March of 2002 saw the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of Georgiy Prokopievich Basharin: a philosopher, scientist, statesman, doctor of history, and professor, an honorable figure in the science of Russian federation and of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), and a Laureate of the A.E. Kulakovsky State Prize in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). His name is associated with the history of historical science in Yakutia. His research was connected with the problems of the social, economic, and political life of our republic. That is why his anniversary was widely celebrated throughout the republic with publicity.
The aim of this report is to describe, in brief, the life and activities of the professor.
G.P. Basharin was born on the 21st of March 1912, in Salyngansky village, Churapchinsky region, in the family of a poor peasant. His mother died when he was very young, and, from his teenage age years, he helped his father to look after five younger brothers and sisters and to keep the home. He knew well all of the difficulties of peasant life.
Only when he was seventeen, in 1929, did he begin to study in school, which was situated ten kilometres from their house. In September of 1931, Georgiy became a student of the Preparatory Department of the Yakut Pedagogical Technical School. From the second course of the Technical School, he was sent to the first course of the Faculty of History in the newly opened Yakut State Pedagogical Institute. In 1937, being an excellent student, he was sent further to the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute by K. Libknekht. He passed all exams with excellent marks, and received a diploma with honours in 1938. The head of the examination committee of the Moscow State Pedagogical Institute, Professor V. N. Djakov, noting the extraordinary abilities of the final-year student, addressed him in a special letter: "I congratulate you for your brilliant graduation from our Institute, and thank you for the pleasure which you have brought to me and to my colleagues with your excellent answers at the examinations. You showed not only a deep knowledge of history but also the ability to analyse and to generalize the material."
Thus, through ten dedicated years of studies, G.P. Basharin received primary, secondary and higher education.
The Pedagogical Institute Department of the History of the USSR suggested that he should become an aspirant in this specialization, but he could not accept the offer because of his state of health. Instead, he accepted an invitation from the Yakut Pedagogical Institute and began to work as a senior teacher there. In 1941, he became a member of the Communist Party.
Simultaneously, without the support of any academic supervisor, he wrote a monograph titled "Three Yakut Realists and Enlighteners". It was about the literary heritage of the originators of Sakha belles-lettres, A.Kulakovsky, A. Sofronov, and N. Neustroev. They had been accused of bourgeois nationalism and had been eliminated from the annals of the history of Sakha culture. On the 10th of September 1943, he successfully defended this work at the meeting of the Scientific Council and achieved the degree of Candidate of History. From 1944 to 1949, he studied for the doctoral degree. At the age of 38, he defended his thesis "The History of Agrarian Relations in Yakutia (from the 1760's to mid-19th century)", and he was the first from among the Sakha people to obtain the degree of Doctor of History. In 1952, he succeeded to the degree of professor.
Subsequently, G.P. Basharin began work as a scientist in the Institute of Language, Literature and History. In 1952, he was unjustly accused of "bourgeois and nationalist perversion" with all of its sorrowful consequences: he was excluded from the Communist Party, deprived of the degrees of Doctor and Candidate, and dismissed from employment. All appeared to be a complete failure, but, fully convinced that he was correct, he began to fight against this unjustice and he won. His experience and degrees were rehabilitated.
From 1959 to the day of his death on 18th of April 1992, Professor Basharin worked as the Head of the Department, the Dean of of the Faculty of History and Philology, and Professor of the Sakha (Yakutsk) State University.
He wrote more than 500 works, including nineteen fundamental monographs which are highly appreciated by specialists. Through the course of thirty years, Basharin pursued his work for his two-volume monograph on the history of agriculture in Yakutia.
His research into the history of the spiritual culture of Yakutia, encompassing literature, folklore, art, and education, drew deeply from national sources and opened a new epoch in the development of public opinion.
From 1941, Georgiy Prokopievich developed and expressed his ideas about the peaceful, voluntary inclusion of Yakutia into the Russian State. In each of his works on this subject, he underscored the progressive influence of Russian literature on the development of the Sakha people. In this sense, Professor G.P. Basharin was an internationalist, a patriot of his motherland, a voice of friendship between nations.
A great contribution of Georgiy Prokopievich was the establishment of a student scientific section. He served as its head for more than forty years. Its members became teachers, scientists, and statesmen of the republic. More than sixty of its members defended candidate dissertations, and a number of them went on to defend doctoral theses as well. Today, the students of Basharin have their own students.
Professor Basharin actively participated in the social and political life of the republic. He was a member of the Scientific Council of the Central State Archive of the History and Culture Museum, a member of the Community for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Monuments, the Deputy Chairman of the Specialized Council for the Award of Scientific Degrees in the Humanities in the Sakha (Yakutsk) State University, and he was the Chairman of the Commission for the P.A. Oyunsky Award in the Sakha Republic in sphere of literature, art and architecture.
Four times, he was elected to the post of the Deputy of the Supreme Council of the Sakha Republic, and, numerous times, he was elected as a delegate for municipal and regional conferences.
It is not possible here, in a single brief report, to specify all of the scientific, pedagogical, social, and political activities of G. P. Basharin. A major enterprise is needed to study his heritage and also to publish his collected works.
Professor G.P. Basharin lived a full, bright life, full of creative research and important discoveries. Our memory of him should encourage our current generations and the next to live honourably and to create.
Basharin, K.G., "In Service to the Truth and for the People: Hommage on the 90th anniversary of Professor G.P. Basharin", translated by I.A. Abolentseva, Cross-Cultural Communication: International Communication, Proceedings of the Mirny Regional Scientific-Practical Conference on Inter-Cultural Communication: Issues of Politics, History, Language and Literature (27-28 April 2002), Mirny Polytechnic Institute and Sakha (Yakutsk) State University, edited by S.A. Mousalimas, 2002, available at http://www.OxfordU.net/mirny_international-2002/basharin.html.