An interview with Batool Soltani on MKO self-immolations – Part 25
Sahar Family Foundation: Ms. Soltani, one of the intriguing subjects to talk about is the organization’s use of an internal jargon on which one can collect a book. You have repeatedly used such jargons in the course of you interviews and that may be because you have failed to find equivalents for them or you are used to using them. One of these jargons is the term ‘pardakhtgar’. If you please, start by explaining about this jargon.
Batool Soltani: Frankly speaking, you are right and one can compile a terminology of jargons used in the organization’s internal relations. More interesting is when you listen to an inter-organizational debate and for sure you need a jargon expert to interpret so you may understand what they mean. To talk about the stated jargon of ‘pardakhtgar’, the organization always insisted that in contrast to rumors outside that the members displayed no sign of emotion towards their children, families and relatives and denounced them just as heartless people devoid of love and amity would, we do value emotions and are sentimental beyond ordinary people.
To prove, the organization gave examples to show that much of the affection and friendliness dominating the society are conditional, superficial and shows of formality; a trademark only to secure interests. It reasoned that as soon as people felt their interests were threatened, all love and friendly passions would vanish and brothers tried to cheat and tear each other to protect their interests.
It holds the persuasion that unlike the world outside, a member of Mojahedin has established a relation of ‘pardakhtgar’ with the family and associates. To have a better understanding of the term, they would say a member of Mojahedin establishes his relations with his family and associates according to the prevalent social norms but he never engages in an interest-rated relation to turn his back on them for personal interests. A member of Mojahedin, they would say, is a clear-sighted revolutionary highly appreciating feelings and sentiments and who intends to purge them of the filth of caste and exploitation.
It is only possible through cleansing the society and people’s living milieu, or as they would say, to purify the oxygen they intake. In a purged society, motivations transcended worldly interests and feeling were no more means to trick and hoax the intimates and people. In that case, no class system and personal interest could possibly blur the feelings with illusions of materialism and unconditional and true love would find its real value with no relative bond to define it.
Then, they raised the question that the most appreciated love and affection was the unconditional kind the organization was after and it was impossible to achieve unless the society could be purged. As the revolutionary elements undertaking the responsibility to implement the cause, Mojahedin saw no other way but to temporary sacrifice whoever they loved.
Here the term ‘pardakhtgar’ can be defined; that is to say, a member of the organization sacrifices his love and affection for the family and associates so they may transcend the limits of the material world and achieve the sphere of an unconditional love and affection that could include not only the beloved around them but the humanity in general. His struggle and immolation is to stop people paying for the attention and affection they receive and to purify the atmosphere and set up a utopia wherein the unconditional love will reign.
This is a one-way demonstration of love and feeling and only a Mojahed is believed to fully discern the meaning of love and passion for the close and the humanity. He curbs all his feelings and deprives himself of a common give and take interest-rated love for a permanently stable tender and unconditional love. To achieve the goal, one side has to sacrifice and he is a Mojahed.
SFF: Ms. Soltani, the fact is that such claims are much alluring and idealistic. But a question to ask, were they really truthful in what they claimed or it was another abused means to achieve organizational ends? Was Rajavi after creating the claimed utopia or he was channeling the feelings towards a milieu of highly committed relationship?
BS: To tell the truth, Rajavi is a real, ingenious sophist. I have reiterated many times that when you look at the organization from the inside, you see an integrated order wherein everything looks to be at its own place. But the problem begins when you look at it from the outside and try to discern the encountered ambiguities and paradoxes according to the existing system before you, nothing is at its place and you are left in the middle of complete disarray. It is the very same matter with the term ‘pardakhtgar’. In contrast to its internal interpretation, it is meant be spent for and direct all love and affection to the leadership alone and to force all in his obedience. Of course, you will notice a flagrant contradiction in Rajavi’s claims. I think even a revolutionary struggling for a certain cause has to secure an emotional bond first with his own family and relatives before trying to universalize it.
Those who easily turn their back on their children, parents and any beloved one are in fact practicing to cut all attachments with the outside world. When Rajavi states that all love and devotion has to be directed to him, he means to be replaced with all the sources of attachments; he must be the sole entity without whom the promised utopia could not possibly be established.
Such a theory works for a variety of abusive purposes. A member devoid of familial attachments, for instance, can easily carry out a mission of purging a member of his own family just because the victim is claimed to be an agent of the regime. Thus, I believe such rhetoric is mainly aimed for personal interests to guarantee Rajavi’s egocentric dominance over the organization.
To be continued