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Let us learn our inheritance : Get to know yourself




“ Let us learn our inheritance : get to know yourself ” is a treatise serialized in two consecutive issues of Yash Leninchi (Young Leninist), during August 1988. Not every publication printed in the USSR was allowed to leave the boundaries of the Soviet Union. Similarly, foreign subscriptions for many a Central Asian journal and newspaper are prohibited by central government decree. Yash Leninchi falls into that category. Therefore, and in view of the language of publication, it seems certain that this essay was intended solely for domestic consumption. It is worded very carefully, in a spirit of reforming the existing system, to expand to the Uzbeks and other Central Asians those freedoms enjoyed by other nationalities of the USSR. The editors of Yash Leninchi provide information about the author of "Get to know Yourself": "Uzbekistan Lenin Komsomol, and KK [Karakalpak] ASSR Berdak State Prize Laureate, poet Muhammad Ali is well known to the readership. He is one of our poets who has contributed to our literature on historical topics. He has dastans entitled Mashrab, Gumbazdagi Nur, and his books on revolutionary historical topics Kadimgi Koshuklar, Baki Dunya are renowned. Today you will read another of his historical essays." The original piece in Uzbek (completed July, 1988) may be construed as an effort by M. Ali to write, or at least facilitate the construction of, the true history of Central Asia for the masses in an era when the Soviet leadership pledged not to leave any "blank spots" in history. The result is a product quite apart from those works which are designed and propagated under the auspices of the Soviet Party apparatus --according to the dictates of the CPSU organs. It must be observed that true history writing under various disguises, despite official sanctions to quell those efforts, is not at all a new phenomenon in Central Asia. Since the early 1970s, long predating the Gorbachev's "openness" campaign, quite a few works have been produced and published. One of the important aspects of the particular piece at hand is that it does not employ disguises (e.g yarn; short story; or fiction genres), which were liberally used in earlier works of this type expounding the same themes: for example by Alishir Ibadin in his "Sun is also Fire" printed in the Uzbek journal Gulistan (No. 9, 1980), an annotated English translation of which is also published.

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H. B. PAKSOY, « Let us learn our inheritance : Get to know yourself », Cahiers d’études sur la Méditerranée orientale et le monde turco-iranien, 11 | 1991,



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H. B. PAKSOY, « Let us learn our inheritance : Get to know yourself », Cahiers d’études sur la Méditerranée orientale et le monde turco-iranien [En ligne], 11 | 1991, mis en ligne le , consulté le 26 octobre 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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