Last Shah of Iran
How the kings are installed and propped by the great powers;
Just finished seeing this BBC documentary about the shah of Iran whose pompousness we grew up with. I remember waiting for hours on the Chaklala road to airport in 1967 to catch a glimpse of the motorcade. But, I was too young (around 5) for the wait, and left early and later came to know that his motorcade has passed. Witnessed Murree Road being renamed as Raza Shah Pehalvi Road and after his debacle again being renamed Murree Road. There was such pomp and show in the newspapers about his his 2500 years coronation ceremonies, read about the intrigue and the stories of his previous wives and current wives in Jang. Also, saw the yearly pictures of his heir being groomed to take over his crown. The heir’s ascent was short circuited by the Iranian Revolution. The documentary made me recall the story of the womanizer and drunkard dictator of Pakistan peeing in the flower pots during the 2500 year coronation celebrations, and the dictator getting slapped by a lady in the royal feast. I recalled the stories of lavishness of Shah, his blind following of the West, and the wholescale adoption and imposition of foreign culture on the poor Iranians. Western powers that brought him also left him high and dry after the revolution when he was moving in his airplane from country to country till eventually was sent to Egypt to spend his last days. The daily stories of scores people being shot after the revolution reminded me of the reign of terror in France after the French revolution.
The king was a fool made to think that he had divine right to rule, propped by US/British advisors, bent upon robbing the aspirations of poor third world countries. How this project of “modernization’ at the expense of people’s aspirations gets implemented. It reminded me of the puppet Last Emperor of China. How history and reality catches up with reality. Now people don’t even remember or recall his artificial glory.
The pomposity with which he came to the Islamic Summit in 1973. We thought as children then that he was much cherished by his people. His rise and fall happened in front of my eyes in the 1970s. His portrayal in Last King of Scotland tells us of the artificial pomp of the dictators, shahs and sheiks propped up by Western powers to satisfy their neocolonialism agenda. When a few years ago I went to Uganda I realized how destructive these stooges are in the developing countries. The plight of Idi Amin in an Egyptian hospital where he breathed his last was well captured by Javed Chaudhry in one of his columns. https://m.facebook.com/permalink.php?id=474290666706912&story_fbid=491247315011247