In Azerbaijan the number one target group intended (for best purposes only) for government propaganda is students. Especially young ones, who have no idea whats going on, and who have disinterested, afraid, inattentive or simply careless parents to teach them, tell them, explain them, guide them otherwise. And so it should come as no surprise, that Azerbaijani kids, from their very young age are told that if it wasn't for the late President Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan would be... pretty much nonexistent or a rotten hole.
This is the short story from the first grade textbook.
Basically the story is about this little girl (but more of a conversation between this little girl and someone who is old enough to be the girl's grandmother), whose name is Mehriban (I don't have to remind you who goes by this name in Azerbaijan) and Heydar Aliyev (nor do I need to remind you of who he was) and the importance of their names. But here comes the silver-lining, at the very end, the story takes on a twist, "It is thanks to Heydar Aliyev's strength that our Azerbaijan is nourishing. And that is why our nation will always remember him fondly".
Its interesting how the story went from explaining the meaning of the name Mehriban and Haydar, to suddenly finding the girl looking at the statue of Haydar Aliyev and lastly praising him. I wonder if every story in this textbook has this kind of a twist.
Systematic brainwashing (though at this stage of learning curve, calling this brainwashing would be wrong I suppose) that starts at that age, is bound to bring success in the future. The end result- generations of brainwashed (and this would be the right time to use this word) people, programmed to function under existing conditions, without questioning anything and only saying what needs to be said in certain moments.
And then there is of course the condition of our education system. Though calling it condition would do it no justice, since there is a much better word for it- a syndrome. Its sick and its dying of cancer in the form of bribery and old Soviet style teaching.
But then who says anybody is dying, all is good in the la-la-land of la-la-president on the shores of the la-la-sea. And everyone who lives there is happy...