May 5, 2010
Bandits and Outlaws final Paper
Andranik of Armenia
Civilizations and societies have constantly changed and evolved throughout time. However, within these constant transformations, there happens to be one common denominator that appears and reappears within all countries and time periods. Social figures are the exception, for they are emphasis of human nature. The leader, the follower, the rebel, the lawbreaker, the bandit are all variety of these social elements present and reoccurring in various regions of the world. Of those, one particularly stands out through its analysis of Eric Hobsbawm. The role of bandits is explored and a redefining of the term ...view middle of the document...
These two enemies were robbing and abusing Armenian villagers with the encouragement and consensus of the Ottoman Authorities. In effect, Armenians always stood out as one of the only Christian minority surrounded by prominently Muslim neighbors. As result, they were forbidden to use weaponry by law and therefore were left defenseless in front of their aggressive offenders. From that grew the informal people’s militia (within various local villages).
Andranik quickly joined the fedayee freedom fighter’s movement after coming to terms with the atrocity of the Turkish attitude to Armenians. His “character had two basic features; hatred without reservation towards the Turks, and an active and deep love towards the Armenian people—the peasants in particular. His assessment of military situations on the battlefield amounted to prophecy. Personal life had virtually no place in his thoughts.” In effect, as Hobsbawm describes that banditry emerges particularly at times of political unrest and social movements, for instance, through the creation of peasant revolutions. Of the political unrest includes a series of offenses as well as abuses by the Turks and Kurds happening at the time. Ozanian’s father was killed by a Turk, and as response the young Armenian retaliated (killing him back) and fled to Constantinople. Once there, he was constantly held under arrest for his protestation against the Turkish government—but it was not until the Russo-Turkish War of 187-78 that Andranik became truly involved. While the Russians were victorious, the overwhelming power of Sultan Abdul-Hamid had ensured complete loyalty from a large group of Armenian subjects. They claimed dedication to the Turkish monarchy and ensured never to detach from it. In effect, many other Armenians had supported the Russian advancement and therefore the Sultan suspected all Armenians to be traitors, along with his disapproval of their ethnic and religious intolerance as result of his people’s illiteracy. Therefore, the Sultan ordered for the killing of 30,000 Turkish Armenians as well as Armenians from around, through the creation of the Hamidiye (‘men of the Sultan’)—casualties reached 300,000.
After the martyr death of Serob Aghbiur the initial fedayee head, Andranik was soon enough appointed leader, and these actions needed to be avenged. He showed much strength, courage and control, especially through an act of revenge in which he beheaded Kurdish agha Bishara Khalil, one of the most feared men in the district. Without fear, with the help of his men, Andranik hunted the man down and carried off his head on a stick. This assassination made him a celebrity. In turn, the guerrilla fighter became a hero, there to protect his people and give voice particularly to the forgotten peasantry. His actions made his enemies name him ‘Pasha.’ Song and ballads began to emerge as people praised their so-called social bandit. As many sources would identify and Hobsbawm would agree, he takes on...