Inconsistency between the values officially recognized by our authorities and the consciousness of the most part of the population is increasing catastrophically with every passing day. The Constitution and the country’s political course allegedly is oriented on democracy and liberalism, however, the majority of state officials adhere to antidemocratic and anti-liberal positions. Georgian printing and electronic media, with the slight exception, echo them that has an influence on the state of public opinion and contributes to the development of non-positive, antidemocratic, antistate and anti-jural thinking.
The representatives of higher echelons of power, members of parliament, the press and broadcasting services actively propagandize aggressive nationalism, fundamentalism, and obscurantism.
Many state officials and leaders of political parties or public movements, even the ecclesiastics disrespectfully mention the words “Armenian”, “Tatar”, “Russian”, etc. Our Orthodox believer ideologists restlessly propagandize the idea that the Georgian nation and the Orthodox Church are the same notions, with that contribute to the isolation of non-Georgian citizens of our country from the Georgians and create an image of enemy.
Therefore, these ideologists, willy-nilly, pave the way for confrontation of the Georgian Orthodox believers not only with the non-Orthodox believer citizens of the country, but also with the non-Georgian members of the Orthodox Church (Russians, Greeks, Ossetes, Abkhazians); they give open passage to the slogan about the advantage and superiority of the Georgian people and Georgian language.
All that have been mentioned above are the signs of fascism and nationalism. They have nothing in common with Orthodoxy, patriotism, civic consciousness and Ilya Chavchavadze, whose name is frequently used by the many now. However, it is time to know that Ilya Chavchavadze followed the path of democracy in the cause of Georgia’s social order and urged on religious pluralism, i.e. absolute liberty of conscience.
The representatives of legislative and executive bodies, having armed with the Bolshevistic methods, head for setting the antistate, antinational, anti-orthodox and chauvinistic thinking in society. It is most disgusting that they pin the label of Orthodoxy on their ideas and opinions and would not mind bargaining.
The purpose of their plan is transparent: to stir up antagonism, hostility and ethnical-religious confrontation among the peoples living in Georgia and the confessions acting in the country. That is why they refer to Georgian Moslems as “Tatars”, Meskhetians as “Turks”, etc., with that providing encouragement to the isolationist course of the Georgian Orthodox Church. It is an accomplishment of these people that xenophobia and aggression (verbal and physical attacks on the otherwise-minded persons, making bonfires and destruction of private property), prejudice (for Orthodoxy), obscurantism (darkness for light), inquisition (dictates on public liberties and culture), anti-ecological, antidemocratic and uncivil actions, disregard of the principle of personal immunity raged in the country for the last fifteen years.
Many of the parliamentarians discredit the governmental or non-governmental organisations, who strive for democracy building and formation of civil society in the country
We appeal to you, the representatives of Georgian printing and electronic media!
Take into consideration the danger that is threatening our country through the fascist-Bolshevistic and religious-extremist ideology. Along with the Georgians, representatives of different nationalities and confessions live and work in Georgia. According to the law, they are the citizens of our country, enjoying full rights. We should aim at seeking after common foundations and coexistence on this foundation.
We are proud of our old tradition of religious tolerance and hospitality, but the past experience is of no practical importance if it is an attribute of history only and lost for the present.
It is a tragedy for a nation to be proud of the ancestors and not to be their spiritual successor. It means that the ethical bridge between them is ruined. Unfortunately, we, the sons of new Georgia, are faced with this tragedy.
We believe that one of the real and effective forces able to recover society through sound impulses is the fourth power – mass media.
However, if mass media fails once again to justify their purpose of high moral standards, over which Ilya Chavchavadze lamented deeply in his time, – there will be no escape for our country.
Guram Tevzadze – Academician, Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia Naira Gelashvili – Writer
Mikheil Bezhanishvili – Director of the Institute of Philosophy under the Georgian Academy of Sciences
Sozar Subeliani – Institute of Freedom
Emzar Jgerenaia – Sociologist, Director of the National Library of Georgian Parliament, Senior lecturer of the University of Language and Culture
Lela Gaprindashvili – Philosopher
David Zurabishvili – Institute of Freedom
Nodar Lomouri – Doctor of Historical Science
Avtandil Jorbenadze – Executive Director of the Caucasus Institute of Peace, Democracy and Development
Levan Bregadze – Critic
Vakhushti Kotetishvili – Doctor of Philology
Levan Berdzenishvili – Director General of the National Library of Georgian Parliament
Shota Yatashvili – Writer
Gogi Gvakharia – Cinematographer
Mikheil Kvlividze – Writer
Giorgi Khutsishvili – Head of the Centre for Conflicts and Negotiations, Doctor of Philosophy
Gaga Nizharadze – Psychologist
Nodar Ladaria – Doctor of Oriental-Christian Sciences
Eldar Shengelaia – Film Director
Mikheil Mirziashvili – “Re” Studio
Mamuka Kuparadze – “Re” Studio
Mikheil Beroshvili – Assistant Director of the Centre for Cultural Relations of Georgia – “Caucasian House”
Giorgi Lobzhanidze – Writer, Theologian, Orientalist
Giorgi Jibuti – Senior Scientific Worker of the Institute of Philosophy under the Georgian Academy of Sciences
Temur Mtibelashvili – Senior Scientific Worker of the Institute of Philosophy under the Georgian Academy of Sciences
Nino Tonashvili – Assistant Director of the Institute of Philosophy under the Georgian Academy of Sciences
Zeinab Nodia – Writer, The Caucasus Institute of Peace, Democracy and Development
Giorhi Kakhidze – Writer
Vakhtang Ushveridze – Engineer
Nodar Andghuladze – People’s Artist of Georgia, Professor of the State Conservatoire
Mzekala Shanidze – Professor, Corresponding Member of the Georgian Academy of Sciences
Revaz Lolishvili – Geographer, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences
Rusudan Gvaramia – Doctor of Philology, Institute of Manuscripts of the Georgian Academy of Sciences
L. Samkurashvili – Scientific Worker of the Institute of Manuscripts of Georgian Academy of Sciences
Guram Kutaladze – Professor of Tbilisi State University
Nana Alexandria – Two Times Chess Vice-Champion of the World, Olympic Champion
Mzia Bakradze – Interpreter, Senior Lecturer of the French Language
Levan Pachkoria – Political Adviser
Lado Gogiashvili – Journalist
Eka Janashia – Journalist
Levan Metreveli – Senior Lecturer of Tbilisi State University, Candidate of Historical Science
Nugzar Papuashvili – Doctor of Philology
Shukia Apridonidze – Candidate of Philological Sciences
Paata Zakareishvili – Theologian, “Cooperation and Development Centre”
Levan Abashidze – Theologian, Director of the Scriptural-Theological Institute