Today is Mahammed Amin Rasulzade’s birthday

Today is Mahammed Amin Rasulzade’s birthday
# 30 January 2012 21:01 (UTC +04:00)
He was born in Novkhani on January 31, 1884. In 1904 he founded the first Muslim social-democrat organization “Hummet”.

In 1909, under the persecution from Tsarist authorities, Rasulzade fled Baku to participate in the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911. While in Persia, Rasulzade edited Iran-e Azad newspaper, became one of the founders of Democratic Party of Iran and began publishing its newspaper Iran-e Nou.

After the Amnesty Act of 1913, dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the Royal Romanov Dynasty, Rasulzade returned to Baku, left the Hummet party he was previously member of, and joined the then secret Musavat (Equality) party in 1913, established in 1911.

On May 28, 1918, the Azerbaijani National Council, headed by Rasulzade, declared an independent Azerbaijan Republic. And even though Rasulzade never held any governmental post in either of the Cabinets of Ministers, as an active member of the Parliament he remained a kind of ideological leader of the newly-formed state until its collapse in May 1920.

After the collapse of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic in April 1920, Rasulzade left Baku and went into hiding in the mountainous village of Lahij to direct the resistance to Sovietization, but in August 1920, after Soviet Russian army crashed the rebellions of Ganja, Karabakh, Zagatala and Lankaran, lead by ex-officers of the Azerbaijani National Army, Rasulzade was arrested and brought to Baku. It was only due to his earlier rescue of Joseph Stalin in 1905, that Rasulzade was released and transferred from Azerbaijan to Russia.

Despite Stalin’s insistence, he refused to cooperate with Soviet Authorities and escaped to Finland.

For the rest of his life, Rasulzade settled as an exile first in Turkey. He died in Ankara on March 6, 1955.

Note that, today, a group of Azerbaijani oppositionists will visit Mahammed Amin Rasulzade’s monument in Novkhani.