Why unite opposition of regress and unfreedom?
Abdujalil Boymatov demands Karimov's resignation in 2003
Logic and ability to compare facts to draw conclusions from them are the qualities that unselfish and simpleton human rights activist Abdujalil Boymatov needs to develop.
Once, having bravely started exposing shortcomings of the Uzbek opposition, he came round to believe that the Erk party’ Muhammad Salih and Birlik’s Abdurahim Pulatov are opposition members who have already had their day and whose accession to power will be evil no less than the ruling of irremovable President Islam Karimov.
The conclusion is absolutely correct, but having reached it, Boymatov cannot understand clearly the idea that the only thing he must stand up for is to prevent them from coming to power in Uzbekistan.
The country does not need someone similar to or worse than Karimov, it needs quite a different, a better person.
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It needs people who will finally put the ideas of freedom, equality and supremacy of law on top of their politics as the only and indisputable condition for the country’s development.
But after a number of exposes and statements, such as “Salih is worse than Karimov”, Boymatov has time and again continues to appeal to these dinosaurs of Uzbek politics.
He hopes that they will quit being themselves and become someone that he is dreaming about –enlightened democrats.
Urging them to prepare for the parliamentary elections in 2015, he reminds them of their almost venerable age as all of them are older than 70, and that it is their last chance to take part in the government of the country, but, at the same time, he wonders why he and the country need these old and senile people and, even if they want to take part in the elections, how will they do this?
Boymatov is a democrat and he wants to see Uzbekistan prosper in a secular way, see the country free where conditions would be created through free elections, independent media outlets and justice for everyone –politicians, businessmen, artists, activists, people of all religions, beliefs and sexuality.
Then what is it that he is achieving from Salih and Pulatov? None of them have qualities of a democratic leader; their reaction to critics is, at best, unfounded labelling and attempt to silence critics and, at worst, vulgar abuse and distribution of pornography.
What does Boymatov want, for example, from Salih? When Saleh dreams, in case of his accession to power in Uzbekistan, of “isolating gays and other sick members of society from society in a civilised way”, which is a crime against humanity under the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.
The leader of the opposition Erk party and People’s Movement of Uzbekistan (PMU), Muhammad Salih, absolutely frankly says that he is indifferent to the electorate’s opinion, even though the only possible way of coming to power in a democratic society is elections.
Salih cannot say what system he intends to build in Uzbekistan, but writes that it is people who will make this choice through referendum.
In other words, if the people vote for communism, he will become a communist; if they are for an Islamic system, he will become an Islamist; if they choose democracy, then he will immediately start loving all gays and other “sick” people.
This is a rare case of ideological confusion, or to be more precise, the lack of any ideology and beliefs, the lack of the pivot, but only a desire to adjust to reality in order to achieve one goal – power.
Karimov’s regime has been busy plundering the country and destroying rudiments of freethinking and liberty of action, but he has not yet invaded citizens' bedrooms.
But the PMU and its leader believe that they have monopoly over morality, they know what is moral and what is not. They are the people who will turn Uzbekistan in a new model of decency like today’s Iran or Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
A strong woman is a “disgusting” creature in Salih’s eyes. He will prepare the ground for Islamic fanatics to shoot at girls like they shot the 14-year-old Malala in Pakistan for fighting for her right to education.
Lack of ideology and fear
Appealing to old opposition members, which is what Boymatov is doing, is symptomatic. This is not only a manifestation of the human rights defender’s lack of logic and his naivety, but a common social fear before new changes and inability to have “bold hopes” and thoughts.
Refusing from old idols, you can find yourself before a scary emptiness out of which both good and bad may come out and the responsibility laid on others’ shoulders will hang in the air and threaten to land on yours.
But only this way, overthrowing the old, it is possible to fight for the new. Only by giving a just assessment and being its consistent supporter is it possible to move forward.
Abdujalil, do not look for your future in the past. It is not there. Only the Middle Ages can come out of there. Do not look for flowers in wild grass, plant new ones.