Yet another anniversary of 28th Mordad, and I can’t stand it! Like the 3rd of Esfand 1299 nothing shows the divisions amongst Iranian nationalists up as much as the anniversary of these events and the (mis-)treatment of history by all involved. There are many lessons that need to be learnt by Iranians from these episodes of their history but having learnt those lessons (long ago) they need to move on. Unfortunately we don’t seem to be able to do this judging by the idiotic emotion ridden pieces of tripe written every year by all sides.
These arguments only show the fissure in the secular and nationalist movements in Iran, created the two main protagonists and their followers, which was a contributory factor to later exploitation by the clergy and foreign powers. The failure of all attempts to unite opposition since the Akhound take over can in the main be attributed to our failure to exorcise the ghosts of the past. This was very apparent in the latest such attempt, namely Iran Solidarity.
Each camp tries to turn the opposite long dead and buried leader into a villain and their own into a saint. Neither were saints and their mistakes contributed to the mess today. One camp still pines for the easy solution provided by dictatorship while another has made Mossadegh into a saint that he never was. He like the Shah made grave mistakes by his own admission and we, the later generations, are paying for it, think on that.
What I also object to is the view that Saint Mossadegh was the only democrat (he wasn’t, just look at the number of his close associates who left his government because of his autocratic style) or the only true patriot, or the only clean Iranian politician and there simply was nobody else. It is a stupid popularist oversimplification. But we are digressing.
Guys, it’s time to move on. It was sad to see students in Iran protesting for freedom carrying the picture of a long dead prime minister instead of finding leaders for TODAY. Continued arguments over details of events long ago does not serve any purpose, and it only goes to show the worst flaws in our national character. What the economists call diminishing returns has set in and no amount of analysis or arguments about the past and who said or did what and when and has any benefit.
28th Mordad has been turned into another Karbala. If the ‘shites’ have Ashura with its idiotic rites like sineh zani and ghameh zani as well as rouzeh khani, Jebheh Melli has 28th Mordad. It should consider this and its behaviour in 1979 for its total failure. There is noone else to blame. As for shahallahies, I won’t even go there but they don’t claim to be progressive.
I am at a loss to find the right term to describe the self flagellation that goes on every 28th Mordad and soon other anniversaries or our treatment of the past and its characters. But self-flagellation is a national trait. The only term that comes to mind is necrophilia but not in a sexual sense. It is the worship of death. It is what the Islamic Students Society geeks call traditions. It is what the rest of us call superstitious and backward rites and we seem incapable of ridding ourselves of these idiotic practices in 21st century.
I have yet to find a good analysis of why we Iranians are this way. A sage once recommended that I should read ‘Kholghiat e Iranian’ by Jamalzadeh to understand what “janevars” we are. Unfortunately Jamalzadeh was of a politer and more diplomatic generation than me. He would not address the core issues directly. Some years ago I read a very interesting article in The Iranian called Paralysis of Fear which helped explain one of the reasons for the way we are. But that is perhaps a worthy subject of study rather than the numerous books on why we have fallen behind the West. The point once again is that we need to move on. I was born long after the events of 28th Mordad and the world has moved on. I really don’t want the divisions of yesterday paralyse the fight against the present day tyranny.