Three decades and one year of independence


Three decades and one year of independence

An overwhelming majority of voters said yes to Armenia’s independence in a referendum on this day 31 years ago. Armenia had periods of tides and ebbs since then, however never since 1991 its independence was threatened to the extent that it is now.  

Armenia’s independence is being marked amid a halted incursion into its territory by Azerbaijan and ominous harbingers of a possible renewed war. We currently live in a world and region where violence unfortunately is becoming business as usual and that international law has turned into lip service. 

Armenia can hardly count on allies in military terms, and although there are indications that some players are helping Yerevan to withstand pressures, their support can be effective only in case Armenian show their determination to fight for independence. 

There is no way to escape the confrontation and concessions without any show of force will only provoke the aggressor to demand for more. 

But the notion of strength is more than simply buying arms, conscripting soldiers, for an army is not only men and arms but – first and foremost – motivation, discipline and realization of the common goal. The common goal for all Armenians, regardless of their political, social, economic status and preferences, should and hopefully is Armenia’s independence and internal peace. It is only in a free and stable country that a politician can fulfill his/her ideas through votes, a businessman can prosper and a humble worker can hope to have a decent job. Without joining around this common goal everything else is doomed to failure. 

Armenia needs fresh thinkers, new ideas which offer alternatives. There are steps – long overdue, however important – which are necessary to be done to ensure Armenia’s independence in information, intellectual and cultural levels. These might seem secondary to some, such as, for instance, removing remnants of soviet ideology from street names or names of other public spaces (unfortunately these are still frequently found outside of Yerevan), shoring up defense against foreign interventions in information field, stepping up initiatives which promote the use of Armenian language in every possible way and excluding from political field those actors and groups whose projects or ideology question Armenian independence. These are important steps to create our mental reality which in turn is the cornerstone for making changes into real life. It is never too late for a clean-up, even if it should have been done earlier. 

All those who maintain that independence can be sacrificed for the sake of security are deeply mistaken and the details of the recent warfare on the eastern border demonstrated that point clearly enough. Sacrificing independence, we will lose security too. Intendent and fighting nations alone deserve support while those which are not, are sacrificed by their “master” sooner or later.   

We should take care of our dear independence, more than ever. This is the last thing that Armenia can give up ever. And it is worth to realize that independence starts with independence in minds. No one can force us give up independence if we chose not to, no one can force us into slavery, if we reject it, no one can enchain our soul, if we resist.