New version of the bill, granting Russian citizens the right to indicate their nationality in passports, has caused a flurry of accusations. It came to terms such as “pandering to separatists” and “inciting ethnic hatred”. Is it really so terrible to such an initiative?
Heated debate around the draft law “On providing citizens of the Russian Federation the constitutional right to determine and indicate his ethnic affiliation” being from the beginning of February, when the project was submitted for consideration to the state Duma a member of the Federation Council of the Sakhalin region Zhanna Ivanova. The gist of it initiatives to provide the Russians the right to national self-determination, enshrined in the Constitution. This is emphasized in the document preamble, extremely cold greeted not only by deputies but also by media. On Wednesday, the Deputy Ivanov tried again to answer the charges, emphasizing that to withdraw the bill does not intend.
Nationalism in the Soviet
“A few “orcs”, “elves” and “hobbits” are stopped on the outskirts of the offices of the Federal migration service”
Initiative Ivanova immediately met with harsh criticism. Some experts, such as, for example, Deputy Director of the Institute of Ethnology and anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences, member of the Council under the RF President on interethnic relations Vladimir Zorin, said that “the graph “nationality” is a legacy of the Soviet past” that is the notorious “fifth paragraph in the passport”. In turn, the Chairman of the Duma Committee on constitutional legislation and state construction Dmitry Vyatkin noted that “the national issue is extremely delicate, especially in such a multinational country as Russia, and then urged to begin “to consult with the public”.
Painful (some say subversive) the theme of “Russian nationalism” in relation to the bill experts not directly raised, but obviously in the air. Another thing is that the results of the population census of 2002 and 2010 have given a fairly clear answer to the “Russian question”: the result of 79.3% 77,71% indicate their nationality considered themselves Russian. Of undermining state structures after no one was found.
According to Ivanova, her bill “is not about Russian nationalism.” The problem lies, primarily, in the identity of small Nations. Such as Sakhalin Nivkh. These peoples because of their small size are under constant threat of loss of national identity. According to the Senator, to designate their nationality, some enterprising citizens are making money is not quite legally. Selling, for example, a “document” as “passport nationality”. Void this “passport” has the same Nivkh are willing to pay for it.
The “law on nationality”, according to its author, should, in particular, to prevent such conflicts of law.
Instead of printing graphs
A separate concern, as mentioned above, cause some analogy with the Soviet system. In the USSR, the “fifth column” was mandatory, and although conflicts of this column was a little, she often floated with respect to the so-called “state anti-Semitism” (the rejection of the Jews in some schools), and due to the issuance of permits to emigrate to Israel.
Attempt to return to this order was made by the deputies from the Communist party Vladimir Kashin and Vladimir Fedotkinym relatively recently – in March 2014. The MPs have introduced to the Duma a bill giving citizens the right to bring their passports, making them a special “nationality” and “religion”. The law was rejected because the financial burden of producing new documents were assigned to the Federal budget.
In the current draft of the law all financial and procedural point of view a little differently. We are not talking about the release of new passports with a separate, specialized graphs. At the request of the citizens, he is the FMS put your own individual stamp. This simplifies the procedure of designation of nationality and speeds up the process of obtaining an updated document.
The second important point – the desire of the citizen must be supported by financial commitments. All costs for the manufacture of a stamp with a separate registration number and its transportation from the Federal authority in the region takes the citizen through the payment of a fee. Which, incidentally, may serve as additional protection against the appearance of “Orc”, “gnome” and “Goblin” with “elves”. These clowns, by the way, feared by many experts and journalists, the benefit during the census it is a completely showed. It is clear that to pay for this kind of entertainment with their own passports ready, not all citizens of the Russian Federation, with a sparkling sense of humor. So the already small percentage of orcs and hobbits is almost completely stopped on the outskirts of the departments of the Federal migration service. At the same time, it is clear that the duty of the citizens will remove the financial burden from the Federal budget.
Protection “from the fool”
However, a number of practical challenges that will be faced in law-enforcement practice, is still there. For example, where the line between national identity and the circus on the theme “orcs”?
In addition to the payment of the fee designated in the project and a number of other mechanisms for the protection “from the fool”. The first is the birth certificate of the citizen indicating the nationality of the parents. The stamp will be placed, based on the identification of the father or mother – by choice. It also substantially simplifies the procedure. However, the column “nationality” is filled not all the birth certificates.
The second point is the point of the bill, which refers to “reasonable… in reference to a citizen of a particular national community”. It is clear that the criterion of “reasonable justification” is very wide, but this is another holding mechanism.
The third is the application of universally accepted items of national and ethnic communities. And the list of nationalities, by the way, there is. For example, the alphabetic list of nationalities and ethnic names,” approved by Goskomstat of the Russian Federation in 2002. Here, however, it is worth to mention that according to the last census of the population has a new “nationality”. For example, the Cossacks, who formerly belonged to the Russian ethnic group. To date, among the Cossacks there are implicit flow, claiming that they have a separate national identity. In the framework of the “Russian national discourse” is a much bigger problem than “orcs” and “goblins”.
However, the last protection mechanism is associated with the invincible Russian bureaucracy. Theoretically, the citizen can draw in the passport that he “ork”, “Cossack” or “Goblin”. But this requires a separate decision of the court. It is clear that in the case of the adoption of the law of the country can expect a number of very interesting trials. But again, what percentage of those who want individual and a judicial order to prove that its cultural, religious and historical identity directly connected with the Uruk-Hai, and he professes the worship of the Hill and Marco?
It smells like fish
In the end the law is really to implement the citizen’s right to national self-identification in full compliance with the Constitution. No “destructive nationalism” in the project can not be traced. And still – Soviet “fifth columns”, because the logic of the law says it is the right, not the obligation to specify their nationality.
Certain difficulties may cause the “alternative nationality”, but it has a number of mechanisms of bureaucratic deterrence. Well, small Nations this graph is, apparently, really needed, and not only in the framework of protection from total assimilation. For example, to the indigenous small peoples of the North, the modern law establishes a variety of benefits, including quotas for fishing and hunting. But legal confirmation that the person is a representative of the SIM, simply does not exist. In the courts of the Northern areas many cases it is for the establishment of national identity.
In General there is a version that in itself is an indication of origin (including the passport) did not lead to the incitement of national hatred, but rather the opposite – and increases the level of national identity, and ethnic respect. So the law at least is not harmful, but can be very useful in complex interethnic dialogue in Russia for many years.