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30th of November and 1st of December in Iran's Contemporary History

Monday, November 30, 2015

 

 

 End Of November and Beginning of December always remembered as two of the bitterest days in Iran's contemporary history. One commemorates the martyrdom of Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Modarres and the other one, martyrdom of Mirza Koochak Khan Jangali. These prominent figures in Iran's history devoted their lives to their country in the hope of its freedom and independence.

 

The Martyrdom of Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Modarres

 

 

Ayatollah Seyyed Hassan Modarres was born in 1870. He accomplished his studies in Isfahan, Samarra and Najaf at the presence of such grand teachers as Ayatollah Mirzai-e Shirazi, leader of tobacco ban movement, till he achieved the level of ijtihad. Then, he returned to Isfahan and began teaching Fiqh and Usol.

 

 

During the Constitutional Movement he turned to politics. He said in this regard, “After return from the Holy Shrines of Iraq, I was only engaged, among all social sciences, in discourse and teaching in Isfahan, but with the change of despotism into constitutionalism a different state of affairs perforce happened.” His political activities began with membership in state association of Isfahan and then his character became more known thanks to his being elected one of the five clerics for the second term of the Majlis (Legislative Assembly) in 1910. He played his role well in the Majlis. He also was elected Tehran representative to the 3rd term of Majlis, but due to foreign pressures and outbreak of the World War I it did not prolong more than a year.

 

 

Modarres was a prominent figure of the National Defense Committee whose members migrated to Qom to obstruct advance of Tsarist forces towards Tehran. Then he departed for Isfahan, Kermanshah, Iraq, Turkey and Syria and then returned to Iran after two years. He strongly objected Agreement of 1919 favored by Vosoq Al-Dowleh and did not allow Iran to be divided between the foreigners.

 

 

Subsequent to coup of 21 February 1921 by Reza Khan and Seyyed Zia’eddin Tabatabaee, Modarres was comprehended, accompanied by many other nationalists and combatants, and spent his time in Qazvin Jail throughout the disgraceful cabinet of Seyyed Zia’. After release, he was elected Tehran representative of the 4th term of Majlis and served as Deputy Speaker as well as the head of the Majlis majority faction. The 5th term of Majlis, an important era in the history of Constitutionalism with fall of Qajar dynasty and rise to power of Reza Khan, was inaugurated in 1923 in which Modarres was the head of the minority faction. Reza Khan who was seeking to remove Qajar and take office introduced republic plan, but Modarres and his minority comrades in Majlis thwarted him. A significant event in the 5th Majlis was interpellation of Reza Khan by Modarres.

 

 

However, Reza Khan could pave the way for overthrow of Qajar dynasty through deceit and fraud and eventually became the king of Iran on November 1, 1925. Reza Khan prevented Modarres to be elected the representative in the 7th Majlis. After a period of being stay-at-home, Modarres was comprehended on October 8, 1928 and sent into exile to Damghan, Mashhad and then Khaf. After 7 years of exile in Khaf, he was transferred to Kashmar on October 14, 1937. Reza Khan ordered the head of Kashmar police to murder Modarres, but he refused and so Jahansozi, Motevafian and Khalaj were appointed for the mission. They martyred Modarres on the eve of November 30, 1937 and secretly buried his body. In August 1941 and after the fall of Reza Khan, Modarres’ tomb was identified and located by the locals.

 

 

The Martyrdom of Mirza Koochak Khan Jangali

 

 

Mirza Younes, known as Mirza Koochak and the son of Mirza Bozorg, was born in Rasht in 1880.

 

 

He dedicated his early life to learning preliminaries of religious sciences. In 1907, he joined the constitutionalists in Gilan to depart for Tehran to repress Mohammad Ali Shah. With escalation of Constitutional Movement a number of constitutionalists of Rasht formed a center called “majlis-e ettehad” (assembly of unity) to which Mirza Koochak Khan, then a talabeh, became a member.

 

 

In 1915, the assembly was replaced with “the board of unity of Islam” comprised of 17 members, mostly clerics, in which Mirza Koochak Khan was a prominent figure, and soon the leader.

 

 

Subsequent to occupation of Iran by Tsarist Russian forces the group began to resist and put Kasma village, surrounding of Foman, as its center.

 

 

The group was gradually expanded and could penetrate a considerable part of Northern Iran, thereafter famous as Jangal (jungle) Movement and Jangal Party.

 

 

Jangal Movement conducted various military operations against Russian and British forces in the North of Iran, but it soon became entangled in internal differences and some of its leaders surrendered or were executed.

 

 

With surrender of Khalo Qorban government forces arrived Rasht and upon the failure of peace negotiations with Jangalis began to chase them. The forces were dispersed, some surrendered and some others were killed.

 

 

In such circumstances, Mirza Koochak Khan made farewell to his wife and went deep into the jungle hoping to reunite his forces in an appropriate time, but he was died a martyr due to severe winter weather.

 

 

Source: Islamic Revolution Document Center
http://www.irdc.ir/en/

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