Friday, December 28

To a "healthy" future of Azerbaijan!

In his 1949 novel, 1984, George Orwell writes, "If our leaders were thinking about what they could do for the country, they'd be considering its future, in short, its children". Our children are the future, but if a child is raised in a way that contradicts principles of equality, liberty and freedom, we cannot speak of a solid future. Anything else, will only bring perils and ills to a nation. 

Let us look at Azerbaijan. It does not fall short of what Orwell describes in his book as "[...] something huge, terrible and glittering- a world of steel and concrete of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons- a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting- three hundred million people all with the same face." If this is the goal and the kind of future Azerbaijani leadership is trying to built then there is no need to speak of a future because there simply is none. 

We cannot have a future in a country where there is a small percentage of super- wealthy having most of the power while the rest of the people are so severely dehumanized that they lose their "faces", their individuality, and their role in shaping their own future.
Known for some remarkable statements, head of the Social Political Department at the Presidential Administration Ali Hasanov, continued setting records with yet another remarkable statement two days ago. On December 26th, during an event organized to celebrate the one year anniversary of Youth Fund Mr. Hasanov noted "Azerbaijani youth must closely involve in solving state problems" adding "Unfortunately, during Eurovision, a group of youngsters paved a way to damage Azerbaijani image [instead of promoting Azerbaijan's music culture]". He called these young people radicals, "unhealthy" and that it is the responsibility of "healthy" youth to stand against this "small but active group of people". And just as he likes to make an entrance, Mr. Hasanov's exit was too nothing short of another remarkable statement, "Azerbaijani youth can handle five- ten lost youngsters, while in the meantime, continue to represent Azerbaijan abroad at its best".

I wonder what defines "healthy" youth according to Mr. Hasanov. I guess it is that very same faceless, robotized future?! Perhaps, someone needs to remind Mr. Hasanov that having an opinion and speaking truth doesn't make you lost, in fact, it makes you perfectly honest person on the right path. And so to representing Azerbaijan abroad at its best- well, gotta break the bad news to you, but representing a country at its best means actually to talk about the shortcomings, the missing components of a democratic country and not just talking about beautiful music, gorgeous carpets and so on.

I much rather have a country with young, vibrant, creative, young people (doing flashmobs, engaged in social activities, raising awareness and working to make this country a better place) than a country made of "healthy" youth afraid of saying that we failed at having democratic elections, that things are not great in Azerbaijan, that we have limited press freedom, that we have journalists behind bars and advocates intimidated, that we have corruption and that we cannot speak of a future where rich remain rich, while the rest of the people keep silent and in a state of constant fear.

Let everyone decide for themselves rather than impose your "ideology of greatness" on others. People have a mind of their own, we, the young generation of Azerbaijan can connect the dots. Oh, and I almost forgot, we are perfectly healthy.

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