The forgotten Southern Dagestan
Lack of funding stifles the development
In recent years, top officials and the leadership of the Republic of Dagestan has† much talked about the strategic importance of cultural and educational development of the region.
Lately, Zarema Butayeva, the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Dagestan† gave an interview to TASS News Agency, where she spoke about the cultural and educational achievements and plans for the future.
If we analyze the interview of the Minister in more detail, many questions appear. After celebration of the jubilee of "ancient city", the residents of Derbent remain up with nothing, except the relative external gloss.
It remains not fully clear in whose pockets in Makhachkala multibillion-dollar budget allocation "settled" and who the beneficiary is.
Almost no one believes in the promised "additional financing" of the city and the extension of repair work until 2018 (without the control of the federal government).
It should also be said about the national holiday dedicated to Lezgi heroic epic "Sharvili", which is held annually at the expense of the organizers of the event, in contrast to the many festivals and actions in other parts of Dagestan.
We would like also to remind our Minister about liquidated children's art school named Askar-Sarica in the ancient village of Akhty because of poor funding of the educational institution.
"In a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional republic, we need to consider traditional culture as a resource for national security and integrity, as a channel of rapprochement of peoples" - Butayeva said in her interview to TASS News Agency.
Again, we can refer to the anniversary of the city of Derbent, the cultural program of which was full of numerous kinks in the cultural, musical, historical and artistic parts. Thus little attention was paid to the descendants of the ancient city's founders - Lezgi people, their history and culture.
Later in the interview a question about the opening of the Azerbaijani theater in Dagestan was asked.
This is a great initiative, and we can only rejoice in the emergence of new theater. But in turn, we hope that a great creative process is mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation. And our compatriots living in Azerbaijan can rely on the same kind of participation of the management of the Republic of Dagestan in their cultural life. Unfortunately, it is hard to believe in it.
Not the first time it is noted the disproportionate funding for cities and villages of the Southern Dagestan, which is against the background of actively developing the north of Dagestan gradually turns into the most depressed part of the republic. The republican authorities also often overlook the condition of pre-school institutions, secondary schools, institutions of additional education, theaters, etc. Many schools, built in the early days of the Soviet state, are dilapidated and in need of major repairs.
But, despite all this, the Southern Dagestan, which is historically famous for its high level of education, still keeps its reputation.