Iran – A Lesson They’ve Forgotten?

by
hira
Ayatollah’s induction as the Supreme Leader when he replaced Shah of Iran, in 1979 was seen as historic by many. Iran's revolution was bloodless and all the more surprising because it was swift and brought in by the majority of the Iranians. It was the first time in history that a mass uprising of people had resulted in the removal of a Western backed leader with an army. Ayatollah sworn in Ahmadinejad in 2005, a flurry of events in his second term is changing Iran’s course again.

When violence causes silence, we must be mistaken ~ Zombie, Cranberries

Revolutions in history have played a very important part. They have given the people hope and have handed them back the power that rightfully belonged to them. Revolutions are often defined as bringing about a ‘fundamental’ change in power. Most of these changes happen because there’s disparity and gap that occurs or has been occurring in a society.  Whether it be between rich or poor, or between a government and its public – this kind of gap that occurs in any society leads towards either its disintegration or towards a transformation of some sorts.


The Iranian revolution of 1978-9 was the first of its kind. It was completely unique, in a way that almost all revolutions started because of either a rebellion that sprung up from different classes or sectors, or because of a financial crisis; some started because of a faction of dissatisfied and disgruntled military men, others because there wasn’t enough food to feed the people. Whatever be the reasons for all the successful and unsuccessful revolutions, the Iranian Revolution was different. It was swift –it  was bloodless, it was brought on by the people – for them. The first demonstrations started in January 1978 and by April 1979, a referendum was put into place whereby Ayatollah replaced Shah Pahlavi and became the Supreme Leader of the country by December of 1979. The world was in shock and awe. Here was a revolution by the people that replaced a Western-backed ruler with complete International support and one which had a standing army of over 400,000 personnel and all that within a few months.


Fast forward to 2005 and Mahmud Ahmadinejad is sworn in as the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2006, Ahmadinejad’s allies were unsuccessful in gaining voter support, this proved to be a bit of a blow for Ahmadinejad. The 2009 elections have been widely disputed both in the repressed Iranian media as well as the Western media. According to the election headquarters of Iran, Mahmud Ahmadinejad won by 62.63% of the ballots that were cast – the opposition leader Mr. Hossein Mousavi is crying foul-play. Mousavi and his supporters believe that widespread corruption and fraud has occurred in the elections, while the supreme leader Ayatollah has fully endorsed Ahmadinejad as the President.


On the inauguration day, widespread riots took place on the streets of Iran. Demonstrations were not only taking place on the streets but battle lines were drawn in the cyber world too. Twitter was inundated by hash tags of #Iran, #iranelections among many others. Neda became the face of this new revolution on the streets of Iran. Her death captured and shared on videos and photographs prompted a flurry of action and condemnation from all over the world.


Thousands of protestors have lined the streets of Tehran since then. Hundreds have been injured, countless dead. Media in Iran including foreign media have been put under a ban on the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. According to the news filtering in from Iran, prominent public figures have been under arrest and hundreds of protestors have been held captive or shot.


It is irony, nothing more nothing less, that the very spirit of the Iranian revolution of 1979 is forgotten. The revolution which was people-brought and which changed the history of the world and of the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran is now met with such a sad, sorry fate.