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Lenin and the East - Narimanov


I would like from the general question of the meaning of the activities and personality of comrade. Lenin, highlight one question that should be of interest to everyone who has heard about Comrade Lenin, but who is not able to understand the complex work that is represented by the entire activity of our teacher.

This question concerns the East.

In the very first days of the October Revolution, Comrade Lenin signed an appeal to the peoples of the East, which said that all nationalities are now free, can live freely and freely determine themselves. This primarily concerned those nationalities who lived within the former tsarist Russia. As for the neighboring states, which in one way or another were in the sphere of influence of Russia due to the colonial policy of the latter, this appeal said that from now on those secret and non-secret treaties, due to which some of these small states were deprived of independence, were being broken. And then it was emphasized: Constantinople must remain a Turkish city. This first appeal struck like lightning on the head of those who had become accustomed to their position and who had long ago decided that this was probably what fate would have liked. They woke up from hibernation, recognized Lenin, but did they realize that Comrade Lenin's promise had been fulfilled? This is where the masses are still poorly understood, which the ungrateful rulers of neighboring states have informed differently.

In resolving the Eastern question, Comrade Lenin followed two paths: I) through the pedagogical path and 2) through direct relations with neighboring states. In the first case, he first of all clearly, distinctly raised the question of those small nationalities that have long forgotten about their existence as a separate nationality, which has its own language, culture and literature. He believed that as long as we do not resolve the national question within ourselves, we cannot count on a certain turning point in the psychology of neighboring peoples.

And it allows: to give autonomy to all large and small nationalities within the former Russian Empire. But if these nationalities want to stand out in a separate union or independent state, then they will be allowed to do that too. As a result, there were autonomous republics and autonomous regions and those independent republics that later entered into an alliance with the Russian Federation.

Among these autonomous and independent republics, V. I. Lenin paid particular attention to Turkestan and Azerbaijan. He said that these republics are the gateway to the East, that everything that is done with them will echo in neighboring states and the oppressed in these countries will know and feel everything that makes up our essence.

Not to make the mistakes that were made inside Russia, to carefully approach the local life, to the religious beliefs of the local population - this was the usual warning of V.I. Lenin in a conversation with local workers.

He was surprisingly thoughtful, sensitive and with extraordinary attention to border issues. And he knew how to convey this attitude of his to the interlocutor, who left him in deep thought, whether he could do everything that the great teacher told him.

Several times I had a conversation with Comrade Lenin about border issues, and each time I was more and more convinced that he was eager to create an exemplary school in the outskirts not only for training future workers for the East, but also for directly influencing the minds and hearts of the millions of working masses of East.

The revival of a new, revolutionary Turkey 1 is not the result of this influence? In essence, what was Turkey like after the war? European Turkey with the capital Constantinople was in complete subordination to the Entente army. Part of the Turkish army retreated in disarray into the depths of Asia Minor. There was no warlike spirit in the army at all; in addition, the occupation of Smyrna by the Greeks with the aim of finally crushing the manpower of Turkey on the Asia Minor Peninsula, that is, completely erasing Turkey from the map, further demoralized the already demoralized army.

At this critical moment in the life of the Turkish people, the words of the aforementioned appeal to the peoples of the East are spreading more and more among the Turkish masses: Constantinople must remain a Turkish city, we declare all peoples free and we break all treaties of the tsarist government. The Turkish masses knew the historical testament of the Russian tsars about Constantinople, they heard about it from the lips of Milyukov, who hysterically repeated this on the eve of his failure and the bankruptcy of his government. Suddenly she, this mass, hears from the head of the government of the new Russia: Constantinople must remain a Turkish city. She not only hears these words, but also feels that all the sympathies of the head of this government are on the side of the new, revolutionary Turkey. She decides: the rear is free, there are no more enemies on the part of the new Russia, Constantinople should be ours!

And now, under the influence of this slogan, the physically and morally tired Turkish masses, yesterday only saving their lives and throwing their rifles on the retreat road, ignite, again take up rifles in order to accomplish a historic deed and set up a cunning, greedy, shameless, ruthless and shameless European diplomacy before the accomplished terrible fact: the old Turkey died under the dirty boots of the gendarmerie of the great European powers, but a new, revolutionary Turkey was born, having said its last word: we will live our own lives and with disgust we reject any tutelage over us. An impartial historian of the new, revolutionary Turkey, no doubt, will give a corresponding assessment of the turning point in the psychology of the Turkish masses at the most critical moment in her life, when the question of the life and death of an entire people was raised.

What happened in Persia after the October Revolution? After all, before the revolution, it was divided between tsarist Russia and England. The northern part of it was in the sphere of influence of Russia, and the southern part was in the sphere of influence of England. According to the appeal of Comrade Lenin, the Russian units left the Persian territory. This made a tremendous impression on the Persian masses, and they clearly began to express their indignation at the fact that England continued to rule in the southern part of Persia. Finally England could not withstand the dull pressure of the Persian masses and left. Thus, Persia was left to her own devices.

Did Persian diplomacy appreciate this? No. In order to protect the interests of a group of greedy merchants who suffered [defeat] on the territory of the union republic of Azerbaijan, she behaved towards us in negotiations on trade relations as if she had forgotten her yesterday's impersonal position, when, in essence, there was no Persia as a single and an independent whole. The Persian masses know by instinct that Comrade Lenin's appeal to the peoples of the East first of all had its effect on the position of their country. She is still silent, frowning, but the hour will come when this mass will openly, with enthusiasm exclaim: I am following your precepts, the great leader of mankind!

A few more words about Afghanistan.

The policy of the two great powers, Tsarist Russia and England, towards Afghanistan was the same as towards Persia. The only difference was that Afghanistan was all under the protectorate of England and Russia was deprived of the opportunity to act here as freely as in Persia. The Afghan Emir, having learned about the appeal of Comrade Lenin, was the first to express his desire to send his first ambassador to the Soviet country, with which England then fought with the help of Russian generals.

What did this intention of the emir mean? It meant that from that moment the Afghan government began to speak with England in a different language, fully hoping that our sympathies were on the side of Afghanistan. Finally, the Afghan ambassador, arriving in red Moscow, having talked with comrade Lenin, lets his government know that the words of the head of the Soviet government in his address to the peoples of the East do not hang in the air and that Lenin is ready to do anything to free Afghanistan from Britain's colonial policy 1 ...

This makes it possible for the Afghan government to conduct mass propaganda against British policy, all the while pointing out our appeal and attitude towards the Afghan question. How great was the significance of this propaganda was evident from the following. The Afghan ambassador arrived in Moscow with one influential mullah of Afghanistan. In a conversation with me, this mullah very much asked me to show him Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. I asked what, in fact, interests him. He replied: “His sermon, his attitude towards the oppressed clearly distinguish him from the midst of modern politicians and leaders of the whole world. In him I see a prophet. "

So, without exaggeration, we can say: Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan have made a huge historic step in freeing themselves from the annoying tutelage of the colonial policy of Europe solely thanks to the Russian revolution led by Lenin. But are the working masses of each of these countries liberated from the policies of their oppressors?

This is the question that should interest the remaining students of Lenin. We answer this question: no, because the whole depth of the soul of this greatest man in the world is not yet known to this mass.

This should be done by us, communists, if even a particle of that fire burns in us that burned so ardently in our greatest teacher and which pushed him to accomplish the greatest feat in the world - to finally free all mankind from slavery.

Lenin and the East: Collection of articles. 2nd, add. ed. Moscow, 1925, pp. 23-26.

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