Imam Khomeini’s support for world's oppressed can’t be forgotten: Indian politician

By Mehdi Moosvi

Imam Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Revolution, rendered great service not only to the Iranian nation but to oppressed people worldwide, says veteran Indian politician Dr. Ammar Rizvi.

In an interview with the Press TV website, Dr. Rizvi, a politician from Uttar Pradesh who previously served as the acting chief minister of India's most populous state, emphasized that Imam Khomeini's concerns extended to the welfare of Muslims globally.

Dr. Rizvi, who had the privilege of meeting the late Iranian leader, remarked that both Muslims and non-Muslims in India hold Imam Khomeini in high regard for his tireless efforts to espouse Muslim unity and support oppressed people everywhere.

"He did a great service not only to the people of Iran but to all oppressed people worldwide, especially in countries where the voices of the people are not heard, and where common people are victimized and excluded from governance. His role can never be forgotten," Dr. Rizvi told the Press TV website.

Elected to the Uttar Pradesh assembly thrice, Dr. Rizvi recalled meeting Imam Khomeini during a pilgrimage to the holy Iraqi city of Najaf in the early 1970s while Imam was in exile there.

"In 1970, while staying at a hotel in Najaf, someone invited us to meet Imam Khomeini. He was very kind, received us warmly, and offered tea. He was keen to know about the condition of Muslims in India," Dr. Rizvi recounted.

"Imam was particularly concerned about the education of Indian Muslims, and he specifically asked if they were receiving modern education," Dr. Rizvi added.

At the time, Dr. Rizvi was serving as the principal of Shia PG College in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. He informed Imam Khomeini about the educational and general conditions of Indian Muslims.

"He was an inspiring personality. Once he started talking, you felt completely at ease with him. He discussed everything at our level, which was a mark of the greatness of the great man," Dr. Rizvi reflected.

"We didn’t know then that he would lead a revolution in his country that would inspire not just his country but much of the world," he added.

Imam Khomeini led a major movement against the West-backed Pahlavi dictatorship in Iran, which culminated in the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

"Western powers were confident that a revolution in Iran was impossible and thought the old regime would return. But the revolution succeeded because Imam Khomeini's practical teachings resonated with the people," Dr. Rizvi noted.

"He showed that in politics, you must practice what you preach, which was key to his success and influence worldwide."

In 1989, Dr. Rizvi was part of a high-ranking Indian government delegation that attended the late Imam's funeral in Tehran. The delegation, sent by then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, included PV Narasimha Rao, Sardar Darbara Singh, Jaffer Sharief, and Dr. Rizvi.

"When Imam Khomeini passed away, Prime Minister Gandhi intended to attend the funeral but had to send a delegation due to other commitments. We reached Mehrabad Airport at 2 am local time, and it seemed the whole of Tehran was awake. The streets were full of people heading towards Behesht Zehra for the funeral," Dr. Rizvi described.

He believes Imam Khomeini's success stemmed from his integrity and adherence to his words. Imam Khomeini's way of life, he noted, was inspired by Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) teachings, embodying simplicity and dedication to service.

"Imam Khomeini followed the Holy Prophet's (PBUH) teachings and led a pure, simple life devoted to serving the people. He made great sacrifices, confronting the powerful feudal system and monarchy in Iran," Dr. Rizvi said.

Imam Khomeini's support for the oppressed was unwavering. He consistently emphasized the significance of the Palestinian issue as the primary concern of the Muslim world.

"In the early 1960s, when Palestine was rarely discussed, Imam Khomeini persistently raised awareness about Israeli occupation and called for Muslim unity against it," Dr. Rizvi noted.

"The world, except for Iran, has been largely silent. Despite multiple UN resolutions and an International Court of Justice verdict, the international community has failed to control Israel's actions. Surprisingly, non-Muslim students and youth are now more vocal about stopping this war, while Muslim countries, apart from Iran, have not effectively used their resources and influence," he pointed out.


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