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A single textbook to be truthful

A single textbook to be truthful

Chairman of State Duma
Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation,
Chairman of the Russian Historical Society
S.E. Naryshkin 

Dear, Sergei Evgenievich!

The Executive Committee of the World Congress of Tatars appeals to you, as the leader of a draft concept of historical and cultural standards on national history. It is no exaggeration to say that a wide Tatar public exposes an interested attention to progress of developing this concept document and those collisions that occur during the work. The World Congress of Tatars largely shares the view of developers of the document and agree with problems set in it. Indeed, it is very important to build a system of history education, to take into account the principles of inter-ethnic harmony and cross-cultural consensus in a selection of the core content of the educational material. We must not forget about education of the younger generation to respect historical heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation. All this is important from the viewpoint of civil consolidation of the Russian peoples, history education should serve unity, cohesion and security of our country.

We are pleased to learn that many additions and amendments proposed to the draft by Tatarstan side (historical-cultural standard ) have been considered by developers of the document. This testifies to the attentive and friendly attitude of scientists involved in the project, to the opinion of the interested parties on their quest for consensus in interpretation of complex problems of national history.

Nevertheless, the WCT Board considers it necessary to rework the Concept of historical-cultural standards in full compliance with stated principles of its developers .

First of all, this applies to interpretation of the history of the Ulus of Jochi (Golden Horde). Unfortunately, the text of the latest version of the concept of historical – cultural standard (HCS) preserved some old historical myths and negative connotation, traditionally used in the country’s history textbooks regarding the Golden stage history of Eurasia. Particularly unacceptable are: a) use for characterization of relationship between the Russian lands and the Golden Horde in XIII-XV centuries absolutely unscientific term “yoke” ( even in a gentle way “so-called yoke” ), b) is clearly seen in the HCS component, attempt to evade Tatar history of Ulus Jochi.

Obviously, the first ideologeme will resurrect in the minds of the students long outlived negative stereotypes of biased coverage of the Golden period of national history. The second trend, at first glance, is aimed at good purpose “riddance” of Tatar people from the “Golden shameful stain”. But, in fact, such an approach leads to a violation of integrity of the national history of the Tatars, and, consequently, to misinterpretation of their ethno-genesis. Similar approaches have been characterized only for the period of domination of Stalinism in the country.

The marked shortcomings of the document, in our opinion, are far not innocuous. Concealing cultural achievements of Jochi Ulus actually leads interpretation of national history in contradiction with the world historiography, in which these issue are answered in detail and positively.

Dear , Sergei! The WCT Executive Committee requests you to consider our observations to the Project HCS and make necessary adjustments.

Chairman of the WCT Executive Committee
Doctor of Historical Sciences
R.Z. Zakirov

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