Anda di halaman 1dari 1

Central Asia

The Central Asian republics in their present shape came into existence under the Soviets during the 1920s and 1930s, when their boundaries were redrawn to carve out five republics from the former Turkmenistan and the kingdoms of Khiva and Bukhara. The development of national languages and cultural infrastructures strengthened the identities of the titular groups. Simultaneously, due to industrialization, substantial migration from other regions of the USSR into Central Asia created strong multi-ethnic societies. At the time of the Soviet disintegration the process of consolidation of nationhood was still incomplete and all the indigenous nationalities still had not overcome the existence of clan, regional or tribal affinities. In fact, in the post-Soviet period such divisions accentuated. The assertion of national identity in recent years has scared minorities in Central Asia, especially the Slavs who have migrated in large numbers. The adoption of new language laws, industrial recession, rise of religious fundamentalism etc. have alienated national minorities in each Central Asian state. Some of these minorities like Russians for example constitute a highly skilled workforce and their departure from Central Asia would have a damaging effect on the economy. Worried about the emigration of the skilled national minorities and the rise of radical Islam, the leadership of Central Asia has taken steps to create harmonious conditions for integrating different nationalities in the process of state formation in the post-Soviet period. After the initial nation-building zeal, which constituted creating new national symbols, reviving traditional festivals, heroes and myths, the new states are taking steps to make the state inclusive. Religion has been kept separate from the state and religious groups are kept away from the political life. As a result, Russian language has been accorded better position than was given initially and the Russians have been in some states, allowed dual citizenship. The Constitutions have taken care to accommodate national minorities and are less discriminatory. Except in Turkmenistan, even the highest office of president is not restricted to citizens of the titular nationality alone. The states of Central Asia are faced with difficult economic conditions since the disintegration of the USSR. The social sector remains in bad shape, unemployment has increased manifold and the real income of the population has fallen. This is a challenge that the states need to overcome. Otherwise, divisive forces would grow.