The Tashkent Soviet was established on 2 March 1917 at an inaugural meeting which consisted of thirty five workers from the Central Asian Railway. It was headed by a technician by the name of I. I. Bel'kov. The following day there was a meeting in the local Duma which set up an Executive Committee of Public Organisations to manage the "sociopolitical and economic life of the city".
Only two Central Asians were involved in this committee, the lawyers Faizullah Khojaev and Tashpolad Narbutabekov. Despite this failure to actively involve the majority population, many Central Asians had high hopes for the post-tsarist era. The poet Sirajiddin Makhdum Sidqi published poems of popular verse to popularise the revolution. Veterans of the Jadid resistance to the draft in 1916 such as Kojaev and Munawar Qari organised the Tashkand Muslim Council (Tashkand Shura-yi Islamiya).
Tashkent was a divided city, with the Central Asians (predominantly Muslim) generally living in the Old City, while Russians and other Europeans usually lived in the New City, which was also where the railway was developed. The Soviet set up an independent provisions commission to battle what it described as "trader-marauders", however this term soon lost its ostensible class connotations, as the term was used to refer uniquely to Central Asians. At the same time, when some Central Asian workers set up a Muslim branch of the Social Democratic Party, the Tashkent Soviet did not welcome them.
The Tashkent Soviet fought the Transcaspian Government, who were assisted variously by the British Malleson Mission and the White Russians for control of the region between 1918 and 1919. The Tashkent Soviet succeeded after the British had withdrawn and Mikhail Frunze had arrived.
- Russian Colonial Society in Tashkent, 1865-1923, by Jeff Sahedeo, Indiana university Press, 2007, p. 190
- Ellis, C. H "The British Intervention in Transcaspia 1918-1919" UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS, BERKELEY AND LOS ANGELES, 1963 p 76
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