Sunday, April 12, 2020

New Uzbekistan has opened up

New Uzbekistan has opened up

Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country is  known for its mosques, mausoleums and sites linked to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and Mediterranean. Samarkand, a major city on the route contains landmark Islamic architecture, a precursor to the Indian architecture of Mughal Empire. Bukhara is famous for 712 archeological sites most the world heritage sites and the popular silk carpets.

The trade and economic relation of India with Uzbekistan are older than silk route going back to Kushan era and before. The great scholar and polymath Abu Rahman Al Biruni was a native of Uzbekistan, travelled to India in 1017, and authored Indian culture Tarikh-al-Hind. Landlocked and bordering with five landlocked countries, and situated between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, Uzbekistan and it’s culture has influence over Indian arts and culture because of its Uzbeks, who had ruled Hindustan for 322 years (1526-1857). Their son Zahiruddin Mirza Babur became the first Emperor of Hindustan in 1526. The last Emperor Sirazuddin Mirza Bahadur Shah Zafar (King of Delhi) was convicted for the charges of aiding and abetting the mutiny of the troops and assuming the sovereignty of Hindustan. His two sons and a grandson were shot by Hudson. He was exiled to Rangoon were he breathed his last in 1862. The title of Emperor of India was taken by the British Royal Family in 1877. Bahadur Shah Zafar had four wives, had many sons and daughters, therefore his heirs may exist today. One five years old Shahjada (grand son) was escaped with the Aaya to Kashmir and, his great grand son Zaynuddin at present is living in Tashkent, presenting himself as the legal heir of the Mughal.

Uzbekistan is known to the present generation of India for two important reasons, first, as a birth place of Babur the founder of Mughal Empire in India and second, because of sad demise of Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent on 11 January 1966 after signing peace treaty with Pakistan. The building where he died doesn’t exist today.

Plov is the National dish of Uzbekistan is popular as Pulao-Biryani in India-Pakistan-Bangladesh. Their Somsa is our Samosa, favourite of all. Plov, Somsa, Kabab, etc, dishes mixed with our Kari, became the favourite Mughlai cuisine of the subcontinent. They brought food dishes, gardens, flowers and perfume culture to India. Their tastiest fruits succulent melons, watermelons, grapes, apricots are popular fruits of India too. Tourists buy grapes, black walnuts and roasted almonds in good quality. Kashmir is famous for embroidery and carpet weaving in India. But their arts and crafts were trained from Bukhara.

There are hundreds of common words in Uzbek and Hindi-Urdu languages. Dost, dosti, muhabbat, mehman, aziz, janab, kitab, khusbu, dukan, bazar, aasman, bagh, bagicha, samosa, pulao, kabab, rahmat, etc, are the gifts of the Uzbek language to us. Indian culture welcomes guest like God (atithi devo bhav:) and Uzbeks respects guests similarly, ‘mekhmon otangdan ulug (a guest is more honoured than your father). The hospitality and honour bestowed upon the guests is incredible. At Desterkhan of a house or a dinning table in a hotel, it will be covered with plates of salad, cakes, sweets, fruits, bread, soft drink, vodka and green tea and the delicious seven course meal. The meal starts with prayer and ends with prayer.

Democracy has changed the world with the power of ballot and “sab ka saath sab ka vishvas” is the new mantra of the new world of development. All humans are in search of better quality of life and their desires are forcing the rulers to excel in their performance to retain the power.

Declaring independence on 31st August 1990, New Republic of Uzbekistan is promoting reforms based on development. Removing barriers to trade and improving investment environment is a top priority of the government under the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Large scale reforms were launched and giving highest priority to the ease of doing business by liberalisation of economy, opening of borders and reduction of trade duties. The government promises no role back of concessions with retrospective effects. Tashkent, Samarkand and  Bukhara are the most popular tourists destinations attracting thousands of tourists of the world. After opening up the economy for the world, the flow of foreign tourists from Europe, America, Asia and CIS countries have increased very high.

It’s an industrial and agrarian country lead by
gas, electrical and mechanical industries and mental processing. It’s a mineral rich country with a potential stock of $11 trillion. It ranks 4th in Gold reserves, 7th in Uranium, 10th in copper and 11th in Gas extraction in the world. Cotton, grain, vegetables and fruits are their major crops. The share of Agriculture is GDP is 19%. Russia and Kazakhstan are their main outlet markets. It’s unemployment rate is 9.3%.

1425 kms West to East and 930 kms from North to South, the country of 448.9 thousand square km is inhabited by 33.2 million people. The urban population is 50.5%. It has twelve provinces. Tashkent is the capital and Sum is their currency.

Though the health infrastructure is weak but people are healthy with male life expectancy of 73.8 years and female 76.2 years. Aged people walk straight with strength. People are industrious and hardworking, therefore, their physical strength is very good. Tall people with big head and big faces have good eyesight, therefore, very few wear number glasses. Their diet is healthy and nutritive, therefore, neither the problem of malnourishment of children and women nor the problem of stunting and wasting of the children puzzle them much.

Life in Uzbekistan is easy. The salary of a clerk is $100/month but he can live with it. The staple food item Lapuska (bread) costs Sum 1200 ($1= Sum 9400). Farm labour and home maid ($200/month) are cheap. Infrastructure is excellent. Transport and electricity is cheap making the life of the common man easy. Talgo high speed rail is easier, cheaper and faster than travelling on road by a car.

Fair, industrious, strongly built People are music lover. Ashula folklore is popular. Music with Doira (dafli) and tamburs Dutar, Sato and Rubab, songs with sweet folklore voice and light and charming dance of beautiful women, presents the medieval days of Mughal Darbars in Delhi and Agra. It’s an open society where women don’t cover their face with burkha but do wear the headscarf. They love Hindi movies as one exclusive channel is assigned for the Hindi movies. They are very much attached with India because of their Uzbeks ruled over India. Due to common words, many students study Hindi. One interpreter girl is doing her PhD on the literature of Indian writer Premchand. A India Study Centre and Sharda University have been started in Andijan. They have lands, buildings and openness, therefore, are happy and welcome India with openness. Simple people consider Indians like their own.

Babur conquered India but his heart was in his motherland, was missing his sweet people and the sweet taste of its fruits of melons and grapes. He had regretted his victory over Hindustan while missing the homeland.

Getting interest in Uzbekistan? Just take a flight, it takes 3.5 hours journey with approximately $600 two ways airfare, and you are on land of archeological sites, delicious food and fruits and opportunities to explore business.

23 October 2019


Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.