The Democratic Republic of Qazvin

Qazvinis became richer and happier while Iranians did not have much of the same fun


The Democratic Republic of Qazvin
by Ben Madadi

Before there was the Internet or even the steam engine and alike, there was a dynasty ruling over Iran, the Qazar dynasty. And there was a nice chap, a king, named Qazanfareddin Shah Qazar, who inherited the kingdom from his father, Mammad Quli Bay Mirza Zulfaqar Oghlu. Times were peaceful, as the neighbouring kingdoms were fighting each other, so Iran was spared the fuss!

Qazanfareddin Shah was very thoughtful of his subjects. He always listened to his subjects. He was a good king. He was kind to his subjects, but he could not be kind to all his subjects, so he always tried to have some middle ground, some reasonable approach to handling the affairs of the state. He thought he could never be kind to absolutely all his subjects, no matter how he tried, because, despite his inner wishes, some of his subjects were actually thieves or murderers, or preoccupied with other sorts of unclean and socially corrupt activities that either slightly bothered, or deeply affected, a significantly greater number of the remaining subjects! Finding a balance was of course what a sovereign had to do. And Qazanfareddin Shah was quite alright at doing so. He was generally loved and respected, but also feared when needed.

The short history of the Democratic Republic of Qazvin. One day, the people of Qazvin, among whom a few had travelled to England and had heard about democracy, sent a delegation to Qazanfareddin Shah to (kind of) test his love and kindness toward his subjects by asking him to grant them independence so that they could build what they had heard was democracy. The delegation arrived at capital city and, as planned, went to the royal palace, where they were greeted by the Vizier. And the vizier led them to the shah, who received them with smiles, fruits and tea.

Then, the representatives of Qazvin told the shah about their desire to create a democracy in Qazvin, to have elections where ordinary men could participate to choose, or to be chosen, and to have a parliament and so on. The idea seemed amazing, and the shah got really excited about it. He had never heard about such interesting ideas. The shah told the delegates of Qazvin that this might be an extraordinary idea that may later be used for the whole of Iran, and this way he (the king) might actually be spared all the headache of finding all the balance! The shah thought that with an assembly of chosen men to decide who to hang, who to jail, and what to do generally, he would be spared all the nightmare of always thinking where he might have made mistakes! And with the elected officials potentially changing once in every four years the public could oust those who had got the balance wrong, so anger would not boil up, and he would no longer need to execute some viziers once in a while. The idea of democracy, inspired from a distant land called England, seemed quite appealing to the shah. So he granted the delegation of Qazvin all their wishes. He told them to go to Qazvin and feel free to do whatever they want in the path of their ideals. The shah granted Qazvin independence, let the Qazvinis be free; no longer subjects to the Qazar shah. Qazanfareddin shah was proud of his decision and he was just looking forward to see what was going to happen in Qazvin and how this whole democracy thing would fare in that tiny land that once belonged to his kingdom.

A couple of decades went by, and the elected rulers of Qazvin applied their ideas, built a proper democracy, brought their citizens together and built schools, hospitals, and everything they thought their land would need to resemble England, the country some of their sons had seen years before. The Republic of Qazvin prospered and Qazvinis became richer and happier than they used to be, while Iranians did not have much of the same fun, while they had also spent a lot of their wealth and manpower in their wars with a couple of their ambitious neighbours.

Qazanfareddin shah was still in power, and he was still a good shah who always listened to his subjects and tried to find a balance and rule carefully so that his subjects were as happy as they could normally be (in a kingdom that is). One day the people of Karaj (a city neighbouring Qazvin) sent a delegation to the shah, and the thoughtful and good shah, as always, accepted the delegation. The people of Karaj had sent some people to the shah asking his majesty to let them invade and take over Qazvin because the harvest had been quite bad and the shah's dearest Karaji subjects were in the brink of starvation, while Qazvinis who were no longer part of the kingdom were very rich. Karaj also promised the shah to share the plunder with all the rest of his royal subjects. Although the shah did not really think this was something normal and humanely acceptable, he was facing the desire of his subjects, against some foreigners after-all! He was not a prophet. He was just a mortal ruler who had the duty of serving his subjects! Qazvin was no longer a part of the kingdom, so the shah had no obligation to protect them and care for their good, while Karaj was a part of the kingdom.

So, the story does not have a pretty ending. Iranian history has no mention of Qazvin's democratic movement, because Iranian historians thought the whole idea of writing about the mass slaughter of a whole population for their wealth would not bode very well for the moral standing of the next Iranian generations. The shah was unhappy after hearing what had happened, so he wept for the ambitious and courageous, but perished, people of Qazvin. But then again, he was no prophet, but a king, just a king who wanted nothing but to serve his subjects. And so he did, as he had always done.


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Azam / Ghazvin

by Babak Neekpeye (not verified) on

Azam jan where can I find some infoo about Ibrahim Baig?? I need to study him please e amil me EMBKAMAUTO@AOL.COM


to Themrsnotloggedin

by mrm (not verified) on

Looks more like an Indian (Mughal) king! Doesn't look like an Iranian king as far as I know...


Who's the dude in the

by Themrsnotloggedin (not verified) on

Who's the dude in the picture?


to azam

by Anoni (not verified) on

This is, as the title says, a hypothetical situation. There was no QAZAR dynasty in Iran. What have you read? Another article?

The story above, I think, is about the danger of blindly and naively believing in democracy when you are near a GIANT of TYRANNY. And today's events in Georgia, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia, being near Russia, are living history of something similar to the above hypothetical situation.

Democracies need to be careful about non-democracies and not ignore them. This is the morale of the story.


The Democratic Republic of Qazvin

by Qazvini (not verified) on

As a born and raised Qazvini, I don't recall any of stuff published in this article to be true. Never read or heard of it before.

Ben Madadi should stick to what he is good at, and leave my beloved Qazvin alone.


Is this a Joke?

by Azam (not verified) on

I hope this was a sick joke. Anyone with an ounce of intelligent knows that Qajar dynasty screwed Iran royally and their kings were bunch of opium smoking, impotent, sickly men who thought having big harems and traveling aboard ( giving away precious Iranian lands to foreigners to finance their trips) was all that kings were supposed to do. They were too stupid and too ignorant to understand democracy or anything political in nature for that matter (most of their descendents are just as stupid because they take pride in being related to this dynasty!).

I suggest you read Ibrahim Baig's travel diaries so you can sit and cry at the plight of all Iranians starving and to read about so many of them who had gone to other Middle Eastern as well as some European countries and worked as low level labors and were treated like animals (because they were not educated or skilled thanks to the Qajar kings who were too stupid to understand the value of education or industry. Also, this dynasty is responsible for the most heinous crime against Iran and that is the murder of the most progressive minded Amir Kabir. His murder pushed Iran back for decades (you need to read about this great man and his ambitions for Iran which were cut short thanks to the Britt's and the criminal Qajar court).

Ben Madadi

Dedication for South Ossetia and Abkhazia!

by Ben Madadi on

What being a tiny little democracy, but near a large turanny, can mean, especially when relying on the tyranny's good will.