Those "good-for-nothing" Qajars
October 4, 2003
A reply to Alidad Vassigh's "Iruni-baazi"
Little Jack Horner
Sat in a corner,
Eating a Christmas pie.
He stuck in his thumb
And pulled out a plum,
And said, "What a good boy am I!"
I realize it must have taken all the
energy, education and mouth you could muster to come up with
such brilliant prose and self-satisfied turns of phrases. How
wonderful to be able to show off that as an Iranian you are
also hip with the lingo of the "hood" and generally smooth
and "with it," but what is it with this fascination
with the Qajars?
I have often marveled at the lengths to which people such as
yourself are willing to go just to land a jab at anything or
anyone Qajar. What is it? Are we Qajars really still this threatening
to your fragile egos that it is impossible for anyone of your
kind to make an argument for anything without simultaneously
having to tear down, bad mouth and carry on about Qajars and
what they did or did not do? What manic logic is this, that
to prove loyalty to the Pahlavis one could only do so by ritual
repetition of curses on the "good for nothing" Qajars?
Let us ask this of our little Jack: By what superior knowledge
and deep study has he established that Qajars have done nothing
worthwhile, and that whatever they did, they did badly, to
the point of deserving to be the object of derision of little
such as himself everywhere?
Well, if they indeed were only
about what our little friend is so eager to remind us,
to take him at his word, the Qajars weren't so enough,
otherwise they would still be in power and all the bad
little boys like our little Jack would have their filthy little
mouths washed out for speaking words too big for their little
But, instead, the Qajars are gone. They left the throne and
the country not because they were cowards or could not
think of ways
to retain it, but because they were noble, something little
Jacks and their buddies big bully Jacks would never understand.
are gone and have mostly fallen silent because their dignity
demanded of them to let go of power before becoming servants
to a shop-keeper nation with dreams of being world emperors.
It would have taken nothing any brute could not muster
for them to retain power and put on airs, but they did
who they were, and now they still have to suffer the
indignity of slanders and the foulness of language such as this,
for simply having been noble at a time and for a nation
language of the brute to that of a king who called upon
his nation to be great by following not him but their
reason and their constitution.
Well, maybe instead of making fun of them we should poke
fun at ourselves, sitting in cafes in Madrid or Paris
or Los Angeles
thinking ourselves clever for having such filthy little
mouths. What ought we to expect of a brutalized people
brutalizers in turn?
As we are marking the fifty year anniversary of the
1953 coup against Dr. Mossadegh and are approaching
the 1906 Constitution of Iran, instead of smirking
at the inanities of our clever-by-half Jacks, we
our fate and
to ourselves: "Khaak bar saremaan ke liaaghat-e yek
Ahmad Shah raa nadaashtim. Khaak bar saremaan ke
liaaghat-e yek Dr. Mossadegh raa nadaashtim."
Manoutchehr Eskandari-Qajar is professor of Political
Science and Middle East Studies at SBCC. He is
also President and
Founder of the International Qajar Studies Association
(IQSA) and President
of the Kadjar Family Association (KFA).
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