. Shokan Ualikhanov took part in this campaign. In the rank of captain-captain he served as an interpreter at the main command, where in the performance of his duties, he helped to establish friendly relations between the Russian authorities and the local population, as well as a fair resolution of disputes over pastures between Kazakhs and Kirghiz, etc. However, the massacre of troops over the peaceful population in the capture of the fortresses Pishpek and Aulie-Ata in 1864 so deeply outraged Ualikhanov that after several heated discussions with Colonel Chernyayev, seeing no other way out, he returned to Verny. Returning home, Shokan collects folklore, continues to work on his writings, tries to fight superstitions and ignorance of compatriots, against tyranny and violence of those in power. The last years of his life he was not alone: ​​his wife Aisara was near - the sister of Sultan Tezek, the colonel of the Russian service. But the life of Ciocan did not last long. He died on April 10, eighteen sixty five, before reaching the age of 30, and was buried in the tract of Kochen-Togan at the foot of the Altyn-Emel Range.

One hundred years later his name will be called streets, erect monuments to him, create museums. Shokan Ualikhanov's name is inextricably linked with the past and future of Kazakhstan and Russia, since the public development of Kazakhs is part of the all-Russian progress. Russian scientists and the public highly appreciate the contribution of the Great Shokan in the study of world history. Shokan Ualikhanov's joint scientific research with Russian scientists laid a solid foundation for friendship and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia for many generations to come.

Some authors pointed out that Major-General sent Shokan to the place of his last residence. No wonder he asked for Shokan's money from his exile - he did not receive any salary there. At the same time, a servant or two servants were assigned to him-what did they do if it was a private trip? If the scientist did not go on behalf of the authorities, then why did not he return to his parents to be treated - he was forcibly kept in exile? Many scouts, who at the end of their activities had problems with the authorities, life is short. And they - big problems with the tsar's power - Shokan had. After such a rise as a scientist, military man, traveler, scout - an unknown end. With the filing of Colonel Chernyaev, the special services could take Shokan into active development in order to obtain information about his unreliability with subsequent physical elimination through agents.

And the answers to simple questions are: a number of materials related to Shokan Ualikhanov's research are stored in the funds of the Russian Military Historical Archive, which in due time were closed. If modern Russia opens the archives of military departments, it will show its "withdrawal" from the policy of tsarist and Soviet Russia. For what reason, then, does Russia not contribute to uncovering the mystery of Shokan's death? Even the enemies are paid a tribute of respect - in due course they return their name, captured documents, things, etc. It's time to restore historical injustice.