Iran League quarterly

Material Information

Iran League quarterly official organ of the Iran League, Bombay
Alternate title:
Anjuman-i Īrān Līg (Bombay, India)
Anjuman-i Iran Līg (Bombay, India)
Place of Publication:
Iran League
Multiple languages


Subjects / Keywords:
Parsees -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Civilization -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage:
Asia -- Iran
Asia -- India


Cultural Journal published by the Iran League between 1930 and 1960, which aimed at reviving and strengthening cultural and other ties between the Parsis of India and the Zoroastrians of Iran. ( ,, )
Includes book reviews
Title also in Persian; text in English or Persian
General Note:
"Official organ of the Iran League, Bombay."

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, University of London
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
382223 ( ALEPH )
X290018675 ( OCLC )
237210933 ( OCLC )
Per 9 ( ddc )


This item has the following downloads:

Full Text
Official Organ of the Iran League, Bombay



Annual SnsompTioN: Than Krs. 50 : Fokeiox sh. 9 : Injdia Rs. 6

Spring Season 1934

Book Early— —Avoid Disappointment




All Discounts and Rebates obtained

Through Tickets to the U. S. A. and Canada obtainable
Rail Tickets issued * * * Baggage insured

Full Particulars on application to :


Official Passenger Boohing Agents

NOTE : We make no charge for arranging passages—
But secure the best available accommodation.
Handbook of fares issued free.

Just published'. "The Iran-Iraq Traveller's Guide," price Bs,l]4r-


Iran League Quarterly.


Vol. IV ] JANUARY 1934 [No. 2
-APRIL 1934- -rNo, 3


Affairs in Persia

Last month there appeared in the London Times a very
appreciative review of the Shah's extraordinary
Corruption* achievement in Persia. The greatest curse of
public administration in many oriental coun-
tries has been corruption. This happened especially in times
when holding of public offices was very insecure, and men who
had made some sacrifices in acquiring them would naturally
be tempted to make the most of their opportunities. Even
when the cause has been removed from some places, the
instinct that past generations had nurtured survives, and
renders it a really difficult affair to extirpate it entirely. The
present Shah has seen this and both by personal example and
a keen watch he has greatly succeeded in suppressing offioial
corruption. This has brought untold boon to his subjects who
were ground down by it before and were unable to achieve even
a semblance of prosperity.

It is a happy augury for Persia's future that in that able
article is declared Britain's good will towards Persia and her
desire to see Persia strong and independent.


the iran league quarterly


Startling News
Arrest of Some Great Men

In this connection we have lately read the startling news

Bakhtiari Patriots that some leadinS Bakhtiari chiefs have been
arrested for having been " concerned in engage^
ments detrimental to the State." As no tribal trouble is
suspected, this is assumed to refer to some financial corruption.
But facts do not quite agree with this assumption. The
principal personage arrested is Sardar Assad, the War Minister
of Persia, and the Chief of the brave Bakhtiari people.

With this great chief are also arrested sixteen of his rela-
. , tives and followers. These include the Sardar's

Other Arrests

brother Amir Jang, and Amir Husein Khan.
A.mong those arrested is also Qavam-ul-Mulk, the Chief of the
Arab tribes in Fars. This chieftain had loomed large on the
horizon during the last and decadent days of the Kajar rule.

A Great Organ of Iran's Imperial State

It will be recalled that during the early days of the present
Shah's regime, the Turkoman chiefs of the north,
Peuda^'syBtem0 which region he has recently toured, had to be
suppressed with the iron hand of the Shah
and so had the kingdom of Khujistan in the south-west of
Iran. All this would show the Shah's determination to break
the feudal system prevailing in Persia from the most ancient
times. It is not generally known that one of the principal
causes of the fall of the great Sassanian dominion was the
suppression of the powerful Persian nobility by the latter
monarchs of that illustrious house. From the days of Cyrus
the Greafc down to the end of the Sassanian rule, the Grand
Council of the Nobles appears to have been a well constituted
and powerful organ of the Imperial State of Iran. It was by
the help and power of that mighty body that the grand armies
of Rome were annihilated by Iran when such great Roman


the editor's notes


commanders as the Triumvir Crassus, Emperors Valerian and
Julian and others attempted to invade the Empire of Iran. The
weakening of this great power wais one of the principal causes

of the collapse of the Persian Empire on the Arab invasion.
» * #

The Army

In such circumstances the Shah's new army is rendering
him great and efficient help, besides increasing

New Equipments

the prestige of Iran among the nations. He is
equipping it with all modem weapons including an air force
which is in process of formation. The most modern machines
are going to constitute it, because the Government have placed a
large order with De Havilland Aircraft Company for a new
type of light "Tiger Mouth" fighter biplane. This type
however is planned so as to be easily converted into an ordinary
two-seater aeroplane. It is equipped with a gun which is
capable of firing 900 rounds per minute, and can carry 820 lbs.
of bombs. Thus it would be a highly efficient and powerful
machine to help the army.

The Navy

The Shah and his Government are also devoting real
attention to the building up of a respectable navy
cadets6 Kaval in the Gulf. This can however be of little
use without a sufficient number of properly
trained and experienced officers and men. We remember how
when some patrol boats were ordered some time back from
Italy by the Persian Government, it was stipulated that suffi-
cient number of Persia's youth were to be trained in the naval
academies of that country. This first batch of trained naval
cadets came home on board the new ships when they entered
Persian waters. Persia however is not to be satisfied with a
narrow outlook in any matter, and therefore a further batch of
Persian youths has been sent to th© French academies for


the iran league quarterly


naval training. Some were to join the Brest Naval College, some
the School of Naval Engineering, and some the Victualling
School there. Others who could not be admitted immediately
would be utilising the time by joining one of the Brest public
schools, especially for perfecting their knowledge of French.

Two warships of the new Persian navy, under Commander
Bayendor, have been visiting now the ports of Western India,

and creating much public interest there.

# * *

The Trans-Persian Railway

The Shah has been firmly directing the progress of the
great Trans-Persian Railway. The rolling
Btook'ordered111^ stock is being simultaneously ordered out, and so
recently the Birmingham firm of Metropolitan-
Cammell Carriage Waggon and Finance Co. was to deliver
sixty covered goods waggons to the Persian State Railways.
Thus the Shah and his Ministers are bent on achieving the end
of this great national project as early as possible. The day
this is achieved, there will open anew era in Persia's prosperity;
for, whatever others might say, we do not for a moment doubt
that with it will open a new great channel of world trade,
spreading business trade, industry and prosperity to the regions
that it is going to traverse.

Lately the Shah visited Khuzistan and inspected there
the southern section of this railway and the works at Bandar

* * *

New Industries

Simultaneous progress is going on in building up new
industries in Persia. A number of further
Mwhwf Mm m projects are in contemplation. Mr. Hormuzdji
Commissariat's visit to Persia has been attended
with success, and Persian capitalists and industrialists have
welcomed his project of erecting a textile mill in Meshed, the


the editor's notes


chief city of Khorasan. The capital is already fully subscribed,
and the board of directors will be soon formed of Persian and
Parsi capitalists to put the project in execution.

Another project contemplates setting up calico printing
works calculated to produce a million metres
Works° Prlnt,ns of printed cotton every month with an average
of a ten hours working day. There will also
be plants for spinning, weaving, bleaching and dyeing, besides

those for printing and finishing.

* * *

Persia's Geeat Relics op the Past

The general interest awakened in the world by the Shah's
great work in Persia, has revived the attention
ProjectsV a 11 °n of the nations to that ancient land in another
way. All visible relics of the glories of her
past have been closely studied, copied and expounded by the
learned of the world before this time. But diggings on a large
scale had not yet taken place anywhere in the land excepting
at Susa. The world-hunger for antiquities and explorations
has recently increased everywhere, and wonderful discoveries
have been made in various places scattered all over the world.

The ancient treasures of Egypt and Mesopotamia have
not yet been all laid bare. Diggings in the
wheraIty Else" latter region have brought to light further
wonderful remains of the past, including a great
Sassanian palace at Kish, the ancient capital of Sumer.
And people have begun to feel after the successful work
in Mohenjo Dard and in Harrapa in India that the same
success is likely to crown work of that sort in the great
Narbada valley.

These new successes have inspired a desire in some
learned bodies to attempt similar diggings in
ries at Persepoiis Persia. Such attempts have already been made
successfully at Damaghan and Persepoiis, at
which latter place astounding results have crowned with

84 the iran league quarterly \jah,

success the diggers. An article appearing in this number ex-
plains this in details, but the most important of them pertains
to the discovery of a body of archives of the Achsemenian em-
perors. They comprise 20,000 clay tablets in cuneiform writing,
and may reveal facts of the greatest historical value, besides
supplying considerable addition to the pure Achasmenian
vocabulary. Another great discovery is of two inscriptional
plates, one of gold and the other of silver, which lay buried in
the foundations of the Throne-room of Darius the Great at

Sir Aurel Stein, the great explorer, spent two seasons

Ray and Baikh exal3Qining early sites in Eastern and

Southern Persia. At present he is exploring
South-west Persia and will conduct excavations to determine
the nature of some mounds there. But the greatest result
may be expected by the excavations which are going to start
now within and around the site of Ray, a later town which
arose on or about the ancient Phages. This noble city was
the seat of the great Zoroastrian pontificate of most ancient
times. If the spade strikes on the true foundations of that
celebrated town, discoveries of the most profound interest
may take place then. Another great place to dig into would
be Balkh which occupies the site or environment of ancient
Bactria, so closely associated with the temporal and spiritual
history of the great times of Righteous Zarathushtra. We
hope the successor of King Nadir Shah will continue his

illustrious father's interest in this saored region.

* * •

Persian Consul General in India

H. E. Gholamreza Khan Nourzad has lately arrived in
India as the new Consul General for Persia.

H. E. Nourzad . „ ... .

He was for many years m diplomatic service
at home and abroad, and has already achieved great succesB in


the editor's notes


all his employments. A. letter of congratulations from the Iran
League, had brought the following kind reply from him

24, Firozshah Road,
No. 1094 New Delhi, the 21st November 1933.

The Secretary,

The Iran League,


Dear Sir,

I am very thankful to you for your kind letter of the 11th
November 1933. It is more the welcome, because it affords me
an opportunity to thank you and your League for all that you
have done, and still continue to do, in the way of creating a sense
of real brotherhood between the Persians and the Parsees. The
valuable services rendered by the League for this cause are indeed
"worthy of every appreciation.

I wish you all success in your endeavours to strengthen the
bonds of friendship between the Persian nation and that of this
ancient land.

I have received a copy of your Journal, which, besides numer-
able learned articles, contains a wealth of information about
Persia and India, and their recent doings and developments.

Please enrol me as a subscriber to the Journal.

Yours faithfully,
(Sd.) Gr. E. Nourzad,

Consul G-eneral for Persia in India.
* * *

Persia and Her Neighbours

President Roosevelt and M. Litvinoff signed agreements
at Washington to mark Soviet Russia's recogni-

^Recognition by ^ ^ ^ g^^ ^ ^ fpUpwed

by the exchange of Ambassadors. This restora-
tion of normal relations between the two countries is expected
to result in annual trade worth fifty million dollars..


Almost simultaneously Sgr. Mussolini has expressed his
keen desire to see Russia come back into the
either°omity of European nations. Britain too is
anxious to come to an agreement with Russia
on all outstanding issues, and but for the Lena Gold Field
Company's item all remaining points have already been agreed
to. The trade difference with Persia too has been terminated
and a Soviet-Latvian Trade Agreement has been signed lately.

Thus Soviet aloofness from the rest of the world has
been gradually disappearing, and this will naturally lead to
toning down much of Soviet convictions.

The programme of the Second Five-Year Plan has now
been announced. At the close of 1937 the FlVe volume of Russian production is expected to
rise two and a half times what it was in 1932,
and nine times the pre-war rate. It is expected to construct
7000 miles of new railways and to complete the Yolgedon
canal. Agricultural output is expected to be doubled, acd motor
car production to increase by 8.30 per cent. There will also
be an increase of 50 per cent in the number of students.

Alongside is projected the gigantic chemical-metallurgical
combine near Sverdlovsk in the Central Urals. The estimated
cost would be 325 million roubles. Its output capacity will
be 440,000 tons of sulphuric acid and 220,000 tons of super-

One of the important items discussed by Sgr. Mussolini
with M. Litvinoff is said to be the Soviet-Japan
T?naion°"Japan tension. M. Molotov, President of the Council
of Commissars in Russia, in addressing an
important conference of the Soviet which met in connection
with the sixteenth anniversary of the Revolution, warned
Japan that Russia was aware of the wild schemes of some
Japanese statesmen to seize Siberia and the region near the
coast, and that she had sufficiently strengthened the Red Army
tp ensure complete destruction of the enemy. This is one more

[Iran League Quarterly.

Sir Cusrow BT> Wadia has been a great industrialist, businessman and
philanthropist. Sir Cusrow and Sir Ness Wadia, jointly with their late revered
mother Baiji Jarbai, have spent more than the colossal sum of thirty million
rupees solely for the benefit of the Parsi Community, apart from the huge sums
they have given away in cosmopolitan charities. The splendid residential
colony of "Cusrow Baug'' in Bombay is the latest monument of their great
benefaction. Hence it is with regret that the Parsi Community hears of
Sir Cusrow's retirement from Bombay and going to Europe for settling there.
He, however, carries with him their grateful remembrance and prayers for his
health and happiness. He belongs to the family of the great Master Builders
who supplied fleets of men-of-war and merchantmen to the British Government.

Sir Hormusji C. D- Adenvala, the venerable Chairman of the Iran League, has returned to India after
a grave illness in England. This esteemed member of the Community was greeted with genuine pleasure
by friends and admirers when he stepped on the shore of Bombay on 15th February 193i.


the editor's notes


indication of the growing tension between these two powers.
Japan too is feverishly strengthening her position, and some
not very distant day the world will awake to hear the tumult
of war. Persia has every cause to be forewarned and act with

the greatest caution when she feels the pull of the war.

* * *


Krijanowsky, the organiser of the five-year plan in Russia,
had lately met Ismet Pasha at Angora. This
plan. e " r has given rise to the rumour that Turkey will
soon announce a Ten-Year Plan. The official
press has been discussing the advantages of planned work
and the industrialisation of the country, and indicating that the
rumour is probably correct.

All encouragement seems to be given to sports in Turkey.

Very recently we read of soccer being much in

Soccer in Turkey J °

favour in the country. The Turks are said to
have a natural aptitude for the game and with proper training

and practice, hope to compete with the best teams in the world.
* * *


Iraq sent out lately a Ministerial Mission to England.

Yassin Pasha al-Hashimi, who was its head,
tot? England'' lately explained in the Iraq Mejliss the purpose
and work of the Mission.

Among other things it had discussed the conditions on
which a loan could be raised in England if the Iraq Govern-
ment chose to float it. The Mission had also dealt with the
possibility of establishing an Iraqi State Bank, and the
future of the Iraq railways. There was however a party ia
the Mejliss which did not appreciate the Mission's work.

88 the iran league quarterly [Jan.

The Baghdad Airport presents busy scenes nowadays. Its

Baghdad Airport re<^ burning flares and landing floodlight

and flaming Neon beacon render great service
to aircraft visiting this port. The Iraqians are also having
greater air-mail facilities now, and can send their mail by air
up to 3275 miles without any surcharge. The maximum
weight of letters which may be so carried would be ten grammes.

There took place lately an important addition to Iraq's
aerial fleet. Two troop-carrying machines
Additions1 Fleet capable of taking 22 fully armed men over a
distance of 800 miles at 130 miles per hour,
have joined the 70th Bomber Squadron. The present type
is fitted with improved engines and can lift 1500 lbs. more load
than before, and possesses greater cruising speed.

A bill has been recently introduced in the Iraqi Mejliss
for compelling the Iraqis to receive a ten years
ury^erlice7 Mlh military training, divided into three stages of
about two, four and four years respectively with
some variations in the different branches.

The Assyrians have lived in their present homes from times
immemorial, and it is therefore a pity that they
ABByTiaM°m° f°F are shortly to be divested of their ancient
domicile and deported to distant Brazil.
Perhaps this will end their troubles of later days and open a
new life of prosperity and happiness. It need not be added
however that both the Iraqian Government and the League
of Nations have broken an ancient and sacred principle in
this case.

* * *

As in Iraq, in Afghanistan too, the change on the throne
has not altered the course of progress. The
avenged Murder murderers of Nadirshah and their instigators
and accomplices have paid a deterrent penalty
for their crime. Bayonetting the criminal may look a


the editor's notes


barbarous practice to outsiders but that indicates the existence
of elements in Afghan population which cannot perhaps be
tamed by milder means.

Soon after the news of the murder of the Shah of Afgha-
nistan had arrived here representatives of the
ConfToienc^vIS'0 Iran League had waited on the Afghan Consul
in Bombay to offer condolences, and requested
him to convey them to His Majesty's Government and family.
Due acknowledgment was made of this act of good-will.

The country's progress goes on as planned by the late King.

The recent work includes the opening of the

Extension of tit t

Telephone and telephone and telegraph lines between Kandahar
Telegraph Lines ^^ Herat. Thus the capital has telegraphic

connections with all important towns in the kingdom excepting
some three or four which are served by wireless. The new
line in hand is that between Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif of

which only a small portion remains to be completed.

* * *


Immense loss of life, property and crops, has been caused
by the great earthquake in the Bihar province
quakeGreat Earth" and the adjacent country. The first practical
help was rendered in a munificent way by Tata
Company from Jamshedpur, and the Parsis have made prince-
ly donations for the great work of relief.

The Joint Select Committee which sat on deliberation on

, the White Paper has completed its work and
P r o g r e is s of r r

Periiminaries of the Indian delegates have returned home. The
members of the Committee had an opportunity
of examining the Secretary of State for India who was thus
enabled to explain matters exhaustively. The India Bill will
therefore be now formulated and presented before the British
Parliament. India has received the results so far with a
mixed feeling, but this is not so excited as it used to be before.
Still an attempt is being made to call an All Parties Conference
in India to examine them*


the iran league quarterly

Mr. Gandhi is devoting his whole attention to Harijan
work at present. He is now touring India lor

Mr. Gandhi's ,. , . .

Movements cultivating his generous views m the masses

and collecting funds for the Harijan uplift.
The Sanatanists or the orthodox section of the Hindu commu-
nity, are offering him some resistance. One thinks that while
it is fair to remove at once all the disabilities imposed on the
Harijans by the Hindu community, it is not a wise course to
compel throwing open all Hindu temples to the Harijans.
This unnecessarily divides the Hindu community within
itself. The right course would be to cultivate liberal views
by gradual and natural process, and in the meantime to open
new temples and other institutions for the Harijans.

The industrial situation is not yet clear; but by having
come to certain agreements with Lancashire
sUiuationndaStnal and Japan, the Indian industries may get some
prosperity if they make an honest endeavour
to work their opportunities. Division of work and larger and
freer fields for marketing products should be a wiser plan
than unscrupulous competition or artificial support.

As regards the textile industry Bombay mills are daily
closing down while Ahmedabad mills are
Bombay's Ruin °f prospering and multiplying. There have been
certain inherent flaws in the Bombay system,
and this result may partially be due to them ; but one cannot
therefore forget the part played by some leaders in destroying
the industry, trade and prosperity of Bombay with a view to
help Ahmedabad in which some of them apparently had per-
sonal interests.

* * *

Recent Losses

Parsi losses by death were again heavy during the last
quarter. Principal among these was that of
Bhivnag^ee0herji Sir Mancherji Bhavnaggree. He had twice
entered the British Parliament as an elected


the editor's notes


member; and when there, he had done services to his
countrymen according to his honest convictions.

While in England, he had taken keen interest in his
correligionists in Persia, and during those early days when
Nasiruddinshah, the Shah of Persia, had visited England he,
with late Mr. Dadabhoy Naoroji, had taken a leading part in
presenting to the Shah the case of the Zoroastrians in Persia
and impressing on him their claims to fair treatment.

He always evinced interest in his countrymen, and was
a respected and useful leader of the Zoroastrian community
in Europe.

Another Parsi who passed away during this time was
Mr. Behramji Naoroji Gamadia who was not
Gamadiahramil N' only a big landowner and merchant of Bombay,
but played as active and useful a part in the
affairs of the city as of his community. There was hardly
a Parsi charity with which his name was not associated in its

Among other losses were those of Mr. K. B. Marzban, the
great educationist of British India, Dr. K E.

Other Losses

Dadachanji, the Father of the City Corporation
of Bombay, Khan Bahadur Pirozeshah Eustomji Vakharia,
a leading cotton merchant of Broach, and Mr. B. N. Barjorji
of Rangoon. Indeed the community is sorry to lose such

useful members.

* * *

India's Grand Old Man
Ingratitude op the Nation

In these days of constant public turmoil when various
hostile interests are pulling their own ways,
the name of Dadabhoy Naoroji, the Grand
Old Man of India, is seldom remembered. His
was a pure disinterested life of public service in which
all other interests were drowned, and which throbbed with the


the iran league quarterly


real love of the mother country. A few honest people are
keeping fresh his memory by annual functions in his honour;
but the nation as a whole has been almost ungrateful to
the country's greatest son who first raised in them the hope
of Swaraj and taught them the right and constitutional
methods for gaining it. A great national monument has yet
remained to be dedicated to him as the " Temple of National
Liberty." A descendent of the Grand Old Man has however
presented a bronze statue to his native town of Navsari, where

it was recently unveiled by H. H. the Gaekwar of Baroda.

* * *

International Value of Agriculture

The Sind Agricultural Scheme for the Parsis has not yet
matured though we hear that there were 179
ptSi Youth and applications for the twenty holdings offered.

If this is a real indication of the Parsi youth's
craving for the soil, it ought to be regarded as a happy sign.
We had alluded in the last number to the great value set on
agriculture in a nation's life, and a proof of it has been forth-
coming in recent international affairs. In agreeing to receive
the Assyrians as colonists in Brazil, the government of that
country has stipulated that these immigrants would be
admitted only if they were agriculturists. Craftsmen and
artisans too might be welcome colonists perhaps; but we hope
the Parsis will understand soon that matriculates, graduates

and clerks have the lowest value in international estimation.
* * *

Sir Hormusji C. D. Adenvala

Sir Hormusji Adenvala is a respected elder of the Parsi
Community which holds him in great esteem
LeaderEeBpect0d for his sterling qualities. It was therefore
with a great concern that it heard of his illness
in England. Prayers for his speedy recovery were therefore
offered under the auspices of the Iran League, the Jashan
Committee, the Grant Road Association andthe Physical Culture


the editor's notes


League, and a message of good will was sent to him by the
Iran League. We are glad to hear that he is being restored

to health and hopes to sail for India soon.

* # *

Bai Motlibai Wadia Home fob Parsi Women

We have constantly been hearing the cry against misdireo-
Cauaea Sapping Parsi Charity in the baneful system of

Comm°unity0fThe dole-giving which has done so much in sapping
Remedy ^ moraie 0f the community. People therefore

have heard with some relief, that N. M. Wadia Trustees have
taken a step in the right direction in opening a home for
destitute Parsi women. Lady Cowasji Jehangir (Jr.), Sir
Shapoorji Billimoria, and Mr. and Mrs. R. P. Masani have
been taking a leading part in the scheme, and the Institute
is placed in charge of two experienced supervisors. It is hoped
to provide suitable work for every inmate, for fifty of whom
provision is made in the home at present.

As the inmates will be selected from women living on
doles, the Trustees will have the opportunity
Chattytl0n °f to know how many of these would be willing
workers. They wilLthus be able to mark out
the real unemployed from the habitual beggars among the
women living on doles. This will enable them to regulate
charity and discourage all idleness.

If the experiment is successful the Trustees contemplate

extending the institution and also providing a similar one
for males.

* * *

Sir Cusrow Wadia

We hear with regret the retirement of Sir Cusrow Wadia
from Bombay's business life, and his intended
FamiiyV umficent settlement in England and France. The Parsi
settlement in Colaba which is being raised to
commemorate his name, will keep his memory always fresh here.


the iran league quarterly

t Jan.

The Parsis and the general community in Bombay remember
the benefits conferred on Bombay by Sir Ness and Sir Cusrow
Wadia, and their late revered mother through their various

munificent charities.

* * *

Lieut.-Colonel Meherwan S. Irani, I.M.S.

Among the few Persian Zoroastrians who have attained
to high office in British India, Lieut.-Colonel M. S. Irani has been the most useful and most
well-known. After he had qualified for Indian
Medical Service, he was posted with a regiment in India,
and thus started a brilliant record of service. He was
subsequently put on plague duty in the Punjab where he did his
work so well that the Governor of the Punjab extolled his
services in a darbar he held.

His subsequent services were with the Expeditionary
Force in the Aden Hinterland during the Great War, and in
charge of some military hospitals in India, and then in the
civil hospitals in a number of towns here. He was then sent
with Sir Gilbert Clayton on a diplomatic mission to Yemen,
especially owing to his influence with the Arab Sultans and
Shaikhs there, and his great mastery over the Arabic tongue.
The Arab Sultans and Shaikhs and their families took full and
confiding advantage of his professional services. The Sultan
of Lahej recognized them with the most precious gifts.

In 1926 he had been invited to attend the coronation
oelebration in Teheran where the Shah had shown him all
consideration and presented him the Coronation Medal with
his own hands.

His last post as Superintendent of Matheran made him
the most popular and well-known figure on
Wlld this side. During his long term of office here
he had shot twenty-four tigers in the valleys
around, and so won the blessings of the poor people inhabit-
ing them. During this interval he had the distinction of


the editor's notes


also being posted as Acting Surgeon General in the Bombay
Presidency. We have little doubt that his life will be no less
active and beneficial than this after his retirement from Govern-
ment service.

Bombay Medical service had in Khan Bahadur Pirozeshah
Modest Public P. Balsara a benevolent and popular member. He had been variously helpful to the general
Balsara community in all places where he had been

posted as Medical Officer. His recent retirement has there-
fore brought a distinct loss to the service.

* * *

Parsi Youth in Aerial Training

Some time back Mr. K. M. Anklesaria returned to India
„ „ , qualified as holder of Aviator's and Ground

New Members

Engineer's licences in Aeronautics. He had
gone through long and varied training in England, and won
much praise for his great successes there.

Two Parsi youths, Temurasp H. Dastur and J. B. Patel
flew to England in a light machine of their own and caused
surprise when they unexpectelly alighted at Croydon. Mr.
Bastur intends studying higher courses in the Air Service
Training College at Hamble in Southampton, and Mr. Patel
intends qualifying for Pilot's " B " License.

Mr. Nariman Rustomji of Colombo has obtained an "A"
Class Certificate in Aviation and is qualifying for the " B"
Commercial License and Ground Engineering.

Pilot Officer Aspi M. Engineer intends competing for the
Wonsworth Trophy in the air race for a solo
Y*uthiti(WlS °f flight from England to Australia which will
take place in October next. Mr. Nazir, another
young Parsi aviator, hopes to join him.


the iran league quarterly

[Jans April.

Regent Parsi Achievement

The appointment of Khan Bahadur D. B. Cooper as
Minister for Local Self-Government in the
•nd^om^rs*8 Bombay Governor's Council has been hailed
with pleasure both by Hindu and Moslem
leaders. Equally welcome has been the appointment of Mr.
N. J. Wadia as Judge of the Bombay High Court.

Mr. J. B. Bomon-Eehram has been awarded a Knighthood
and Khan Bahadur M. N. Mehta a C.I E. for their public services.

Mr. H. P. Mody is re-elected Bombay Millowners' Chair-
man, and Messrs. Jam shed N. Mehta and Jebangir Munshi
have been elected Mayors respectively of Karachi and Rangoon.

H. E. H. the Nizam has bestowed the insignia of nobility
of " Nawab Yar Jang Bahadur" on Mr. Dossabhoy N.
Chinoy and Br. Shawakshah, I.M.S.

Prof. Phiroze E. Dastur, Reader in English in Allahabad
University, received its D.Litt. degree for

From the Aca- n • • i i ■ • i

demies having done original work m the subject

of Old English. And Mr. E. A. Contractor has

been called to the Ear in England, besides obtaining the B.Sc.

and B.Com. degrees there.

Mr. Manek F. Mulla has lately returned from Europe
after having qualified in France and England as Infirmier
Masseur and Chiropodist.

Mrs. Manibai Nariman of Bareilly in U. P. has been
appointed a Magistrate there, and Mrs. Gulbai
^Woman Achieve- pegaj ag Administrator of the Municipal Board

in Karachi. They provide instances of Parsi
women talent in public services.

We hope this will be taken as a fine quarterly record of
a microscopic community in India whose main reliance is on
self-help only*


Lecture by Prof. Poure-Davoud

[Some days ago when Mr. Hoshang T. Anklesaria, Secre-
tary of the Rahnuma-i Mazdayasnan Sabha, asked ma to
deliver a lecture here, I very willingly acceded to his request
for two reasons :—

Firstly : because I would indeed be happy to speak on a
subject which to my mind is the very essence of the religion
of Zarathustra, in a Society which the followers of the great
Prophet of Iran had established to guide their co-religionists
in the footsteps of the Prophet and on the path the Prophet
had laid down.

Secondly: my friendship of long standing, with Mr,
Hoshang Anklesaria. He hag printed all my works with such
great enthusiasm and careful attention that I am prompted to
fulfil his wish and I am sure he will continue his help in

Effect of Zarathustra's Teachings on Iranian Character

You all being the true followers of Zarathustra
you must be knowing all his teachings about Truth. I
am therefore speaking on a subject which you all know or
should know. But as it is never enough to gaze one e or twice
at all things that are good and beautiful, so you will excuse
me if I, to-day, speak on this well-known subject as it is the
very foundation and source of our great religion.

To-day I want to show what remarkable effects the
teachings of Zarathustra had on the Iranian people and their

* The lecture was delivered under the auspices of the Rahaurai Sabha, Cara^
Oriental Institute Hall, Bombay, on 11th December 1933,


the iran league quarterly


character. One of these effects, specially the Iranian ideal
and high sense of Truth, was the direct result of the
Zoroastrian religion.

For Truth, the word 'Asa' -"aa.-" is used in the Avesta.
Besides this meaning it has other meanings too, such as
" righteousness," " holiness," " the immutable law of cosmic
order and harmony," etc. This word corresponds to the
Sanskrit word 'rW the synonym of which is 'Dharma.' This
word is found in the Achsemenian times in the form 'Arta,'
which forma part of the compound proper noun 'Artakhsthra,'
the Greek 'Arta Xerxes' and the modern ' Ardasir' meaning " a
good or righteous ruler." There were three Achgemenian kings
bearing this name. In the Gathas, which are Zarathustra's
own songs and of which only a very small portion of 5560
words exists today, this word is repeated 180 times. In other
portions of the Avesta, it is repeated innumerable times.

The Propound Meaning of Asa

In the Gathas it seems that 'Asa' or Truth, is the first
attribute of Ahura Mazda and is always spoken of as such;
whilst in the later Avesta 1 Vohu Manah,' " the

Good Mind" becomes the first attribute and the second rank is
given to Asa.

The great ideal and mission of the Prophet Zarathustra
was to bring the Truth, the Ultimate Reality, from Ahura
Mazda, and teach and offer this principle of Truth to the
whole of mankind. In Yasna 28, 5, Zarathustra intensely
desires to realise this Truth and reach it ultimately and says :
" Oh Asa when shall I realize thee." In Yasna 49,3, Zarathus-
tra says: "Oar religion is based on Truth, therefore it is good
and beneficent, whilst the religion of the wicked is based on false-
hood ; therefore it is evil and injurious." In Yasna Ha 72, 11,
it is said:

" There is only one path and that is the path of Truth;
all other paths are not the (right) paths."

1934] conception of truth in the z0r0a8tbian religion §9

Truth-Seeking the Goal of the Zarathustrian

The Gathas are full of passages where intense desire is
shown by Zarathustra to know, realise and meet with Aia, the
Truth. According to Zoroastrianism, this attaining to Asa
or the Realisation of Truth is the ultimate goal of all human
beings just as the Nirvana is the aim of all good Buddhists.
In order to reach this ultimate ideal, one has to fight for Truth
and fortify it and oppose and vanquish all lies arid falsehoods.
So in Yasna 44, 14, Zarathustra desires to hand over the
4 Druj,' i.e., " Lie and falsehood," into the hands of Asa, i.e.y
Truth. The 'Asavant is one who has reached this
extreme goal of Truth. In our holy scriptures, 'Aesma,'
is often the opposite of Asa, Truth; in modern
Persian it is j^ii, meaning anger and wrath. It is described as
the worst monster. In the Avesta the real synonym of this
word is untruth. The word ^ 'druj' is used for untruth, the
corresponding Sanskrit word is 'druh.' The same word is found
in all the European languages : just as German " Trug", French
" True", and English u Trick," whilst the word has become
£i>j in the Persian language. Also 'dregvant'is oae

who has inclination towards untruth.

This word 'Asa', when used with the superlative adjective
'vahista , means " the Best Truth." In the later
Avesta it is considered as the second Amesaspend, Ardibehesta,
who is the second assistant of Ahura Mazda.

" Best Righteousness " the Name of God

Speaking on the Zoroastrian religion, Plutarch (46-125
A.D.) says that Ahura Mazda created six deities. He
translated their names into the Greek language, the translation
of the second being " the Best Righteousness." This is surely
the translation and meaning of Asa Vahista. It must be
remembered here that Plutarch took his reports from the
book of Phillipina of Theopompus, who was a contemporary
of Philip and Alexander, in the fourth century


the iran league quarterly

Zarathustra, in his Gathas, Yasna 83,3, calls paradise to be
" the House of Truth," and in Yasna 51, 14, calls hell to be
"the House of Lies." Explaining the law of rewards and
retribution in Yasna 51, 9, Zarathustra, says that " the
untruthful will receive their severe punishment and the truthful
their sweet reward."

In the Gathas, Yasna 44, 3, Zarathustra calls Ahura
Mazda as " the Father of Asa," i.e., Truth.

The well-known Zoroastrian formula 'Asem' Vohu, whioh
is so often recited by a Par si throughout the day, has the
following meaning:—" Truth is the best virtue; (it is the cause of)
happiness. True happiness is for him who is truthful and
desires the Best Truth."

In the Asi Yast, 18, it is said that Zarathustra was the
first man who recited the 'Asem Vohu' or "the praise of
Truth." The same idea is mentioned in the Fravardin Yast,
89, implying thereby that Zarathustra was the first amongst
mankind to realise the value of truth as a practical guide to a
happy life in this world and the next.

Love op Truth Inspired Glorious Deeds in the Iranian

Zarathustra and his followers praised this great virtue of
Truth so much and denounced the harmful vice of untruth so
severely that in the minds of the people Truth took a beautiful
form like that of a beautiful angel, whom everyone strived to
approach and adore. On the contrary, the monstrous harmful
untruth took the form of an ugly demon whom everyone should
desire to avoid and vanquish. The reflections of this teaching
are to be seen in the old Persian history, which forms a chapter
written in letters of gold in the history of the world.

Glorification of Truth


PK* NO. 42*83.



3934] conception of truth in tbe zoroa stria n religion 101

The Greek classical writers, being the adversaries of
Persia, did not hesitate to write many things against her and
sometimes wrote daring lies; yet they were not able to give a
wrong colour to this great character of the Persians of speaking
the truth, which was commonly known everywhere.

Herodotus, who lived in the 5th century B.C., wrote: " Their
(i.e., of the Persians) sons are carefully instructed from their
fifth to their twentieth year, in three things alone, to ride,
to draw the bow and to speak the truth." Of these three
qualities, we can say that the Persians have retained the first
two qualities intact and they are always good riders and good
soldiers ; as to the third they have become like all the other
people of the world. How the Parsis have fared, the Parsis
know best. The same historian wrote further: "To the
Iranians lie is the biggest shame, and after that is indebtedness
because whosoever incurs debt is compelled to speak some
untruth by making false promises."

The Iranian's High Regard for Truth

Another Greek writer, Plutarch, in the first century A.D.,
maintaining the same report makes a slight change and says:
" Indebtedness is the first great shame and lie is the second."

Hermodorus, a disciple of Plato, speaking of the Zoroastri-
an religion says : " That the most just man, the Magus (i.e., the
Zoroastrian priest) teaches the boys to be truthful throughout
life." The Iranians were so much afraid of falsehood that they
avoided everything which could cause them to speak untruth.
Thus Herodotus says that they avoided trade and commerce and
mercantile business life, so as to be able to avoid all untruths.
According to the report of Herodotus, when Cyrus the Great
conquered the whole of Asia Minor and especially Sardis, the
capital of Lydia, Greece came into direct danger. The Spar-
tans, the brave and sportive people of Greece, sent a messenger
to Cyrus that Greece should not be touched and if he did so,
they would be prepared to defend it with all their strength.

102 the iran league quarterly'april

Gyrus asked the Greeks around him about these impudent
Spartans, their vocation and their strength. Having received
the information about the Spartans, he said that he was never
afraid of the people who gathered in the middle of a town
in a market place and carried on trade and business and thus
deceived others for their own interest. The same writer
wrote that the Iranians never gave a promise that they could
not fulfil.

Holt Life op the Zarathustrian Clergy

The Greek philosopher Dio Chrysostomos, who lived in the
first century A.D., speaking about the Zoroastrian priests, the
Magi, said that they were the persons who were distinguished
for their truthfulness. He further said that after Zarathustra
had conferred with the Godhead on the mountain oi flame and
h ad acquired the inner vision, he did not meet all the people
but only those whose nature was inclined towards Truth.

Before Dio Chrysostomos, Nikolaus of Damascus, who
lived in the last century before Christ, said that Cyrus the
founder of the Achsemenian dynasty was instructed by the
Magians in Justice and Truth.

Porphyrius, the philosopher of the third century A.C., who
was born in Syria and died in Eome, writing in his book
on the History of Philosophy, the biography of Pythagoras,
who was certainly one of the greatest wise men of Greece
and who had come into close contact with the Zoroastrian
teachings, said: " Pythagoras before all other things admonished
people to be truthful; because men can only be like God
through Truth, just as he learnt from the Magians, that God
whom they called Ormazd, had His body like Light and His
Soul like Truth."

The Persian's Wrath for Lie

Cambyses, the second king of the Achaemenians, the son
of Cyrud, conquered Egypt and its capital Memphis came into
his hands in 525 B.C. He then directed his army to Nubia.

1934] conception of truth in the zoroastrian religion 103

After some victories, losing a part of his army in the sandy
d'esert of Nubia, he returned to Memphis and saw the whole city
illumined in full festival. He called some eminent Egyptians
and told them that when he had first come to the city there
was no illumination, but now did they rejoice over the loss of a
jj&rt of his army in Nubia, and did they illumine the city for
that purpose ? The Egyptians replied that they were waiting
sihce a long time for the appearance of the God Apis. Now as
£t Calf was born with the marks on the forehead and the back, it
hdd given them the occasion for that illumination and feasting.
Cambyses could riot believe this false pretext and told them that
they lied and that death was the reward of falsehood.

The Great Darius Worshipped Truth

Again wb have a beautiful testimony of the value attached
tti Truth by the Persians from the writing of the third Ach®-
menian Emperor, Darius the Great. In his inscriptions on
Behistun, which is the largest rock inscription in the world,
Darius says : "Since the expedition of Cambyses to Egypt, people
began to be hostile, and in Media, Persia and other countries,
falsehood increased and everyone with false pretensions desired
to revolt and be independent." Darius mentions nine such
pretenders who were punished with death for their
crime of treason and falsehood. After mentioning all his
victories, Darius says: " Thou who wilt be king after me,
specially abstain from the lie. If thou wishest, that thy
cbuntry enjoy stability, whosoever speaketh untruth, subject him
to severe punishment." How well would it be for all nations to
adopt this practice now ? After some lines, he says further:
" With the help of Ahura Mazda I have accomplished many
Other deeds but all are not engraved in this inscription, only for
this reason that afterwards everyone who reads this, should not
consider my words as exaggeration, and should believe all these
as truth and should not imagine that anything was untrue.
Whatever I say believe. Ahura Mazda and his Angels helped
me, because neither I nor my family were revengeful, tyrannous


the iban league quarterly [janrapil

and untruthful." In another place he eays: "Thou who
wilt be king after me, do not keep friendship of those who are
liars and tyrants and punish them severely."

Zarathustra's Devotion to Truth

If we now go from the West of Persia to the South, to
another inscription of the same Emperor in Persepolis, we see
there how this great and powerful king of kings, before whom
the whole world was trembling, was himself afraid of this
demon of falsehood. In his inscription at Persepolis we read:
" Ahura Mazda and the angels help me. May Ahura Mazda
protect this country from fiends, famine and falsehood."
It is again repeated: " This realm may be protected against the
hostile army, famine and the lie."

We will now give a reference from the Yendidad which
was the legal and sanitary code of the Zoroastrian priesthood.
In its nineteenth chapter there is a short account of the struggle
of the Evil Spirit to win over Zarathustra to the side of
falsehood. All the evil forces work against him and in the end
try to bribe him by offering him the sovereignty of the whole
world, but Zarathustra spurns all temptations, sticks to the
Path of Truth and says : " If my bones separate, if my life be
extinguished, if my conscience fails, even then I will never
forsake the good Path of Truth."

How the Amesa Spentas Function

In the Gathas, Asa or Truth, is primarily an attribute of
Ahura Mazda, but it has also been used as the name of an
arch-angel, and when the word is repeated in the same stanza
with different meanings, it presents great difficulties for
translation. In the later Avesta, it has decidedly taken the
shape of an arch-angel, 'Ardibehest' 'Asavahista', and is
considered one of the group of the seven Amesaspends, the


PH- NQ. 42489



" Immortal Holy Spirits," Two distinct functions are allotted
to each of them, one material or concrete function and the
other spiritual or abstraot and ethical function. The material
function of Asa is the guardianship of fire and its spiritual
function is the guardianship of Truth and Righteousness.

Zarathustra's Holy Faith made IjIan Better and
Nobler than the Rest of the World

From the historical evidences and faots mentioned above we
have seen that the Iranians were very steadfast to Truth. This
trait of character was not the direct outcome of the civiliza-
tion then flourishing. Civilization and truth do not always go
together. We have many witnesses to this fact. If it were so, all
the civilized nations of to-day would have been truthful and
the so-called most cultured people of Europe, would have been
pillars of Truth, but we all know, they are not. So this
Iranian trait of Truthfulness was the natural outcome, the
effect of the Zoroastrian Religion and culture on them ; and
verily the teachings of Zarathustra alone assisted in the forma-
tion of their magnificent character and sterling virtues.

Keeping Faith with even the Wicked, is a Saored Duty

Truth is closely connected with promise. In the
Zoroastrian Scriptures, a promise or a contract is emphatically
considered as sacred. We find beautiful enjoinment in
the Meher Yast where it is said : " 0 Spitama ! he who lieth
unto Mithra and breaketh his promise and knoweth not the
condition of fidelity, is verily a desolator of the land, and
the murderer of Truth. 0 Spitama I thou shalt not break the
promise given by thee, whether it be to a Mazda-yasna or to a
Daeva-yasna." This teaching as to the sanctity of a promise or
act was not a dead letter with the Iranians; because the classical
writers say that if once the hand is clapped by an Iranian,
his word is saored and he carries it out with religious fervpur
and with precision.


the iran league quarterly


Swearing was Disgusting to the Iranian

Adarbad Maraspend, High-priest of the whole of Iran, who
flourished in the reign of Shahpur, in 310-379 A.C., in his 'Pand-
Name' admonishes his readers not to swear. The prohibition
seems to rest on the oft-repeated characteristic of the ancient
Iranian, viz., to speak the truth and nothing but the truth, a
characteristic referred to by Herodotus, Xenophon, Strabo,
Plato and Nikolaus. To speak the truth was considered
as it were the inborn characteristic of an ancient Iranian. His
word was to be taken as true by the opposite party. It was
a slur upon his character if it was not and if in order to
support it he had to swear or to take an oath. If he yielded
and swore, he, as it were, showed his want of self-respect.
That being the view, an ancient Zoroastrian was prohibited
from taking an oath.

The American scholar Whitney, in his book " The Life and
Teachings of Zoroaster, the Great Persian," says that Zarathus-
tra in his admonitions and teachings, so mucjti insisted upon
the virtue of Truth and relinquishment of lie, that even after go
many thousand years it had and has its effect on his iQllo.we^s,-

Saint Viraf's Condemnation of the Lie: Glo^y that
Shines on the Truthful

It will be interesting to speak here about a small well-
known Pahlavi book 'Arda Yiraf Name.' In this book the^e
is a description of Heaven and Hell, as seen by the righteous
Arda Yiraf in seven days. He was accompanied by the
angels Sarosh and Adar. As it is reported in the sanje
book, this ascension took place in the Sasanian period, but th#
book is written after the Arab invasion in the seventh century
A.C. It is rightly stated that the "Divine Comedy" of Dante La,
in imitation of this 'Arda Viraf Name.' The holy Arda Yiraf, in
his vision of Paradise, saw the delight and happiness of th.e;
truthful and righteous men, and the agony and suffering of the
wicked and the liars in his experience of hell.

1934] conception of truth in the zoroastrian religion 107

In the twelfth Chapter, Arda Viraf says that he saw in
heaven the souls of the truth-speaking persons. They were in
glorious light and full majesty. He felt this sight very beautiful
and glorious.

In the thirty-third Chapter he says that he saw in hell
soul of a man whose tongue was eaten up by worms. He
asked the cause of this punishment and the angels Sarosh and
Adar replied that it was the soul of a man who spoke many lies
in the material world and was thus the cause of injury and
harm to humanity.

In the fifty-first Chapter he says that he saw in hell soul
of a man in molten iron and he was told that it was the soul
of a man who gave false promises.

In the fifty-second Chapter he says that he saw in hell the
soul of a man being beaten with the axe and stones and arrows.
He was told that it was the soul of a man who broke his promises
given to Mazda-yasnas or Daeva-yasnas, whereas a promise
to a co-religionist or to an alien was equally sacred.

Truthful ^re the Bbaye

The old Iranian spirit of courage was partly due to this
high ideal of truth; and their virtue of truthfulness verily,
had an influence on their traits of valour and boldness.
We know that weakness is generally the cause of lie and false-
hood. A man of weak nature and character is incapable of
upholding his honour and asserting his right and he naturally
takes to lying as a shield in order to protect himself. We se§
examples of this psychological fact every day. In the las$;
great war the combatants had each their turn of success on
through cunning, diplomacy, deceit, hypocrisy and lie.

It will be interesting to note heie that Taimur Lang, the
Tartar conqueror of Persia in the fourteenth century A.C.,
was a bold and great soldier though cruel and ferocious like a
beast. He needed no protection from lie and falsehood, and sp.,
wa find on his seal the words " Truth is Salvation."


the iran league quarterly

[J an,-April

Our Holy Resolve

We will now close this discourse with Zarathustra's own
words. In Yasna 28, 4, he says: " As long as I have
strength and power, I will teaoh others to yearn for Truth."
So also in Yasna 33, 5, he says: " On the straight path of Truth
and Righteousness, Ahura Mazda resides."

My Zoroastrian brethren, this is your golden heritage. In
the various other pursuits of life, may you never forget to
transmit to your children this glorious message of your
glorious prophet. In the ebb and tide of life, in prosperity or
adversity, stick fast to this treasure which is yours, and you
will yet continue to be known all over the world as the true
followers of the Teacher of Truth.

E1Q00000000000S000000000000000 00000000000 000

s a

| Safest Investment which |

| Never Depreciates |

0 is ?


0 f!F S

a ur s



0 s


U For Particulars and Agency Terms 0

s 0

el 0


1 M V Merchant, I

0 0

H Branch Manager, 0


0 0


P. P. Balsara, M.A., LL.B.

Epoch-making Excavations

The last October issue of the " National Geographic
Magazine" of America,* contains a very interesting article
under the heading <£ Exploring the Secrets of Persepolis"
from the pen of Mr. Charles Breasted, Executive Secretary, the
Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. The article treats of
the epoch-making excavations carried on today at Persepolis, and
since Parsis and Persians will be interested to know what it
contains I am putting down here a summary of the article
together with some stray thoughts suggested to me by it.

Desire to know the Past

There is in man a desire to know the history of the past.
Man persists in that desire, and after Egypt, Syria, Babylonia
and Assyria having been excavated and explored we now have
the Persian history of years gone by revealed to us through
archaeology. This excavation at Persepolis has special
significance attached to it because it reveals to us the old
history of Persia at a time when its enlightened ruler H.I.M.
Reza Shah is busy with the Iranism movement of putting
Persia in the rank of the leading nations of the world through
bringing before the eyes of his subjects the grandeur and
majesty of her past.

Excavations in Persia

Uptil now the help which archaeology gave to the study of
Persian history was only based on the survey of the different
sites as they were found. Excavations were not allowed. But
in 1930 HI.M. Reza Shah, far-seeing and cultured as he is, saw

• Pp. 381-420.



the necessity of excavating the buried treasures of Persia and
gave permission for the same.

The Ancient Imperial Capital

Persepolis—city of Persia, because its real name is lost—
was chosen by the Oriental Institute of the University of
Chicago for excavation, and Dr. Ernst E. Herzfeld is the
leader of the expedition. Three assistants help Dr. Herzfeld.
The Ladies' House is now used as Staff Quarters and after the
excavation work is over it is proposed to house therein the
treasures found there.

Marvels op Persepolis

Persepolis stands in the dry sun-baked valley of Mervdasht,
38 miies north-east of Shiraz, from where the expedition gets
all its supplies. The expedition has succeeded in finding there,
among other things, the ruins ofpalaoes, tombs, ladies' chambers
and colossal statuary. On excavating the ruins it is found that
the architectural workmanship and sanitary arrangements of the
buildings thierc were perfect to the minutest details. Evidence
that Persepolis was gutted by fire, as told by Plutarch in his life
of Alexander, was found in the form of layers of ashes and
charcoal between palace walls. The fire destroyed only the
wooden roofs, beams and other wood-work, but the works of
stone remain to tell their story.

A Documental Treasure

Recently Dr. Herzfeld has uncovered a body of archives of
the Persian kings, contained in some 20,000 clay tablets
inscribed with cuneiform characters, a priceless treasure
indeed! What fascinating and important facts these tablets,
When translated, will lead to one cannot say at present. Can
these 20,000 clay tablets be the 20,000 volumes stated by
Darius in the Babylonian version of his Behistun inscription
to have b'een stored somewhere by him ? Will this discovery of
20,000 tablets open a new chapter in the history of Sid Persia ?


the ruins of persepolis


A Stone Age Village

Two miles south-west of Persepolis is discovered a Stone
Age village dating from about 4,COO B.C. Here are found
the first known windows of the world, stone relics such as
flint-knives, and the bones of animals used probably as food.
The walls of the houses of this village are painted with ochre.
Besides, some pottery is also found there. Until the discoveries
of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, in the Indus valley, Mesopota-
mia, lying along the lower reaches of the Euphrates and the
Tigris, was considered as the cradle of civilization. But the
Indus valley discoveries have shown that there existed an equal-
ly old, equally extensive and equally elaborated civilization
on the banks of the lower Indus. Between Mesopotamia and
India lies the Iranian plateau. In this plateau discoveries
are made which make it possible for enterprising minds to
believe that here was the original home of the inventors and
pioneers of our modern civilization. From the Iranian up-
lands these pioneers descended on the neighbouring river-lands
of India and Arabia, probably using native labour for executing
their great schemes. It is only when we assume an " Iranian
centre of distribution" that we can offer a reasonable explana-
tion of what is found at Ur, Kish, Susa, Mohenjo-daro and
Harappa. With all their differences, the mode of life in these
ancient cities was fundamentally the same.

Royal Interest

H.l.M. Reza Shah on inspecting the work of the expedition
said to Dr. Herzfeld, " You are doing a work of civilization
here, and I thank you", and indeed he deserves the thanks of
students of history and of all those who have the interest of
Persia at heart. It is a pity that the Parsis who give lacs
of rupees every year in charity can claim no share in this im-
portant work of excavating their buried past.


Vartan Melkonian, Baseah
Author of11 My Diary " and "Iraqi Home Medicine" etc. etc.

Newly Found Wealth of the Abadan Region

Abadan, a home of oil wealth, is known to Arabs as Jazirat-
ul-Khidr. It did not occupy formerly any importance geogra-
phically on account of its being a very small spot of habita-
tion ; and therefore, its name did not appear on geographical
maps and atlases of the world. But of late years it began to
grow in importance owing to its oil industry and the construc-
tion of railways and so on in the province. Since then it has
attracted the attention of the whole world towards it. It now
occupies a central position in oil business in the Persian com-
mercial world and its name has begun to appear on some maps
and charts.

A Legend

It would be interesting to give a legend concerning this
place, around which hangs an aroma of romance among the
Arabs of the island. This has consequently given birth to the
above appellation.

As a matter of fact, many years ago, Abadan underwent a
series of changes of manifold local and foreign importance and
interest. We need not enter into the details of these correlative
incidents, but we shall only review the tradition from which the
plaoe has derived its name. It is therefore quite appropriate to
analyse the name Jazirat-ul-Khidr and see what it means.

Kbidr Elias

Jazirat-ul-Khidr is an Arabic expresssion and means " The
Island of Khidr." Khidr is the name of a person, and he is
regarded in the Mohammedan world as a saint and a prophet,




who is believed to be alive and to live until the end of the world
when he will appear again on the day of the final judgment.
In Iraq he is generally known as " Khidr Elias." He is probably
Elijah, mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Kings.

A Miracle

It is related that long ago a man clad in rags appeared on
the right bank of the Bahmanshire Canal* and wished to cross
it, but there was no craft available for doing so. A little while
later, a mohaila (sailing vessel) came afloat and the man request-
ed the nakhoda (steersman) to take him across, but he would
not agree. The ragged man did not show the least sign of dis-
pleasure, but stretched his hands forward towards the mohaila,
and ordered it in a commanding voice to move towards him.
The mohaila obeyed the order instantly with the result that he
held the aachor of the vessel firmly, and with a pull drew the
craft with its crew out o£ water on to the ground a few yards
inland and disappeared in the wide. The crew were frightened
at the incident and eventually they left their boat and never
came baok.

The Raising of the Shrine

News of the incident spread on the four winds of the
country, and neighbouring cultivators hurried to the scene of
occurrence, who erected a muddy enclosure around the mohaila
in memory of the saint.

In course of time, the wooden parts of the craft entirely
perished under the burning rays of the sun ; so in 1501 A.D. the
inhabitants of the nearby villages who had a great regard and
esteem for Al-Khidr, made repairs to the enclosure which had
been dilapidated and also built there a room, where they kept
the anchor of the craft in memory of him. The entire work of
construction was supervised by a mason, oalled CJstadh Jo ma.

In 1646 A.D. when Abadan fell under the Ottoman rule,

* Situated on the north-east of A.badan town.


the iran league quarterly [ Jan.-April

news of the great incident was communicated to Suleiman the
"Magnificent", the then Sultan of Turkey, and he ordered for a
vaulted shrine to be erected immediately in memory of the

A. Seat op Pilgrimage

The order was put into execution and a small shrine with a
cupola was erected, the grappling-iron having been hung from
the inside top of the cupola in the shrine. On the exterior part
of the structure there is a stone, which bears to this day some
inscriptions that reveal certain facts about Al-Khidr.

From time to time, the building ha3 been extended and
repaired where necessary.

The Al-Khidr shrine perches to-day high up on a mound
in great pride of its past spiritual glory, at which worship
Arabs and Persians hailing from far and near. It is visited by
pilgrims in general and held in great reverence and esteem.


OBJECTS: To provide employment to unemployed
Parsis and to supply to general public unadulterated
finest Food stuffs, viz., Rice, Dal, Ghee, Dry Fruits,
Condiments, Vinegar, Rose Water, Tea, Coffee, best
Malabar Sandalwood, Singapore Incense, Himala-
yan Agar ; durable Cotton Goods for daily wear and
Persian Hats, etc., sold at most favourable rates.

Once tried always satisfied. A trial order will posi-
tively convince customers.



Kaikhosrow A. Fitter
Persia's Rapid Progress

What rapid and welcome advancements are being made
by Persia could easily be discerned from the recent visit in
Bombay Harbour of two Persian gunboats—" Palang" and
"Babr'\ In His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah the imperial
aud martial Iranian spirit is revived, and since he has ascended
the ancient throne of Persia in 1925, the rising sun of
regenerated Iran is shining brighter than ever.

His Imperial Majesty has raised a strong force and has
successfully subdued the turbulent wandering tribes in the
hinterland, and has spread tranquility and confiden ce in his
people, and perfect safety in travelling throughout his whole

Roads and Railways

For the transport facility of the country, His Imperial
Majesty has constructed good motor roads extending to
thousands of miles in all directions, and therefor e now it is easy
and comfortable to travel in safety by day as well as by night
over these roads by motor car.

In order to develop trade and commerce, he has under-
taken the huge-enterprise of constructing the great "Trans-
Persian Railway " of nearly 1000 miles in length, of which a
railroad of about 300 miles has already been completed.
This railway, running between the Caspian Sea in the north
and the Persian Gulf in the south, will no doubt play an
important part in the economic development of the ancient

h6 The iran league quarterly [3an.-April

Unencumbered Schemes
The Army and the Navy

What is really deserving of great credit for H. I, Majesty
is that all these schemes benefitting the Motherland will be
self-supporting. The Shah is averse to borrow foreign loans
and is desirous of carrying out all national improvements from
savings from the revenue of the country. The Pahlavi Persia
it seems is determined to build her Empire without under-
taking the burden of foreign loans. We are aware that just as
Persia has raised an efficient defensive land force to protect
her independence, she has also started her fleet in the Persian
Gulf to preserve her indepandence in the Persian waters
against foreign aggression, piracy and smuggling. Although
the present small fleet consisting only of six uptodate gun-
boats, is trifling, compared with the mighty fleets in the
West, it at least represents a symbol of Persia's independence,
and a praiseworthy nucleus of her future grand fleet.

Britain and the Gulf

The British Government was with honest intentions
policing for years past the Persian Gulf by her fleet to check
piracy, slavery, smuggling of arms and to proteot her trade in
the Gulf. The Pahlavi Persia it seems has res olved now to
relieve England in this direction with due gratitud e, and that
is why this small fleet has come into existence.

Persia's New Infant Fleet

These gunboats are of Italian make and the Persian
officers and crew thereon have received their practical
training from the Italians. There are only a very few Italian
engineers on these boats. This shows that Persia has
awakened thoroughly from her sleep of generations past, and
is trying her level best to come into the front rank of the
world's great countries. For many years past, the ardent

1984] a new chapter in the glorious history of iran 117

desire of the energetic Shah was to have a Persian fleet and
at last that desire has been fulfilled.

Persia's Long Foreshores

Persia possess a foreshore of thousands of miles, which if
utilized would wonderfully cultivate her maritime trade.
There was indeed to that effect an urgent necessity of good
and safe harbours, with piers where ships of heavy tonnage
could land and unload. With that idea in view the Shah is
now constructing an uptodate port at the head of the Persian
Gulf which is named " Bunder Shahpoor" after his Crown
Prince of that name. This is being constructed with the
guidance of expert Americans, and when ready will afford good
anchoring facility to big steamers for loading and unloading
of goods and passengers.

Bunder Shahpoor

In time to come, there is no doubt at all that Bunder
Shahpoor will be the " Gateway of Persia"; just as Bombay's
greatness and pre-eminence had their beginnings in a fisher-
men's village, so history would repeat itself in case of
Bunder Shahpoor.

Its Great Future

It is a fact that the Persian Government is desirous of
giving land free of charge on certain terms and conditions to
Persian subjects in the vicinity of Bunder Shahpoor. This is
a golden opportunity for far-sighted Persian Zoroastrians and
Parsi millionaires of India. This land will indeed be very
valuable in the near future, in the same way as the land
purchased in old Bombay by the forefathers of the Parsis
some generations ago proved afterwards. It is to be noted
that there is a distinct tendency of the price of land rising
every day in Persia.

h8 the iran league quarterly [Jan.'A^ril

Pebsian Wabseips in Indian Waters

The reason why the Persian warships are visiting India
is, that several ships of the British Fleet from Ceylon had
visited Persian Gulf some time ago. They were accorded a
splendid welcome by the new Persian Navy and now the return
visit is beicg paid by the Persian fleet. This is the first
occasion in the Persian history that after a thousand years
or so, the Persian Navy is visiting the western coast of
India and Colombo.

India's Welcome

Karachi was the first Indian port which the Persian
warships touched. We have been happy to note that the
Parsis of that city accorded a splendid welcome to the
Commander and officers of the Persian fleet. We sincerely hope
the Bombay Parsis will not lag behind and will follow suit in
their cordial welcome. We are sure when this fleet will
visit its last station Colombo the Parsis there also will give it a
hearty welcome,

While welcoming the " Babr " and " Palang" in the
Bombay harbour, we would also sincerely wish them on
departure a bon voyage, God speed and happy return to
Motherland to carry out their splendid work and to shed lustre
on her. May this small fleet be a nucleus of the future grand
fleet of Iran!

Payendeh bad Iran !



Telephone No. 24191.

Oil, Paint, Colour, Varnish, Brushes, Cement, &c.

70, Abdul Rehman Street, opp. Imperial Bank



The anniversary of the passing away of Mr. Ardeshirji
Reporter was solemnized on the 13th January in the hall of
Banaji Temple in Bombay, under the auspices of the Iran
League, the Irani Zoroastrian Anjuman and the Jashan
Committee. After prayers were said for his soul addresses
extolling his services were given when Mr. Faredun K.
Dadachanji, Solicitor, presided.

Mr. Sohrab Bulsara, referring to the fair chances Mr.
Ardeshirji had of settling in Bombay, extolled his self-
sacrifice in giving them up for services in the ancient father-
land. Those were not easy times, he continued, and great
wisdom and tact had to be exercised in manipulating matters.
It was in no small measure due to his wise management of
affairs that nothing untoward happened to our correligionists
in Iran during the turbulent times that followed the murder
of Nasiruddin Shah.

Mr. Ardeshirji's services were not confined to safeguarding
and advancing the interests of the Zoroastrians in Iran. He
had a much wider outlook, and he strove arduously to awaken
in the hearts of all Persians a sense of true patriotism, and
succeeded so well in that effort, that he became the nucleus
of a band of sincere and self-sacrificing men who have since
played a very important part in leading Iran to its present
happy and hopeful state through almost a hopeless condition
of things. Some day indeed one of his disoiples will write an
account of his silent but most fruitful services in the cause
of Iran's amelioration.

Mr. Ardeshirji was a most unassuming and quiet man,
and few people therefore knew the great work he had been
doing all the time of his long life of some forty years in Iran.
Luckily he has left his precious diaries behind him and it
\yould be the duty of the Parsi community and of those who


the iran league quarterly [J atl.'April

have benefitted so immensely by his services to have them
supplemented and published.

Mr. Bulsara suggested to the bodies which had assembled
on that day to have Mr. Ardeshirji's portraits placed in their
offices and in the institutions and temples of Iran. That
would not only do honour to that great man but would also
give inspiration to the youth of the community to follow in
his footsteps and to pursue the path of enterprise and public

Mr. Behramgore T. Anklesaria, in subscribing to all that
had been said before him, observed that he knew Mr. Ardeshir-
ji most intimately and so was in a position to know and
appreciate his great work in Iran. He was just contemplating,
Mr. Behramgore continued, to study law at the end of a
career of five years at the Medical College, when he was




Compiler— Mr. Fredoon K. Dadachanji, Solicitor.

Price :—Rs. 3-8 for Vol. I and Us. 3-12 for Vol. II. As. 8/-
reduetion to Members of the Iran League and
the Jashan Committee. V.P.P. As. 12/- extra.

The books have been published by the Seth Pestonjl Harker
Religious Literature Fund and are being sold at a nominal price
They cover 550 and 580 pages with illustrations and the Zoroastrian
spiritual and religious philosophy culled from the entire Avesta.
Further, the Gems gathered together in them are explained and
compared with other religions and religious and moral literature, and
the greatness of Zoroastrianism and similarities of other religions
therewith are exhaustively set out.

The books (pronounced by a noted Parsi Scholar : " the most
excellent reference books ") throw a new light on the Zoroastrian and
other religions and furnisheB a precious treasure to the writer, speaker,
teacher, thinker and the religiously inclined.

Apply :—The Secretary, The Iran League,

Kamar Bldg., Cowasji Patel Street, Fort, BOMBAY.


Ardeshirji reporter


selected to represent in Iran the Society for the Welfare of the
Irani Zoroastrians in Persia.

Mr. Ardeshirji's honest endeavour to fight superstition,
made him a little unpopular in Yezd. Still he stuck to his
post to the last and did a greal deal in removing it from all
Zoroastrian centres in Persia.

It was not generally known that Mr. Ardeshirji was the
Teheran correspondent of a leadiDg British daily. Besides
being a master of the Persian and English tongues, he also
knew quite very well Russian, German, French and Arabic
and had, by their means, read much on our holy religion.

Mr. Ardeshirji was deeply attached to Iranian ideals and
had all his life inspired them in others. This made him dear
to all Persian patriots who had great respect for his wisdom
which they constantly consulted. He had also intimately
mixed among various Iranian tribes including the Kurds
and the Bakhtiaris, among whom he had many admiring

Mr. Ardeshirji had done much for the liberation of
womenfolk in Persia from ignorance, superstition and sex
disabilities. Persia is already bearing wholesome fruit of
these great endeavours.

Mr. Dadachanji, the Chairman, in thanking the speakers,
said that two great Parsis had striven for eighty years to
raise the Zoroastrian Community and religion in Persia
from the dangers of extinction, and the share of this great
work for the last forty strenuous years, had fallen on Mr.
Ardeshirji. Our gratitude to them both is great, and their
names will be written in letters of gold in all future Parsi
histories. Our gratitude can be expressed by continuing
their great and good work. May their souls rest in peace!

The gathering dispersed after voting thanks to the chair.


The anniversary of the death of Manekji Hataria was
solemnized on the 11th February in Banaji's Temple, when
Mr. Sorab Wadia had presided.

Mr. P. P. Bharucha, the Secretary of the Irani Zartoshti
Anjuman, recalled the great services of Manekji in having
saved from extinction the Zoroastrian Community in Iran.
He strenuously worked, Mr. Bharucha said, to have all their
disabilities removed and to provide them with means of uplift.
An additional benefit conferred by Seth Manekji on the
Community was the gift of his very valuable library.

An Appeal to Irani Zoroastrians not to forget Their Duty

Khan Sahib Manek Dadachanji followed, and said that he
hoped Manekji's death anniversaries of the future will be
solemnized by increasing congregations. The Khan Sahib
appealed to the Irani Zoroastrians not to be misguided by
outsiders who were aliens to the spirit of our holy religion
and were therefore preaching misleading beliefs to them. He
hoped the present Irani Zoroastrians were not going to give up
that for which their forefathers had made huge sacrifices viz.,
their staunch adherence to the tenets and practices of their
holy faith.

Manekji's Supreme Work

Mr. Sorab Wadia, in speaking from the chair, said that
Manekji's mission had a peculiar duty to perform. Instead of
spreading the holy gospel of Zarathushtra he had to prevent
its extinction from the hearts of the last small band of his
adherents in Iran. He had striven hard for full forty years
and gained his object by perseverance, wisdom, sympathy and
sacrifice. At the time when oppression had reduced their
numbers to a paltry seven thousand, Seth Manekji went to
their help and not only saved them from extinction but provid-
ed for their growth and expansion by a life of prosperity and

1934] manekji hatabia, the great missionary 123

Fresh Blood needed in Wobk

Manekji had undertaken that great mission under the
Society for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Zoroastrians
in Persia. That body had then and afterwards done really a
memorable service to that community, but was less efficient
now. Mr. Wadia therefore agreed with Mr. Behramgore's views
expressed at the death anniversary of Ardeshirji Reporter that
youthful blood should be incorporated in that body.

Two Interesting and Inspiring Biographies

Two great Parsis, Mr. Wadia continued, had made history
of eighty years in Iran by herculean exertions, manly persis-
tence and unflinching energy. It is therefore due to them both,
he said, to have their interesting and inspiring biographies
prepared and published under the auspices of the three bodies
interested in our correligionsts in Iran.

DuTiES of Highly Placed Youths

Mr. Jehangir Chiniwalla, in proposing a vote of thanks to
the chair, said that while the community was divided between
the two groups of extremists who formed the antagonistic
camps of the orthodox and the reformers, it was a happy sign
that a highly placed youth like Seth Sorab Wadia had joined
the ranks of the moderates. He had been a sympathetic and
religious soul and was sure to serve the community faithfully
and usefully in all future. He hoped other youths of great
Parsi families would follow his example and come forward
to serve their community, their country and their religion
as Seth Sorab Wadia had been doing.

After the assembly had suitably honoured Mr. and Mrs.
Wadia, a joint prayer concluded the solemn function.



Life Assurance Co., Ltd.


New Business: 29,982 Policies Assuring Us. 594 Lakhs.
Claims Paid During The Year: 3,816 for Rs. 85 Lakhs.
Funds Increased to Nearly Rs. 12£ Crores.
Policies in Force: 2t07,531 Assuring with Bonuses Nearly Rs. 44 Crores.
Low Expense Ratio of 21% of the Premium Income.


To come to this Long-established and Progressive Office.

Applications for further information should be addressed to:


or to any of the Company's other offices as undernoted:

Incorporated in India 1874


















Karachi Mombasa Rangoon

Kuala Lumpur Nagpur Rawalpindi

Lahore Patna Singapore

Lueknow Poona Sukkur

Madras Baipur Trichinopoly

Mandalay Rajahahi Trivandrum

Meroara Ranch! Vizagapatam


M. E, Najib, Baghdad
Ancient History

That the Kurds have been existing as a racial unit, in the
true sense of the term, ever since the glorious days of Darius,
or even before that date, is a generally admitted fact. Xeno-
phon had mentioned them in his well-known book, and Shal-
maneser II, the Assyrian King, who carried out an expedition
in B.C. 488 to Kurdistan, then known as Namri, or Nairi,
recorded his observations and the results of his expedition in
inscriptions which wer© lately discovered. It is noteworthy
here that in those inscriptions the Kurds have been referred to
as Medes. But I must add that the geographical formation of
Kurdistan did never permit establishment of a permanent and
united Kurdish kingdom, and the differences noticed in the
Kurdish dialects at the present time is much due to the same
fact. Lofty and inaccessible mountains and numerous impass-
able rivers have always been, at least for those days, the un-
conquerable obstacles in the way of materializing a united

Last Kurdish Principalities

Up to the close of the 18th century Kurdistan, that is
North and South, used to be ruled by feudal princes, some of
them enjoying full and some only internal independence. The
last of these ruling Kurdish Princes were the Pashas of Baban,
whose capital was Sulaimani. Ahmed Pasha, the last Baban
ruler, was dethroned by Turkish Government 84 years ago, and
his little kingdom was attached to the great Ottoman Empire,
and thus the Kurdish independence became a matter of past

Ethnio Affinities with Persia

The Kurds are from pure Aryan stock, and a slight philolo-
gical study of their language will reveal that Kurdish is a

126 the iran league quarterly [Jan.-April

sister language of Persian. The resemblance between the two
languages is so amazing that one even can say that they are
two dialects of one main language. In spite of the fact
that the Kurds remained for more than 13 centuries under the
religious supremacy and influence of the Arabs, and over three
centuries under the political predominancy of the Turks, two
different races, the Kurds have been lucky enough to preserve
their Iranian culture and traditions, and not to forget their
historical myths and heroes, which are even now cherished by
them as precious treasures left by ancestors for posterity. One
should not, therefore, wonJer when one sees that almost all
the Kurds speak Persian, know by heart Shahnama, Grulistan,
Bostan and Divan-i Hafiz. Nor should one wonder if one
goes to a little Kurdish town and observes there in a small
tea-shop a huge gathering, all listening with solemnity to one,
who, sitting in a higher place, reads out the Shahnama.

Kurdish Learning

Kurdish literature, in verse and prose, much resembles the
Persian literature. The Kurds are proud of having many a
great poets who have left for the Kurds of to-day very high and
inspiring poems. The Kurdish poets were of the same habit as
Persian poets, of following the "divan" system, if this term
could express the sense meant. As for the present time, Kurdish
prose, as well as verse, has much improved. Attempts are
being made for purifying Kurdish from non-Kurdish elements.

A Free Kurdistan is a Necessity for the Kurds and the World

It is, however, out of my power to deal with the political
situation in Kurdistan in details. Different political organisa-
tions have so cruelly deformed and separated its geographical
and racial unity that, one would doubt whether one could
review it promptly. The North Kurdistan is wailing under the
despotic administration of the so-called Westernised Turkey,
whije the South is supposed to be enjoying some privileges,


some notes on the kurds


But in spite of this or that, it can be said without hesitation
that the Kurds of to-day are not those of pre-war days, that
they are fully conscious of their real interests, and that they
are now in a position to realize the advantage, or the necessity,
of a free life. Generally speaking, education among the Kurds
is quite progressive, not only among the males, but among the
fair sex too. Despite all that has been said in connexion
with the late revolution in North Kurdistan, to me and to all
the Kurds, this was only a natural attempt towards freedom
and independence, and not a religious reaction or an artificial
movement organised by strange hands.

Though the Kurdish population is about one million in
Iraq, six millions in Turkey and three millions in Persia, there
is no common Kurdish leader, owing to the nation's divided

Money saved Wisely in these days brings Happiness
and when spent Unwisely it brings overwhelming Debts,
Worry, Unhappiness and Distress.

Make therefore a regular saving by opening a

Our Home Savings Safe will teach you and your
family Thrift and Economy.

Managing Director.

A Great Nation Without a Leader




As we have already noted elsewhere in this number, two
Persian men-of-war, " Babr" and " Palang", have been visiting
Indian waters, and having touched the harbour of Karachi
are at present in the port of Bombay where they intend
staying for some time. They will in the end proceed to
Colombo which it is their main aim to visit. They are in
charge of Commander Bayendor who is a clever and efficient
officer. They have naturally excited interest in India.

Enthusiastic Welcome by Parsis op Karachi

In no case probably the saying " Blood is thicker than
water" is more borne out than by the Parsis who have
welcomed the ships and their officers as their own. In
Karachi they were received by them right royally, and a
distinguished gathering had assembled in Hormusji Katrak
Hall there to meet the Commander and officers of the
warships. The Par si Scouts had formed the Guard of
Honour, and at the threshold of the hall they were received
cordially by Khan Bahadur Katrak who introduced to them
Dasturji Dhalla and other illustrious people present.

An address of welcome was read out by Khan Bahadur
Katrak, and Mr. Jamshid Marker followed by reading it in
Persian. At the Khan Bahadur's request, Dasturji Dhalla
spoke on matters suiting the occasion and reviewed the naval
history of the ancient Persian Empires. He rightly said that
though the ancient Persian Empires commanded the largest
naval forces of their times, they were dependent on their subject
nations for manning them, for, owing to certain reasons and
scruples the ancient Persian could not be a naval soldier.

Receptions in Bombay

A similar gathering assembled in Bombay on the 20th
February, under the auspices of the Iran League and the

1M4J receptions to officers of persian navy 129

Irani Zartoshti Anjuman in Sir Hormusji Adenvala's mansion,
when Mr. Fardunji S. Taleyarkhan, an es-Judge of Bombay,
presided. Mr. Taleyarkhan in welcoming Commander
Bayendor and officers, expressed pleasure at the long strides
Persia had been taking in progress under the initiative and
example of H. I. M. Reza Shah Pahlavi, He referred to the
huge naval armaments which the Achsemenian Emperors had
commanded and which had swept all seas of the ancient
world under the imperial banner of the Great King, and had
even circumnavigated the coasts of Africa. He therefore wished
the new Persian navy all good luck and a glorious future.

Presentation of Address and Casket

An address of welcome was then read out and presented
in a handsome casket, to which Commander Bayendor made
a feeling reply. He was astonished, he said, to see so keen
a regard in the Parsis for the ancient fatherland though
parted from it for over twelve long centuries. He assured
the Parsis that modern Iran was fully reciprocating the
feeling, and had no other motive when she sent them repeated
invitations to return to her than the fact that the Parsis who
had done so much for India and her teeming millions, were
equally capable of assisting their old mother country in her
arduous effort to rise and take its proper place in the ranks of
the world's great nations. Mr. Behramgore Anklesaria had
interpreted in English Commander Bayendor's flowing Per-

Dr. Barjor Karanjia and a Persian youth Mr. Faredun
addressed words of welcome and greetings in Persian, and
another Persian youth recited some spirited verses. The guests
were then profusely garlanded and presented with some of Mr.
Dinshah Irani's valuable works.

The Naval Armaments of Ancient Iran

In proposing the vote of thanks to the chair Mr. Sohrab J.
Bulsara referred to the illustrious descent of th6 Taleyarkhan



\j an-April

family and their great services in the past both under the
regime of the Moghul Emperors of Delhi and under the
British rule. He referred to the illustrious career of the
chairman of the evening himself, and asked permission to
speak on a couple of matters connected with the evening's

When Tiridates, the King of Armenia, Mr. Balsara said,
was invited by the Roman Emperor Nero to visit Rome and
receive the crown of Armenia at his hands, that monarch
expressed his inability to do so, because, as a Zoroastrian
prelate, he could not pollute the waters of the seas which he
would be doing by having to cross them. Nero however com-
manded the provinces to arrange for a comfortable overland
journey for the Armenian King, who reached Rome that way
and deeply impressed that imperial city by his kingly and noble

This fact however supplies the main reason, Mr. Bulsara
continued, why the ancient Persians, though owning the
largest naval fleets of their times, produced very few naval sol-
diers out of their own nation but mainly depended on their
various subject peoples for manning them. This want of a purely
national naval force was responsible for almost all great Persian
disasters, including Alexan der's unobstructed entry into Asia,
and the repeated invasion of the continent by the Roman
armies and the successes of the Arabs.

Great Noshervan's Farsighted Plans
and Their Defence by Persia's Heroes

Noshervan's great genius had discovered this grave flaw
in the imperial weapons of Iran, and had started to build
a powerful navy in the harbour of Petra in the Black Sea.
The history of this great endeavour forms some of the most
thrilling pages of Iran's illustrious annals, for the Romans
having seen the strategic value of the post, made Herculean
efforts to destroy it but were steadily and resolutely foiled in
that aim by heroic Persians, especially the little immortal

1931] receptions to officers of persian navy 1&1

bands who fought under the invincible and ever victorious

A Brilliant Career Foiled by Internal Turmoils

The great and farsighted work or Nosherwan was neglected
owing to the internal troubles of the reigns of Hormuz and
Chosroe Parviz; and therefore though the victorious armies
of the latter emperor swept the Romans out of Asia and Africa
when he declared war on them for having murdered Emperor
Maurice, who was the father of the Persian Empress, Chosroe
was unable to take his forces across the Hellespont for want
of a navy. This prepared the way for the Great Revolution
which was hatched by the Romans with the help of traitors;
and that suddenly put an end to Chosroe's glorious reign.

Wisdom and Foresight of H. I. M. Reza Shah

It was therefore another evidence of H. I. M. Reza Shah's
foresight and wisdom that he was planning the creation of a
respectable naval armament, the representatives of whose
nucleus they had assembled to honour that evening. He and
the assembly wished them an honoured career and an ever-
growing strength and glories in actions of the future.

The vote of thanks to the chair having then been carried
with acclamation on Mr. Bulsara's proposal, the Chairman
thanked Sir Hormusji Adenwala for always offering his
hospitable mansion for such gatherings and for his general
benevolence and wished him health, hap piness and long life.
The services of Seth Pestonji Marker were also recalled and
the happy gathering dispersed after refreshments.

We have reproduced elsewhere the address read out by
Sir Phiroze Sethna at a previous deception and dinner at
Ripon Club in honour of the guests of the evening.


[On the 18th of this February, the Hon. Sir Phiroze C. Sethna
delivered the following speech at the dinner given to the Com-
mander and Officers of the Persian men-of-war " Babr" and " Palang,"
at the Eipon Club, Bombay]

Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I rise to propose the health of our esteemed guests
Commander Bayendor and his brother officers of the Persian
cruisers " Babr" and "Palang" which are at present lying in
the Bombay harbour. There is also present in this gathering
today another distinguished Persian gentleman H. E. Aga
Hasan Khan Pirnazar, the Persian Consul in this city. I
think you will agree with me that we have learnt to regard him
as one of ourselves and by no means as a guest. He has now
been in Bombay for nearly two years, and within that time has
so greatly endeared himself to members of the Parsi commu-
nity that there is no important Parsi function where we do not
see him. In fact if he is absent from any such gathering he
is indeed missed, as he was missed by this very Club on the
occasion of the Golden Jubilee dinner it gave less than three
weeks back.

The Pull of Kindred Blood
We Parsis claim kinship with our guests of this evening,
for whilst they are the sons of those Persians who control the
destinies of modern Persia and the Persia of the future, we
are the descendants of those forbears of us both who 1300 and
more years ago were the rulers of Iran. Our co-religionists for
a long time were not treated in Persia as we would have
wished. Thanks fortunately however to the new regime which
exercises religious toleration, all that is now ancient history,
and in its place we find that Zoroastrians are not only treated
on a footing of equality, but His Imperial Majesty Reza Shah
Pahlavi and the Persian nation desire that Parsis from India
too might come and settle in their ancient motherland in large
numbers. We appreciate the invitation and if it has not been

[/ran League Quarterly.

Courtesy] The first Persian Navy [Parsi Sansar, Karachi

The group shows Commander Bayendor of the Persian Warshipa that have visited the Indian ports, with H. E. Kai Ostovan, (he

Persian Consul in Karachi, aud the other Persian Officers of the fleet.

One of the Persian warships Palang and Babr,,which are visiting some Eastern ports under
Commander Bayendor, and' were lately in Bombay Earbour.

This statue in bronze of Dadabhoy Naoroji, India's
Grant Old Man> was unveiled in Navsari on 19th
January last. The ceremony was performed before a
distinguished gathering, by H. II. Sir Sayajirao Gaik-
war of Baroda, who delivered at that time a very
thoughtful address which is reproduced elsewhere in
this number.

1934] dinner to officers of persian warshipb 133

availed of to the extent His Imperial Majesty and our Persian
friends would like, it is because we have now been settled
for so long in India that it is human nature which prompts one
to hesitate to exchange a certainty for uncertainty.

Fresh Field of Adventure

At the same time no nation or people can advance unless
there is in them a spirit of adventure. It does behove our
young men to whom the opportunities in India are today not
as favourable as they were until recently, to seek fresh fields
and pastures new in Persia, and I am sure if they do so,
fortune will soon smile on them. We are glad therefore that at
least one Parsi Mr. Hormazd Commissariat is leaving soon for
Persia to construct a cotton spinning mill in that country
with Parsi and Persian money. We trust that the encourage-
ment His Imperial Majesty will give this concern will bring it
success and result in many more concerns being conjointly
started by Parsis and Persians. I am afraid however I have
digressed and must return to the subject of my toast.

Glories of the Past

Our guests tonight are officers of the Persian Navy. Now
we have not enough records to show the achievements of
Persians as navigators in days gone by. We have records of
military prowess displayed by Persians in the histories of
Persia written by Persian authors and in the histories of other
countries with whom Persia fought generally with success and
sometimes met with reverses. I recall the passage from an
English historian who observed that were it not for the battles
of Marathon and Salamis—the history of Europe would have
very considerably changed. With the Persian flag going
further north perhaps the then Persian religion Zoroastrianism
might have spread far and wide in Europe. Ancient Persia
included many lands further north of its present boundary
and on the west it extended as far as Egypt and the land
of the Pharaohs was under the Persian sway for well nigh
two centuries.


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

Great Naval Armaments of the Ancient Persians

Whilst we have very few records of the achievements of
Persian navigators, navigation was not a sealed book to them
to judge from the fact that even the Zend Avesta refers to a
famous navigator by name Vifro Nav&za. It is my misfortune
that I do not know Persian and I am indebted to my friend the
great Persian scholar in our midst Mr. Dinshah Irani for
letting me know that even the English word "Navy " is derived
from the Persian word " Nav", which means a boat, and accord-
ing to him the Persian name for the captain of a ship "Nakhoda"
is a contraction for Nav-Khoda meaning the master of a ship.

Again it is an admitted fact that in the Achaemenian times
the fleets of Cambyses, Darius and Xerxes navigated the Caspian
and the Black Seas, and the Aegean and even the Mediter-
ranean, and also through the Persian Gulf to the Indian Ocean.

Ancient Mercantile Marine

Coming later to the Sassanian times, the major portion
of the foreign trade of the Roman Empire especially with
China, India and Africa, was carried through Persia and with
the help of the Persian fleets. We Par sis left Persia for India
.1300 years ago, and no one disputes the fact that we did not
come overland but did so in Persian ships, which means
that our own forbears were also navigators. May I remind
you of Sinbad the sailor of the Arabian Nights, a book which
has been translated into dozens of languages ? The original
Sinbad is now acknowledged to be a Persian adventurer who
flourished in the Sassanian times.

Parsi Master Builders

The maritime instinct survived even in our sojourn in India.
And mainly Parsi craftsmen under Parsi master builders not
only built excellent training ships in the Bombay Docks but
also constructed some very good warships.

What the World owes to Persia

The culture of the different Asiatic countries is certainly
much older than that of any of the European countries, I will

1934] dinner to officers of persian warships 135

not refer to what the world owes to India or to China,
but I will just quote some instances of what Persia was
responsible for. Zoroaster was the first Prophet in the world
to teach monotheism. The Persians were the first to use
spoons and forks. As we saw in a recent film in Bombay, even
the English did not know the use of spoons and forks as late
as in the time of Henry VIIL They were also the first to wear
coats and trousers, boots and shoes and socks and gloves. It
is given out in books of reference that Manipur in India was
the home of polo. Centuries before polo was ever played in
Manipur it was played in Persia, and there are many other
similar things to the credit of Persia. So also did Persia excel
in the matter of its art, namely, its carpets, its paintings, its
miniatures, and its architecture which were shown to very great
advantage in the Persian exhibition held in London in 1931.

Gifted of the Human Eace

All wbo have come in contact with Persians have felt that;
they are specially gifted members of the human race. They are
exceedingly quick to observe and to learn and this quickness
displays itself at a very early age. As one writer has observed:
The mental activities of the Persians however are inclined to
carry them into the fields of philosophic speculation rather than
into the daily activities of practical aims. They are a great
people and they are particularly fortunate in having for their
present ruler a great Monarch, who has made his mark felt
throughout the world. It seems to us that Persia has a great
future before it.

Iran live for ever !

May this come true. We wish all success to our guests
and through them to the Persian nation, We trust Persia's
relations with the British will ever continue friendly, and
that we shall be favoured with many visits not only by the
Persian cruisers but by Persians of eminence, and the relations
of Zoroastrians in India with the Persians will be still more
cemented and furthured to mutual advantage. (Cheers.)


Nadirshah Noshirvan Gogal, A.M.I.E., Karachi

('Continued from p. 30, Vol. IV, No. J, October 1933)
Part II: Present Day Persia

General Conditions:—Present Persia is emerging from centu-
ries of internecine wars and disorders. It is feverishly busy trying to
put right its shattered hearths and homes. In a brief period of last
seven years the present Shah and his Government have organized
various executive and administrative departments of the State on the
lines of the most advanced States of Europe. The Government has
further determined to force upon its people in the course of a decade
that national awakening, education and general progress, which nor-
mally any country would take twenty or twenty-five years to attain.
In these laudable efforts the Shah is whole-heartedly supported by
the Persian Parliament and the intelligensia of the country.

For the first time in its chequered history of last thirteen hundred
years Persia has seen an end to the annual heavy toll of lives and
goods of travellers regularly levied by the Luris, the Bakhtiaris
and the Kurds. The powerful hand of the well trained and organised
Military and Police is working invisibly in the country and an
immense sense of security of life and property has been created all
over the State. The trade routes are safe and the tribal Lords and
Mullahs have lost their temporal and religious suzerainty over the

Naturally this internal peace of a country, its orderly government
and revival of internal and external trade bring in turn self-conscious
nationalism in its people of one race, faith and culture. This
nationalism in Persia is bent to forge out its own plan of future
development and prosperity by self-determination and is eliminating
all foreign influence and direction.

National Policy

Not only Persia contemplates political independence but is
forging out means of economic independence from the rest of the
world. It aims at creating a self-contained country uninfluenced
by imports and exports. The country is to be fortified by walls of heavy
tariffs and prohibitions to nurse its infant industries and is to be made
independent of external reliance, Manufactures which have been


my impressions of present persia


hitherto brought from abroad are to be replaced by manufactures at
home, and the increased prosperity of the town is to provide a wider
internal market for the agricultural produce of the country, leading to
this being greatly improved in quality and quantity.

At first sight this idea of economical isolation of a country may
look suicidal; but for a big agricultural country, with an internal
trade five or six. times greater than its present export, it is the only
royal road for healthy development of the country. The European
"War of 1914 has fully impressed upon every State in the world that
for its independent existence and for fully providing the every-day
necessities of life to its nationals, a country must be made internally
self-contained and self-supporting. Following on these lines all the
advanced nations of the world began developing their respective
countries both in agriculture and manufacture side by side, and
protected their indigenous industries by heavy tariffs.

So far all was good but the ill wind commenced blowing when
ignoring this basic principle of self preservation and self-support,
almost all the advanced countries started over-stepping the limit. The
result is over-production and unemployment increasing day by day.
Markets are gutted with manufactured goods in tremendous excess
of demand and everybody is eager to sell and nobody to buy.
Naturally this stagnant affair caused stronger nations to unhealthy
competition of capturing foreign undeveloped markets to serve as
dumping grounds.

This state of trade inequality may last for a short time till the
backward countries are politically advanced and come in line with
other progressive States. But once the saturation point is reached—
whenever that may be—and no nation is ready to buy its life necessi-
ties from others, then what would become of the present export and
import trades ?

The real export and import trades consist in the voluntary
exchange of those monopoly commodities of one country with those
of the other, which cannot be naturally had or produced in their respec-
tive countries. What we call the present day export and import
trade in countries like Persia, India and China is a misnomer. It is
not a voluntary trade at all but exploitation of weaker nations by
the stronger, owing to their political backwardness or dependency.

As an instance of future voluntary trade I would mention in case
of Persia export of its monopoly commodities like petrol, woollen
carpets and fruits, and against them import of machineries of all


the iran league quarterly


kinds. Similarly in case of India export of its monopoly commodities
of jute, spices and oil-seeds has against it the import of highly
technical machineries.

Judging from the above, the course adopted by Persia for its indus-
trial development and self-support, seems to be on the right path and
Persia is to be congratulated on making the choice. The only danger
signal is over-production in any line and consequent temptation in
building a big export trade. We are sure the Persians will take
timely hint and will avoid the pitfalls and mistakes of other advanced
nations. To stimulate internal trade and to meet increased supply
the essential necessity is to create demand by uplifting the standard
of living of the people by providing more and more and better facili-
ties of education to the masses? which in turn will automatically seek
better amenities of life to live in.

Population of Persia and Agriculture

Persia is one-third the size of India, but its population is 12.5
million souls only or one-thirtieth of India, Whereas India provides
65% of the land for agriculture, viz., 1.17 million square miles or
2 square acres of land per head of population, Persia inspite of
being thickly set with mountain ranges and big sandy deserts still
has 25% or 150,000 square miles or 7.5 square acres of good cultivable
land per head of population. At present for want of adequate
Irrigation works even one-fifth of this area is not under plough. Thus
there is ample room for expansion and till the population of the
country increases four-fold, viz., becomes 50 million souls and
every acre of available land is cultivated, Persia has nothing to
complain of. Her present complaint is scanty population and wide
tracts of country lying idle, uncultivated and unpopulated. It is in
the interest of Persia to encourage immigration of healthy races
into Persia.

Persia, like India, possesses every variety of climate from the
tropical heat on the shores of the Persian Gulf to the extreme cold
in the high plateau of Central Persia and permanent snows in parts
of the Alburz mountains in the north of Persia. Owing to this
difference of climates Persia produces crops of all the agricultural
varieties of the tropical and temperate zones. Wheat and rice are its
principal crops, and grow in so much abundance that they are
exported to Iraq, part of Arabia and Russia.

Persian soil is very rich and is capable of producing most valuable
vegetable and cereal products and can be cultivated to any extent. Its


my impressions of present persia


pasture grounds are said to be the best, in the world. Its orchards
produce all the fruits of the temperate climes, its wilds abound with
flowers that can only be grown by care and cultivation in the best
gardens of the world and the luxuriance with which flowers grow,
whereover planted, shows that the climate is congenial to them.
Owing to heavy snowfall for about four months of the year during
the winter, the rainfall shortage is greatly made good, and the
invigorating climate helps very much in taking active part in
agricultural field operations.

In comparison to India, Persian climate offers better chances of
agriculture, if ever one seriously thinks of taking up this line. To
encourage agriculture, till late, the Persian Law was that any person
who brought barren land under cultivation would be legally the owner
of the land. This Law is now abrogated but still land to any extent
could be obtained on nominal charges from the Government, and
the after assessment is equally light. The only binding condition is
that the purchaser must be a subject of the Persian Government.

Trade of Persia

Before we deal with the present Export and Import trade of
Persia, it would be interesting to compare its trade figures with those
of India (see Table A). This will be an eye-opener to many Parsees
of India, who find nothing encouraging in the present day Persia.
It would further serve to prove what an independent country like
Persia can achieve and do in a small period of about seven years
under a national government of its own, in comparison to over a
hundred years of peaceful administration in dependent countries
under alien government, however benevolent.

The figures of the Table surprise us that pro-rata to population of
India and Persia, the export trade of Persia per capita show
heavy advance over that of India, while the imports exhibit the equal
weakness of both the countries. Similarly per capita figures of
internal trade and national income, though miserable in comparison
with other countries of the world, mark decided advance in favour of
Persia. Petrol and woollen carpets form 70% of the total export of
Persia. These are Persia's monopoly commodities, which few coun-
tries in Asia or Europe produce or manufacture, and therefore not only
their demand may remain constant but will increase with, greater
wants. The remaining items of export except opium are such that
with industrial development Persia will be able to easily absorb itself.

On the import side cotton piece-goods, sugar, machinery, hard-


the iran league quarterly [Jan.-April

ware, tea and automobiles form the chief items. Except machinery
and automobiles Persia has ample resources and raw materials to
supply and manufacture its remaining heavy needs and it is here that
Persia is exerting her best. Except machinery and automobiles all
other imports are under strict control, while as per general Edict of
1932 all imports of cotton and woollen fabrics are totally prohibited
entrance into Persia from early 1938.

Under the Trade Monopoly Law Government controls all exports
and imports by means of Jwaz or Permits, hence it will be very easy
for the Government to enforce this order rigorously by withholding
Permits for goods prohibited by Law. The duty of the Persian
Government does not end here. It has to find out means to replace
the necessities of life prohibited entrance into the country. This can
only be done by the Government immediately encouraging or even by
directly helping in starting indigenous Cotton and Woollen Mills and
small scale industries in the country.

Persia has much in common with India and conditions and
results obtained in India are generally applicable to Persia. Thus
taking India as the standard I will try to compare the possibilities
and requirements of Persia. Mistakes may arise in such comparison,
but it will be on the safe side of under-rating the conditions rather
than over-stating the case of Persia.

Cotton and Cloth

Cotton grows in abundance in Persia. The yearly outturn of the
diiierent qualities of cotton is about 150,000 bales of 240 lbs. The
provinces of Gilan, Mazandran, Khorasan, Yazd, Kerman, Isfahan and
Teheran are the chief centres but cotton is planted on varying scales
throughout the country. Persian cotton, like Indian, is of small staple.
Lately Philistine seed has been transplanted in the country and is
now growing extensively. The province of Khuzistan, which was
once the granary and home of cotton of ancient Persia, can produce
long staple cotton of the best quality; but for want of irrigation
works the most fertile soil of this province has to lie much neglected.
"With the required capital to build masonry dams on the Karun Eiver
and a net-work of canals this fertile province can be easily turned
into a second Egypt. Great opportunities await Persia in the line of
cotton production. Southern Russia is its permanent customer and its
present demand for raw cotton is sure to increase very heavily with
the improvement of the economic conditions of Kussia. Even after
providing the needs of all outskirt countries, Persia will have


my impressions of present persia


enough of ready cotton to develop its own Cotton Mill industry to
meet its complete home demand.

India is the poorest country in the world, but still requires 20 yards
of cloth at the least per year per head. Applying the same standard
to Persia it means that Persia with its population of 12.5 million
souls must require 250 million yards of cloth annually. Taking into
consideration the climatic conditions of Persia if we assume the
required quantity of cloth to be one-third woollen and two-thirds
cotton, and further assume that one-third of the total quantity is
made on hand-looms as cottage industry there still remains 167
million yards of cloth woollen and cotton to be made and supplied
annually. Indian experience shows that a mill of 25000 spindles and
503 looms working 303 days in the year will turn out at the
most 7 million yards of cloth annually. This shows that to
manufacture 167 million yards Persia will require 24 such mills
whereas at present Persia has not a single mill worth the name.
Can there be better prospects for enterprising persons ?


In olden times Persia grew sugar-cane extensively in the Karun
basin, Grilan, Mazandran and Yazd; but due to the subsequent
failures or ruin of irrigation works and facilities, cane is sparse-
ly sown now and in its place beet-root is grown extensively through-
out the country, specially in the province of Khorasan. This is a
change for the better as beet-root possess more percentage of sucrose
than sugar-cane. But for want of proper technical knowledge,
experience, capital, and extreme difficulty of transportation of
machinery, the produce is simply wasted and is generally used as
fodder for animals. If all this national wastage could be stopped and
well utilized towards manufacture of sugar, the big annual importa-
tion of sugar in Persia could easily be done away with. Persia annu-
ally imports Sugar worth 10.5 million Tomans or Es. 1.4 Crores.

Like Indians, Persians are very fond of sweets but owing to high
cost the national consumption as compared to the different countries
of the world per head is very low. The average annual consumption
of India comes to about a ton or 3.5 Kharwars for every hundred
souls. Pro-rata Persia will require 125,000 tons or 436,500 Kharwars
annually. Usually a sugar mill of first class type working 150 days
in the beet-root or sugar-cane season turns out 10,000 tons of fine
refined sugar. This means that Persia requires 12 such big sugar
mills to meet its annual local demand-


the iran league quarterly


At present there are only two sugar mills in Persia near Teheran,
one worked by the Government and the other by a local company.
These two factories cannot supply even one-fifth of the demand and
therefore the rest of the quantity has to be imported from outside of
Persia, chiefly Russia. There is a special tax on sugar ear-marked
for building Railways ii Persia, hence the State directly controls
imports under the Trade Monopoly Law. After the starting of the
Government Sugar Factory the selling rate of sugar in Teheran was
brought down to 16 Rials a man of 6.5 lbs. or nearly Rs. 2 for 3 Seers;
but still it is more than double the rate at svhich sugar sells in India
after paying very handsome profit of 35 to 40% to the factories.

In India sugar is chie^y made from sugar-cane, while in Persia
it is made from be>t-root. The sucrose percentage in beet-root is
more than in cane and the price of beet-root is very low. In the
circumstance sugar in Persia should be much cheaper than it is in
India. But owing to special tax on sugar and paucity of sugar fac-
tories, want of proper technical knowledge, experience and above all
dearth of capital, the Persians are obliged to pay very heavily for this
article of daily food.


The next item of import is hardware. Persia annually imports
hardware of the value of Ts. 7.3 millions or Rs. 97 lacs. The term
hardware includes agricultural implements, domestic utensils, iron
and galvanized iron buckets, lamps of all kinds, machine tools, hand
tools for all trades, electro-plated wares, cutlery, brassware, gas,
water and electric fittings, cocks, taps, safes, strong boxes, nuts, bolts,
nails, locks, hinges, stoppers, enamelled ironware and many others arti-
cles of daily use too numerous to mention here. These are small scale
industries which can be organized on moderate lines and in the long
run prove very profitable. In peace time large manufacturing countries
supply the usual demand very cheaply but on the outbreak of hostili-
ties when trade always suffers and the alrea dy existing stock in the
country gets depleted the question of meeting needs and requirements
of a country becomes very difficult. The result is that fancy prices
have to be paid and the country becomes poorer and poorer. Persians
are usually of good mechanical turn of mind and very quickly imitate
manufacture of many of the above articles of daily use; but as a rule
hand-made articles cannot compete with products of machinery and
hence they are quickly thrown out of the market. Since Persia has
now adopted the policy of self-supporting, there is every reason to
believe that under the auspices of th9 national Government difficulties


my impressions of present persia


of indigenous industry, small or big, should soon be surmounted.
Once local.' manufacture by upto-date machinery is established,
supply of trained labour made available and the Government protects
the interests of the concerns in their infancy till they attain a
competitive age the success of all enterprises will be sure and Persia
will be able to have its total requirements from raw materials to
finish of its own. Ihis would mean stoppage of flight of considerable
good money to foreign couniries and providing means of honourable
livelihood to thousands of Persia's inhabitants who for want of peaceful
occupations are obliged to live a life of bandits.


The next item of importance in imports is Tea. Persia annually
imports tea worth Ts. 6.57 millions or about Rs. 87 lacs. There is
a special tax on this stufi also and hence it becomes a Monopoly Trade.
The northern slopes of the Alburz afford very suitable localities for
tea cultivation on extensive scale. The provinces of Gilan, Mazan-
dran and part of Khorasan are quite sufficient to provide the whole tea
demand of Persia. Tea is a very costly crop and replacing this crop
for rice will not only bring much better return but will free the culti-
vators of this Caspian belt from the clutches of the Russian companies.
As Russia is practically the sole purchaser of commodities like rice,
cotton, etc., produced in abundance in these northern provinces, Russia
dictates prices and will not purchase these commodities till owners
will sell them on Russia's terms. Often it happens that the surplus
crop is left to rot as the poor Persians cannot think of sending their
product to other suitable markets for want of quick and cheap trans-
portation. Realizing this situation and difficulties Persians yield to
Russian dictates and generally the products are sold at miserably low

Tea and tobacco plantation on an extensive scale will thus come
as relief to Persian cultivators and the Government must give all help
and facilities to encourage the change. While before 1890 India
hardly supplied any tea to the outside world, she has become a great
rival to China and other eastern tea-growing islands and her export
trade of surplus stock of tea in 1930 ranks sixth in importance of
export, and values at about Rs. 30 crores or Ts. 225 millions per annum.

From the above description of the chief imports of Persia it can
be seen that there are enormous possibilities of industrial develop-
ments awaiting in Persia, and even limiting the industrial programme
to 25% of the actual requirements, the immediate needs of Persia


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

are :—3 "woollen mills, 5 cotton mills, 4 sugar factories, half-a-dozen
flour mills, hardware factories on small scale and tea and tobacco
plantation on extensive scale, in all an investment of about Rs. 3
crores or Ts. 22.5 millions to mate Persia self-contained and self-
supporting for the time being with protection fully granted without
having to ask or beg it from the Government. There can hardly be
a surer field of inveslment and assured and reasonable profits for
enterprising industrialists than this.

All adventures carry certain risks in their train, but we should not
forget that without taking certain risks no gains whatsoever can be
expected. It is to be regretted that at such an opportune moment,
inspite of the open gesture from the Persian people and Government,
and when Persia is in its industrial infancy and making, the Parsees of
India are hesitating to come forward boldly and to help in the
industrial rejuvenation of Iran with a view to the mutual benefit of
Iran and India through reflex trade. We want a Sir Victor Sassoon
at this stage in our community to have imagination and courage of
conviction for transferring part of his activities into Persia as Sir
Victor has lately actually done in China. "While Sir Victor will have
to depend on world conditions and chances in China, the Parsee
industrialist will have his foot on the firm rock of full protection in
Persia. Can there be any better prospect of success!

The apparition of Soviet trade menace and competition is often
brought forward by interested parties to da mp the enthusiasm of the
few Parsees who think of starting cotton mill and other industries
in Persia. But the political temper of Persia, as exhibited in the
. case of Anglo-Persian Oil tangle and also against Soviet attitude in
connection with Trade Treaty in Northern Persia, is a sure indicator
of the will of Persia to assert its sovereign rights fully and firmly
whenever called upon to do so.

The year 1931 is memorable for general enthusiasm created
amongst the Parsees of India for Persia. Mr. Saif Azad, a journalist
of repute, oame down from Persia to persuade the Parsees of India to
look more sympathetically and seriously at their country of origin
and to grasp the present favourable opportunity of industrial revival
in Persia. The hope given at this appeal in Bombay was so encourag-
ing and the reception accorded by the Parsees of Bombay was so
flattering that for a moment it looked as if Parsees of India would
take serious interest in the country of their origin.

After some time this hope took a concrete shape and a company

1934] the iran league quarterly


was formed to investigate the possibilities of trade and industry in
Persia. As a result of the fraternization referred to above a small
party of pro-Persian Parsees of Bombay was invited by Persia as its
state guests in 1932. Taking advantage of this the oompany also
deputed its representative to Persia to make a general survey of trade
and industrial possibilities as well as of the political factors in

After months of labour and collecting first-hand information a
very encouraging report was submitted to the promoters of the
company with recommendation to make a small beginning in the
shape of a cotton mill at Meshed. Even a provisional agreement was
made with Persian capitalists to subscribe 51% of the required capi-
tal for the proposed mill as desired by the Persian Industries Law.
A technical expert was again deputed to Persia to make the final
report on the scheme in all its bearings. The report made was again
very favourable and encouraging. Since then nothing was heard
about the scheme for some time ; but one is glad to learn that practical
measures have since been taken for working this initial scheme.

Only a couple of generations back the Parsis exhibited all the
virtues of a virile community, that faced untold dangers, built trade and
industry in India, China and Japan when these countries were in their
melting pot of political strifes and disorders, and amassed princely
fortunes at the risk of their lives. They had then produced many
adventurers, merchants and captains of industry, and we hope they are
not reduced to a stagnant state of thinking only in rupees, annas and
pies, especially at a time when even stronger nations are dying for
capturing new markets for their industrial occupation.

No doubt orderly government and peace and prosperity of a coun-
try have their material blessings on a subject nation, but they have
their disadvantages too of depriving the subject people of initiative and
reducing them to the condition of passive dependents. Hence it is that
during the 1300 years of forced separation from self-government, the
Parsees have lost in some degree their imperial sense and feeling of
a ruling class and with them their virtues, viz., national responsibility,
leadership, team-work, quick decision in hour of need and uniting
against common danger of unemployment. It is owing to these
drawbacks that we find this little community today in such helpless
and unhappy situation inspite of crores and crores of money
rotting in charity funds of hundred and one denominations. The
community wants a dictator like a Mussolini, a Kemal or a Rezashah
to infuse a ruling spirit in it!




TOOMANS 75="Rs. 100.

Name j
Of j 3,p

Coun-j o*.2
try. | * ^

| Area
j of





Export Items._







Wool, Raw



Import Items.


in Mill-

Per cent



] Internal Trade.



Isational Income.



Cotton goods.


C. Yarn.
Wol. Good





10 £6




Rs. 19-51 Crores. Mil. Ts. percent

81.05 100.0
Es. 10.8 Cr. Mil. Ts. percent.


O I o

©. —





Mil. Rs. Percent.
Jute Raw. 323.40 9.80
& manufc. 569.00 17.24
Cott. Raw. 666.90 20.20
& manufc. 77.90 2 36
Grain. 33t>.90 10.21
Oil Seeds. 296.20 8.97
Tea. 266.00 8.06
Hides. 188.50 5.72
Raw Wool. 59.00 1.79
Miscel. 517.4© 15.65
Total Ra 3,301.20 100
Millions per cent
Or RS. 330.12 Croies.



Cotton Goods.






Tin Prov.






Total Rs.


Mil. Rs. Percent.
671.50 26.51
269.80 10.65
183.60 7.25
160.80 6.35
115.30 4.55
107.20 4.24
62.10 2.45
52.30 2.06
50.10 1.98
50.00 1.98
35.70 1.40
774.60 30.58
2,533.00 100
Millions. per cent
Ea. 253.30


u o


£ o


o w





co d
R d>

p a

U ®

O p,









â– bs







Translated from the Original French of Dr. Bletch Chinguh


Miss Dhon Behramgore T. Anklesaria, M.A.

{Continued from p. 41, Vol IV, No. 1, Oct. 1933)
The Kurds up to the arrival of the Turks

The Cardous were forced to accept the sovereignty of
Cyrus when he conquered Babylonia, and they furnished a
contingent of armed men to his successors, and they are
named the Saspirians or Alaradians in the list of the armies
of Xerxes preserved by Herodotus.

They are also represented under the name of "Koudrahas"
in Persian documents, and the Greeks have known them
under the names of " Kardugues " and " Gordeans and they
were the most formidable enemies of Xenophon during the
"Retreat of the Ten Thousand'

In comparatively recant times, they pissed successively
under the yoke of the Mioaloriiaas, Parthiaa3 and Sassanian s.
If we can judge from tradition and the monuments still existing
in the country, they were specially favoured by the Sassanian
monarchy, which was probably of the same race. The name
as well as the title of Gotanza—founder of the tribe of Gaura n
—are still preserved in a Greek inscription at Behistan near
the Kurdish capital of Kermanshah.

Under the Khalifs of Bagdad, the Kurds were very turbu-
lent, and formidable insurrections broke out in the north of
Kurdistan in A.C. 838 and also in 905. It is at this time
that the famous fortress of Sermag, whose ruins still exist, was


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

The most flourishing period of Kurdish supremacy was in
the course of the 12th century when the great Saladin, who
conquer ad Richard the Lion-Hearted and his Crusaders, and
who belonged to the Ravindi branch of the Hadaboni tribe,
founded the Eyoubit Kurdish Empire. The Kurdish chiefs
then establishad themselves not only to the East and South of
the mountains of Kurdistan, but they even extended their sway
as far as Kborasan in Persia on the one side, and Egypt, Syria
and Yemen on the other side.

During the Tartar and Mongol dominions, the mountaineer
Kurd remained passive and endured the yoke of the Governors
of the plains against their will.

The Persians later on, happened to subdue Kerminshah
and its dependencies, and succeeded in maintaining their
domination over the Kurds.

The Kurds maintained their independence by submitting
at times to the sovereignty of the states which happened to
vanquish them; but they always succeeded in shaking off the
yoke at the first opportunity. And even whilst they submitted
to this sovereignty, it never meant fchs I033 of their setni-inde-
pendence which they always preserved most anxiously.

This state of things lasted till the year 1514 A.C., the
date of the scenic entry of Salim I, Sultan of the Turks, into
Kurdish relations.

Former Kurdo-Torkish Relations

Although both belonging to the great Aryan family, and
descended from the same sto^k, having belonged for centuries
to the same religion—the Zoroastrian—before having embraced
Islam, the Kurds and the Persians did not happen to be recon-
ciled with one another. The great majority of the Kurds
were Sunni Musalmans whilst the Persians were Shias.


PH. NO. 42483



the kurds

The Kurds and the Persians, descendants of the same
race, folio werB of the same religion—the Zoroastrian, both
converted to the same new religion—the Muhamedan, were
divided by a difference of sects.

At this epoch, amongst all the Oriental peoples as amongst
the Occidental, the sentiment of religion excelled all other
sentiments. Though they worshipped the same God, vene-
rated the same prophet, the Kurds and the Persians deeply
hated one another on account of this difference of sect, and
considered themselves inveterate enemies of one another.

Salim I, a Sunni Muhamedan and Sultan of the Sunni
Turks, prepared to go and fight Shaikh Ismail al Safavi, a
Shia Muhamedan and Shaikh of the Shia Persians. The Kurdish
Amirs could not but participate in this war between the Sunnis
and the Shias.

Kurdistan was divided at this epoch into 23 more or less
independent principalities. It was specially the 7 principalities
of Bitlis, Monche, Van, Hakkari, Botan, Suleimania, and
Bayazid which had supremacy over the rest of Kurdistan and
thejother Amirs.

Salim I, foreseeing the great advantage which he could
derive from the Kurdo-Persian misunderstanding, undertook
the necessary steps to secure the co-operation of the Kurds
against the Persians.

Salim I had brought with him to his camp at Amassia
the three most renowned men of letters of his time. One of
'them was Idris-i-Bitlissi, a savant and a Kurdish man of letters,
who is the first historian to write the general history of the
Ottoman Empire.

The Sultan sent Idris from his camp at Amassia on a secret
mission to the Kurdish Amirs.

Idris, who, as a Kurd, knew the manners and customs, the
language and the country of the Kurds, made several journeys.
The results of these journeys were such as the Sultan
wished and he utilized them.

the iran league quarterly

[J an.-April

The Kurds and the Turks

A great number of Kurdish Amirs enlisted on the side of
the Sultan and contributed to the great victory of Tchaldirane.
Other Amirs dissenting from them, enlisted themselves on
the the side of Salim I after his victory.

The conditions of the recognition of the suzerainty of the
Padshah by the Kurdish Amirs were concluded with Idris
and sanctioned by the Sultan. The Kurdish Amirs agreed to
recognise Turkish suzerainty on condition of a guarantee of
their independence in the management of their internal affairs,
and of being able to transmit hereditarily and according to the
Kurdish tradition, their throne to their descendants, in parti-
cipating in all the wars of the Empire—offensive or defensive—
the Kurdish armies remaining subject to the commands of
their Amirs, and paying annually a rent charge to the Imperial

Thus thanks to the intelligent diplomacy of Idris, the
Turkish Empire made important territorial acquisitions. It
was the clever pourparlers of Idris that brought about the volun-
tary submission of the Kurdish Amirs to the authority of the
Sultan, and thus enabled the consolidation of the issues of the
victory of Tchaldirane.

The recognition of Turkish su zerainty by the Kurds has
conserved Turkish domination over Asia-Minor and definitely
expelled Persian expeditions.

The Sultan sent firmans, 17 standards, robes of honour
adorned with plumes together with innumerable presents to
the Kurdish Amirs. Salim I gave to Idris, as recompense for
his distinguished services, 12000 Venetian crowns, 8 robes
of honour adorned with plume3 and presented a firman,
declaring his gratification for the services rendered.

The first Kurdo-Turkish disputes

The Kurds, loyal to their promises, faithful to the pledge
given, took part thereafter in all, the wars of the Turkish


the kurds


Sultan with their own troops, their own finance, their own arms
aad ammunitions. Hundreds of thousands of Kurds occupied
the battle-fields extending from Vienna up to the borders of
Asia and Africa, for the grandeur and the glory of Turkey.

But neither did all these sacrifices of the Kurds, nor did
their great loyalty help to appease the insatiety of the Turks.

The Turkish Sultans who had agreed to treat the Kurdish
Amirs only as semi-independent, rather than constrained and
forced vassals, were not at all sincere. Sooq after, they
sought out and created, at their will, pretexts and occasions
to suppress the rights of the Kurdish Amirs and to annex their
territory to the Empire. They reached their objective step by
step, through centuries, by tricks and hypocrisy, by treason,
force and other means. In 1847, the last principality which
had been able to maintain itself in spite of all their manoeuvres
and intrigues, also disappeared and the whole of Kurdistan fell
under Turkish domination.

The antagonism between the Kurds and the Turk, com-
mences from this epoch, the epjoh of the violation of
their pledges by the Turkish Sultans. Turkish dishonesty,
incapacity, the cupidity of the governors of the Porte, were the
principal causes of this antagonism. "Revolts broke out
everywhere against the criminal Turkish occupation and the
country never since has known tranquility and security.

It was sorrow and ruin everywhere, the Turk had brought
about all this.

Mr. B. Nikibine is of opinion that the list of all the Kurdish
insurrections, wherewith the people have oppossd the Turkish
repressions, will be very long and outrageous.

Kurdish Rebellions since 1806

The object of this book is not to write the history of the
Kurdish revolutions, but to explain the origin, the reasons and
the causes of the bloody events which are being unfolded
during the last few years in Turkish Kurdistan under the
indifferent if not unkind eye of Europe and Asia.


{the iran league quarterly [Jan.*April

Since a few years back the Turks are displaying great
efforts to convince the world that if the Kurds are discon-
tented and rebellious, it is, because, being fanatic and ignorant,
they do not want any reforms by which the Turks try to
modernise the country.1

To show that the truth is quite contrary to these Turkish
assertions, it may be said that the Kurds do not want tyranny
of the administration of the Turks, because, in spite of their
claims for benevolent aims, it remains the same, and because
they aspire for knowledge, for peace and for the blessings
of instruction. It is for such reasons that they have revolted
and are revolting against the Turks. Hence, we will quote,
in passing, the principal revolts that have taken place in
Kurdistan against the Turks since 1806.

It h to be noted that the Kurds have revolted against
the Turks from the time they wore the turban as their head-
gear, onwards during the time they were putting on the fez,
as also after they have adopted the hat.

It is indeed a cynical and sacrilegious joke to dare to
pretend that the insurrections are due to the wish of the Turks
to introduce civilisation in Kurdistan, and to allege that the
Kurds do not want it.

These battles that have lasted for more than three cen-
turies have always had National Independence for their

Undoubtedly, if these fights had had the publicity which
they deserved, they would have constituted quite glorious
annals of patriotism and self-sacrifice in the history of the
Kurds. It is a sad irony of fate to find the Turk accusing the
Kurdish nation, of rebelling against the spread of knowledge
and civilisation, when it is the self-same Turk who has been
the unique and irremediable hindrance to all progress in the
vast empire which he has held.

It is due to the Turk that he has not still been able to
constitute a state in the country he has succeeded in holding.


the kurds


It is also due to the Turk who has encamped on these routes
of Asia into Europe, in the midst of populations which he is
watching on the verge of ruin brought about by him, and is
always ready to engage in battles, as belonging to the most
backward nation in Europe,—that there is no school, not one
kilometre of railway, not a metre of road for carriages, no
manufactory nor fabric, no commerce, but scaffolds, prisons,
exiles, mass-massacres, systematic pillages, and the violation
of the modesty of young girls.

These are the measures by which the Turks of the
republic of to-day, and of the empire of yesterday wanted and
are wanting to modernise Kurdistan !

We will frankly acknowledge and without any disgrace
that the Kurds never wanted, nor do they want a civilisation,
the processes of which are the most sanguinary and barbarous
measures, the object in view being the assimilation or the
extermination of the Kurdish race.

It was for this that they opposed, with arms, this red
civilisation which the Turks wanted to introduce in their
country with their hordes.

The Kurds whose origin, race, manners, language and
even religious beliefs were, to a certain extent, distinct from
those of the Turks, are bearing their yoke with impatience and
await the day of freedon without ever despairing.

In 1806, Abdurraihman Pasha Baba took up arms against
the Turks at Suleimania. After bloody battles which continued
for two years, he was killed in a combat and after his death
the Turks succeeded in suppressing the revolt.

In 1812, the Zaza Kurds rebelled under the command of
Raschid Aga and marched to Sivas, but being badly organised
and not having been sufficiently provided with ammunition,
they had to stop and return after having exhausted all their
ammunition, and they were mercilessly slaughtered by the


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

From 1829 to 1839, frequent revolts stained with blood
the regions of Revandouz, Hakkri and Tour Abdine. It is also
at this epoch that Keur Ahmed Pasha Baba again took up arms
against the Turks.

In 1830, the mountaineers of Sinjar revolted and were
subdued only after a war of three years.

In 1834, Prince Sherif, the sovereign of Bitlis, attacked
the Turks, but unfortunately he was conquered and lost his

In 1836, fresh revolts broke out in the vicinity of Diarbekir
and extended right up to Van,

Amir Bedr Khan's Heroic Endeavours

In 1846, the contest was between the Turks and Amir
Bedr Khan, sovereign of Botan, the last Kurdish principality
which had up to then succeeded in preserving its semi-indepen-
dence. Bedr Khan was, according to the real significance of
the term, a prince, the captain predicted of by the great Kurdish
poet Ahmed-i-Hani.

After his accession to the throne in 1821, Bedr Khan,
taking into consideration the lamentable state of Kurdistan,
and the causes which had brought about the loss of the last
vestiges of its independence, decided to remedy this state of
things, and to achieve the unification and independence of

In order to remedy it, he began organising the military
force of his principality, and at the same time secured the
co-operation of the Kurdish chiefs who had submitted to the
authority of the Turkish and the Persian governments.

He began pourparlers with these chiefs and with the
princes of Ardelan.


PH NO 42483



the kurds


These efforts of Bedr Khan obtained success, and since
1836 encounters took place between the Turkish forces and
those of the Amir and his allies.

These combats continued for several years, and after
the battle of Nizib in 1839, Bedr Khan, wishing to profit by
the weakness of the Turks, renewed vigorous preparations.

He sent his troops against the stubborn enemies, and
having had the sympathy of the inhabitants exclusively Kurds
and Armenians, the zone of his influence extended, in a short
time, upto Van, Mossoul, Savonjboulak, Urumiya and Diarbekir.

Taking into consideration the difficulties of stocking
foreign arms and ammunition; he undertook the installation
of an arsenal at Jezirah, his capital, and sent students to
Europe in order to specialise in the manufacture of arms and

The Great Confederacy

A treaty was signed between Bedr Khan and Moustapha
Bey, Mahmoud Bey (Han Mahmoud) of Van, Nouroullah Bey
of Hakkari, Sherif Bey of Meuche and several other chiefs of
the great tribes of Van like Dervish Bey, Helid Bey of Hazin,
Salim and Fattah Bey of Hakkari, Keur Hussein Bey, chief
of the Kurdish tribes of Kars and of Adjara, who being ousted
by the Turks, had taken refuge in Egypt. Keur Hussein Bey
had returned to Kurdistan on invitation and under the protec-
tion of Bedr Khan. By this Treaty of Alliance, they took the
pledge to unite themselves in order to fight against the Turks.
Later on, the Amir of Ardelan was also won over to this

Amir Bedr Khan, by his just and liberal administration,
had aoquired a very great influence, not only in his dominion
but in the whole of Kurdistan. The two very great Sheikhs of
Kurdistan, Sheikh Mohamed of Mossoul and Sheikh Youssef
of Zaho were also won over by Bedr Khan. These two
Sheikhs, venerated by a 11 the Kurds as saints and apostles, went


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

through Kurdistan and invitedUhe Kurds to leave off their
secular discords and to uuite themselves around Bedr Khan.

Bedr Khan attached a great importance to the unification
of the non-Kurdish elements in Kurdistan and made great effort
in this direction.

In 1845, in the midst of these preparations, the Nestorians
of the regions of Tchal. Semjantchiand Tcoppi had revolted
against the authority of the Amir and had refused to pay their
taxes; the Amir was forced to send an army of 10,000 men
in order to restore them to obedience.

England, and later on, France (who, to-day, by the mea-
sures which they take against the Kurdish patriots in coun-
tries confided to their mandate, assist, it can be said, the Turks
in thnir work of extermination of the Kurds,) interpreting or
rather wishing to interpret this act of the suzerainty of the
Amir as an extermination of the Christians by the Musulmans,
made representations to the Porte, requesting the dismissal
of the Amir and promising the Porte their assistance in case
of need.

Kurdish Victories

The Sublime Porte that had got the scent of the intentions
of the Amir, did not however, dare to attack Bedr Khan. Many
Councils of Ministers were held. A sufficiently voluminous
correspondence (from 17 Bajab 1262 to 27 Ziikade 1263 A.H.)
was exchanged between the Palace, the Sublime Porte, the
Governors-General of Mossoul, Diarbekir and Erzeroume, and
the military commanders of the troops in Asia-Minor. These
people wanted to annihilate Bedr Khan by cunning and to iso-
late him from his allies by taking them away from under his

But encouraged by the intervention and the promises of
assistance from England and France, the Porte decided to act
and sent an army against Bedr Khan.

Bedr Khan did not have much trouble in utterly defeat-
ing this Turkish army and after his victory, breaking off the final


the kurds


ties which attached him to Turkey, he proclaimed the indepen-
dence of Kurdistan and enlarged the frontiers of his principali-
ty up to Van on the one side, and up to Savoujboulak, Revend-
ouz and Mossoul on the other, and made the conquest of
Sindjar, Saard, Viran Shehr, and Sivereq, and his troops
arrived upto the vicinity of Diarbekir.

He had coins struk in his name with the inscription £< Bedr
Khan, Amir of Botan."

In consideration of the inconveniences of deviating from
the base of his operations, he caused the line of Diarbekir,
Sivereq, Viran Shehr, Nassilime to be occupied by his troops,
and went with the bulk of his army to Mossoul in order
to re-establish order there, which had been disturbed by
some local incidents. After having established order at
Mossoul, Bedr Khan went to Jezirah and being invited by his
allies, he marched with his troops towards the East, occupied
Savoujboulak, Sine and the region of Ourmia.

In the interval, the Turkish Government had prepared a
great army by mobilising all the regular and irregular forces
of the army of Anatolia. This army which was charged to
combat with Bedr Khan, was confided to the command of
Marshal Osman Pasha. The left wing of this army was com-
manded by the Brigade General Sabri Pasha, and the right wing
by the Division General Omar Pasha,

The first great battle between the Turkish troops and the
armies of Bedr Khan took place in the neighbourhoods of the
town of Ourmia. The Turkish forces were beaten and had to

Bedr Khan occupied his capital again in turning out
Izzedine Chir and his allies the Turks, who took flight towards
the South.

The remaining army in Persian Kurdistan having been
forced to retire under the weight of the large number of Turks,
who had received reinforcements in the interval, Bedr had to
retire to the strong fortress of Evrah.

168 the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

This strong fortress was invested by the Turkish army
and by that of Izzedine Chir and the siege lasted for eight

The situation in the fortress becoming more critical day by
day, the besieged made an unhappy sortie, and Bedr Khau
had to acknowledge defeat, and to abandon his plans of
Kurdish independence and unity.

He remained for many years in captivity at Candie in the
island of Crete and at Damas where he died in 1868.

Resumption op the Great Struggle

In 1879, two of the sons of Bedr Khan undertook to
revive the plan which had been so dear to their father.

During the Russo-Turkish war of 1877, an important
party of Kurdish volunteers was entrusted to the command
of the sons of Bedr Khan.

After the conclusion of peace, the Kurds re-entered their
country supplied with instructions which they had received
from their Amirs. Numerous Aga3 were a part of the
volunteers, and it was these Agas who received the charge of
organising the region of Botan.

Then, towards the middle of 1879, Osman and Hussein
Pashas, sons of Amir Bedr Khan, succeeded in gaining
Kurdistan and in reuniting in a short time an armed force
large enough to be able to occupy by the strength of their
arms the town of Jezirah, and to proclaim the principality of
Botan. The propaganda and the preparation made during the
war bore fruit. The volunteers ran in from all sides and they
very quickly succeeded in enlarging the zone of their tactics,
which, having the Jezirah as centre, was bounded by a line
passing through Djeulamerk, Midiat, Mardine, Massibin, Zaho
and Amadie.

(To be continued)




Pillars and Edicts of Asoka

{.Continued from p. 64, Vol IV, No. 1, October 1933)

Next to rock inscriptions, Asoka is also known to have erected
many monolithic pillars, both inscribed with edicts and uninscribed.1
Nearly thirty monolithic pillars are put to the credit of Asoka and of
these ten are inscribed, and here also, as Macphail2 says, Asoka's
practice was derived from the Achsemenian school of architecture.
Darius of Persia is known to have erected many monoli-
thic pillars to commemorate important events of his life. As we shall
see in details later, Herodotus informs us that when Darius went
to conquer Scythia he had to cross the Strait of Bosphorus for which
purpose he constructed a bridge over it, about a mile long, and to
commemorate the building of that bridge he erected two marble
pillars with inscriptions on them.3 Darius, when he constructed the
first Suez Canal successfully, a subject which we shall deal with
in greater details when we deal with Egypt, also erected several
pillars on the banks of the Canal4 and of these pillars, half a
dozen have been found and they throw valuable light on the history
of the old Suez Canal. Hence, Asoka was the first and the only Indian
monarch to erect in his kingdom, as Darius did, monolithic pillars,
inscribed or uninscribed, and since the practice was not known before
his days or followed after him, there is reason to believe that it was
borrowed from Persia where it was in vogue.

"What suggested Them ?

The very practice of erecting monolithic pillars is not Indian, and
as it is shown it belonged to Iran, there is no doubt that Iran did

1 Smith, Asoka, pp. 117 ff.

2 Macphail, Asoka, p. 56.

3 Herodotus, IV-85-87, Rawlinson, Herodotus, Vol. Ill, pp. 62-66.

4 Budge, A History of Egypt, Vol. VII, p. 63; Modi, Asiatic Papers, Part II,
pp. 189 ff.


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

influence Indian art in certain ways. But beside this practice, even the
structure of the pillars themselves shows that it was brought to India
from Iran where such architecture was in common use. The pillars
of Iranian, especially Persepolitan, architecture are noted to have their
famous bell-shaped capitals on the top of the pillars and those capitals
were further surmounted by lions or bulls or any other figure, the first
two as symbols of strength.1 These Persepolitan pillars are described
graphically by Fergusson in one of his valuable works.2 When we
turn to Asoka's pillars we find the same kind of structure repeated as
it is found in Iran. Asoka had one of his pillars at Sarnath, and this
pillar was, as is to be expected, surmounted by a bell-shaped capital
with four lions on it. This Sarnath capital is termed " the most
magnificent specimen of art yet discovered in the country."3 Sir
John Marshall speaks of it as " a magnificent capital of the well
known Persepolitan bell-shaped type with four lions above, supporting
in their midst a stone wheel or dharma-chakra, the symbol of the law
first promulgated at Sarnath. Both bell and lions are in an excellent
state of preservation and masterpieces in point of both style and
technique—the first carvings, indeed, that India has yet produced, and
unsurpassed, I venture to think, by anything of their kind in the
ancient world."4 Besides the Sarnath capital, the edict-bearing pillar
of Asoka at Sanchi,5 which has a bell-shaped capital surmounted by
four lions, is also " Perso-G-reek in style, not Indian, and there is every
reason to believe that they were the handiwork of foreign, probably
Bactrian, artists."6 This pillar has lions on its bell-shaped capital
and so has the south gateway of Sanchi Stupa. But as compared with
these Hons, the lions on the gateway are inferior because Marshall
thinks that the former was the work of Persian art, while the latter
belonged to Indian art.7 Smith mentions of two other monolithic
pillars at Eampurwa, in the Champaran district and they too exhibit
the Iranian capitals, one with a lion and the other with a bull on the
capital.8 He further mentions another inscribed pillar in the same

1 Tolman, Guide to Old Persian Inscriptions, p. I42n.

% Fergusson, Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis, pp. L58-161.

3 Catalogue of Museum at Sarnath, p. 29.

4 Annl. Rept. Archaeological Survey of India, 1904-05, p. 36.

5 I visited Sanchi at the end of May, 1929. See my articles on the ruins of
Sanchi in " Jam.e-Jamshed" of 5th July, 1930, " The Illustrated Weekly of India"
of 9th February, 1930, and "The Hindu Illustrated Weekly " of 18th June, 1933.

6 Marshall, Guide to Sanchi, p. 10.

7 Ibid., pp. 91-92.

8 Smith, Asoka, p. 119.

1934] ancient iran : its contribution to human progress 161

district which has got the Persepolitan capital with a lion above,1
facing the rising sun—a Zoroastrian custom no doubt. Another lion
capital which was at Mathura, but is now in the British Museum,
shows that its workmanship also had undoubted Persian influence.2
Of the uninscribed pillars, the best example is that at Bakhira, in the
Muzaflarpur district and its chief attraction, Smith says, is the capital
which is bell-shaped in Persepolitan style.3

A Note of Dissent

All students of archaeology and history have, therefore, come to
the conclusion that the famous bell-shaped capitals with the figures of
lion or bull on them are undoubtedly Persian in origin and India bor-
rowed them from Iran. But there is only one note of discord and that
is sounded by Mr. Havell. He, in support of his argument that India
was not influenced by Iran, says that it was a mere coincidence that
Iran and India both used bell-shaped capitals.4 But to this argument
our reply is that since India and Iran both had the same bell-shaped
capitals and both had also those capitals surmounted by lions or bulls,
and since Iran used them nearly two centuries before India used them
and since also Asoka, who began to construct those bell-shaped capitals,
was influenced by Iran when he was at Taxila as Viceroy, it must
follow that Asoka did borrow them from Iran. Another argument he
brings forth is that the bell-shaped capitals of Sanchi and Sarnath were
not copied from Persia, but were purely Indian. But he admits that
Asoka employed Persian masons because they were very skilful and
because, as the Sanchi column says, Asoka wanted to build it strong
to last for ever.5 But if this immigration of Persian artists who
worked in Persian fashion, does not speak of Iranian influence
may we ask what else it does ? He even goes further and says that
the bell-shaped capital was purely Indo-Aryan and therefore since
it belonged, at one time, to Iranians as well as to Indians it does
not exclusively belong to Iran. But, even granting that the bell-
shaped capital is Indo-Aryan in origin, which it is not because it
is first seen only in Achsemenian days, why did not India make use
of it until the days of Asoka, when Iran used them in the days of
the Achsemenians nearly two centuries ago ? Our reply is that India

1 Smith, Asoka, p. 118.

2 Rapson, Anoient India, p. 142.

3 Smith, Asoka, pp. 117-118.

4 Havell, A Handbook of Indian Art, p. 44.

5 Ibid. p. 41.


the iran league quarterly [JdTl.-April

did not use it until the days of Asoka because it borrowed it from
Iran in his days only. In another book of his Mr. Havell again
points out that there was no Iranian influence over Indian art and if
any influence on architecture is claimed it might as well be said that
the Indian Rajas of today, who live in European style, are influenced
by European manners and customs.1 "We know today that not only
are the Indian Rajas influenced by Europe but even the Indian people
also are so much under Western influence, due to a foreign Western
rule over us, that in our industrial methods, representative form of
government, the method of local self-government, abolition of Purdah
system and the use of English language we are influenced by the
West. If this is not influence, if the Rajas who live in European style
are not influenced by Europe, we ask the learned writer what can the
word influence mean ? In the same way Iran was so much before the
eyes of India that it is quite natural that her practices were adopted
by India in many ways.

The Oave Temples of India

Leaving the works of Asoka, we notice that the bell-shaped capitals
of Persepolis, "where alone in Central Asia they seem to have been
carried out in stone",2 and which are so famous in the history of
architecture, were borrowed by the Indians after the days of Asoka
also in their rock-cut cave temples. Dealing with the Jain caves of
Orissa, which are taken to be the oldest in India, having been begun
in the second century B.C., Fergusson says of the Tatva-Gumpha
Caves situated down the Khandgiri Hills that " the doors are flanked
by pilasters with capitals of the Persepolitan type,"3 because here
too we notice the pillars with the famous bell-shaped capitals. These
undoubtedly were copied from Iran through the Magadha kingdom,
for, as we shall see presently the palace at Pataliputra, the capital
of Magadha, was influenced by Iran and the caves must therefore have
been influenced through Pataliputra. The lat or stambha (pillar) at
Bettiah in Tirhoot is also surmounted by a lion of bold and good
design and Fergusson infers that it was from Persia that India obtained
the hint for such forms of architecture.4 Bell-shaped capital is also
found on the pillar at Sankisa in the Doab, half way between Mathura
and Eanouj and this also proves Persian influence.5

1 Havell, Ancient and Medieval Architecture of India, p. 3.

2 Fergusson, History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, Vol. I, p. 215.

3 Ibid,, Vol. I, pp. 17-18.

4 Ibid., p. 59.

5 Ibid.

1934] ancient iran : its contribution to human progress 163

Persian Builder of Indian Cave Temple

Coming to the Bombay Presidency, there also we notice that at
Bhaja, in Poona district, the notable features of the Vihara Cave are
the pillar and pilaster in the east end of the verandah having Persepo-
litan bell-shaped capitals which tell us of Iranian architecture being
adopted as that of India,1 The Bedsa Caves also, ten or eleven miles
south of Karla, have a Chaitya cave which has a pillar with a capital
of the Persepolitan type.2 But of all these, the Karla Caves help us
much in determining that some caves of India were really the work of
Iranians, not only with regard to certain forms of architecture but
with regard to the very structure of the caves. As it happens, the
pillars of the Chaitya Cave at Karla, the largest and the most com-
plete Chaitya Cave in India, constructed on either side of the cave and
separating the nave from the aisles, have richly ornamented
capitals. These capitals are surmounted on the inner front by two
elephants bearing two persons, and behind the elephants are two
horses or tigers, thus showing that it was a copy from Persepoiis.
Although here we notice elephants and horses and tigers, instead of
lions or bulls, it makes no difference in the fact that the style is after all
Persian, because when once the Indians adopted the Persepolitan
style as their own they even altered it afterwards to suit their own
purpose and since we find elephants and horses so familiar in Indian
life we can understand why the Karla Caves also used them instead of
the Persian lions or bulls.3 Nay, the Karla Caves give us an inscrip-
tion that shows that the Indians not only borrowed Persepolitan
styles, but one cave itself at Karla was the work of Iranians. In the
most northernly upper cave No. XII at Karla we have an inscription
which runs thus: " To the Perfect! The king Visithiputa, the illus-
trious Pulimavi, in the year twenty-four, in the third fortnight of the
winter months, the second day. This meritorious gift of a nine-celled
mandapa by the layman Harapharana, son of Setapharana, a Sovasaka
native of Abulama, for the possession of the sangha of the Mahasan-
ghas from the four quarters. For the continuance in welfare and happi-
ness of the father and mother and all people and living things. Estab-
lished in the twenty-first year and with me Budharakhita and his mother
an Upasika. And in addition the meritorious gift of another passage
by the mother of Budharakhita." With reference to the man who con-
structed this cave, viz., Herapharana, sonof^&tapharana, Burgess says

1 FeguBson, History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, Vol. I, p. 178; Smith,
History of Fine Art in India, p. 86.

2 FerguBBon and BurgeBS, The Cave Temples of India, p. 229*

3 Fergueeon, History of Indian and Eaatem Architecture, Vol. I, p. 138 n 2,


the iran league quarterly [Jan.*April

that he is not an Indian, while Dr. Gr. Buhler in the notes suggests
that Harapharana and Setapharana are clearly two Persian names,
the latter part of both (pharana) being the Persian ' frana' meaning
lord.1 Fven the place whence this Herapharana came is in Persia,
because Abulama is the port of ' Obollah ' near Basra, on the Persian
Gulf.2 Hence, it clearly follows that the cave No. XII at Karla was
the work of an Iranian and not an Indian.

An Immigration op Iranian Artists to India

From these facts we see then that the Buddhist art was in many
ways influenced by the old Iranian art. The magnificent palaces and
other works of art of the Achsemenian kings had made such impression
upon the minds of the Indians that it became common for Indians
to make use of Iranian architecture in their own country. So much
was borrowed from Iran by India that Foucher, the great French art
critic, says that it can only be explained by an immigration of
Iranian artists to India.3 But whatever may have been the reason
of the influence, whether it was through the immigration of Iranian
artists or without such an immigration, it stands unchallenged that
the ancient Indian architecture was influenced by that of Iran.

Db. Spo oner's Excavations at Pataliputra

The influence of Iran over India which we have discussed so far is
an established fact for archaeologists, and historians have combined to
trace the several forms of Mauryan architecture to Iranian source.
To this established fact a further impetus was given by the excavations
of the late Dr. D. B. Spooner, although there are many new theories
put forth by him which are not sound. It is a matter of great regret
that such an energetic scholar as Dr. Spooner should have been lost
to the realm of Indian archseology at a time when he gave promise
of bringing to light many useful and important facts about ancient
India. His excavations at Pataliputra have engaged the attention of
scholars who have found in his research many facts hitherto unknown
to them.

Dr. Spooner's excavations, carried out at Kumrahar, near modern
Patna, have given us a further proof of old Iran's influence over
Indian architecture, because he has found there the famous Mauryan
palaces of Pataliputra built on the model of Persepolis. This result,

1 Burgess and Pandit, Inscriptions from the Cave Temples of "Western India,
p. 36.

2 Hodivala, Parsis of Ancient India, p. 13d.

3 Foucher, Beginnings of Buddhist Art, p. 81.

1934] ancient iran : its contribution to human progress 165

which we would not have been able to know of but for these excava-
tions, owe much to Mr. (afterwards Sir) Ratan Tata who gave
Rs. 20,000/- yearly to the Government of India for a number of
years to carry on the work of Dr. Spooner.1

Pataliputra, modern Patna, was the capital of the Maurya
kingdom, and was founded by Udaya, grandson of Ajatasatru who
was the contemporary of Darius I of Persia. Pataliputra in old days
was up the confluence of the Ganges and the Son, because old foun-
ders of cities built them in a secure place between the triangle formed
by the meeting of two rivers, but today it is nearly twelve miles
below the confluence due to the change of the course of rivers.2
In such a secure position Pataliputra became the capital of the
Maurya dynasty and Asoka built there his famous palace Here the
Hall of Hundred Pillars, an exact copy of the one at Persepolis, was
discovered, which once more proved that ancient Iranian architecture
was borrowed by India.

Dr. Spooner began his excavation work in January 1913 and soon
found that there were many fragments of pillars lying in rows at
regular intervals. He first found eight rows, each of ten polished
monolithic pillars and it at once struck him that such a hall of mono-
lithio pillars was quite unknown in Indian architecture. He could
not remember of any Indian monument of a similar design. But then
his wife came to his rescue and he acknowledges this debt of his to
his wife in his report of the excavations.3 His wife, having a vavid
recollection of the plan of the Hall of Hundred Pillars of Darius I of
Persia, at once suggested to him that since he had found eight rows
of ten pillars eaoh, he might as well carry on his work and see whether
the Hall in question was of tha same plan as that of Darius. Spooner
took that hint and he succeeded, for he was fortunate to find ten rows
of ten pillars each, and he was further convinced by several other points
of similarity that the Hall of Hundred Pillars at Pataliputra was an
exact copy of the one of Darius of Persia.

Asoka's Hall of Hundred Pillars

In the course of his excavation Dr. Spooner found that somewhere
about the third century B.C. Asoka erected at Kumrahar a Hall of

1 Annual Report, Archaeological Survey of India, Eastern Circle, 1912-13, p. 55.

2 That there is a tendency among Indian rivers to change their course is seen
from the modern position of the river Brahmaputra. Hardly a hundred years ago it
flowed ta great many miles to the East of Dacca and the Madhupur forest, but today
it flows to the West of these localities. (Vide, Geology of India, by Wadia, p. 250).

3 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Jan. 1915, p. 66.


the iran league quarterly [Jan.- April

Hundred Pillars. These pillars are 20 feet high and 2 ft. 6 6 ins. in
diameter at the base. Persepolis, the capital of the AchsBmenian
kings, in the South-West of Persia, forty miles North of Shiraz, had
such a Hall of Hundred Pillars built by Darius for his Throne Eoom
and there was a great amount of similarity between the two Halls
which proved that the one of Asoka was undoubtedly suggested by
that of Darius. Just as the Iranian Hall had its pillars 10 Persian
cubits apart, the Mauryan Hall also had its pillars 10 Indian cubits
apart. Both the Iranian and Indian pillars were well polished, and
one of them at Pataliputra showed a mason's mark of curious type
which resembled the mason's mark at Persepolis.1 As we have
already seen, Asoka is known to have borrowed from Persia many of
his modes in matters of architecture and therefore the resemblance
of this unique building of his to that of Darius once more proves that
Asoka was very much influenced by Iran. But Dr. Spooner goes
further and says that not only was the Hall of Hundred Pillars of
Pataliputra an exact copy of the one at Persepolis, but Asoka carried
out his imitation even to the point of having the surrounding buildings
too built on Persepolitan style. The raised platform of the Hall of
Darius is found at Pataliputra also, and just as the Hall of Darius
had other buildings, like the palace of Darius near it, the Hall at
Pataliputra also had several structures in its vicinity.2 With all these
facts he concludes that " enough was clear, however to show us that
not only was our original pillared hall strongly reminiscent of the
Persian throne room even in matters of detail, but that its surroundings
also showed a parallelism to the Achsemenian site which could not
possibly be explained except by the assumption that the one reflected
the other definitely."3

These recent excavations of Dr. Spooner therefore have added one
more point to the question of ancient Iran's influence over India,
because besides his practice of having monolithic pillars and the
Persian bell-shaped capitals and the inscriptions on rocks after the
Persian fashion, Asoka is further shown to have designed buildings at
Pataliputra in imitation of the palace of Persepolis. His Hall of
Hundred Pillars at Pataliputra is certainly an imitation of the Hall of
Darius, because that famous Hall had a great popularity and fame
in the old days, so much so that not only was it copied by Asoka, but

1 Report of the Archseological Survey of India, Eastern Circle, 1913-14, p. 51
also Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, January 1915, p. 67.

2 Report of the Archaeological Survey of India, Eastern Circle, 1913-14, pp. 45ff.

3 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Jan, 1915, p. 69,

1934] ancient iran : its contribution to human progress 167

it dearly shows " with startling clearness whence the Moorish archi-
tects of Alhambra drew their aesthetic lineage."1

But we must pause here and divert to another subject before we
proceed with another department of Iranian influence over India.
In his enthusiasm for establishing his new points, Dr. Spooner has
carried his reasoning too far and put certain facts before the scholars
which are not sound in any way. We do admit that Iran was a great
and powerful empire in the days of Darius and it was bound, therefore,
to influence its oonquered countries, including India, in many ways.
"We also admit that Dr. Spooner's discoveries at Pataliputra are a real
contribution to the study of Indian history for they have brought out
a new point in the question of the Iranian influence over Indian
architecture by showing that the buildings at Pataliputra were an
imitation of those at Persepolis. But in spite of all this influence
we are not yet in a position to say that not only was Buddha a
Persian, but Chandragupta and Asoka were also Persians, and there-
fore there was at one time an Iranian period of Indian history with
Iranian kings ruling in India.2 In this matter we beg to differ from
the learned archaeologist, for we maintain that although Persia had
her influence over India in a vast degree, there was no period in the
history of India when it was ruled by Iranian kings living in India
and that there is no foundation in the statement that Chandragupta,
Asoka and Buddha were Persians.

Was Buddha a Persian ?

In support of his arguments that Buddha was a Persian, Dr. Spooner
brings forth the statement that since one of the names of Buddha was
Sakyamuni it follows that the belonged to Persia, because Sakyamuni
means the Sage of Sakya, which Dr. Spooner takes to be the Sage of
Persia.3 Independently of Dr. Spooner's theory, one Hindu Pandit also
bases his theory of Buddha being a Persian on the same grounds. In
reply to my letter of 6th June 1927 Dr. S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar,
Professor of Madras University, sent me a copy of Sree Akkiraj
Umakanta Vidyasekhara's paper on "Foreign Connections of
Buddha", read at the Third Session of the Indian Oriental Conference
at Madras, in December 1924. In this paper also the author, Pandit
Umakanta of Presidency College, Madras, says that sinoe Buddha was

1 Wonders of the Past, ed. by Hammerton, Vol. II, p. 745.

2 Vide my article "Did Parsis rule in India? >' in "The Hindu Illustrated
Weekly" of 18th January, 1931.

3 Journal of the Ro^al Asiatic Society, July 1915, p. 436ff.


the iran league quarterly


known as Sakyamuni, lie belonged to the Sakya country which he
takes to be Seistan in Persia.1 But both Dr. Spooner and Pandit
Umakanta forget that the Sakyas were not people of Seistan in
Persia, but they were a people inhabiting the lower parts of the
Himalayas and Buddha belonged to these people and not the Persians
as the Pali records will show.2 Hence, it is a great exaggeration and
a fact not authenticated by proofs to say that Buddha was a Persian,
because he belonged to the Sakyas who had a republic of their own in
Buddha's days and who lived in the lower slopes of the Himalayas.3

"Were Chandragupta and Asoka Persians ?

With regard to Chandragupta also Dr. Spooner says that since he
first appeared in the North-West of India and since as the Mudra
Eakshasa drama informs us he won the throne with the help
of the Persians, he was not a Hindu but a Persian.4 But because
Chandragupta was first seen at the North-West of India it does not
necessarily follow that he was a Persian, because at that time Taxila
was such a highly cultured city that the civilization of India centred
round it and therefore Chandragupta would have naturally gone to
such an advanced province as Taxila to fulfil his ambitions. Besides,
Chandragupta, as we have seen already, was not exclusively helped
by the Persians. The Scythians, the Greeks and the Kabulis joined
with Persians to help Chandragupta to get the throne of Magadha. In
support of his argument Spooner further says that since Chandragupta
married the daughter of Seleukos of Persia, he was undoubtedly a
Persian.5 But we know that after Alexander's death as he had no
heir to succeed him, his kingdom was divided among his generals, his
Asiatic possession being claimed by Seleukos Nekator. Hence, although
we do agree that there was a matrimonial alliance between Chandra-
gupta and Seleukos on political grounds,6 that fact does not prove that
Chandragupta was a Persian, because Seleukos was not by any means
a Persian ; he was a Macedonian general of Alexander.

As to Asoka also being a Persian there is no authentic fact to
lead us to believe so. On the contrary his edicts on rocks and pillars
show us that he embraced Buddhism and was at no time of his life in
any way a Persian.

1 Umakanta, Foreign Connections of Buddha, p. 1.

2 Law, Ksatrya Tribes of Ancient India, pp. 163-164.

3 Cambridge History of India, Vol. I, p. 175.

4 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, July 1915, pp. 416-417.

5 Ibid., p. 417.

6 Smith, Early History of India, p. 125.

1934] ancient iran : its contribution to human progress 169

Punch-marked Coins

Dr. Spooner farther states that the punch-marked coins of India
were influenced by Iran and that the symbols on those coins are
Iranian and not Hindu.1 But on the examination of facts we are led
to believe that the symbols are in no way Iranian. The symbol of
the sun is not necessarily Iranian, for ancient Indians also had great
respect for the sun. The symbol of the branch of the tree is not the
Haoma or Barsama of the Iranians, but is a representation of the
Bodhi tree. The symbol of Chaitya also is taken to be that of a
mountain, but the symbol resembles more a Chaitya than a mountain.
And finally, the date of these coins establishes the fact that Iran did
not influence the symbols of these coins. These punch-marked coins,
that is coins not impressed with a die, but punched irregularly at any
part of the surface, are known to have been current in Northern India
from 200 B.C. to the beginning of the Christian Era,2 a time when
Iran, being defeated by Alexander in 331 B.C., was not in so powerful
a position as before and therefore was not competent to influence the
coins of India in so many ways.

Who were the Lxochavis ?

There are other scholars who like Dr. Spooner think that at ohe
time there were many Iranians living in India. Speaking of the
Licchavis, Smith says that they were a Tibetan tribe,3 but Prof. Sarat
Chandra Vidyabhusana holds that these Licohavis were originally a
Persian tribe. According to him this tribe originally inhabited Nisibis
whioh was an important and well-fortified Persian city and which
played an important part in the Parthian and Sassanian days, being
at one time even the chief centre of the Roman power in Mesopotamia,
and it afterwards went over to Tibet.4 When Darius explored the
Indus some of his people from Iran came to India, but finding the
Punjab overpopulated, they came to Magadha. This was in the sixth
oentury B.C., but after two centuries they further changed their resi-
dence and went to Tibet. This was the reason, therefore, why the
Maurya Dynasty was influenced by Iran, because the Licchavis are
none else but the Nisibis peole, the intial V being softened to ' P.6
But these Licchavis were not the people of Nisibis because they were a

1 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, July 1915, p. 412.

2 Smith, Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum at Calcutta, Vol. I, p. 135.

3 The Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXII, pp. 233-236.

4 Ibid. Vol. XXXVII, p. 78.

5 The Indian Antiquary, Vol. XXXVII, p. 79.

170 the iran league quarterly [t7an-'April

' i rrw

-princely tribe ruling over Vesali about 500 B.C.1 Besides, after
Buddha's death they claimed a share of his dead body because Buddha
was a Ksatriya like them and they wanted to preserve his relio and
honour it in years to come.2

Hence, although the influence of Iranian architecture over India
is an established fact it is not true to say that the vastness of Iranian
influence in any way should lead us to believe that at one time ancient
India had Iranian people living and ruling in it. Such a theory is
against the facts of history which only show us that Iran had a great
influence over India and that there was at no time an Iranian period
of Indian history.

Iran's Influence on some Indian Social Customs

Leaving the subject of architecture, we now proceed to deal
with another kind of influence over India, viz. that in regard to social
customs. From the account of the old classical writers we gather
that the Maurya Court lived in Persian style and borrowed many
of its customs from Iran. Although Asoka favoured Buddhism so
much, the nature of his diet, the free use of flesh-food and the
enjoyment of hunt all show that he was really influenced by Iranian
practices.3 Chandragupta was fond of depicting himself on coins as
fighting with a lion, after the Persian fashion,4 because we know that
the Iranian kings, such as Darius, had this practice of depicting
themselves on various objects as fighting with a lion, as symbolio of
strength.5 But of these and other practices, the important ones
are worth considering in details.

The one great influence which Iran exercised upon Indian society
of old was in the matter of hair. The Iranians were known, due
to climatic conditions, to have long hair on the head and to wear
a long beard, but although the climate of India did not permit them,
as we can well see even today, the Indians of the time of the Achseme-
nian Dynasty of Persia and a little after still imitated the Iranians
in this mode, and it is amply proved that their customs relating to
hair prevalent in the Mauryan days were a loan from Iran.6

{To be continued)

1 The €hambridge History of India, Vol. I, p. 183.

2 Law. Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India, pip. 8-9.

3 Smith, Oxford History of India, p. 95*

4 Smith, Early History of India, p. 809.

5 Tolman, Guide to Old Persian Inscriptions, p. 14$.

6 Smith, Asoka, p. 142.


Jamshed R. Irani, B.A.

We have received here Nos. 36, 37, 38, 39 and 40 of the Proceedings
of the Persian Parliament wherein discussions on the

following subjects have been recorded. It seems, after lengthy discus-
soins the Majless has passed them into law

Railway and Nave

Permission to arrange a loan of five hundred thousand rials for
the Railway and Navy has been granted to Minister of Finance to be
set off against the budget of the year 1312 which amount to be returned
by the end of the year 1313 from the revenues derived therefrom.

National Bank Building

The Minister of Finance has been empowered to borrow from the
National Bank the sum of 3,700,000 rials for the construction of the
Bank Building at 3% per annum for the period of B years when the
building so constructed is to be entrusted to the Bank and amount to
be reoovered.

Restrictions on the Trade of Tobacco, Cigars and Snuff

The Government is empowered to restrict till the end of year 1312
the trade in tobacco, cigars, snuff etc., and to levy fines on smugglers
under clauses 5, 6, 7 and 9. A sum of 1,750,000 rials has been set apart
from the budget of 1312 to enable the Minister of Finanoe to adopt
restrictive steps.

Construction of Roads

Additional five hundred thousand rials have been ear-marked for
the construction of roads and the Minister of Finance has been
empowered to utilise the income received towards the repayment of
the amount received from the tax on sugar and tea.