Thursday, January 31, 2013

Politics in Iran vs politics in Canada!

Today, I read that Mr. Hassan Habibi a prominent leading politician has died in Iran due to heart and diabetic complications.
There is nothing striking about this fact except what I read in Persian and worth writing about.
The short column about his past summarizes that  he was the first Justice minster in Mr. Mehdi Bazargan government, later he became, vice president in Mr. Rafsanjani and Khatami givernment.
The part seemed interesting was this:

حبیبی، در برابر خواسته های مکرر برای گفت و گو و تاریخ نویسی درباره انقلاب که بارها توسط خواهر زاده اش «پروانه وحیدمنش» صورت گرفت، در نهایت گفته بود:‌« یا باید مثل هاشمی رفسنجانی خاطره نویسی کنم و جاهایی را یا حذف کنم یا غیر واقع جلوه دهم یا باید به طور رسمی بیایم و بگویم که ما اشتباه کردیم و به بیراهه رفتیم. من آدم هیچ کدامش نیستم دختر. نه این روزها می توانم بگویم اشتباه کردیم نه می توانم دروغ بنویسم. شاید روزی تاریخ ما را قضاوت کند.»

Mr. Habibi, in the face of repeated calls for expressing his historical views about the revolution by his nephew "Parvaneh vahidmanesh"he replied, "I should like Rafsanjani Memoir censor on many occasions what I have to say or write or just say things there were untruthful. Or I formally or actually come to state that we were wrong and we stepped on the wrong path. I'm not any of these type of people. I can say we did wrong and can't write lies. Maybe one day history will judge us. "

My own comment:
Interesting enough, that no politician in Iran can simply say, I made mistakes. I always wonder where did we learn this, in our family! Iranians learn to be stubborn. As expression goes, chicken has only one leg!  
We should never reveal anything that is internal (in our family circle). Everything on the surface should look perfect. We should never criticize our past, because they were great people and decision makers!
and try to show everything is fine in our inner circle!

compare that to the transparency that I see in Canada. 
Mr. Bob Rae, a liberal member of federal parliament in Canada, who has simply admitted he has smoked pot in the past.
Many come and allowed to criticize the past and learn from it.

I always wonder until we act like this in Iran (refraining from any criticism), can we become democratic in real sense?

maybe? may be not!

  

4 comments:

radius said...

Hi Alireza, I see you are still in the Iran-Bashing mode ;-)
I am not sure if Iranians in the things you describe here are much worse than others. Look at Berlusconi, who insists that no wrong-doing happened. Look at Anthony Weiner, the NY senator who was caught red-handed exchanging sexual implicit messages with girls, look at Germany, where any discussion about the Nazi crimes were absent for about 20 years. I think the attempt to forget or ignore past mistakes is something very deeply inherited in our psyche.
But rationally, of course we know that it is important that people realized and confess what they did wrong or bad, in order to avoid doing the same mistake again and again, .
I think to ensure an open discussion about what was right or wrong, you need a free press and the right of free-speech. Because only by force from the outside people will confess what they did wrong.
And it is this what Iran is lacking so badly today. It is a structural problem, a deficit of the current political system that makes any open and fruitful debate about mistakes virtually impossible.
I don't think that Iranian people per se are less capable than others to reconsider past mistakes.
In Germany we have, btw, a very nice , but sarcastic proverb. It says:
"If you work, you can not avoid to do mistakes occasionally. Only those who never work, never do a mistake. And those who never do a mistake, will receive the bonus award at the end".

radius said...

Dear Alireza, What I always found special among Iranians is their extremely high acknowledgement of family values, in particular when it comes to honour the elder generation. I mean in the first instance, there is nothing bad about this, although in many other cultures it would appear very strange that parents have such a strong position in choosing a groom or a bride for their (adult) children. Anyway, if everybody is happy and satisfied at the end, thats fine with me.

But now it comes to your point: Why you think that the Iranians are not so keen in admitting a former wrong-doing. Discussing that something went wrong in history always implies that you directly or indirectly have to criticise your parents or grandparents generation, i.e. provoking an open conflict. In the West, the Hippies, 1968 in Paris, the East-European liberation in 1989 etc. always caused not only a strong opposition against the ruling political system, but also between the generations, because how the older generations used to live was suddenly considered wrong, hypocritic and immoral.
For Iranians, this would be a dilema. The young generation does not want to bother their parents, since the latter already have trouble enough every day. And the parents also dont like to encourage their kids to start the open rebellion against the regime, because they are in the first instance their kids, their own flesh and blood. For them, survival is the first command, rather than criticising the regime and the past 30 years of failure.
But you can not blame the Iranian parents generation for not encouraging their kids to start the rebellion. Their behaviour is natural and it is like all loving parents in any country should act.
But one can blame the young generation for sticking too much to the traditional inter-generation relationships. They must stop to always decline to what is convinient for their parents. If they want to remain mothers finest or the dream of every mother-in-law, than its better to stay in a warm house and do your daily business. With a few exceptions, the parents generation is part of the old system, whether as active supporters or simply by adaptation. Therefore everybody who wants to openly talk about mistakes has to get free from the confinements of his/her parents values. It will be difficult for both sides over a transient period, but on the long term all will gain, the young and the old.

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