You are going back home, Javid...
Interview02 February 2016, 17:39 6837
"A person, a historical figure is happy if he has spiritual successors, even if he doesn't have any children. Today, Javid has those followers too". Hamid Jafarov, Telman Aliyev who works as a consultant at the Ministry of Emergency Situations and head of Human Resources Department at State Customs Committee Zakir Nasirov see themselves as the spiritual sons of the poet.
They were both sad but also very proud when they recounted their story to "Kaspi" after 34 years.
Telman Aliyev: - Central Committee made a decision about the 100th anniversary of Hussein Javid in 1981. During this time, our national leader Heydar Aliyev visited Nakhchivan. At a meeting with intellectuals, one veteran serviceman suggested to Heydar Aliyev that it would be good if Hussein Javid's grave could be located and his remains brought back home. After thinking for a while, Heydar Aliyev said: "Maybe there is nothing left but at least a handful of earth could be brought back". After his agreement, certain work was done to find his grave and bring his remains home. This task was assigned to deputy head of Ideological Committee of Nakhchivan Party Hamid Jafarov and me. The results of correspondence revealed that Hussein Javid was previously in Magadan. After his toes were frozen, he was sent to be treated at a home for disabled people in Shevchenko village of Tavshet region. Although there were a lot of people who wanted to carry out this task, when the time came, they bailed out. Only followers of Javid and patriots were left. We loaded ourselves with the responsibility to find out where his grave is and bring his remains back. Back then, I was working as a deputy to Interior Minister in Nakhchivan. I was lieutenant-colonel at the time. When I left for Irkutsk, I received a call saying that I was promoted to the rank of colonel. This title helped me a lot. When we were still in Nakhchivan, we didn't yet understand the difficulty of the task. Only in Moscow did we understand where we were going and for what. We were very nervous. But God and the spirit of Hussein Javid helped us. We also received a lot of help there. All the doors were open to us. Undoubtedly, it was all because of Heydar Aliyev's reputation.
Zakir Nasirov: - When I set out to carry out this task, I wasn't thinking of anything. I never asked myself "Why am I going?", "For what?". Only after arriving at Irkutsk, I understood the responsibility that was on my shoulders. To identify Javid's grave and bring his remains back was a huge mission. I was 28 back then. I was working at Building Materials Plant. I was elected deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1979.
22 days trip
Telman Aliyev: - We were accompanied with 200 soldiers from internal forces. Because it was impossible to enter that territory. In the past, the area was a graveyard, as well as a place to keep political prisoners. Later, a forest was built in these lands. At first sight, the place didn't look like a graveyard and it was difficult to locate it. 90 year old, visiually impaired local helped as a guide. Turned out, he used to work as a guard in the area. After traveling 70 kilometers
for 4 hours, he showed the graveyard to us. We were very happy after locating the "59th grave" after searching every inch of the forest for 40 minutes. It didn't have any gravestone. Shots were fired into the air to commemorate the100th anniversary of the poet. Later we began to dig the grave. The coffin was rotten. We had brought a new coffin. We placed the remains of the poet into the other coffin. "Hussein Javid wasn't carried to grave on shoulders. But now his three sons have arrived. Let's put him on our shoulders. Let's carry him for at least 20-30 meters. " - I said. We bought a lamb from the village and gave funeral repass. Seeing that we were all crying, regional prosecutor of Tayshet Ms Yelena also began to cry. She helped us find the headstone. Something like this had never happened in the area. When the first secretary of the district accepted us, they asked us " We have forgotten our Ivan who died yesterday, how come you
Azerbaijanis are here to look for a poet after 41 years?". They were stunned.
Zakir Nasirov: - It is hard to describe how we felt after finding the grave and opening it. Imagine, the graveyard had become a forest. It wasn't easy to locate Hussein Javid's grave among thousands of graves. We can't forget how the Azerbaijanis living there helped us to carry out the mission. There was more than half meter long snow on the ground. We were very surprised to see our hotel surrounded by many Azerbaijanis. They didn't leave us alone.
Telman Aliyev: - Our trip lasted 22 days. We set off on October 13. We intended to bring the remains of the poet back to Azerbaijan before his birthday - October 24. But we weren't able to do it. We were told to fly through Nakhchivan-Yerevan-Moscow-Irkutsk line. And we had to get back via the same route. We didn't need much time to do it. When we found the grave and were ready to go back they told us to fly not to Yerevan but to Moscow. Hussein Javid's coffin was in the baggage area. But we needed time to find the coffin among many baggage at the airport. And the plane was about to fly. I entered the pilots cabin and said: "Mister, we are carrying out Heydar Aliyev's orders and if you fly without us you will lose your party card" and the commander answered: "I understand, Colonel". In less than 5 minutes, Hamid Jafarov brought the coffin on a trolley. We placed the coffin in the baggage area and got on the plane to Baku.
"Hussein Javid should be buried in Nakhchivan"
- I'm curious about how you were welcomed at Baku airport. Who was waiting for you? How did Ms Turan greet you?
Telman Aliyev: - When we were approaching Baku, I looked out the window and saw a large crowd. The airport was full of people. Turan was among them. It was as if she was in shock. She barely spoke. We understood why... After we placed the corpse inside the coffin, there was a meeting. We carried the coffin to Shirvanshahlar Palace. It remained there for 10 days. Because everything regarding the remains were being checked through secret channels and they were trying to find out the truth. At the same time, the issue of where Javid's body would be buried was being discussed. Heydar Aliyev wanted the poet buried in Nakhchivan, but he wouldn't say it. We visited Central Committee many times in 10 days. There were discussion led by Hasan Hasanov. Some said he had to be buried in "Fakhri khiyaban" and others proposed he be buried near the house he lived. Late Lutfiyar Imanov said "Some of the comrades says if we bury him in Nakhchivan, we can't visit him. But how did these three heroes brought him back from Siberia? It's not an excuse. We can bury him in Nakhchivan". Then it was Turan's turn to speak. She said: "I consider everyone sitting here Hussein Javid's sons. If the son makes a decision, the daughter can't object. I agree with my brothers: Hussein Javid should be buried in Nakhchivan. They told Heydar Aliyev about the decision. And he said: "What can I say, if the intellectuals have decided, he should be buried in Nakhchivan".
- Of course, you were greeted by crowds again....
Zakir Nasirov: - We were greeted by a crowd when we took the body to Nakhchivan. The road from Airport to Nakhchivan was covered with flowers. We walked the road on foot. They put the body in Drama Theatre. Everyone came to say goodbye to the poet. It was a big event.
Telman Aliyev: - 15 years later during his speech at the opening ceremony of Mausoleum in Nakhchivan Heydar Aliyev stated: "I foresaw this day 15 years ago. I knew that Hussein Javid would have an impressive Mausoleum as Nizami did". Now, his mausoleum has turned into a shrine. Guests visiting Nakhchivan, scientists, intellectuals, students - they all visit the mausoleum. Now in that mausoleum, along with the poet, his wife Mushunaz, his daughter Turan and his son
Ertogrul are buried. After completing the task, Turan considered us her brothers. "You are my spiritual brothers" - she would say. We would often visit her and celebrate her birthdays. We would be actively involved in the events when she would work as a director at the mausoleum. We were very close with her. Now we feel like we are Hussein Javid's sons. We have even made a distinction, I am his older son, Hamid the middle son and Zakir is the youngest son. We carried both Mushkunaz and Turan on our shoulders to the grave. Ertogrul was transferred from the cemetery to mausoleum in Nakhchivan with our participation.
- You achieved such a big mission. How did you feel afterwards?
Telman Aliyev: - We were happy. I'm still proud today that it was us who carried out the task. After us, our grandchildren and great-grand children will be known because of us. Now everyone can boast of it. As long as our nation remains, we will be remembered. We will attend any event related to Hussein Javid whilst we are alive.
Zakir Nasirov: - We went down in history by completing this mission. It was a fate that we were charged with such a task. They had given us a special carriage when we came back from Irkutsk. We found that the president of railway office was also Azerbaijani when we went to buy our tickets in Tayshet. We met with him and told him about why we here and asked him to help us get a ticket. "What ticket?I will give you a special train carriage"- he said and the carriage was hooked up to other carriages.
Telman Aliyev and Zakir Nasir were awarded
Telman Aliyev and Zakir Nasirov who brought poet Hussein Javid's body back to Azerbaijan, met with the founder of "Kaspi" newspaper Sona Valiyeva. S. Valiyeva bestowed them with awards designed by "Kaspi" and stated: "You have done a great job for your country, for the spirit of Hussein Javid".