[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
Ministry of Interior
Government of Kashan and Vicinity
Date: 4 of month [illegible] 1300 [1921/1922]
Enclosure [illegible] the writings of Mr. [illegible]
The esteemed head of the Ministry of Interior
Your Honour is fully aware of Kashan’s divisive disputes, and it is needless to mention that, every day, they become a kind of toil for government.
On my arrival, I informed you by telegram number 562 that Agha Seyyed Ahmad Darb Bidani, the nephew of Mr. A. Mirza Seyyed Hasan, the esteemed representative from Kashan, took advantage of the closure of the Vahdat-e Bashar School and had a discussion in my presence at the home of Ayatollah Mr. Molla Habibollah. Yours truly had previously informed you of the events of this period in the above-mentioned telegram. Then, on the Day of Ashura, Mr. Seyyed Mahmoud Sadrol-Vaezin discussed the closure of the school and the demise of the Baha’i community from the pulpit of the Soltani School with the presence of eight to nine thousand people. The local residents immediately decided to take some action.
Since Sadrol-Vaezin was a respected figure, and if there was any discussion about him, the local residents would become suspicious of me and other government officials, with the help of Mr. Ehtesham Divan, the head of the Government Office, as well as the law enforcement officers and gendarmes who were present at the gathering, their actions were prevented. [They] immediately informed me of the situation and a number of agents and gendarmes, accompanied by the head of the law enforcement [department] and Mr. Davamod-dowleh, were dispatched; upon their arrival, the matter was resolved, and no incident took place.
Agha Ali Khayyat, who had started a discussion with Sadrol-Vaezin when he was leaving the pulpit, were summoned to the government office, and after a few hours of exhortation to Agha Ali and Sadrol-Vaerzin and reminding them of the manner and philosophy of their lives, the dispute between them was resolved.
After a few hours, some discussions took place at the pulpit of the school, where the rowzeh-khani [mourning and wailing] ceremony of Agha A Seyyed Ahmad was held. Then an order was issued on behalf of Ayatollah Mr. Molla Habibollah to cancel the mourning ceremonies and the local residents were encouraged to go to the A. Seyyed Ahmad School and destroy the Vahdat-e Bashar School, and to face the Baha’i group on the eleventh day [of Muharram].
As soon as we were informed, Davamod-dowleh, Ehtesham Divan and a number of the city’s peacemakers were sent immediately to Molla Habibollah’s home. Owing to my perseverance and making the instigators understand the consequences of this action, Molla Habibollah denied the matter; however, writings from Molla Habibollah were quickly obtained in order to disperse the public. My persistent requests to A. Seyyed Ahmad Darb-Bidani, through these gentlemen, to prevent these actions were futile.
Having no other recourse, at seven in the evening, I summoned the head of the gendarmerie while the director of the Telegraph Office was present and gave him the necessary instructions. I sent Mr. Ehtesham Divan and Davamod-dowleh to A. Seyyed Ahmad again and threatened that [if they did not] disperse the local residents, I would disperse them by engaging the forced military action. When they saw the situation this way, they proceeded to remedy the situation. Since a group of people from neighbouring areas and villages had gathered in the mosque, on one hand, I obtained an order from Agha Molla Habibollah to disperse them and on the other hand, stationed the gendarmes both on horseback and on foot at the necessary posts. The local residents were dispersed, and I returned to the headquarters.
Because those who intended to revolt could not succeed in achieving their aims, they [aroused] the clergy; should a favourable response not be received from the centre [capital], they will repeat the commotion.
Yours truly, because of the surging sentiments during the days of mourning, treated the local residents gently and kindly and made them hopeful of the government’s mercy. Finally, yesterday, there was a meeting at the home of Hojjatol-Islam Agha A. Mirza Abol-Ghasem Mojtahed Naraghi, where Mr. Haji Mirza [Illegible] and a few other clergymen were also present. In the past few days, the number of mourning ceremonies has decreased as compared to the past. I told the clergymen that their actions during this period had been contrary to my and the government’s expectation and discretion.
It would have been wiser if, before the Days of Ashura, they had requested the prime minister and the esteemed ministry to bring the Vahdat-e Bashar School under the programme of the Ministry of Education. It was for this reason that they telegraphically admitted and acknowledged their inappropriate behaviour during this period. Yesterday afternoon, A. Seyyed Mohammad Taghi Posht Mashhadi, which is headed by the relatives of Mr. A. Mirza Seyyed Hassan, a respected member of the parliament, came to Kashan from Qamsar. As soon as he arrived, he went to the government office and requested that the matter be resolved. He has, moreover, agreed to be in charge of resolving this faction. For this reason, yours truly has submitted telegram number 723 by A. Mirza Seyyed Hasan, the esteemed representative of Kashan, to the esteemed ministry, and in these few days [I] have been trying to resolve the dispute between the factions, in any way I can, and inform you of the outcome.
Regarding the Vahdat-e Bashar School, as requested by the clergy, please issue an order to place the subject school under the Ministry of Education’s programme, so that discussions are ended.
In conclusion, I would like to mention that throughout my service in any of the government ministries, I have had the habit of being truthful in my reports, and have never hidden or covered up what I had to say, to the extent that the hardships of these few days and lack of rest for a few nights have made me sick, and I have been afflicted by malaria. As a payback for these hardships, my salary has been reduced and I have to maintain my reputation with almost 200 tomans a month and protect the reputation of the government.
Should it be possible, please investigate [the fact] that since my arrival, I have not accepted even a penny [of bribe] under any name or condition. I even released a notification 24 hours after my arrival and referred all the legal matters to the local Justice Department (Judiciary) and my honest service has not been acknowledged. Despite all the issues and challenges, I hope that as long as I remain on this mission, I will not let any unfortunate incident happen.
It is necessary to inform Your Honour that A. Seyyed Mohammad Taghi is one of the good and righteous people of this province and it can be said that he is a [unique] individual in this city. The people of this city have nothing to do except [engage in] intrigue, corruption and antagonism against each other. Indeed, it seems like A. Seyyed Mohammad Taghi is not from this province. During these events, he was considerate of me and immediately tried to resolve the matter.
I regret that, in telegram number 655, the name of A. Hasan Modir was wrong in the password. That esteemed individual is also a good-natured and patriotic person.
[Stamp and signature] [illegible]