Tartar leader. Mirsaid was one of the highest-ranking figures in the Russian Communist Party hierarchy in the early 1920s during the Stalinist regime and who was executed for being an independent 'Muslim' leader.
Mirsaid promotion through the Communist Party hierarchy had been meteoric. He seemed to unite the best qualities of the politician and of the military leader, as embodied in Muslim standards of the time. He was 'highly endowed by nature with the skilful talent of an organiser, had firmness of character, was highly gifted propagandist, and had strong will even in the most extreme situation.'
Sultangalieve enjoyed Stalin's confidence, having worked capably and conscientiously in the Commissariat of Nationalities, over which Stalin presided. Mirsaid wanted to give Marxism a 'Muslim' national face. He argued that Tsarist Russians had oppressed Muslim society, with the exception of a few big landowners and bourgeois. However, in 1923, as the Muslim Tartar leader, he was accused of nationalist, pan-Islamic and pan-Turkic deviations, for which he was arrested and ejected from the party. Stalin was not sympathetic to his attempt to synthesise Islam, nationalism and communism for a revolution in the East in general and the Muslim in particular. Stalin therefore, executed Mirsaid in 1940 for being an independent 'Muslim' leader.
Mirsaid Sultangalieve was born in the poor village of Elimbetvo, Ufa Guberniya. He was infected by revolutionary ideas like other young people in Russia at the time. He was a great reader of the Russian literary masterpieces, and translated works by Tolstoy and Pushkin into the Tartar and Bashkir languages and also wrote stories. 'Love for my nation which burdened my heart led me to socialism,' Mirsaid expressed in 1917.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin