2 December 2020, Wednesday, 10:04
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

We Make the Majority and Kalinowski Is with Us

We Make the Majority and Kalinowski Is with Us
Iryna Khalip

Let's imagine that he whispered the word "Square" to us.

It's been the second week when we hear fierce arguments about the possible reburial of the ashes of Konstanty Kalinowski. It does not matter who considers it necessary to return the remains to the homeland, or who believes that our history and memory do not depend on the place of burial.

What is more important is that one hundred and fifty years later Konstanty Kalinowski is again a spiritual leader of the Belarusians. He is the one we discuss, not Lukashenka or salaries and utility tariff rates. Articles write about him. For some reason it salves. The concern for the hero's grave confirms that everything is fine with us. We hold on to our historical memory. We adhere to our spiritual leaders, we honor their memory. It's harder to do when it comes to the living.

We have few dead leaders. We want the living ones, like Kalinowski. We are ready to "bring up Baba Yaga here". We are unsparing in advances, forgive mistakes easily, listen to every word and send them to friends, relatives and subscribers on social networks. We attach a little more importance to every word they say, take every statement with enthusiasm, and react to every public speech a little more emotionally. Then we begin to demand the impossible: we want them to show us the way. But they usually have completely different plans in this regard. High expectations of society seem to them troublesome. Then their inconsistency with the heroic image disturbs us even more: we trusted you, and you treacherously failed to meet our expectations. What should we do now? To wander in the dark?

Remember us strenuously sculpting the spiritual leader from Siarhei Mikhalok. After he sang "Play", it became clear that here he is, the spiritual father and almost the Messiah. We started to treat him that way. We accepted his compromises - it's all for our sake, he should return to Belarus and perform on the Belarusian stage. We accepted the refusal of our favorite songs - it's a condition for touring certificate. We wanted to see him on the podium saying "thank you, devils!"

Suddenly we saw that Mikhalok does not want to sing "Play", but he lives well and performs sacrificing our favorite songs. We were mortally offended. We did not let him do it! As soon as he insulted journalists wondering why he sings "Play" in Kyiv but not in Minsk, we decided to say goodbye to Michalok. You may sing even the anthem of the USSR in your Belavia. Moreover, Svetlana Alexievich has become a spiritual leader.

But before the Nobel Prize, nobody put her on a pedestal. On the contrary, only the lazy one did not have time to reproach Alexievich that she wrote Russian. But when she got the Nobel Prize for those Russian books, we immediately began to catch her every word. What will Svetlana say about the opposition? About the people? About the current moment? How can we fight the dictatorship? Svetlana, say at least in a whisper "Square" and we will go. But she still does not say anything. It is disappointing, however.

And we do not care whether this award is for literature, not for a civic position and social activities. We might as well make Zhores Alferov a spiritual leader and wait for him to show us the way. The point is that both Mikhalok and Alexievich are professionals. Everyone is in their field. And it's at least impolite for us to wait that they will light the way. Mikhalok sings, Alexievich writes, and we all demand something from them by habit. That's enough. Let them do their job. We are adults now, it is time for us to cope with it on own.

Moreover, the dead help us anyway. And the debates around the burial of Kalinowski do not indicate a split in society, but prove that Belarus is alive. And this debate is not about the burial place, but how to better honor his memory. Only the official party has never spoken out. Kalinowski does not belong to them. They are occupiers. They originate from Lenin-Stalin. They grieve for Mugabe. They plant bushes in Kurapaty to disguise burials and hide the crimes of the Stalinist regime. They are typical heirs of the most heinous and meanest things that happened on our territory, forcibly integrated into the totalitarian empire. The occupiers showed their colors.

Arguing about a possible reburial, we answered his question:

- Whom do you love?

- I love Belarus!

- So do I!

They also answered:

- I love money, power. I hate Belarus. I will sell it for money and power.

So their burial is out of question. They will simply be buried.

Belarus and we are alive. We make the majority and Kalinowski is with us. Let's imagine that he whispered the word "Square" to us.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org