Friday, June 24, 2005

Ey Iran - ey marzeh por gohar

Just got a phone call from Em. The unbelievable is happening. The hardline mayor of Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is set to become the next President of Iran. Details of the ballot counting can be found here. Apparently, the poorer provinces voted in large numbers for him, highlighting something that many Iranians had already suspected: that there is a deep ideological and economic divide in the country. After all, behind the veneer of homogeneity Iran is a multi-ethnic society, where value systems differ immensely across regions. To believe that the arid, poor South-east of the country would have the same views on religion, politics and the economy as the relatively more affluent central-west is foolhardy. A similar situation exists in India, where there are a complex set of causes leading to religious fundamentalism in certain pockets. And yet, this still seems hard to explain. What happened?

Did the corruption allegations against Akbar Rafsanjani prove a deciding factor in alienating the poor working class?

Is there a substantial silent majority in the country that is deeply Islamic and would prefer no division between religion and state?

Is the dominance of Tehran in cultural, social and economic matters treated with such resentment that a vote for Ahmedinejad is seen as a vote for the reassertion of the provinces within the mainstream discourse.

Whatever the reasons may be, Iran has to deal with the reality of four years under the Presidency of Ahmedinejad. And the next six months would be crucial in unfolding the direction of the new government.

3 Comments:

Blogger eeesh! said...

Talking about Iran. They are screening Dariush Mehrjui’s “Mehman-e-maman’ at the 7th Osian international film fest. The same place where I am one of the chosen “talents” for their aspiring filmmakers’ campus. Will pucca watch it.

7:17 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

That's his latest film. A lot of my friends saw it and liked it. Do watch it!

10:54 AM  
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11:53 PM  

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