Tuesday 6 December 2016

David Blair: It's not easy being the daughter of a dictator,. just ask Svetlana ... or the first daughter of Uzbekistan

Published 30/11/2011 | 12:59

IT'S not easy being the daughter of a despot. Whether they rebel or conform, the children of tyrants, such as the daughter of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov or Svetlana Stalin, never escape their past.

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Gulnara has fallen out with the neighbours and her ambition to make it big in the world of fashion is in trouble. Her cantankerous father is exasperated, her pop career is going nowhere – and that’s before anyone talks about an embarrassing ex-husband. While it may sound like a plot for a Seventies sitcom, the above is in fact a reasonable summary of events in the First Family of Uzbekistan, where Gulnara is the eldest daughter of President Islam Karimov, a pineapple-faced dictator who has dominated his unfortunate country for two decades.

As she tries to carve out an existence in the shadow of a vengeful father who occasionally boils his opponents to death, Gulnara might have reflected on the passing of Svetlana Stalin yesterday, whose life surely epitomised the dilemmas confronting the children of tyrants.

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