Jangalis

Jangalis

 

(from the Persian jangal, “forest”), participants in the partisan anti-imperialist movement in Gilan (Iran) that began in 1912. The detachments of jangalis who hid in the forests included peasants, Kurd farmhands working the lands of Gilan landowners, and urban and rural petite bourgeoisie. Organizers of the movement included Kuchik Khan, Hashmut Taliqani, and Ahmad Kasmay. During World War I (1914-18) the jangalis were led by the Pan-Islamist bourgeois-nationalist organization Unity of Islam, which called for battle with the imperialists under the banner of Islam. During the upswing of the national liberation movement in Gilan in 1920-21, the jangalis formed a united front with the Iranian Communists. However, the jangali leaders feared the increasing influence of the Communist Party and the development of revolutionary events, and they organized a counterrevolutionary coup on Sept. 29, 1921. This made it easier for the shah’s government to suppress the Gilan Republic, which had been proclaimed on June 5, 1920, and to crush the jangalis.

REFERENCES

Ivanova, M. N. Natsional’ no-osvoboditel’noe dvizhenie v Irane v 1918-1922 gg. Moscow, 1961.
Ivanov, M. S. Noveishaia istoriia Irana. Moscow, 1965. Chapter 2.
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For the first time Dunsterville was informed that his objective, Enzeli, a port on the south shore of the Caspian Sea "has been seized by some horrid fellows called Jangalis (a very suggestive name) who are intensely anti-British and are in the pay of Germans.
Arriving at Enzeli on the Caspian Sea on February 17, Dunsterville learned that it was Bolsheviks and their Revolutionary Committee, not Jangalis that controlled the town.