Kenesary Kasymov (1802-1847) – Kazakh sultan, Khan of the Middle Zhuz. Kenesary remained in the memory of the people as his honor, pride and dignity.
Kenesary Kasymov – Kazakh sultan, Khan of the Middle Zhuz. He was born in 1802, died in 1847. Belonging to the top of the steppe nobility, Kenesary sought the restoration of the khan’s power liquidated by the tsarist government of Russia and the transfer of Kan’s title to Kasimov. The core of the troops were the closest relatives of Kenesary, the main military force being batyrs of his clans. In 1841, at the gathering of the Kazakh tribal aristocracy and the sultans of Kenesary, Kasymov was proclaimed a khan. He restored the judgment of the biys, who dealt with cases according to the norms of the Sharia. By his tax policy, Kenesary fixed the norms of Muslim law: for the pastoral areas retained zayak (tax levied from cattlemen in favor of the khan), for agricultural – Ushur (tax levied on the settled population). The despotism of Khan Kenesary, who considered the Kazakh juzes his hereditary heritage, aroused indignation among the people. In 1844 Sultan Nauryzbai came to the auls of the genus of zhappas with the brother of Kenesary with a detachment of captains and began to collect a zeal, to take away property and food. The japsmen came up with weapons in hand against Nauryzbai. Kenesary pursued the policy of his grandfather Ablai, who believed that only cruelty can make the khan’s power lasting. His power he maintained through a strict discipline, sometimes bordering on terror. In the occupied lands, Kenesary claimed the dynastic regime. At the end of 1846, displaced by the Russian tsarist troops and military formations of the Kazakh sultans-rulers from the territory of the Younger and Middle Zhuzes, he occupied a remote peninsula at the mouth of the Ili River, from where he raided the Kyrgyz lands. Strongly weakened in the Semirechye position Kenesary, who always stood for the separation of Kazakhstan from Russia, the adoption in 1846 of the Kazakhs of the Middle Zhouz of Russian citizenship. In 1847, Kenesary left the Middle Zhuz, hoping to improve his position by the conquest of Kirghizia, which provoked the rebuff of the Kirghiz. In one of the battles he was captured and executed. The most impressive feature of the life and deeds of Kenesary Kasymov is tragedy. The seal of despair and doom coexists in his actions with vivid courage, determination, the ability to face the fate directly, to challenge the time. Kenesary stood at the origins of the struggle for the revival of Kazakhstan’s independent statehood. Great are his services in the fight against imperial policy, for the freedom of the Kazakh people, for affirming his honor and dignity. The aspirations and aspirations of Kenesary, for all their limitations, were of a universal character.
The uprising of the Kazakhs of 1837-1846 under the leadership of Khan Kenesary was a just act – a protest directed against the aggressive colonial expansion of the Russian Empire, the Kokand and Khiva khanates. It had a national liberation character with the aim of recreating statehood and preserving the territorial integrity of the original Kazakh land. Being the leader of the movement and the ardent patriot of his homeland, Kenesary Kasymov, in a difficult hour of testing for his people, proved himself as an outstanding statesman, an outstanding military leader and gifted diplomat of his era who devoted his life to the struggle for freedom and independence.
Kenesary, with his keen eye, realized the change in the policy of tsarism, which passed in the 19th century. to direct colonization. He linked the point of his diplomatic and political activity with the consent of the tsarist government to the destruction of military and administrative centers and outposts that were being planted at that time and cut the living organics of the sovereignty of the Kazakh people. Kenesary’s movement was the last desperate, in fact, a tragic attempt to unite the people and preserve statehood, even within the framework of general vassalage. That is why, Bukeikhanov noted, his fame eclipsed even the glory of the popular grandfather Ablai Khan in folk tales. The political legacy of Kenesary remained in the memory of the people as his honor, pride and dignity. The legacy of Kenesary, like his personal destiny, has undergone various vicissitudes. They were inspired, but they also tried to erase it with inexorable consistency from the memory, conscience, consciousness of the people.
In the personality traits of Kenesary, whose policies were based on the cruelty of the laws of war and alliance, the genes of Genghis Khan are clearly visible. Barthold wrote: “Genghis Khan had an extraordinary self-control and complete absence of one-sided hobbies, useless cruelty or tyranny, restraint and dignity in the presence of outsiders, great organizational abilities, theft and lies were unthinkable in his army.” This definition can be fully attributed to the khan of Kenesary. But the personal tragedy of Genghis Khan is different than that of Kenesary. The latter stood for the just cause of defending the freedom and independence of his people. And the first went along the imperial path, which in the end turns out to be a dead end, as the experience of world history proves. Paying tribute to the memory of Kenesary, it is necessary without any shadow of doubt to put his name in the “pantheon of national glory”, having done this with a sense of responsibility to the spirit of the ancestors and the memory of the descendants.