By M. Sarjov
The Baluch struggle is for an independent modern state, where the gender equality, religious freedom, rule of law, property right and individual right are guaranteed by the State.
For hundreds of years the world has been divided into patch work of states with the clear boundaries.
Every piece of land belong to one or more groups of people and each human being supposedly belong to one of these entities, which are self-contained within a hard shell of language, culture, religion and tradition.
European states were created as early as 1648 yet the sense of nation hood did not arise at the same time. Small European principalities united together to create centralised states with demarked borders instead of the previous peril frontiers. The new sovereign nation-states maintained armies and governments.
Nation builders created national culture by creating a single unified language for each nation from one of the local vernacular, standardised its spelling and grammar and taught it in schools throughout the new state.
But in (Persia) Iran’s case nation building started very late. The European created the modern state for Iranian (the Great game) Persian were not self-motivated to create a modern state. They were as they are today much more interested to conquer their neighbours and to revitalise their mythical Persian empire, then wait for the Hidden Imam to reappears and announce the end of the world.
The Nation builders in Iran tried and failed to assimilate the resilient Baluch and Kurd, The Iranian Shiite Turk have been the backbones of the Modern Iran, better educated than their Persian counterparts, have maintained their language as well as their vibrant Turkic culture and the Shiite Arab with fluency in Arabic, (Arabic is the language of religion), resisted and survived the Persian assimilation attempts, one state one culture, one language theory has failed in Iran. The Persian did what they could do, bullying the Baluch, Turk, Arab, Kurd, and levelled their culture, language as backward.
Centres of civilizations have always been Multicultural regions where people from diverse backgrounds meet and stimulate each other through dialogue. When two or more communities within a state see themselves as permanently divided and have different interests, then differences between them cannot easily resolves and good relations maintained through regular democratic means, since even in democratic government majority dominated group out voted minority group permanently out of power. The Baluch in Iran are one group that is out voted permanently.
The Persian chauvinism is not able or unwilling to understand the Baluch and others nationalities sentiments. By ignoring long standing issue of the Baluch right to self-determination such demand will not disappear but actually will accumulate. The policy makers who seek to hold Iran together failed and will fail to decentralise power from Tehran and transfer it to the provinces. Iran’s state structure is cemented by Shiite sect of Islam, the ethnic politics in Iran will undo the Shiite control over the non-Persian Shiite.
The causes of ethnic conflicts have always been the authoritarian rules; collapse of such rules make ethnic conflicts possible. The lid on ancient rivalries will take off, long suppressed grievances will be settled. Iran is the next outdated authoritarian Shiite caliph on its way out. The Iranian ethnic conflicts are not confined to one regime. The ethnics rivalries and conflicts are historical fact only temporarily supressed and managed.
The Iranian opposition parties from liberal, left to central, those who believe in liberty, individual autonomy and rights to self-determination can minimise upcoming ethnic violence in Iran. The best course of action is to recognise and address ethnic problems early before violence and bloodshed erupt. The Persian have numbers of alternative to prevent ethnic conflicts.
National right to self-determination
The national right to self-determination has been at the root of modern politic debates the academic definition of national self-determination are few and far between.
The Right to self-determination concept is associated with democracy, the principle that citizens must be governed only with their own consent. The Baluch in Iran are not governed by their consent and will not be able to do so as long as the Baluch remains as a part of Iran. The Baluch are the victims of the Persian subjugation. They have been protesting against prolonged suffering and violation of their basic rights to lives a dignified lives.
The Persian chauvinism and Shiite Apartheid have refused to share the state power and privileges, exploited the state resources while they economically deprived the Baluch from means to maintain good life in Iran. The Baluch as the Iranian citizens gaze at the State for security and economic prosperity. There is security and economic prosperity in Baluchistan but for non Baluch settler’s foreign investors. The Baluch have no security and the Iranian security agencies are engaged in promoting inner tribal fights within Baluchistan.
The Baluch must win their independent in order to preserve their language, culture, tradition, economy and commitment to modernisation. A more democratic world cannot be created by transferring power to an imaginary world parliament or the United Nations, but only by giving people influence over the decision that effect their lives. The Baluch campaigner for independent Baluchistan should propose that the Independent Baluchistan is achievable by splitting Iran and giving The Baluch, Arab, Kurd, Turk, Persian control of their lands on basis of historical and cultural boundaries.
The principle of self-determination is supported as means of guaranteeing people right to control over the law by which their lives are regulated. The Baluch as the people have no representative in the Iranian government to represent their common interests. The Baluch national Right to self-determination is justifiable in Iran where there is an elected government but the Baluch are facing the Human Right violation, systematic economic deprivation and forceful removal from their ancestral home.
In Iran people are free to vote but they are not free to stand to be elected or elect a candidate of their own to represent them in advisory council. The Guardian council select the candidate and then people are free to vote for a candidate selected for the people by the Guardian council. The Baluch in the western Baluchistan are aware of the fact that their vote do not change anything.
As consequence of denial of national right to self-determination there are many wars of liberation against apartheid regimes and states in the world. The authoritarian regime and artificial states with one or more nationalities are involved in internal or external wars.
It is wrong to blame Nationalists for the violence which they bring since they have to react as victims of injustice. The world opinion favour the Right to self-determination as a solution. Today the Baluch are refusing to assimilate in to Persian- Shiite and demanding the Right to National self-determination. The Baluch struggle is for an independent modern state, where the gender equality, religious freedom, rule of law, property right and individual right are guaranteed by the State.
Nationalism is not a complete ideology in the same sense as communism, Islam, Christianity; it does not suggest as an action plan of universal scope. Nationalism only seek to justify their own group. Nationalism employs ideal of self-determination. Nationalism may be popular within the right, left, central, liberal and religious groups. Those who oppose the self-determination are really undemocratic and allies of Chauvinism.
Mehrab. D. Sarjov is a Baluch political activist based in London and campaign for an independent Baluchistan.