Jadidism as an Educational System and a Political Movement in Turkestan (Central Asia)

  •  Bazarbayev Kaldybekovich    
  •  Tursun Hazret    
  •  Sadykova Raikhan    


This article throws light upon the history of the national-progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th century, which is called Jadidism. The history of Jadidism and its evolution from enlightenment to a powerful political movement can be retraced in it. Jadidism became an alternative form of the intellectual renewal of Muslim society. The beginning of the movement was connected with the introduction of the phonetics, so called “usul-i jadid”, method of teaching reading and writing instead of letter and syllabic one in maktabs and madrasas, that is a new method. The Jadids criticized religious fanaticism, required the substitution of obsolete religious schools for national secular ones, advocated the development of science and culture, supported the publishing of newspapers in the native language, the opening of cultural and educational establishments, which favoured the consolidation of the democratic forces of the society.From the very beginning the Jadids were aimed to the reform of the traditional system of education of Muslim religious school, establishing new-method schools, publishing, theatre, social, and political and cultural institutions, which, under their influence, were turning into a powerful ideological weapon in the struggle against economical, moral, and political backwardness of the peoples of Turkestan more and more. They were eager to study the experience and progress of the other people of the world, especially the best practices of the Muslim reformers of the Crimea, the Volga Region, the Transcaucasia, Turkey, and Iran, who had already became aware of the progressive social and political, spiritual and cultural life of Europe.The main merit of the Jadids of Turkestan consists in the fact that they were the first to ground political arguments of the national liberation movement against Russian colonialism. The national elite of Turkestan discredited the ‘legitimacy’ of the colonial form of government, and later it served as the basis of a powerful political movement.

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