In the Path of the Imam (56)
In our earlier episodes, we pointed out that the Father of the Islamic Revolution, the Late Imam Khomeini (RA), was a self-built figure, who had reached the pinnacle of piety and in accordance with Islamic teachings developed a highly ethical relationship with people from various walks of life.
We also spoke of his approach towards the deprived and disadvantaged strata of the society, noting that he acted kindly toward the poor and the needy, both in his personal life, and in the political-social arenas. We then elaborated on the outlook and behaviour of the Late Imam towards martyrs and their families.
After presenting you glimpses of the steadfastness of that Sage of the Age during his 14 years of exile in the holy city of Najaf, in Iraq, we spoke of the commitment of the Founder of Islamic Republic of Iran to the rules, regulations, and administrative hierarchy, as well as his outlook in this regard that led to consolidation and institutionalization of the Islamic system of government in the shortest possible time, despite crises and hardships.
Last week we presented your examples of the firmness of the decisions of the Late Imam Khomeini, and we continue the same topic this week.
As a reminder, last week it was pointed out that within all political systems, including revolutionary ruling systems, one of the main vulnerabilities is the attempts of some individuals or groups and currents, to influence political leaders, in a bid to push the country's policies and plans towards their own vested interests. These persons or groups, who are referred to as beneficiary groups, make every effort to block the appropriate communication channels of the senior officials and supply them distorted or wrong information, in an effort to direct the mindsets of the decision-makers toward their own intended goals.
We also referred to the exemplary prudence of the Late Imam, who was very vigilant in all affairs, and successfully blocked such person or groups from infiltrating his circle.
Thus, maintaining permanent communication with people from all walks of life, receiving information from different channels, listening to news of different domestic and foreign media, and encouraging officials to impartially present facts were some of the most important characteristics of the Founder of the Islamic Republic in order to block such elements from influencing him. Given the importance of this aspect of late Imam's characteristic traits; today we study other dimensions of these characteristics of the Founder of the Islamic Republic.
One of the traits of the Late Imam was that he never had a spokesperson for elaboration of his points of view. Some of his associates, in a bid to promote their political status within the community, were inclined to claim that they were the confidants of Imam Khomeini, and would at times make remarks on his behalf. Imam Khomeini, being fully aware of such persons and plots, formally announced that he did not have a representative or spokesperson. He did not even allow his dearest and most trustworthy associates to penetrate his personal and political realms, fully aware of the related consequences.
One of the ways of influencing senior officials is preparation of the draft copy of letters and statements. Given the busy schedule of the senior officials, the bureaus and sub-groups of a political system, initially study the topics of importance, and submit the outcomes in the form of a draft letter attributed to the related official. In this way, persons and groups intent on influencing policymakers and planners, take advantage of this opportunity to achieve their own goals and objectives.
Aware of these plots, the Late Imam Khomeini was among the few and rare leaders, who prepare their own draft letters. Some of his handwritten notes can be found among the documents of the Islamic Republic of Iran. This goes to show that he was exceptionally alert and vigilant. He thus prevented any possible means of infiltration by opportunistic elements.
As said earlier, the Late Imam Khomeini maintained communications with people from all walks of life in order to prevent beneficiary persons and groups from infiltration the decision-making process. Furthermore, upon making a decision, he did not allow anyone to undermine the related decision, or to dispute it. This stance of the Late Imam was of paramount importance.
Meanwhile, one of the prominent features of the Late Imam was that irrespective of his firmness, resoluteness, and resolve; in cases where those near to him reached a collective conclusion towards which he was disinclined; he allowed them to proceed, while clearly expressing his different views.
One of the other approaches of the Late Imam for foiling the efforts of beneficiary persons and groups, was maintenance of impartiality, including that of his household and associates.
It was the habit of Imam Khomeini to instruct his associates, especially his relatives, not to make any recommendation to any official in regard to national affairs; in view of the fact that such behaviour would set the stage for infiltration of opportunistic individuals.