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Tajik Official Calls His President ‘the Sun’

Rahmon has Tajikistan under his heel. Demotix ID  +add to lightbox Add to cart ID: 968180. Photo of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President of Tajikistan, Emomaii Rahmon, speak during a conference. Photo by Riccardo Valsecchi.

Rahmon has Tajikistan under his heel. Demotix ID: 968180. A photo from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Tajik President Emomali Rahmon's speeches at a conference. Taken by Riccardo Valsecchi.

For his political dependents, Tajikistan's president is the great ball of burning gas around which lesser stars must gratefully rotate. 

The head of the State Religion Committee of Tajikistan, Abdurahim Kholiqzoda, recently epitomised this consensus  by calling Tajik President Emomali Rahmon ‘the sun’ and ‘the star of happiness’ in his article in a government-owned newspaper. Praising Rahmon as ‘the glory of the nation,’ and ‘the founder of the modern Tajik state’, Kholiqzoda believes that appreciating Rahmon means appreciating Tajikistan.

Listing the president's achievements, Kholiqzoda mentioned that Rahmon had brought the Tajik nation back into world politics after more than a millennium of obscurity, rescued people from the turmoil of the post-independence civil war, amnestied criminals, brought back refugees and united the population as part of a prospering state. The author concluded that the decision of the Members of Parliament to choose Emomali Rahmon as the country's leader during those dark days had been vindicated. 

Not satisfied with galactic comparisons, Kholiqzoda likened Rahmon's reform efforts to those of Martin Luther, Oliver Cromwell, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi.

Curiously, Kholiqzoda, who will most likely leave his post for a seat in the parliament in March, gave special attention to the importance of a law restricting excessive spending on weddings and other ceremonies signed by Rahmon in 2007. Those belt-tightening measures did not apply to Rahmon's son's wedding, which took place that very year and was rather lavish. 

The article created much discussion in  the comments under RFE/RL’s Tajik Service, Ozodi. Generally commenters condemned Rahmon's growing personality cult in Tajikistan.

Mahmud wrote:

Таклидро мо точикон хеле ва хеле дуст медорем. Ин кадар бардор бардориро ба мисли рохбарони Кореяи шимоли нарасонед. Худо аз варианти Корея нигах дорад Точикистонро.

We, Tajiks, love to imitate. Do not make a personality cult like there is in North Korea. God forbid Tajikistan from becoming North Korea. 

Mehrob, another commenter, echoed the narrative that dominates among the political elite in Tajikistan, whereby Rahmon is forgiven everything simply because Tajikistan is no longer at war with itself: 

Бародари беном! солеки чанг буд оё нонро ба сери медидед? солеки ноором буд оё бе парво дар ними шаб ба кучахо баромада метавонистед? оё агар ин мамлакатеки бесарусомонихо буд дар як мухлати кутох аз соли саюз ободтару зеботар гардид ин бас нест? хай чи кунем боз бар зидди давлат чанг кунем? боз модаронро бе бача, фарзандонро бе падар ва занхоро беваю фохиша карда дар кучахо сар дихем????????????

Did you have enough bread when we experienced civil war? Could you go outside at night during that time? Is it not enough that our country that was destroyed has now become better than it was during Soviet times? Should we again fight against the government? Should we again leave our mothers without their children, making our children orphans and turn our wives into widows and prostitutes living on the streets? 

Haydar, however, ridiculed the new levels of sycophancy Kholiqzoda had stooped to in his article, and linked it to a recent story on Tajik state television wherein a man that allegedly declared himself ‘the last prophet’ was detained on polygamy and land-grabbing charges:

 э кандата зан раиси кумитаи дин. ва боз ба фикрам фаромуш кардаи илова куни ки чаноби оли хамон махдии охири замон ва пайгамбари бархак аст…….

худо хохад 2 даври дигар раиси кумитаи дин мешави

Good job, Mr head of religion committee. I think you forgot to add that His Highness (referring to President Rahmon) is the last and true prophet…You would then be head of the religion committee for another couple of rounds.

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