DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan's opposition Islamic Renaissance Party is insisting that the country's state language be called Tajiki-Farsi, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.
Tajikistan's parliament is currently discussing a bill on the state language.
Hikmatullo Saifullozoda, the head of the Islamic Renaissance Party's analytical center, told RFE/RL that before the Sovietization of Tajikistan, Tajiks referred to their language as Farsi, which brought them closer to Persian culture and literature.
Tajik scholar and journalist Rustam Qodir told RFE/RL that the state language was shown as "Tajik (Farsi)" in the original version of the country's first law on the state language adopted in 1989.
In 1994, Qodir says a group of parliamentary deputies managed to get the word "Farsi" dropped from that text in an attempt to please Russia.
Saifiddin Nazarzoda, the director of the Institute of Language and Literature at the Tajik Academy of Sciences, says that since Tajik, Farsi, and Dari (an official language in Afghanistan) are three dialects of the Persian language, there is no need to put the word "Farsi" in brackets.
Russian media has criticized Tajikistan's draft law on the state language because the bill drops the Russian language as the language of interethnic communication.
Ethnic Russians make up slightly more than 1 percent of Tajikistan's population.