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Thursday, 03 May 2018 05:53

It is important to create a new image of Azerbaijanian warrior and winner

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People, deprived of historic memory and overall patriotic spirit, cannot ensure security and territorial integrity of its independent national state and face the future with optimism. We need to turn patriotism to national idea and to do this patriotic education of new Azerbaijanian generations from early childhood in families, at kindergarten and at school are crucial. By the age of 18 each young Azerbaijanian should be a true patriot of Azerbaijan and base its education, career and business on patriotic education.

I am often asked: “When will Azerbaijan finally free its occupied lands and bring back its territorial integrity?”. I mean it when I say that I really don’t like all these abstractive and cliched eloquent words about motherland and patriotism. That’s why I usually answer: “The new generation of Azerbaijanians, willing to be true warriors and winners, will free our lands from Armenian occupants. The generations, who live with the idea of forcing the enemy out of our lands since early childhood will bring back their territorial integrity”. Someone may not like what I tell you, but let’s finally face the fact.

Patriotic education must create a sense of pride, but not irritation, therefore it must be clearly set apart from politics and state propaganda, worshiping the government. The idea of patriotism must be ‘owned’ by people and people should complement and cultivate it. True patriotism is not all about eloquent cliche, but about real actions.

It is important to create a new image of Azerbaijanian warrior and winner, admired by oncoming generations. We need to correct the work of Azerbaijanian mass media, and we need to start with stations, which have almost forgot what patriotism means. We absolutely need to put an end to low-quality glamorous and vulgar TV-shows, hosting famous scandalous show business figures. TV, print media and Internet must bring up patriotic cult of its audience, avoiding cult of money and cheap fame. It often happens that such shows and publications conflict with spiritual, moral and cultural traditions of our people. The new generation of Azerbaijanians should not live to become rich and famous at any price, cause this price can be really high and ruin the future of independent Azerbaijan.

Unfortunately mass media focuses on patriotic content only when it comes to mourning dates and anniversaries — be it Black 20th of January or Khojaly genocide on 26th February, when Armenian Dashnaks exterminated Azerbaijanian population in March 1918, or during occupation of Azerbaijanian towns by Armenians. But the point is that these materials are poor and formal, and on other days the historical memory of Azerbaijanians seems to vanish and patriotism tends to fade. In such conditions it’s barely possible to arrange true patriotic education of younger generations.

Azerbaijanian patriotism must have its own roots, values and national cult figures. Cosmopolitism should be avoided by all means. We have our own national heroes to praise — Babak, Shah Ismail Xetai, Javad Khan, Sattar Khan, the hero of our time Mubariz Ibrahimov and many others.

To be a true patriot of Azerbaijan you don’t have to be a soldier. Patriotism can cover economics, social and political life irrespective of the position occupied. Going deeper into analysis, we would understand that lack of true patriotism is the cause of numerous challenges of modern Azerbaijan.

I think that being a true patriot, an official or a police officer would never artificially create challenges for his people in order to resolve them for money. Azerbaijanians, who consider themselves to be patriots, would never participate in current humiliation war, aimed at insulting each other, curse mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of their political opponents. Would a true patriot of Azerbaijan ever dishonor the grave of his opponent’s father in a very humiliating manner? Mother, motherland and father are sacred concepts for our people and are deeply respected and worshiped. Lack of national education and patriotism leads to such dishonor. Such people, being the prisoners of their own hatred to their opponents and rage, can ruin Azerbaijan.

Several government supporters can be held responsible for this dirty cyberwar. They had no right to participate in the campaign aimed at mutual hostility and offence, and neither should they have caused it. It hurts to say that several Milli Majlis deputies of the ruling party “The New Azerbaijan” are involved in this cheap and disgusting game, namely our aqsaqal, the 80-years old parliament deputy, who at his age shouldn’t have set a bad example to the younger generation by publicly threatening those criticizing the authorities. This is more of a hindrance than a help to Azerbaijan political power, since by doing that he ruins its image.

Old politicians should hand over the reins of government to the younger generation. Staff update is crucial for intensive development of Azerbaijan. Young, initiative, active, ambitious and forward-looking people with good education and background should enter all state structures of the country, since the old players with their backward and conservative thinking thwart the overall progress. Regular staff rotation and rejuvenation should be enshrined in the law of Azerbaijan. Without bringing ‘fresh blood’ in the country’s human resources it’s absolutely impossible to reorganize the economy and develop non-oil sector.

To be free from oil dependency and to minimize the exposure to exogenous economic factors, Azerbaijan should make a technological breakthrough within a short span of time. The experience of modern Europe, USA, China, Japan, South Korea and other developed countries shows that to create a competitive economy one should focus on cutting-edge technologies, which is impossible to do by old players only.

Avoiding staff rejuvenation we would never get rid of bureaucracy and non-efficient officials, who create favorable environment for corruption. To see that let’s consider our neighbor Georgia. When Mikheil Saakashvili came to power, he got rid of old staff and the young politicians succeeded with reforms, thus neutralizing the corruption as such. You would never bribe a policeman or any other official, cause otherwise you go to prison.

Staff rejuvenation is essential for successful reformation of Azerbaijan state administration and economy. 65-70 y.o. officials should retire with their places taken by 35-40 year olds. Keeping old officials, which have almost “privatized” their positions by turning them into illegal income source, Azerbaijan would never make a big step forwards its development.

Staff rejuvenation is also important to raise the patriotic spirit of population. The representatives of new generation of Azerbaijanians with their university diplomas are unable to find a good job in their countries and offendedly escape from the country. Having left Azerbaijan, they try to settle in a new country for a long time and sometimes forever.

The sad fact is that Azerbaijan men tend to marry foreign women to get local citizenship and settle down. With time their connections with Azerbaijan vanish, as the children born in such intermarriages grow up and forget Azerbaijanian traditions and culture. There are thousands of such expats abroad, and according to some reports this figure makes more than four million people with 2.5 million living in Russia, more than one million in European countries, and the remaining in CIS countries, Turkey and USA.

Considering that many our fellow nationals leave the country being grossly insulted, it’s really difficult to talk to them about national patriotism as such. In view of this Azerbaijan government should tackle this problem and create the conditions for our people to come back to Azerbaijan, primarily the required working places and business environment in order to prevent further breakup of Azerbaijan community and stop the insulting war between the Azerbaijanians.

Large-scale patriotism presupposes solidarity of people and improvement of their living conditions. Half-starved people would never turn into patriots as long as they see corrupted officials and their relatives ‘rolling in dough’. National patriotic education should have its solid economic base. The state should not only promote patriotism, but ensure its financial and material background. For instance the families of shehids, Karabakh war veterans and Azerbaijan soldiers should have apartments, allowances and other social guarantees on priority basis.

The efforts, aimed at raising patriotic spirit of population in terms of overall poverty against the background of state officials’ luxury life, are doomed to fail. To win the hearts and minds of people patriotic ideology should be based on justice and equal opportunities for all community members. Security and stability of country as well as its territorial integrity to a large extent depends on the attitude of state and people to the ideas of national patriotism and defenders of motherland. ​Since ancient times the countries, with their soldiers being respected and having all social benefits and privileges, have been considered to be the most powerful.

Special emphasis should be put on patriotic education content. It should not be unhinged from reality. We should value the life of each Azerbaijan soldier, know the value of each centimeter of sacred Azerbaijan land. We should cherish and protect both our soldiers and our land. We should determine the ‘happy mean’ in the question of what is more important — the life of an Azerbaijan soldier or a piece of Azerbaijan land. Even deep inside we shouldn’t minimize our human losses during the war, therefore we should not repeat popular media phrases like “I want to be a shehid”, “he dreamt of being a shehid and dying for Azerbaijan”.

Unquestionably I do not in any way diminish the importance of honorary and sacred concept of the so called term “shehid”. But since early childhood boys should learn not how to die for their motherland, but how to fight and exterminate Azerbaijan enemies and live happily after resounding victory in their country. It’s the enemy who should die. The heart of Azerbaijan soldier should beat with inspiration and fierce desire to win at all costs and live happily ever after.

If we chose the right path in patriotic education, we will reach our main objectives: free our occupied lands, bring millions of Azerbaijan migrants back home and pull our people together in terms of national patriotism ideas.

To reach real national solidarity Azerbaijan desperately needs rough but fair large-scale political, economic and staff reforms. People have been waiting for this for a very long time. We, the representatives of Azerbaijan expat community, hope that Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, who won the 11th April President elections and received mandate of confidence from Azerbaijan people, will initiate historical reforms right after elections and will declare a large-scale amnesty, which will make it into history as the ‘golden amnesty’. In terms of the amnesty all prisoners, who were not convicted of extremely serious crimes, will be set free. First and foremost it refers to journalists and persons called ‘political prisoners’ by Azerbaijan opposition.

To avoid split and radicalization of society, represented by current dirty war of offences between Azerbaijan people, national reconciliation is crucial. To achieve it rough large-scale reforms and amnesty are required. Reforms and amnesty can be held back-to-back with the 100th anniversary of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.

Currently reforms and foremost staff reforms are far more relevant than resolution of Karabakh conflict, as the fate of Azerbaijan depends on them. Until we clear state authorities from incompetent and corrupted people and hand over the reins of government to a younger generation, it will be hard to reach economic exuberance and keep the stability of social and political life in the country. Corruption and abuse of power by certain officials heats up tension in the society, which may lead to open civil opposition, initiatives of “color revolution” and separatism in the regions. Subsequently the existence of independent Azerbaijan may be at risk. Under the present circumstances only large-scale reforms and fair amnesty can strengthen Azerbaijan’s national identity and bring back its territorial integrity.

Fizuli Mamedov

President of “Global union of Azerbaijanians” and “Global cultural fund of Azerbaijan”,

First Vice President of “European Azerbaijan Congress”.




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