Why in Georgia there was an uprising against the Russian language in 1978

History 23/02/20 public domainПочему in Georgia, there was an uprising against the Russian language in 1978

Many historians call the Georgian “language” unrest of 1978, the first major forerunner of the collapse of the Soviet Union – nationalist tendencies, who won in a single Soviet Republic, in their opinion, served as the cornerstone which provoked widespread political “SEL” parade of sovereignties 1988 – 1991 that swept away the Soviet Union from the world map as a state.

it all started

the Flames of massive popular anger is kindled from a spark, dropped “Dawn of the East” – in 1978 the Georgian newspaper published in Russian, published an article on the new draft Constitution of the Georgian SSR, where in the first place, was mentioned as a matter of priority attention to development of the Russian language, and then about the equality of other languages used by the Georgian population. Lexical hegemony project, the Georgian Constitution does not imply exclusive rights no language was given.

the ambiguity of the interpretation of the role of the Georgian language gave rise to the gossip at first, and then worry all remember that in the old Constitution of the Georgian SSR of 1937, the Georgian language was the state, and this position was clearly stated, without any worries “about the Russian language”.

Who raised the fur fly

Raced the Tbilisi intelligentsia – students, educators. The official explanation of newspaper publication was not followed, so rapidly medivcine rumors about linguistic discrimination of Georgians provoked in April 1978 in Tbilisi riots. Mass actions of supporters of the primacy of the Georgian language was organized by the activists wrote leaflets calling to come out in protest. Georgia, incidentally was the only country where the Union after the adoption of the Constitution on the local level of a subject of the USSR there was such discontent – similar articles the basic laws of the republics of the Soviet Union were written under a carbon paper, changing only the names of the subjects of the USSR. The Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which was adopted in 1977, contributed to the Russification of the Soviet Union, once again diminishing national consciousness more than a dozen republics, were part of it. It touched a nerve, but in 1978 only Georgia actively opposed to such linguistic-political situation.

the Chronology and personalities of discontent

before 1978 in Georgian schools and universities reduced the hours of the Georgian language, which deaf resisted by local intelligentsia. The publication of “Dawn of the East” highlights a visible sharp angles of this problem.

One of the main ringleaders of the April protest was academician-linguist A. Shanidze and the daughter of the Director of the film Studio “Georgia-film” Tamriko Chkheidze. Shanidze bombarded the local press with articles about the priority of the Georgian language over Russian and Tamriko pasted leaflets calling to protest against the new version of the Republican Constitution.

the Climax of the confrontation occurred on April 14 when in the center of Tbilisi opalas hundred-thousandth of a crowd of protesters – seniors, students, intellectuals and just caring people. It was a truly brave thing to do, because the more memorable events were when Tbilisi political protests ended in a bloodbath: after recent high-profile Georgian tragedy with more than 20 dead and dozens wounded, very bloody Tbilisi rebellion against the overthrow of Stalin’s personality cult, it took relatively little time – 22 years.

how will it all end

the Then head of the Republic Eduard Shevardnadze tried to pacify the multitudes, reminding protesters about the events of 1956, when peaceful demonstrators in Tbilisi were shot by troops. But the demonstrators were crushed by a police fence and delayed overlapping cordon trucks, chanting slogans in support of the native language.

In these extra CONVoviah going session of the Supreme Council of Georgia, where the majority of votes approved the old version of the article on the primacy of the Georgian language in the Republic over the others, he left the state and worthy of “full development”. While Shevardnadze did not read out before a crowd of thousands gathered in front of the Supreme Soviet of the Georgian SSR adopted by the Chapter of the Constitution of the Republic, the protesters were not satisfied.

the Consequences of the Tbilisi unrest 1978 for their activists has been compared with the events of 1956, almost “vegetarian” – no one was killed or maimed. For 5 years only condemned the cameraman “Georgia-film” of Avtandil Imnadze, who filmed all of these events (later the period was reduced to 3 years).

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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