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Stalin and politics

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, October 29
A couple of days ago, Gogi Topadze, a member of the Georgian Dream coalition from the Industrial Party, has stated that very soon Stalin would be appreciated in Georgia to the extent that everyone would hang his picture in their homes.

The statement has caused much controversy and many criticized the statement, especially those from the opposition rows.

A comment has also been made by the founder of the coalition, former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who stressed that unlike Topadze Stalin has never been a “positive” figure for him.

Only the members of the Industrial Party stated that they supported Topadze's bizarre opinion. However, they underscored that their leader’s statement did not exactly mean that Stalin’s picture would be hung everywhere.

“He just said that after some time Stalin would become more respected due to his merits among Georgians,” MP Zurab Tkemeladze said.

Giorgi Vashadze, an opposition MP, said that everyone had the right of freedom of expression, but a man with such an opinion would not be represented in the legislative body.

It is known for many that Stalin, who expanded and consolidated the Soviet empire, was a Georgian from the eastern Georgian Gori municipality, where one can visit the most famous Soviet leader’s museum.

There are still some Georgians, especially amongst the elderly, who still admire Stalin and have huge photos of him hung in their houses. It is kind of a local patriotism. A Georgian man from Gori influenced very substantially the world politics for almost three decades

Topadze’s statement was noteworthy in several directions as it somehow reflected Georgian nature.

For many years, Georgia had been ruled by leaders and the negative consequences of the aspect are still obvious.

Many Georgians are still waiting for leaders who will settle their problems instead of sorting them out themselves.

On the one hand, the approach depicts Georgians' dependence on leaders, and on the other hand this attitude makes the public lazy as they shift all the burden of responsibilities on someone else.

If the leader fails to solve their problems in several months, the majority of the population abuses him, without thinking about their own personal, civil responsibilities.

Even if a politician does something positive for the country, the notion that members of the public would then hang their picture in their home is nothing short of ridiculous. This idea only furthers the notion that the public still fails to realise that doing something positive for their country is that person’s direct responsibility, and not that of a politician.

In order for Georgian society to advance, one should forget about outdated approaches and the almost cult-like admiration of leaders. People should consider their personal obligations, do their jobs and vote for politicians based on their election programmes.

On this note, the previous state leadership was fighting against Georgia's Soviet legacy, and they destroyed monuments of Stalin and other Soviet leaders throughout the country, they removed Stalin’s Monument in the centre of Gori.

Of course, no one needs the monuments of Soviet leaders in residential areas of Georgia. However, when it comes to that monument there was no need to dismantle the statue. Stalin is a world famous figure, an integral part of world history and one should manage to separate politics from culture and history.

Many foreigners visit the Stalin museum when they are in Georgia, and from a tourist point of view, a statue of Stalin on a site dedicated to his life is hardly unreasonable. Moreover it could be a good source for making business –selling as souvenirs different items and photos.