While the Turksib project was meant to modernize the Soviet Union, it also shed light on the racism the Kazakhs faced. Kazakhs were attacked, beaten, excluded, and discriminated against by Russians and Europeans alike. Payne explains the plight of these people but also emphasizes the efforts of the Soviet government to be inclusive and supportive. To further understand both pieces, I included some questions that I believed were relevant.
- What was the Turksib and why did the plan involve Kazakhs?
- Was the Turksib’s affirmative action plan successful? Why or why not?
- What were some of the possible factors for the lackluster success of the program?
- Any thoughts on how this reading connects with the first about Jadids and the idea of Nativization?