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Amir Kabir: A Great Iranian Personality

It is nearly one century since the martyrdom of a great figure who rose up during the most sensitive era of the political history of Iran and at a time when the blood-thirsty colonialists were trampling deprived Muslim nations in the region of the Persian Gulf. He pioneered the struggle against colonialism. This mighty figure is none else but Mirza Taghi Khan - Amir Kabir.
Amir Kabir was born in Hezaveh, a village in Arak township in the year 1812 and was brought up in a good and pure Muslim family. He was so talented and intelligent that in his early youth, he was assigned the task of administering the political affairs of the country by Mirza Abolghassem Farahani, the competent Prime Minister who was martyred due to his resistance against colonialism.
Amir Kabir who at that time was very young, made his first political trip to Russia, and upon returning home was appointed as the military governor of the Azarbaijan province. After the coming into power of Nassereddin Shah, Amir Kabir was named as Prime Minister, and he took over the affairs of the government in his able hands. He secured this position at a time when the socio-political situation of Iran was in complete disorder. Corruption prevailed throughout the country; tyranny, poverty and injustice played havoc, and the courtiers and associates of the Shah abounded in ignorance and corruption. Further, Russian and British colonialists had invaded Iran from north and south, respectively, and were engaged in looting Iran.
Under such conditions, Amir Kabir was required to wage a genuine struggle on two fronts: i) domestically to combat the prevailing disorder; ii) externally to fight the colonialists and to throw them out of the country. In the beginning of his Prime Ministership, Amir Kabir initiated some worthy domestic reforms. Included among them was the discontinuation of colossal amounts of money which were being wasted by the courtiers on merry-making, at the cost of the public fund. In an effort to bring about economic and industrial development in the country, he set up a number of factories and also checked the import of foreign goods. These moves were considered to be directed at attaining self-sufficiency for the country. In his bid to carry out a fundamental task in the industrial progress, Amir Kabir established the noted school known as "Dar-ul-Fonoon" where he invited professors from non-aligned countries to impart teaching. With utmost vigilance, Amir Kabir checked the entry of Russian and British professors and teachers into academic institutions because he was well-aware of the fact that colonialist powers pursued specific political objectives under the guise of academic aid.
Amir Kabir who knew that the root cause of all the ills of Muslims lay in their ignorance regarding socio-political issues, brought out a daily bulletin called "Vaghay-e Ettefaghiyeh". Being a religious-minded individual, he rose up against the prevailing social corruption in the country, and in accompaniment with the vigilant clergymen, embarked on the task of eliminating superstitious customs which were common in the society disguised as religious beliefs. He made some very good proper moves to promote genuine religious traditions. Reforms carried out by him in Iran, both domestically and in his combat against colonialists, caused a hostile attitude from among the corrupt figures in the royal court. Included among them was the mother of Nassereddin Shah.
The mode of struggle which Amir Kabir undertook could, of course, not find solutions for all the problems. Mainly because the worst obstacles in the realization of justice in Iran were the very corrupt and selfish royal courtiers, and perhaps due to this very reason, he intended - in continuation of his activities, and with the help of the people - to cut off the roots of the monarchial rule that was antagonistic to Islamic traditions.
However, collusion of external enemies of Iran with the domestic mercenaries and parasites that considered Amir Kabir to be an obstacle in the path of their designs and ambitions caused Nassereddin Shah to mistrust him, and a decree was issued by the mother of Nassereddin Shah on the ouster of Amir Kabir who was ultimately exiled to the town of Kashan. Later, these corrupt persons even went further in obtaining a decree from the treacherous Shah, while he was drunk and lying in his harem, concerning the execution of Amir Kabir. On the same afternoon, they cut open the veins of Amir Kabir while he was taking a bath in the "Fin Bathhouse" in Kashan.
Amir Kabir who could not tolerate all this disloyalty from the side of the treacherous Shah, uttered the following words in the last moments of his life:
"This stupid shah will ultimately ruin this country."
In this way, this great man who can be termed as the champion of the anti-colonialist and anti-tyrannical struggle, tasted the elixir of martyrdom. However, his consistent struggle against colonialists taught a significant lesson to them so that they would never again dream of invading the land of Amir Kabir - Iran.

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