Striving toward creation of a national base
Personnel of Kashan city police
جلد ۷ صحیفه امام خمینی (ره)، از صفحه ۴۵۱ تا صفحه ۴۵۵
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Shenanigans and chicanery of the Rida Khan type
Certain incidents take place in the world, which give substance to history; this is in order that we take a lesson, and be reminders for us; especially, the event that has occurred in Iran. More than fifty years of tyrannical rule of the Pahlavi regime that was filled throughout with actions which were against the interests of the nation. Perhaps, most of you do not remember; you are young. I was present from the beginning; right from the time when the coup took place- the coup by Rida Shah- until now, I have been a witness to the events. Sometimes, their actions were outwardly very deceptive but were against the interests of the nation. When he came, he initially began to express his piety and so forth and for sermonizing and mourning. And sometimes in the month of Muharram, he would visit all the religious theaters of Tehran to reaffirm his faith, until the time that he got on top and grabbed power.
The very same man who held sessions of mourning, and brought a horde of mourners including the army who would come to participate in mourning ceremonies- I myself saw groups of mourners from the army- this very same man began to go against religion. Until before consolidating his power, he deceived people by doing things in that manner, but as soon as he consolidated his hold on power, he acted quite the opposite to what he initially championed. In particular, this very same person who held these sessions of sermonizing and mourning, slapped a strict ban on all such religious activities such that perhaps not a single religious ceremony was held all over Iran! If it did take place, it was held clandestinely, in a few cities and under different guises and titles. He would indulge in things that evoked the displeasure of the people such as the banning of the veil and modesty of dress. You cannot surmise what a tragedy the banning of the veil, code of dress of modesty, was for the people at that time. You cannot imagine what he did; and what the police did with the people and the women that caused the general discontent among the people. However, his power had increased and people also were not guided properly and could do nothing when for example, they were faced with such powers- but their frustration had increased. Later also, he began- on the pretext of wanting to create a central government- to destroy all the tribes among whom of course there also were unworthy individuals present, but these tribes were a backing for the nation- and he wiped them out. And in this way, he coerced the people and created discontent such that when those three foreign powers- America, England and Russia- all of them together attacked Iran during the world war against Germany! People became very happy for his having been ousted.
At the some time, when everything in Iran was in danger and the people were worried about everything; nevertheless, when it was announced that they had taken away Rida Khan, the people rejoiced! This is how England behaved; an irrational Behavior for their own sake, who at that time had brought him in power.
Intransigence of Muhammad Rida Shah
After Rida Khan, it was the turn of his son, most of you remember some of the things he did; perhaps all of you know about them. He too did things that on the surface were beguiling, but as everything became clear slowly, we all saw that they were against the interests of the nation. The nation opposed him, but in the course of the thirty odd years that he ruled, the frustrations began to pile up; the frustrations of the people accumulated; the discontent increased constantly; and his service to outsiders was disclosed one after another until it reached the stage that I had to repeatedly warn him in my speeches not to do things that after he leaves all the people rejoice; I warned him not to do things like his father did, whom after he had been forced to leave everyone was jubilant at the same time that there was a threat looming for everybody. I told him not to rule in such a manner that when he had to leave everybody would celebrate. «۱»
An administration that is a national one and comes into being at the hands of the nation, if it falls then everybody becomes unhappy because it is of the people; everyone supports it. However; if it does not derive its power from the people and gets into a situation that on the day when it is announced it has fallen, the streets come alive in the manner that you all saw- I was not here but I heard it from people. Just as I had warned him( Muhammad Rida Shah )not to do or else it would happen as it did.
Lesson from history
This should be a warning for us too- it makes no difference- or for any power ruling over the country, and the country is under its control; or an administration that is in power in a province; or an administration that is in power in a city or a town. If the rulers are intelligent they must take a lesson from history, which has unfolded the fact that when a government does not derive its power from the people and is not based on them and people do not support it, it will not survive, no matter how powerful it be. You saw what power he had. In addition, all the powers approved of him. In other words, there was not a single government, or perhaps even a person, who opposed him. Now- right or wrong- maybe there was a government here and there that would express its opposition to him, but all the great powers were in agreement with him. At the same time, because his power base was not in the hearts of the people, and they did not support him, all the big powers joined hands and forces to keep him in power, but they could not do anything- and he left! This is an example of living history, and it must be a lesson for all of us.
Role of the nation in supporting the government
You who are the Kashan police, and that one also who is in the Qum police department; and that one who is the chief of staff of the whole army; and that one who is the head of the gendarmerie forces, and that one who is at the head of the government should all note that it is the nation that can keep them and sustain them. The nation can safeguard these powerful offices. If the nation supports these people, they can do everything. And if the nation at any moment, gets discontent, shall speak out sooner or later; it will be a matter of time before they raise their voice in protest. The day when the nation raises its voice, then no power can confront them. For this reason, we must take note of this that what pleases the nation is for it to see that the police is for them and not against them. At the time of the taghouti regime, people considered the police, the army, the gendarmerie, the government all the way up to Shah as opposed to themselves. Now, let us suppose there was a police department or a police chief who was in agreement with the people but he could not do anything that the people would construe to be in their favor; therefore, in the eyes of all the people both the good and bad were bad. And Shah lost that base which he should have had right from the beginning until the end among the people. When it comes to the stage where the popular base is lost and it is not possible to regain the trust, it is then that the regime collapses.
Popular base, the secret of stability of the system
This must now be a lesson and a model for you, for us and all segments of the government and people, and especially for those sections that are of the law enforcement agencies, that a great power which has no popular base cannot stand on its own feet. Whereas a power even if it is not big, but if it has a national base will be victorious. Strive to create a popular base for yourself. This does not imply that you must bring pressure on the people just because you hold an authoritative post and high position. The more senior the position, the more you must be at the service of the people. People should perceive that the more this official moves upward, the more humble he becomes with the people. If such a task is accomplished and such attention is given to problems and such a lesson is learnt from history; then every power shall establish a popular base; and the national base will sustain him and protect him. If the police forces of every city is at the service of the people, and not in a manner that when people hear the name" police station" they shiver and shake, or when they want to go to the police station, they feel as if they are going to a prison or the slaughterhouse; rather they should feel they are going to their home; to place where there is justice; to a place where there is no oppression; to a place that is friendly with the people and is not their enemy- if it is in this manner, then the hearts of the people will go out to them. People are easily contented; this is how their spirit is; that they are quickly satisfied. A gentle touch is sufficient to win the hearts of the people for a long time.
Ruling over the hearts, the only means to power of governments
So, do something by which you win over the hearts of the people. Establish a base among the people. When you have established a base, then God will approve of you; the nation will approve of you; power will remain in your hands and the people shall support you such that if anybody dared to do an injustice to you, the nation shall set upon him. In contrast with that, if the people perceive that the governments are not alongside them and are their enemies, then if a person- a thief for example- wants to attack you, they will even go and help the thief! This is a matter that we must now take a lesson from the current history that has passed over us, and we should know that if Shah had a base among the people, if he had spent half his energies to win the gratitude of the people, then this power would never have declined; he would never have been opposed, but unfortunately, he used all his power against the people such that even when he went on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Rida people would remark that he was indulging in chicanery! If he would print the glorious Qur'an and distribute it among the people, then whoever would get a copy of it would remark that it was like the Qur'an of Mu`awiyah! This is because he did not do a single good deed for the people- a deed by means of which he could build a base for himself. He was at the uppermost level of power. But, it makes no difference if you are in Kashan and have to run a department there. The same principle applies there too; that was for the whole nation, while you are for the people of Kashan city or the Qum police is for the people of Qum, or Tehran police is for Tehran. This is a general matter for all of us to keep in mind that the nation knows that we are the servants of the nation; that the nation understands that we want their good. When it realizes that we all want to work for the good of the nation, they will then support us.
May God bless all of you. May you all be successful and be ready to serve; and in this service know that you achieve the approval of God and also of the nation- which is the approval of God. May God bestow His favors to all of you.