In Kazakhstan’s social networks, there was a discussion about whether to indicate people’s nationality in their documents.

Personally, I hold the view that official relations within and between States are important for official information about a person that entails some legal consequences. For example, if the passport says that this is a citizen of Kazakhstan, then he can come to his Homeland from another country at any time without any visas. Or if it is written that this is a resident of Kazakhstan, then he must pay taxes to the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Such information is legally significant, and the information that identifies it according to unofficial criteria should not be reflected in government documents.

For example, I consider it inappropriate to indicate a person’s religion in a document, since this is, firstly, a personal matter for each person, and secondly, it does not entail any legal consequences. For example, a person cannot be singled out in any way on the basis of religion or take any other measures in relation to them than to people of other faiths.

It is the same with nationality. In the Republic of Kazakhstan, there are no state legal relations that depend on the nationality of a person. We have no selection for public service, Universities, schools, or private companies (at least, according to the Constitution), where people of any nationality are not taken. Therefore, I believe that state documents should not indicate the nationality of a person.

Moreover, I believe that the reference to the region of birth of a person should be removed from the identity cards. For example, now my ID card says: “Place of birth-Kyzylorda region”. What does it do in my daily life? Can I be banned from entering a state institution, shop, restaurant or refuse to provide services because I was born in the Kyzylorda region? No. Then why mention it? I believe that this point in the state document only contributes to the development of tribalist sentiments, i.e. divides the citizens of Kazakhstan on the basis of their community. Therefore, I do not see any practical use in such a record.

If we continue the analogy, we can say that a person’s personal business is their sexual orientation, preferences in food, music, literature, movies, etc. All this is a personal matter and does not affect the state’s attitude to it. Therefore, all this information, as well as the nationality and place of birth should not be indicated in state documents.

Another thing is when people advocate that the column “citizenship” should not be written “Kazakh”, but “Kazakh”. It is obvious that here we are talking about something else entirely: on citizenship and not on ethnicity. In this regard, I probably agree with the supporters of this idea and support them in calling our country not “the Republic of Kazakhstan”, but “the Kazakh Republic”. Then the word “Kazakh” will disappear completely, and only the word “Kazakh” will remain as a designation of a person’s citizenship. At the same time, of course, no one forces people to abandon their ethnic roots. Anyone can say: “I am a Kazakh of Russian origin” or “I am a Kazakh of Korean origin”. For example, in France they say: “I am a Frenchman of Algerian origin” or in the UK: “I am a Briton of Indian origin”. And then, if they want to.

My opponents may object: “Then how to keep records of citizens of Kazakhstan on a national basis? For statistical purposes, the state must know the national composition of its population.” Very simply. During the census, citizens can indicate their nationality if they want, and this information will be stored in state electronic databases. The accuracy of such information is not inferior to writing the nationality in the certificate. In both cases, it is recorded from the words of the citizen himself. Therefore, you should not be afraid of losing statistical information. It will be hidden, but it won’t stick out in everyday life from the ID card page.

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