Omid Memarian

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Silent surges of ethnics’ movement

-kurd youth perform Kurdish music during women day in Kurdistan(Sanandaj)
-Two Kurdish writer and intellectuals (right and left of me) in a round table.

There are many gaps in Iranian society that whenever become active make challenges and crises. One of them is the gap between the social activists who try to make the political system secular and the others who attempt to do the same in religious way. This social gap has been active during the last century and after presidency of Mr. Khatami it has shown itself clearly. The other gap is ethnics. The society faced-off with many challenges when Ethnic gap become active. Iran has many tribes which some of them are Kurds, Turks, Lors, Baloochs, and Arabs and so on. Between the Iranian tribes, Kurds have a strong tendency to disintegration. After the revolution when the central government became a little weak they tried to examine their chance to separate the Kurdistan. But government stopped them strongly.
Many of Kurdish people killed during the battle between Kurdish partisan troops and regular soldiers. “We never forget the crimes that happen at the beginning of the revolution”. A Kurd girl told me during my trip to Kurdistan. “They killed my brother. His is martyr.” But after these hard battles the war between Iran and Iraq began and so all of Iranian attentions went toward the war. But the fire was under the ashes. Government had no confidence with the Kurd provinces in these years. So the amount of economic investment and social development in these regions was very low in all. During these years must of high rank local officials like governors or commanders of police had not been Kurd. “They put us under the pressure not to talk about our rights”. A Kurd man told me. He is a teacher. “I like to teach Kurdish language to my students but it is forbiddened.”
At the present time there are many Kurdish weeklies in these cities. But the rate of unemployment is higher than the other parts of country. The participation rate of citizen in their society is low too. You can see many youth that walk in the parks and streets. The price of drug is cheaper than cigarette in some regions. They examined smuggling the different goods for many years especially during the war. It had many dangers for them. One of them was mines that killed many youth and men. “My brother was killed when he was trying to pass the frontier. He was very young, Only 18. But he needed money to save our life against poverty at the black years of war.”Said a 24 years old Kurdish boy. He believes they are second hand people for the government. “Iraq Kurds victory to get more achievements in their constitution has brought up our hopes”. He thinks federalism in Iraq will gift Kurd their dreams. In the Kurdistan streets you can see many youth who wear Kurdish clothes with proud. They go to learn Kurdish language in private classes.
Regarding these facts we can see that international changes in the Middle East will affect on political transformations in early future. Iranian officials who have a little wise part in their brain must think about the ethnic groups more actively. They have to pay attention to development in these regions.
Kurds had a military experience in confronting with government at the beginning of revolution. But they know it had no chance for them. “We try to follow our requests and ideals in some modern discourses like human right and civil society. It helps us to pay fewer costs. Human right and civil society are the grounds that will bring stable results for Kurds. There are many differences between Iranian Kurds and Iraqi Kurds.” Said an intellectual Kurd writer.
Perhaps the government has to empower this direction in early future. Here I hear the voice of silent waves. Some part of these waves has potential of a social cataclysm. (Last Part)


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