Mehrnehad gave his life to save our lives.
By Reza Hossein Borr
The world will remember Mehrnehad, the first weblog writer that was hanged in Iran. He chose freedom even though he knew it would cost his life.
Yaqoub Mehrnehad was very young when he was hanged, but added more value to the collective achievements of Baloch nation than thousands of men who have died in their homes, in accidents and in the hospitals. He was the kind of person who wanted to generate respect for the Baloch people. He thought they deserved it and had to get it at all cost. Thousands of Baloch have died without having any impact on improving their own lives or the collective life of their nation. They appear and disappear in this world without being relevant. They come in this world, suffer, witness the history of their nation’s suffering and fade away as if they have never been born.
Mehrnehad wanted to make an impact on the life of his people. He wanted to do it within the limits the government has imposed on them, but the way he displayed the imposed limitations, was not satisfactory to a regime that hated freedom, prosperity and happiness. Yaqoub Mehrnehad wanted to indicate to millions of Baloch people that they can be effective even in the worst environments. He wanted to show them that they are able to build and achieve something even against odds. He was able to persuade few of his friends to accept his idea of making major changes in the mentality of the Baloch but they were too few and few is always too vulnerable.
If we had hundreds of Yaqoub Mehrnehad, today the fate of Baloch people would be very different. Few people are always vulnerable when the majority is indifferent. If a large number of Baloch had followed his example, nobody would have been able to eliminate them. This is a great lesson. The numbers count: one is very vulnerable, ten are less vulnerable, one hundred is still vulnerable, but thousands are not; and we have millions of Baloch.
He was one, joined by few, later. With him, his organization was hanged too. Few friends he had were forced to scatter. Some still are rotting in prison. The Baloch intelligentsia witnessed his demise with the sorrow of those who have been completely overwhelmed by the fear of a ruthless government that has no limits in brutality. They prefer to continue a dog’s life rather than appear like a lion on the scene, roar loudly, fight ferociously, stand tall and look firm the way Abdol Malek Rigi.
I know that everybody loves to live but if somebody lives without dignity and prosperity, that’s not the kind of life that Mehrnehad and hundreds of young Baloch who are fighting in the worst conditions were looking for. Coming like a dog, living like a dog, and dying like a dog is not honorable. Even a dog can make a difference by showing more loyalty to the home he lives in. Mehrnehad wrote in his weblog that he knew what kind of fate he expected but he still had the courage to follow the dream of an honorable and decent life in his own homeland. He was entitled to have a free life in Balochistan and when he did not find it, he worked very hard for it and at the end, he lost his life for what Baloch aspired to have: freedom, liberty, dignity, respect, prosperity, welfare and promotion of his identity and preservation of his land.
Yaqoub’s soul is searching in the air of Balochistan to call on all Baloch people to strive to follow his way and his aspirations. He is likely to feel in his grave,” I cannot rest in peace as far as my people cannot have peace in their own land.”