Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan: Who we are; Identity and Aims
This document was presented to the 13th Congress of Komala, after the debated, it was ratified by a near unanimous vote by the representatives. It demonstrates the outlook, history, aims and practical means adopted by the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan. It is to be treated as the guidance for the leadership of Komala and all party committees, organs and members and is to be the basis of justification of the policies, enlightening actions and political teachings. In addition, Komala’s program of action for managing the economical and political issues in Kurdish society which are to be devised, shall be based on these aims and aspirations.
Social and political backgrounds of the formation of Komala:
Komala was established in the autumn of 1969 and if we wish to be more accurate on the 27 October of that year, amidst the situation in Kurdistan, Iran and the world, by the Kurdish university students, as a left wing political organisation. Taking in to consideration the dictatorship situation and the monarchic despotism that did not tolerate the slightest political activities, it was forced to commence its activities as an underground organisation, very much like all other political formations. The establishment of Komala at the time was due to a series of deep social, political and cultural upheavals in the Kurdish and Iranian society. On the other hand, it was itself a response and a solution to those needs which were put forward by these upheavals. By the formation of Komala, and then its active participation and leading role during the events of the Iranian revolution, and further continued by its presence in the popular Kurdish resistance movement and the movement of liberating the Kurdish people, political and social struggles in Kurdistan, it entered a new phase and was moulded into a new form and contents. The economical reforms of the early 1960’s, in the old monarchical regime, were implemented in those days under the political and economical influences both nationally and internationally. They caused tremendous transformations and resulted in deep and lasting political, economical and cultural consequences, one of which was the Iranian revolution in 1979. The collapse of the feudalistic infrastructure and the accompanying closed economy, pushed Iran completely towards the world market and the needs of the international capital, which had started from the early 1960’s and was in full force for nearly a decade and half. Notable development of urbanisation and the formation of a widespread wage earning working class, which in Kurdistan, due to a lack of constructive and economical projects in this region, resulted in the migration to the cities and manufacturing centres in other parts of the country and this new working class found a migrant character in itself. The emerging widespread stratum of the educated people and the emergence of students and university students, as a new social stratum and the higher education coming out of the monopoly of the royalty or affluent classes and its penetration through the lower and middle classes of the society, and consequently the formation of a social mechanism that would attract and transform a new world thinking and culture, would help to make new demands in the society. The cracks in the traditional society and its old relations, the eradication of patriarchy and the formation of a new generation, who was not satisfied with the old way of living and was seeking for its fair share from the society and the world, the entrance of a relatively large section of women in to the world of education and employment market, and in consequence the beginning of the change in their traditional role in the society, all in all, these changes made tremendous transition in the world outlook, culture, perception and spirit of various stratum and in particular the workers, women, youths and the educated masses. And, it brought with itself new social demands and wishes that sooner or later could not be not translated into politics and political struggle. All these economical, social and cultural upheavals in Iran, were happening in the midst of tremendous transformations in production, technology and economical development, and also in politics and culture on a world arena. The expansion of world market to all corners of the globe, accelerating and ceaseless economical development after the second world war, during nearly three decades in the advanced capitalist countries, which is known as the golden era of capitalist development; the increase in wages and the enhancement of economical and social rights of the workers; the establishment of massive achievements such as social security and free universal health insurance; free education; trade union rights; mothers’, children and unemployment rights; and so on, in one word, what was known as the welfare state, which itself was gained through the struggles of the workers and the progressive forces which was identified with world social democracy. The widespread growth of feminism and women’s rights and their massive participating role in the society, the notable increase of the role of the youths in the society and achieving relatively large economical independence, together with notable transformation in the culture, lifestyle, music, literature and alike, the final collapse of the remainder of the colonial system in the world, the improvement and exaltation of labour movements, the spread of liberation movements in the third world and anti-war movement in the West, the emergence and popularity of guerrilla movements as an alternative against the military and police dictatorships in Latin America and some third world countries, the emergence of a new left in Europe which was independent of the Soviet system and then in the rest of the world, which was unwilling to accept the Soviet Union and the Eastern Block as a model for socialism, appearance of cracks in the so called Soviet Camp, to begin with between China and Soviet Union and then internal splits within this camp itself, these were some of the world transformation and changes which left its mark on the thinking and behaviour of people all over the world and on the intellectuals and political activist in Iran, Kurdistan and the founding members of Komala in those days. The aforementioned transformations in the Iranian society, together with the intensification of absolutism and the political strangulation by the ruling regime, resulted in fundamental changes in the meaning and methods of political struggle and the composition and arrangement of the political opposition in Iran. The traditional forces in the arena of politics in Iran, under the impression of such transformation and the new radicalism that had appeared in the political arena of the country, gradually lost their influence and were pushed to the edges and new political forces took their place. These new elements and forces were comprised mainly of the students and the educated stratum who were coming together in the many scattered new organisations, circles and groups. And, in most cases, were under severe pressure by the absolutism through oppression, imprisonment and torture, and were not able to sustain themselves for long periods and usually did not enjoy an organic and widespread link with the workers and the lower stratum of the society. The Iranian opposition, during this period, were not rather formed by the well-known members of the National Front, the Tudeh Party or the clergy but were formed mainly by the revolutionary youths who would reject any compromise towards the monarchy regime and were in favour of a revolutionary solution for a regime change, from popular revolutions to guerrilla actions. This new political dynamism mainly existed underground and had a profound impact on the literature, the poetry and the culture of the time. It was primarily left wing ideology with a radical revolutionary colouring and was based on the third world narration of Marxism and anti-imperialism. The various prevalent political creeds in the world were naturally more or less echoed in Iran and the region. All be it that the Soviet Union was still seen as the world centre for socialism and the western world would accept this narration, however during that period, the Soviet Union itself and its policies were under the criticism, with varying degrees, everywhere in the world by the left, from the independent and democracy seeking left to the left wing guerrillas and also Maoism. From early 1970’s, religion, as a political ideology, was radicalised under the internal and world situation, had managed to infiltrate and create interest amongst the intellectuals and students in a notable manner, which demonstrated its effects later on in the Iranian revolution and acted as a steam-roller for the ascension of the rule of the reactionary clergy and religious despotism of the Velayat-e-faghih [rule of jurisprudent]. Komala, as a new player in the political and intellectual arena in Iran’s Kurdistan, was influenced by these transformations and events and would react to them and at the same time it would leave its own deep impression on the new generation in those days in Kurdistan. The changes in the region and in Kurdistan in those years were very notable and effective and one of the political and intellectual sources for the initial formation of Komala. The emergence of Kurdish movement in the Iraqi Kurdistan during the early 1960’s, which is known as the September (or Ilul) Revolution, resulted in putting forward the Kurdish question and the regeneration and advancement of national consciousness amongst the younger generation and general population of Kurdistan in those years. After that, the evolutions that the movement went through and the bitter and tragic defeat during the mid 1970’s gave way to the re-examination of the Kurdish movement on the basis of new thinking and learning lessons from that experience, which itself had very positive effect amongst political activists and the new generation of the intellectuals in gaining experience and critical political opinion. In the Iranian Kurdistan, the Democratic Party (Hezb-e-Demokrat), which until 1960’s was the primary and the only political organisation available for the struggle and protest in Kurdistan, and was associated with the most important events up until then, was itself faced with new political and social challenges. This party had to deal with the new understandings and questions posed by the world, Iranian and regional events and on the other hand had to cross swords with its historical close collaborations with the Tudeh Party and how to settle with it. The absence of a worthy response to this question, gave way to internal bewilderment and tensions and this party became the subject of re-examination and criticism by the new generation of the intellectuals and Kurdish political militants. The formation of a new faction or a new organisation under the name of “Revolutionary Committee of Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan” in 1967, which was no longer willing to carry on its activities within the traditional outlook and methods of the traditional leadership, was itself the fruit of this period and an endeavour to respond to this problem. The formation, activities and then the following failure of this criticising faction and taking in to consideration the experience of the “Revolutionary Committee”, in itself was a source of influence on the political organisation that was latter known as Komala. In this way, the question of Kurds and the Kurdish movement in the society and in the eyes of the new generation, in that period, found a new meaning and substance. The new generation was no longer satisfied with the traditional outlooks and solutions. The Kurdish nationalism would be integrated candidly with the right to self-determination and also with a new outlook and a new social substance, which is progressive, democratic, with citizen’s rights, women’s rights and modern and non-traditional methods of leadership. Komala was the vehicle to convey such necessity and a clear response to the national question from a modern, progressive and democratic prespective. The 1960’s Iranian Kurdistan went hand in hand with the formation of a kind of cultural self-awareness and modern literature, with the birth and dissemination of new Kurdish poetry and a wave of political and social story writings in the Kurdish language, with the enhancement of the intellectual movement and the birth of literary and intellectual circles which had mostly an acute political connotation, which in itself prepared the ground for the future cultural and intellectual sources of Komala.
A decade of Underground Activities:
Despite numerous arrests and imprisonment and sustaining tortures and hardship during the monarchist regime, Komala came out victorious from these trials and despite the blows, managed to preserve the main body of its cadres during the harshest of times. For this reason, during the Iranian Revolution and the Kurdish movement could step forward in the movement with a network of experienced activists who were well-know and popular for the masses and for this very same reason, it was the main organiser and leader of the demonstrations and popular actions in Kurdistan during the Iranian Revolution. The underground activities took about a decade, which was from 27 October 1969 to 15 February 1979, i.e. the day of the public announcement of the birth of Komala, in fact these were the years that formed the world outlook, political mentality, methods and ethos of militancy and organisation. One can summarise the character of Komala’s thoughts, policies and practice as follows:
A- Komala did not consider the Soviet Union as the socialist pole and its model for ideology and practice and such demarcation would not allow it to have any dependence on the theoretical Soviet narration. A narration that was primarily in the service of the foreign policy of the Soviet Union and according to it, anything that was anti-American was considered positive and revolutionary. We did embrace socialism and the October Revolution, however we did not accept the regime that came to power afterwards. Those who had theoretical affection for this camp, or like the Tudeh Party had practical dependence, as the events of the Iranian Revolution proved, committed notorious mistakes and even grave treachery. Komala belonged to that section of the left wing that did not accept such theory and practice and one of its cornerstone’s of the founding political theories was criticism of the Soviet Union and demarcation with its internal reflection. It was no accident that years later, during the mayhem of the [U.S.] Embassy occupation, and when many considered this event as an example of being a revolutionary act and under the impression of public fascination, ended in endorsing it, Komala, at the time, without any ambiguity, called it a reactionary demagogy which only served to strengthen the basis of the dictatorship of Velayat-e-Faghih [rule of jurisprudent], misleading and distracting the movement and finally crushing the opposition.
B- Komala did believe in the necessity of overthrowing the Shah’s regime, however it did not accept guerrilla fighting methods. We believed that the revolution ought to be the consequence of the development and evolution of popular movements and a change of mentality and a change in social behaviour of the workers, toilers and the masses due to evolution, political and practical improvement of these movements. A popular and transitional revolution is in fact the reaching of social and popular movements to its highest degree and not its first step. We deeply believed in the role of masses and social movements as the agent for social change and did not believe that guerrilla actions, isolated from the masses, would be instrumental. The respect and revolutionary prestige of the early leaders of the Fedayee Movement was quite high for Komala and we did recognise their political impact on the students and the intellectuals, however the experience of the armed movement of the Iranian Kurdistan in the years 1967 – 1968, by the “Revolutionary Committee”, had demonstrated to us that a guerrilla movement by the vanguard, even if this group does not suffer from a lack of links and connection with the local population, like the Kurdish movement which enjoyed the support of the peoples, without the direct involvement of the general masses through their practical movements and through political and organisational activities have become ready for action and rise, shall not be finally victorious. The experience of Kurdistan in general and the experience of the 1967 – 1968 movement in particular, which was primarily not known to the non-Kurdish political militants was an ample source for learning by Komala and in fact it offered us a deeper maturity and historical outlook.
C- Believing in the pivotal role of social movements in any social transformation, participating and supporting them and leaving its impression on them through patient and sympathetic activities, belief in the role of the masses and popular initiatives, and the need for being sensitive and accepting responsibility towards them were part of Komala’s political and theoretical foundation and were prominent part of its character. In particular, Komala in that period, deemed necessary the popular links and connections, as well as working amongst the masses in order to overcome the separation between the intellectuals and the masses and workers, which was one of the problems of the political work for the intellectuals in that period. This character, since that period has placed Komala in a unique place amongst the left wing political organisations, so much that the cadres of Komala were known as “grass root workers” amongst the political prisoners of the 1970’s. D- Giving importance to a firm theoretical and political beliefs which were put through test time and time again by all embracing study of Kurdish history and society, Iran and the world. And, theoretical and political debates and also through practical actions, the acceptance of harsh discipline, deep internal solidarity, being committed, accepting risks, taking responsibility, hard working, having a self-sacrificing mentality and always being ready to give up life’s personal benefits for higher social, political and party goals, were some of the characters of Komala and this protected our organisation during that harsh period, both in theoretical demarcation against other outlooks and theories and against police strikes. That was how Komala was able to enter the Iranian Revolution and the widespread Kurdish movement as a militant political organisation.
Komala in Iran’s Revolution and in Kurdish Movement:
The second important historical period that had a deep impact during the development of Komala was the Iranian Revolution and consequently the massive liberating resistance movement of Kurdistan, during which Komala left its indelible impression on the society and the movement at the time and during this process had to go through massive transformations and transferred from a compact disciplined organisation with a limited number of cadres in to a massive social party.
Taking in to consideration the network of cadres and activist that Komala had in the framework of the society and taking in to consideration that these cadres, apart from their association with the organisation, they were themselves popular characters and from amongst the political prisoners and famous activists and relying on the relatively large network of supporters among the youths, students, teachers and sections of the workers and also rural toilers, was enabled to play the first fiddle in organising demonstrations and popular actions and place itself at the head of many of these actions. Utilising the gradual freedom of its cadres from the prison, prior to the onset of the liberating movement against the monarchy regime and from 1977, Komala started to re-organise itself and was able to prepare itself for the future enormous events with a more potent organisation and cohesion. During this process, Komala clandestinely held its first congress in autumn 1978.
For Komala the time between the Iranian Revolution and the order of assault by Khomeini on 19 August 1979 was a period of most widespread civil organisation and work amongst the masses. During that short period, Kurdistan enjoyed a relative safety prior to the expedition by the Islamic Republic, Komala took the initiative to form peasant unions; workers’, women’s, teachers’ and students’ organisations and also founded circles of culture, literature, poetry and theatre in the cities and villages of Kurdistan and Kurdistan experienced a rare political and cultural flourishing. This period coincided with the time when Komala was changing and its rapid growth and popularity amongst the masses and its transformation to a completely mature, freedom-loving and vanguard social party which was offering new concepts, slogans and methods of struggle to the Kurdish society. Defending the peasants against armed landowners and old tyrants and defending their rights for possessing the land, daring defence of liberty and equality for women and their presence in all aspects of the society, defence of political freedoms and freedom of speech, taking the initiative in forming and supporting various civil, trade and cultural institutions such as organisations known as “associations”[Jamiat] in the cities which attracted primarily the radical and youth forces to itself, bravely defence of separation of religion and the state and criticising the newly installed Islamic Regime, plan and introduction of new popular struggle which was unsurpassed until then, all of these matters very quickly transformed Komala in to an innovative and very attractive party in the society.
With the order of assault by Khomeini on 19 August 1979, a new era commenced in the history of Kurdistan and an all out resistance was born against this onslought for the preservation of pride and prestige of the Kurdish people and the gains made so far. The Islamic Republic Regime started its assault by utilising false excuses, demagogy and by agitating backward nature of the masses and dissemination of malicious rumours about the Kurds, but in reality the real reason behind the assault was that the reactionary government could not tolerate a free and freedom seeking Kurdistan. A Kurdistan without the dominance and hegemony of the fundamentalist clergy and pseudo-fascist aggressive Hezbolah mobs; a place where there were no setting the cinemas and entertainment centres on fire; no attacks on Baha’i dwellings and shops; free from compulsory Hijab, beatings and throwing acid on women; free from attacks on popular councils and institutions; free from closures and banning the independent and freedom seeking press; where there are no news of attacks on the students and political organisations; but in total contrast, within the framework of our abilities, we promoted all these freedoms and movements in real terms. A Kurdistan, which from the very beginning was a secular and democratic movement could not be tolerated by a state that was dreaming to take Iran 1500 years back and had its hands on the wealth and power of the country. This island, the liberated Kurdistan, had to be drowned in the ocean of petrifaction, demagogy and reaction. Kurdistan was sacrificed for its liberty; for the establishment of the rule of Velayat-e-faghih [rule of jurisprudent] in Iran the authorities had to go through the suppression of Kurdistan. Therefore, they assaulted it with iron and fire.
“The Resistance Movement of the Kurdish People”, as it was known in those days, would embrace actions such as civil and political disobedience to armed resistance and Pishmargah. None of these were planned or designed by any particular group or organisation, however it was the real action taken by the masses and people from all walks of life in the Kurdish society who joined it and it was the manifestation of the determination of the Kurdish nationality for defending its rights and whoever that would not adhere to it, would be pushed to the edges and isolation. More than any other political forces, it was Komala that inspired the resistance of the Kurdish people against the onslaught on the Kurdistan and in practice, immediately after the assault order by Khomeini, in a historical and strategic decision, which is reflected in the historic bulletin of “The Kurdish people in the crucible”, Komala decided on the preparation and organisation of this mass popular resistance and effectively was placed at the head of this resistance. The widespread and strong-willed people’s resistance managed to force a defeat for the invading forces of the Islamic Republic within three months and the regime was made to enter a dialog with the representatives of the Kurdish people. “The Representative Committee of the Kurdish People”, which comprised of the representatives of the political parties and personalities active in the Kurdish movement was the fruit of the co-operation of those forces. Although they accepted the dialogs unwillingly, however the rulers of the Islamic Republic were busy reorganising and fortifying their forces in full for yet another future widespread onslaught on the Kurdistan. In the meantime, they did try to cause dissention amongst the Kurdish parties and stopped at nothing to disintegrate and destroy the Representative Committee of the Kurdish People and attempted to setup separate negotiations and collusions with parties involved.
Finally, after an interval of several months, once again there was a massive military assault launched by the Islamic Republic on Kurdistan in March 1980 and once again the cities and villages of Kurdistan were subject to bombardment by tanks, artillery, ground and air forces and once again the resistance and the solidarity of the people of Kurdistan manifested itself spectacularly. After several years of bloody and inhumane conflicts, eventually the Pasdaran [Revolutionary Guards] and the oppressive forces of the Islamic Republic managed to occupy this land but they never managed to crush the will of the people or force them on their knees. During this relentless and legitimate resistance, Komala lost more than two thousands of its best militant members, however by doing so, by sacrificing the blood of its best cadres and Pishmargahs, it proved its solidarity with its people and sealed a deep pact with them and established itself forever in Kurdistan.
Unsuccessful Experience of Communist Party of Iran:
According to the beliefs of Komala in those days, the formation of the Communist Party was one of their aims in line with their ideals, however it was due to the political situation that made such decision to be taken so hastily. The formation of the Communist Party of Iran in September 1983 happened at a time when the Islamic Republic had started a bloodbath all over Iran in order to establish its rule. The labour activists and democratic and leftist forces were under most pressure. They were being arrested and destroyed one after another and many of them were executed. Komala was of the belief that taking in to account its influence and widespread popular base in Kurdistan, by forming the Communist Party of Iran, the remainder of the freedom-seeking and left wing forces would become amalgamated and a united struggle against the Islamic Republic would spread all over Iran. In particular, they believed that the next wave of the revolution would soon sweep away the rulers of the Islamic Republic and soon enough we would witness the new exaltation of the revolutionary movement, but this time within a progressive and liberating framework. It goes without saying that in this scenario, Komala and the Kurdish movement would benefit from a powerful ally such as the labour movement and the liberating movement in Iran and would no longer have to bear the pressures of the Islamic Republic on its own. Similar methods of thinking, albeit without a left wing background, did exist in the formation of the National Council of Resistance and the participation of some Kurdish forces there.
Experience proved that despite sincere mentality and honest endeavours by Komala, enduring expenses and devoting manpower, the Communist Party of Iran not only never materialised the dreams that it had inspired but never even was anywhere near it and at the end it turned out to be a failed project. Considering the existing deep illusions, severe dispersion and in the absence of a credible democratic alternative, the domination of the fascist dictatorship of Velayat-e-faghih [rule of jurisprudent] was established in Iran and the hope of any prospects of a revolution or a new exaltation was lost. The labour movement was suppressed, the women and students movements were crushed, Torkman-Sahra and Ahwaz were dripping blood, the pens were broken by the order of “the Imam” and the press faced closures and the Communist Party of Iran, apart from the early stages and in a very limited manner, never boosted the rank and file of Komala, never found any foothold and basis amongst the workers, women, students, intellectuals or any other stratums, never managed to spread its roots in the movement, never organised any resistance and had no effect.
In the beginning, the leadership of the Communist Party was at least aware of their shortcomings and did endeavour to correct this and on this path would remind all that Komala should be taken as a successful model that should be exemplified by the Communist Party of Iran. However later on the custodians of this party who could see that the day of reckoning is becoming nearer and their balance sheet empty, of course not counting Komala’s activities, and expecting criticisms and rightful questionings, instead of being accountable, they drowned themselves in the melancholic ideological illusions and unable to create a better world, they promised the paradise to their followers. While not even moving a finger and drawing any attention from working class to themselves, in their dreams they considered all the workers in the country as party members and prescribed a solution for the whole world. Komala’s real and dynamic understanding of the role of the social movements in the process of political transformations were forgotten, opposing democratic discourse became order of the day, and further ignoring and even hostility with any real movement and childish denial of the transformations in the world around us, would be posed as the integrity of theory. Real and earthly movements would all be considered contaminated and would be belittled and negated, and freedom and liberty, more than ever before was reduced from an earthly and real concept to the by-product of the ideological transcendence. Intoxicating itself and the others was the replacement of expediency and clear policy making and analysing and real investigation was replaced by shallow use of foul language and creation of constant animosity.
Finally and in the last years, even the Kurdish movement, as the strong point, became a target for attacks and contempt. Not taking responsibility for the leadership of the movement and even theorising and sanctification of this political idleness, revisionism in the well-known principles of Komala towards the Kurdish national question and denying the role and place of Komala in the liberating Kurdish movement was threatening the very existence and the glorious traditions of Komala. Komala was supposed to be seen as a successful social and popular model, in contrary, Komala and its popular traditions became targets for sharp attacks. It must be said that exactly during this period the heavy burden of harsh struggle in those years against the inhumane suppressions of the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic in Kurdistan was laid on the shoulders of a generation of cadres, Pishmargahs and political activists of Komala whose services, sacrifices and hardworking is still a magnificent page in the activities of Komala and forms an inspiring model for the youth generation of Komala.
In one word, in Kurdistan area, the Communist Party of Iran not only never served any purpose for Komala but for several years it caused such problems, disappointments and dispersion amongst the forces that its effects are not fully eradicated even now. The theoretical and organisational framework of the Communist Party was a heavy weight on the shoulders of Komala and a cause for being pushed to the fringes and marginalised. Positive, real, popular features and aspects of Komala were being harmed under the ideological and cultural weight of the Communist Party of Iran and the Kurdish movement was witnessing the waning of its vanguard forces.
The remedy for this problem could only be achieved by getting rid of the theoretical and political frameworks of the Communist Party of Iran, re-construction of Komala and re-positioning it on the rightful basis.
Re-generation of Komala and opening new horizons:
The project of re-generation of Komala, which was as a result of many years of debates and political and theoretical discussions, was materialised in 2000 and was the third important juncture in the life of Komala. At that juncture the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan managed to once again to hold its rightful position in the Kurdish society and Iran by critical re-examining parts of the outlook, policies and old methods that had been adopted during previous years. By this re-generation, Komala managed to rely on the real, popular and progressive traditions and by taking into consideration the global transformations, once again it found its deserving place as the vanguard and modern party of Kurdistan, a party that is able to comprehend and digest new situations and can follow its aims and ideals in a new world and establish itself amongst the political and intellectual elite, and also amongst the youths, students and political activists. This widespread ideological and political re-generation could produce a new enthusiasm, hope and self-confidence for the long-term activists, friends, those who care for Komala and the peoples’ of Kurdistan, its popular base became ever more extended and once again it established Komala as the vanguard party and its active leadership in the Kurdish movement and by doing so it paved the way for opening new political horizons in Kurdistan. The process of events and the real life experience of Kurdistan during the past decade and in particular during the democracy seeking movement of 2009 proved the correctness and accuracy of Komala’s policies more than ever before and its position amongst various stratums of the people of Kurdistan and the democracy seeking movement activists all over Iran were established.
As Komala was formed during the harsh monarchic despotism and was originated through social, political and cultural upheavals in those days, it demonstrated a proper response to the political and social needs, as the active participation of Komala in the Iranian Revolution and then the leadership of the Kurdish movement in those years displayed a deep and real understanding of the necessities of the day and the recognition of the correct social forms of struggle in that period by Komala. The project of re-generation of Komala, after many years of study, debate, investigation and criticisms was finally materialised at the onset of the new millennium in 2000 by splitting from the Communist Party of Iran. This was due to a deep study of the political and social situation of the world and the region and a full-scale political and ideological review of the Communist Party of Iran’s outlook and finding the correct path to address these needs and the recognition of the correct path that Komala and a realistic social left wing party should have adopted in Kurdistan. And it embodies the characterisation of a new political horizon for a modern, democratic, rightful and just Kurdistan by Komala. The re-generation of Komala at the same time meant the re-birth of Komala and the commencement of a new era of development and expansion of political influence and maturity of this party and yet another shining star in the life of our organisation.
The collapse of the Soviet Camp and ever discrediting of a social and political system, so called as communism, and moral credibility being under question together with Maoism and the Chinese model losing credibility, caused a lot of widespread upheavals in the world and made progressive and left wing forces all over the world to look for new paths. Komala never approved the so called Socialist Camp and never considered the Soviet System as its role model but more over it was the symbol of a realistic and independent left that criticised the Soviet System and had clearly demonstrated its demarcations with Stalinism since its second congress in March 1981. This view had always formed part of the political outlook of Komala and for this reason it faced the harshest of hostilities, accusations and labels by the defenders of the Soviet System such as the Tudeh Party. However, the traditions and legacy of the Soviet Camp, which whether we like it or not is associated by the name of communism to the general public all over the world, is now more than ever before had become a despicable and unwanted tradition and legacy and was a burden to the left wing groups and tendencies in the world including those who criticised it.
The catastrophes of the Stalinist era; Moscow Trials and the murder of most of the leaders of the October Revolution; forced collectivisation and mass mortality of millions of people and in particular the peasants in this process; dictatorship, torture and setting up forced labour camps; internal exile of none-Russian ethnicities and inhumane abuse, discrimination and sternness towards them; lack of political freedoms and freedom of speech, reducing the literature and press to formal praise, admiration and adulation of the authorities and the ruling system; converting the communist parties of different countries, and in particular in the third world, to their resident agents for advancing the foreign policy of the Soviet Union; and many other factors resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union resulted in being associated with the collapse and discrediting of communism. The other example, China, despite economical development, due to huge problems such as social injustice, political despotism and its foreign policy never added anything to the credibility of the experience of communism. The decline of a global current known as communism and the severe derogation of the parties associated with this identity in all countries in the world, which nowadays is near extinction, is a political reality of the world today. The re-generation of Komala in 2000 could not and should not fail to take this reality in to consideration and not draw its own demarcation with this negative global experience with the name of communism.
The end of the Cold War, the ascension of the discourse about democracy and human rights in the world, the downfall of the dictatorships, informatics revolution, political transparency and the like, together with theoretical and political upheavals within Iran, the bankruptcy of the economical, social and cultural model of the Islamic rule and the failure of the ideological hegemony of the society by the Islamic system and the dominance of the democratic discourse and civil rights amongst the political and cultural elite of the society, the shift in the opinion and the composition of the opposition of the Islamic Republic and finally the upheavals created in the Iranian Kurdish movement and in the Kurdish movement as a whole, had raised the necessity of a review. The continuation of the narrow-minded and dogmatic theoretical, political and organisational framework of the past was pushing our interrelation with the new transformations, new generation and the new discourse in the society and the world to become alienated and would push Komala within the Communist Party of Iran to the fringes. Contrary to the investigative and dynamic methods of Komala in the past, the Communist Party of Iran had enslaved Komala within a hard and inflexible shell of dogmas which no longer could identify the challenges correctly and be ready to face them head on and would leave no opportunity to intelligently utilise the existing prospects. Not only we were losing theoretical and political innovation and progress but also we were pushed to the fringes and only thing left for us was to remain isolated and live on nostalgia.
By recognising and comprehending these transformations, Komala needed a review and re-investigation that could accommodate the obligations of a new and modern world. This review completely corresponded to the history and origin of Komala, the social stand and popular base of Komala and its reliance on the social movements and popular actions and also with Komala’s methodology and political reality and its free and independent thinking. The re-generation of Komala in fact meant the re-growth of Komala on its fundamental and historical roots and the best of its popular traditions, a dynamic and social methodology and at the same time adopting itself with the most important global and internal transitions and endeavour to advance the spirit of the ideals of Komala through new challenges and opportunities that we live in.
The aims and policies of Komala:
The Komala Party of the Iranian Kurdistan is a socialist party, believes in social justice and fights against social inequalities and injustices. Komala considers itself first and foremost a defender of the rights and interests of the workers, low wage earners, women, youths and suppressed masses of the society and fights to secure their social, economical and political rights in order to ensure a better future for the support and materialisation of these rights in the society and endeavours to secure mass participation in social decisions and determinations. Komala considers fighting for the following as its responsibility and duty: securing social justice; creating equal opportunities; a progressive labour law; freedom of trade institutions and organisations; free and independent labour organisations including the right to form trade unions, providing social security including unemployment insurances; free universal health service; providing free education for all Iranian children and youths, including the right to receive education in the mother tongue and defending their rights for securing developmental and recreational facilities. Komala is in process of joining the Socialist International and considers itself close to this social and political camp in the world.
Consistently defending people’s democracy and rights and respecting them, centre staging the social movements as the prime agent for social transformations, valuing the popular initiatives and blossoming and nourishing them, emphasise on social justice and workers and low wage earners’ rights, not compromising and standing firm against the dictatorship of the Islamic Republic Regime, consistency in fighting for national rights of the Kurdish nationality and heralding new solutions on this matter, all together forms the principal identity of Komala and its path in Kurdistan. Thousands of people have lost their lives in the ranks of Komala for the accomplishments of these just ideals..
The Komala Party of the Iranian Kurdistan pays particular emphasis on total democratisation of social and political life in the Iranian society and in doing so, it fights for: complete separation of the state and religion; complete equality between women and men’s rights; complete political freedoms; freedom of speech and press; freedom of political parties, organisations and trade unions; a democratic constitution, modern and progressive; abolition of national, ethnic, linguistic, gender and religious suppression and discriminations in Iran. Komala is of the belief that without a democratic solution to national, ethnic, linguistic and religious discriminations in Iran, the accomplishment of a lasting and real democracy in the country is impossible and therefore for this reason seeks a federative system, where all nationalities including the Kurdish nationality in Iranian Kurdistan are able to manage their own affairs through their elected organisations by themselves. As regards the future of political structure of the state in Iran, Komala supports a democratic, secular, pluralist and federative system..
Even before the Islamic Republic takes power, which has been holding it for more than 30 years now, Komala has been against the political Islam and fundamentalism and in the history of Kurdistan has been well known as a decisive and unambiguous party and has never compromised in the least with the Islamic Republic Regime and its theoretical and political foundations. Komala still considers the Islamic Republic Regime as the main enemy of the Iranian and the Kurdish people and regards it as the main obstacle against development, advancement and freedom and in order to sweep away this regime in its totality it relies on the united conscious struggle of the people. Komala Party has always believed that there is a need for an extensive alliance of democracy seeking forces in Iran, based on the collective consensus on a democratic charter, be it for the accomplishment of the objective of regime change or be it for the democratisation of the future Iran, after the fall of the Islamic Regime and Komala shall collaborate on this path, while preserving its standpoints..
Komala is the vanguard party of the liberating movement of the Kurdish nation that is seeking freedom, legitimate political and cultural rights and after a decade of very difficult and glorious underground activities, during the previous monarchic regime, and then ever since the Iranian Revolution, it is for more than 30 years that it has been active and at the head of the movement and still holds itself committed to strengthening it and lead it to victory. Since the beginning of its establishment in 1969, Komala has clearly emphasised on the right to self-determination for the Kurdish nation and has always been at the forefront of struggle for securing national rights of the Kurdish nation and a program of action. Komala is the very first political party in Iranian Kurdistan that has adopted federalism in their party program which has been accepted and welcomed by the public opinion and has become the main demand of the Kurdish people and has found its place as an acceptable and logical structure for the future of Iran amongst the political forces in the country. Komala welcomes the extension of national self-consciousness of the Kurds to the southern parts of Iranian Kurdistan, such as Kermanshah and Ilam and endeavours for the strengthening of solidarity amongst all Kurdish dwelling areas.
Komala calls for a peaceful solution to the question of Kurds and continues to work for the accomplishment of such a solution in future. However Komala recognises the legitimate right of Kurdish people to resist and self-defence against coercion, violence and military suppression. Komala also views the Kurdistan people’s resistance against unjustified attacks and aggressions by the Islamic Republic, totally just and necessary and considers it as one of the glorious pages in the history of Kurdish people’s struggle.
Komala strives to carry out its responsibility to present kurdish movement in the region and worldwide and displaying its democratic and rightful face to the world from the standpoint of supporting the Kurdish people.
Komala warmly supports the just struggles of the Kurdish people in other parts of Kurdistan and while offers solidarity and readiness for dialog and co-operation with other political parties and their institutions, they disapprove of any interference in the internal affairs of each other and believe that irresponsible interventions has only resulted in tarnishing the relations between the Kurdish parties and finally it has not been accepted and is rejected by the society.
Komala is the party of the social movements and popular innovations and it has been associated with the most important junctures of popular movements during the past three decades. The historical Marivaan migration, peasant unions, labour unions, “Defence Association of freedoms and rights of the Kurdish people” in Kurdish cities, “Bankeh”s and local councils of Sanandaj, councils and other popular institution in the cities and villages of Kurdistan, Teachers’ Union, students organisations, women’s organisations and many popular actions and civil and social institutions, have been known as part of Komala’s innovations in Kurdish society and is identified with Komala. The widespread protest movements of Kurdish cities in summer of 2005 and also the successful general strike of April 2010 against the executions, are some prominent examples that demonstrate the high capacity of the Kurdish movement and the effective role of Komala in mobilising the masses. Today, while facing the new regional and international situation, Komala strives to completely embed itself within social movements, labour movement, women’s movement, students’ movements, various civil movements and become their main friend, supporter and speaker.
Komala has always emphasised on the line of democracy seeking within Kurdistan itself and is of the belief that a free Kurdistan should be free not only from national suppression but also be free from despotism and dictatorship within Kurdistan itself. Komala is the main defender of democracy seeking and civil rights of the people of Kurdistan and has paid a heavy price for it.[/text]
During the past decades, Komala has been a party fought for the rights and liberation of women. Boldly defending the women’s rights, attaching vanguard role for women and giving them responsibilities that were traditionally in the realm of men and is doing away with many restrictions that during that period would be seen as the red line for many opposition parties, are only part of the traditions that have became popular in Kurdistan due to Komala’s innovations. One can mention that Komala was the first party in all Kurdistan that organised an extended female Pishmargah forces and gave them sensitive organisational and political responsibilities. In fact during those years the widespread presence of female pishmarga on itself, in the people’s eyes was one of the characteristics of Komala. Fighting against backward and degrading traditions against women, endeavouring to erode all aspects of discriminations against them, abolishing all rules and laws that station women disadvantageously in terms of economics, rights, social position and family, securing the equality of rights of women has been considered as fundamental duties of Komala. Komala is of the belief that without comprehensive liberty and equality of women, no real democracy, human rights, Kurdish movement or socialism can be achieved.
Komala is the Party that supports a pluralist and civil society with vanguard culture in Kurdistan and it manifests the libertarian, democratic and modern ideals of the Kurdish people. Komala opposes all reactionary and harmful traditions, which are in force especially against the women, children and the downtrodden in the society and strives to eradicate them through legislation and also through explanation, enlightening, education and altering the culture of the society.
Iran and Kurdistan are on the verge of an environmental catastrophe. Komala is an ardent defender of a responsible preservation and protection of the environment and seeks to use Kurdish natural resources optimally, such as water, soil, forests and vast underground resources, with a long term environmental view, serving today and future of the people of Kurdistan and repudiates all current destructions, indifferences and plunders of these resources.
The Komala Party of the Iranian Kurdistan emphasises on the freedom of all religions and declares itself neutral towards all religions. Emphasising on this particular point, with respect to religious discrimination of the Islamic Republic, makes it doubly important. Religious beliefs or disbeliefs are a personal matter for each person and is free from state’s aggression. All religions, be it Sunnite, Shiite, Yaresaan, Christianity, Bahai’s and all other religions are free in the liberated Kurdistan and religious abuse and discrimination and also religious animosity and hate mongering, which is a reactionary legacy of the Islamic Republic, should be thrown in the dustbin of the history together with this very Regime.
In order to strengthen democracy and democracy-seeking trends, Komala supports all democratic movements, labour, women, students and other progressive social movements and at the same time it deems itself permissible to enter political alliances, when necessary, in order to sweep away this regime, while adhering to preserving its independence and in line with its aims and ambitions.[/text]
Komala recognises the Human Rights Charter and strives to make it the basis for living and a rationale for the state and the people all over Iran including Kurdistan. Consequently, Komala supports the abolition of executions and stands for including it in the future constitution of Iran.
Komala respects, emphasises and protects pluralism in Iran and Kurdistan, as one of the by-products of social growth, development for delivering the society to modernity and believes that a return to political party monopolies and single-party systems are neither possible nor useful, because it prevents the society from political and intellectual flourishing and a healthy competition. Under such conditions, the question of the unity of struggles of the people of Kurdistan, which still holds a vital importance, must be achieved and secured through political co-operations, alliances and Kurdish fronts in order to prevail over this shortcoming.
On the basis of this methodology, Komala, as always, rejects the use of violence in free political competitions, including amongst political groups and parties of the Kurdish movement and believes that whatever the services of Komala in the past, during hard times of the movement, and however much it ought to be appreciated by the society, at the end of the day, the political destiny of Kurdistan must be determined by people’s decision through ballot boxes. Komala, as always, respects all parties and political allegiances of all citizens and believes that choosing a political path and a political party, such as joining or leaving a party, must be done in complete freedom. Violent conflicts must be rejected by all political parties, preferably by issuing a collective communiqué and giving undertakings on a common charter to suppress and stop any future internal conflicts and wars in Kurdistan forever. Taking in to consideration the background of armed struggle and Kurdish parties being armed, which is rooted in the legitimate and rightful resistance of the Kurdish people against suppression and oppression, must from now on, through a common effort, compile and ratify the standards for a civil, democratic and lawful society in Kurdistan and remove all obstacles on the path to future development and political and cultural blossoming of Kurdistan.
It is years now that Komala strives for the formation of a united Kurdish front amongst the Kurdish personalities, institutions and parties, as one of its top priorities. Although this matter is some time now that has become the common wishes of the Kurdish people, however its absence is felt deeply and Komala still supports this calling and it considers it as one of the effective tools of the Kurdish people in their struggle against the Islamic Republic and also in the service of establishing the wishes of the Kurdish nation and strengthening their political position in Iran.
Komala rejects the antagonist policies in respect to the rest of the world including blindly and backwardly being against the west which is instigated by political Islam in Iran. And, while it emphasises on the political independence, it believes that constructive coexistence with the world, and in particular with our neighbours, must be the basis of Iran’s foreign policy.
Komala Party of the Iranian Kurdistan rejects the adventurism in foreign policy, supporting terrorism and its export to the region and the world, provoking religious differences and hostilities in the middle east region, creating tensions and insecurity in the region by the Islamic Regime. Further, it rejects the drive by the Islamic Regime to get its hand on nuclear weapons and hold the ruling Regime responsible for the isolation and political, economical and technological limitations imposed on Iran. Komala emphasises that instead of a violent, tension-seeking and cultivating superstitions character that the Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated so far, a democratic and economically strong Iran, with advanced cultural character could have a positive impact on all the region and can provide most comfort and security for the whole population of the country.
In our opinion, securing a lasting economical development, together with social justice and preserving the environment is the requirement for a proper economical policy for Iran. Getting rid of backwardness in Kurdistan, which is on the one hand as a result of long term discrimination in capital investment, construction development programs and economical development, and on the other hand is as a result of corruption and mismanagement, must be a priority.
Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan