Biography of Mirza Kuchak Khan
Mirza Yunes, known as Mirza Kuchak Khan, was born in 1880 in the Ostad Sarai neighbourhood of Rasht. He grew up in a religious family, and his father, Mirza Bozorg, was one of the Rasht clerics. Because of this, Yunes was known as Mirza Kuchak from childhood and then as Kuchak Khan or Kuchak Jangali. According to the sayings, He was strong, athletic, had a handsome face, and was raven-eyed. Also, socially, he was a man with morals, humble, faithful, a supporter of justice and freedom, and a supporter of the oppressed. During his life, he refrained from consuming alcohol and tobacco and chose a wife in his last years.
Mirza Kuchak Khan completed his early education in Saleh Abad and Jame School in Saleh Abad, Rasht. After that, he went to Qazvin and studied seminary courses at Salehiye School, then he came to Tehran and continued his education at Mahmoudieh School. According to Reza Mozafari in the book of Gilan celebrities, Mirza Kuchak Khan was in a situation where he could reach the position of a cleric. But the developments in Iran at that time changed his life. He spent most of his education under Master Khalkhali, who had a strong influence on him and caused him to enter a new path. Master Khalkhali was a well-spoken man, so his words had a significant impact on every audience.
The freedom-seeking spirit of Mirza Kuchak Khan
While living in Tehran, Kouchak Khan became more familiar with the social conditions of that time. And after reviewing the events, he concluded that the time had come to inform the people about the current situation. So, he went to Rasht and started preaching enlightenment among his friends and acquaintances, especially the students of Haji Hassan school.Meanwhile, after the murder of a freedom fighter in Tehran, Mirza increased his activities by using this incident to arouse people’s feelings and founded an association called “Clerical Assembly” to be ready to fight against the agents of autocracy and chaos.
Creation of The Jungle Movement
In 1908, Mirza Kuchak Khan joined the group of freedom fighters in Gilan and went to Tehran to suppress Mohammad Ali Shah (the sixth king of Qajar). In this way, chaos and disorderly conditions spread everywhere. In such a situation, Mirza Kuchak Khan, along with the force he had gathered, created the Jungle Movement, one of the most popular local movements in Iran, to gain independence and freedom, and preserve and protect Iran’s borders.
In this movement, the understanding and intellectual people of the country were tired of living in a crisis of injustice, so on the way to achieving this goal, they walked together with Mirza Kuchak Khan. Thus, on June 5, 1950, Mirza and his allies announced the republican government in Rasht by issuing a statement.
On May 18, the forces of the Red Army entered Anzali in the name of suppressing the counter-revolutionary that was lurking in the north of Iran, which caused the movement of Mirza Kouchak Khan to oppose them. In the meantime, Mirza, with the Russian military and political forces, reached an agreement. Due to the agreement, each of them would pursue their own goals with military actions and not have an aggressive view of each other.
Creation of the Edalat Party
After the Red Army entered Iran, several members of the “Baku Justice Communist Party” also entered Gilan from Russia. And by holding meetings, they formed a party called Edalat, and contrary to the established agreements, they started propaganda against Mirza Kuchak Khan.
The members of the Edalat Party, some of whom, like Ehsanollah Khan and Khalo Qurban, were close friends of Mirza, tried to kill or arrest him so that he would withdraw from the leadership of the revolution. Mirza Kuchak Khan understood the purpose and plans of the party members, so he went to the forest. This way, many forest rangers were arrested, killed, and lost their weapons and property.
But because they could not defeat Mirza, it caused the parties temporarily made peace. On the eve of Reza Khan’s coup (the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty), the political conditions of Iran were severely against Mirza Kuchak Khan. Also, the Russians left him alone and only thought of their interests in Iran.
Martyrdom of Mirza Kuchak Khan
After the surrender of Khalo Qurban, the government forces entered Rasht, and since the peace talks with the Jangalis failed, the government forces went after the Jangalis. While Mirza had lost many forest companions on the way, in the mountains of Talesh, together with his only loyal friend, Gaouk, a Russian-German revolutionary adventurer known as Hushang, got stuck in a storm and frostbite. Finally, one of the men of Mohammad Javad Khan Salar Shuja killed and cut off his head.
Finally, after seven years of struggle and going through many ups and downs, the Jungle Movement ended in 1921 with the martyrdom of Mirza Kuchak Khan. The severed head of Mirza, this national and freedom hero and forest commander, was brought to Rasht, handed over to the barracks commander, and displayed next to the barracks for a long time. But sometime later, one of Mirza’s friends secretly stole his head and buried it in Soleymandarab, Rasht.
Personality traits of Mirza Kuchak Khan
Reverend Charles Mary, a Christian missionary living in Rasht, commented on the personality traits of Mirza Kuchak Khan as follows. He was conscientious, patriotic, and honest, and his fans respected him not because of war but because of his kindness, justice, and truth-seeking. Mahdi Malekzadeh, the author of the book “Constitutional Revolution” praises Mirza as a true mujahid who believed in constitutionalism. And he writes that Mirza was not only a soldier who fought for freedom but also a missionary of freedom that did not fail to promote people to follow the right, justice, and human rights in any circumstances.