Tajikistan’s Interior Minister has reportedly written a poem in honor of the president, and the head of the security services has written a warm review of the work.
The recent national outbreak of lyrical devotion to Emomali Rahmon was the result of a poetry competition announced by the Interior Ministry to mark the newly created President’s Day, to be henceforth observed annually on November 16.
The requisite tone was set in state-run newspaper Jumhuriyat, which on November 9 published a ripe piece of verse consisting of 55 couplets entitled “In Praise of the Leader of the Nation.” The poem was signed under the enigmatic nom de plume Nihon, the Tajik word for secretive.
And nobody would likely have given the doggerel a second — or even a first — glance had the head of the State Committee for National Security, Saymumin Yatimov, not published a complimentary review of the poem on President’s Day.
As Tajik news website Akhbor has revealed, Nihon is none other than Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda.
According to Akhbor’s investigations, Rahimzoda has been honing his lyrical skills ever since he was a mere stripling of man, although he has refrained thus far from sharing his oeuvre with the world.
The revelation of Rahimzoda’s artistic bent has given rise to suspicions that it is this that may lie behind his ministry’s predilection for holding regular evening poetry and musical performances. Notices for such events are routinely posted on the Interior Ministry website, in between wanted bulletins and statements about the latest arrests, many of them involving members of the opposition.
In his poem, Rahimzoda attributes all the achievements of modern Tajikistan, such as they are, to Rahmon. These include the establishment of peace following the civil war of the 1990s and the subsequent return of Tajik refugees from Afghanistan. He also called Rahmon the founder of the Tajik army and the “face of God on earth,” no less.
In his review of the poem, Yatimov piles on the praise, hailing Rahmon for “sacrificing his life” for the good of the people of his nation.
“A people that has no hero cannot consider itself content,” the head of the security services gushed.
Yatimov wrote that studying Rahimzoda’s verses gave him a fuller appreciation of Rahmon’s greatness.
“[Rahmon’s] experience enables him to forecast threats to society. He is able to save the nation from current threats in a timely fashion,” Yatimov opined.
Inasmuch as it is possible to evaluate such things, it would seem that the breathless president-worship is reaching new heights of frenzy.
BBC’s Russian service reported earlier this month that a monument has been erected in the town of Hisor, some 20 kilometers outside the capital, Dushanbe, in commemoration of a book written by Rahmon. The monument to Tajiks in the Mirror of History, which is an account of the Tajik people spanning over as many as five millennia, consists a huge open book four meters long and six meters wide.
As the BBC points out, the monument currently occupies a discreet spot outside an office of the department of education, but the plan is to move it closer to the center of Hisor, where passersby will be able to study it from all angles.