Imam Khomeini's Stance Regarding the People
Many political thinkers and analysts of contemporary movement and revolutions in the world are in agreement about the three bases or axis that are the symbols of victory and perpetuation of revolutions, namely people, leadership and ideology. There is a certain link and relationship between these bases. Although at the interior of each two together insides an inherent unity, that is there must be a strong impenetrable bond between the people and the leadership and an indisputable unity between the people and the ideology of a revolution or a movement, but if the smallest disharmony appeals on the link between the ideology of a movement, leadership and the people, this tiny branch could one day turn to a deep fissure which could easily bring about defeat and digression.
In studying and analyzing revolutions and liberation movements from the point of view of these bases, it becomes evident that as long as a strong internal tie exists between them, the resulting revolution will be insured.
The Islamic revolution of Iran is considered from certain points of view an exception in recent centuries, as even with the appearance of thousands of articles, analysis, interpretations and books, it is still unrecognized. Of course, the more profound and richer the ideological backing of the people and leadership, the more guaranteed would be the perpetuation and life of a revolution.
It must be said that the most evident principle behind the defeat of revolutions and movements is the disparity in behavior and class between the leadership and the people. Imam Khomeini (RA), quite different from other world leaders, carried this momentous and holy responsibility on his shoulders as a Godly duty and not because of thirst for power or frenzy to rule; concepts which have lead the leaders of many countries to defeat .He never had any grievances against the people. The fact that he was called a prophet-like leader has to be pondered upon. His way of life, disposition, temper, habits, behavior and the relationship with the people, whether during the years in exile or the days of the spring of revolution or the victory thereafter, remained constant and without changes. The same ardent mystic, revolutionary theologian, old but with a young demanding mind and an unbending ageless faith, he remained like a shield in front of calamities and difficulties, only natural to the count of a revolution. He never had any open complaints of the people, he believed in them and their prosperous souls wholeheartedly, in short, he loved them dearly.
Imam (RA) in the heart of the people
The Imam, unlike other religious scholars had spent a lesser time amidst his people. He at least exiled for fifteen years beyond the frontier and far from his people.
Political analysts and sociologist have not been able to discover the mystery of this internal and spiritual bond between the Imam and the people. During the revolution, he not only never distanced himself from the people, but also never even hesitated to point out and guide whenever he felt that the whirlpool of life might place a distance between the authorities and the people.
Respect and courtesy for the people
Imam's relationship with people was neither political nor a transient one. He valued people with profound belief. His interaction with people was monotheistic and God-fearing, but at the same time believed in promotion and elevation of people's beliefs, though respecting public opinion. In which history of a revolution have you read that the leader of a revolution constantly point out to the authorities the question of respect and courtesy to the people and believe in the people to a degree of placing all the executive and governmental dignitaries on one side and the people on the other, not as an opposition, but as a balance and complement of each other. He had frequently emphasized that this balance is indispensable and necessary wider any circumstances and without the backing of the people nothing can be dote. The same way that for any appointment the first say is given to the people so is for any dismissal. Pay attention to this saying of Imam: "When people don't want a public servant, he has to step down." In another time he has said: "Anyway, we have to go after the concept of keeping the people, for as it is said, without the backing of the people, nothing can be done."
Sincere and honest encounter
Another point is the respect and courtesy for the people that is evident in Imam's words and speeches, a respect that when we consider his dignity and position and ponder upon his words, we learn that there is an enormous distance between the Imam and those who are wrapped in the material world and though weak, carry the air of pride and self-conceit. He told people: "It is better to call me your servant than your leader." Imam believed that serving the people was his religious duty and asked everyone within their means to serve these good people.
In harmony with God's Will
The basic principle in satisfying the people, from Imam's point of view, is contrary to some incorrect interpretations, the satisfaction of the poor or heroic people. Imam as a religious mystic delivered from many self -serving commitments and material desires and as an antic believed that God's blessing lay in the satisfaction of his creatures. And in a statement indicates two precise points. The first being that it is necessary to satisfy the people as the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) himself gave it much importance, and the second that if you don't have the people; if you don't have a close and strong relationship with the people, you can not direct them to God. He also stressed this fact to the authorities that they should learn from the Prophet (peace be upon him and his household) as a real and clear example.
On the importance of satisfying the people, he says: "To satisfy people is of prime importance. The holy Prophet was after attracting people's attention, lead them to God, and the authorities should follow suit.
"You have to do something to attract people's affections as God's satisfaction lies in there."
Nothing can be accomplished without the people
About people's role, Imam has said: "All revolutions in the world are dependent on one of the superpowers but our revolution is dependent only on the people."
"If a population or a nation wants to be successful, besides working for God without any expectations, must also be with the people. Without them nothing can be done and success will not be accomplished."
Always remember that we are servants of God that the people have brought us to this level and so we must serve them"
Showing appreciation and gratitude for the sacrifices and inconveniences of the people, especially for being always present, has always occupied Imam's attention.
"Accept people and go among them, do not separate yourself from them. Previously, they didn't accept the people and were separated from them"
"Victory was won for you and me by these people. They are our benefactors and we have to feel this meaning in our hearts that we have to treat them in such a way as to earn God's blessing."
"We have to make an effort to be kind to the people."
"People have paid their dues to the Islamic Republic and until now have done their duties. We are the problem, we are answerable to them."
Belief in the people's point of view
Although the Imam believed more than anyone else did in the religions and political awareness of the people, he also believed their guidance to be always necessary.
"The difference between an Islamic and an unislamic revolution is that when a revolution becomes Islamic, the masses of the people go along with it and whenever people go along with something, it goes faster with little corruption."
Understanding people's mentality
Imam's psychological understanding of the mentality of the people is surprisingly astonishing. Because the Imam, as the leader of the people was with them and ever since his youth had spend his life with them, he was totally aware of the fervor and enthusiasm of the people and their sincere devotion to Islam and guardianship and cognizant of their presence aid outcry in all the political and religious occasions, main has repeatedly since his youth taught the facts of Islam to these people from the high altar of knowledge. Imam, more conscious then any psychologist or sociologist understood the intricacies of the people's mentality. He knew that every movement contrary to these people's sacred beliefs and doctrines would bring about hatred and repulsion in the people. He knew that great-learned men all through history have done wonders with these people. The people have directed all the opposing movements in different decades in this county. The inauspicious of the imperialists for separating politics from religion and the clergy from the people and many other such examples, have been neutralized by the sacred belief of the people in religion and Islam and their willingness to sacrifice for the values and goals of Islam.
Look at the examples of Imam's guidance to see how he emphasizes the consideration for the people and reminds us of their rights: 'The thing that caused the dissatisfaction of the people was performed, like discarding the veil. You don't know how disastrous such an act was for the people."
The power of the people for construction
"We have to strengthen the people; those people who with the power of faith and courageous spirit, men and women, poured into the streets and changed the foundations. They are capable of constructing the country."
"The day that you feel you want to force the people, you should know that you are becoming dictators and it has become evident that the people are turning away from you"
"The hearts of all the people became aware and as such, they naturally want the good. With the temperament of wanting the good when seen and your guidance, they will naturally discard evil and turn to good."
Freedom is the right of the people
"It is the people who say the truth and demand their right Freedom is the right of the people and the independence of a country is the right of the people of that country, who demand that independence."
"In the Islamic Iran, the people are the ultimate decision-makers on all problems."
"Our policy has always been based on the preservation of freedom, independence and the preservation of the people's interests and I shall never sacrifice this criterion for anything."
"Not bargaining over the true Islamic demands has always been the people's long desired goal."
Government of the people and for people
Imam with a simple but profound and masterful language has expressed the way of people's participation and the duties of the government towards the people: "An Islamic government is a government of justice depending on the people and for the people, not people for the government An Islamic government is subservient to the people and should serve them."
As in an Islamic order difference and division between classes such as between the rich and the poor does not have any meaning and is contrary to the total spirit and philosophy of creating an Islamic government. He emphasized that the authorities should sit with people and mingles with them in order to alleviate the fear that existed between them in the past, and God forbid, they would not fall prey to positions and ambitions and believe them to be their rightful inheritance. On the behavior patterns of the generals and statesmen, from the highest to the lowest he has the following to say.
"This is what we want that whoever is at the top should be the friend of the people, should not be pompous, should sit with them and talk to them so they can ask him about their needs, should give them his time. He who is the head of the army or the police, he too should mingle with people. Neither he should fear the people nor should the people fear him. This has to be the order for all the governments and nations."