Pride and Precipice

Type the word ‘Czar’ in Internet search and the second most searched word is ‘czar nicholas II’, the last czar of Imperial Russia. His miscalculations in imperialistic pursuits resulted in huge loss of lives and pride to Russia and thus he had to abdicate and was exiled to Yekaterinburg along with his family. Interesting to know that his mother was Danish and grandparents from German and Danish origins…a fact that contributed to his incarceration by the Bolsheviks. Ah, the Bolsheviks led by the pride of Lenin…the pride in great Russia and the belief that the greatness can be restored if the people worked together for a common goal. But the fall of the Romanov dynasty (The Reign of the Czars) proved the contrary. It showed once again that man cannot work with another man…he is used to working for another man.

Man as a social animal needs a structure of defined roles, responsibilities and competent leadership. Of course, there are instances where two men have started a company in their father’s garage and made it a global behemoth but i will discount such men from this theory as they themselves have leadership qualities of a higher order. Commoners meanwhile are persons of habit, influenced by their morning coffee and the news they read on the internet. They are afraid to see politics going to the dogs but cannot imagine to use the power the constitution has bestowed upon them. And then, when the water goes beyond the curb they come to the streets for blood. Such was the sad end to the story of Czar Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia. Killed with his family in a little known place in Siberia where he lived in house arrest for the last days of his life. And killed without trial and in urgency to ensure nothing of the dynasty remains.

Last week, I came back from a trip to Yekaterinburg, the city named after Yekaterina, the wife of Czar Peter the Great (The last ethnically Russian ancestor to Czar Nicholas II). And we did visit the ‘Cathedral on the Blood’ which has been erected at the spot the last Czar of Russia was executed along with his family on 16/17 July 1918. Following much politico-religious debates the whole family of the Czar was canonized in 1981. I am not to debate who to canonize and how but the whole episode brings me back to thinking ‘how stuff works?’. Czar today, exiled thereafter and then declared a saint for the future. Much can be deduced from this as to how we got our contemporary Gods.

Yekaterinburg however has always been a link between the Asian and European side of Russia and it has been the proud producer of best quality iron and stones. The iron from its ores (as per our guide) has been used in the Eiffel tower, tower of Liberty, early British heavy constructions and many other world famous structures.

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And yesterday, we saw a musical performed by our local culture organization in Omsk and the theme was the life of Czar Nicholas II. The musical was interspersed with opera performances to the voices of the Czar and his wife and a narration of the events as they happened in their lives. I was impressed by the performances of the artists as much as I was by the emotions visible on the faces of the audience. And to top it all the Tenor was performed by Evgeny Romanov…yes he shares the name of the Czar Nicholas II family. And the crowd loved it. And as Russia celebrate victory day on the coming May 9, I wish us all the best!

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Categories: Life, russia, society

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