ḤAQIQAT (1)

ḤAQIQAT, six different Persian-language newspapers or periodicals have been published under the title Ḥaqiqat (Truth), two of them in Tehran, and the remainder in Rašt, Isfahan, Kabul and Aarhus (Denmark) respectively. In fact, Rabino (no. 89), and a group following his lead, have incorrectly listed the Nāma-ye Ḥaqiqat as another periodical called Ḥaqiqat.

1. Moḥammad-ʿAli Tarbiat informs of the publication of a weekly newspaper called Ḥaqiqat in 1325/1907 in Tehran (Browne, no. 146). However, no corroboration can be found.

2. Weekly newspaper, published in 1326/1908 in Rašt. Its first issue is referred to in the newspaper catalogue of the Central Library of Tehran University (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Markazi-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān), but it appears to have been lost because it is not actually present in this library. According to Rabino (no. 88), this newspaper was published, using the gelatin process, by the constitutionalist group “Anjoman-e ḥaqiqat.”

3. Fortnightly periodical, which was published from early 1298 Š./1919 in Isfahan. All the information available about this periodical is taken from the work of Moḥammad-Ṣadr Hāšemi (no. 483). This is because surviving copies are not known to exist in the major public and private libraries. Hāšemi states that the sixth issue of Ḥaqiqat was published on 20 ʿAqrab 1298 Š./12 November 1919, and that from the first issue of the second year (18 Jawzā 1299 Š./8 June 1920) it changed to a weekly newspaper, until it was once again published in the form of a periodical until at least 3 Šaʿbān 1339/ 12 April 1921.

Mirzā Moḥammad-Reżā Ḥasanzāda (known as ʿEbrat-e Gilāni) was the director of Ḥaqiqat. In Farvardin 1300/March-April 1921 he applied to register the title officially at the ministry. However, since they had already accepted the application of the newspaper published in Tehran under the same name (see 4. below), they rejected his application (Bayāt and Kuhestāni-Nežād, II, pp. 171-73).

According to what Ṣadr-Hāšemi has written (no. 483), when it was in the form of a periodical it contained a variety of material and was concerned mainly with cultural issues, and in the form of a newspaper, in addition to providing the news, it also covered cultural and social issues. He also describes the periodical as consisting of 21 (?) small-format pages, while the newspaper consisted of 8 large-format pages. The subscription rate was 12 tomans for the periodical and 7 tomans for the newspaper.

4. Newspaper which was the unofficial organ of the Central Council of the Labor Unions of Iran (Šurā-ye markazi-e etteḥādiyahā-ye kārgari-e Iran), and served effectively as a propaganda publication for the Communist Party. 106 issues were published in total in Tehran, from 11 Dey 1300 Š./1 January 1922 until 5 Saraṭān 1301 Š./27 June 1922). It is possible that further issues were published because, on 18 ʿAqrab Š./10 November, later in the same year, the newspaper Ṭufān reported a new ban on the publication of Ḥaqiqat. This newspaper began as a biweekly, but during its short life it changed to a daily newspaper published five times per week. It bore the slogan kārgar ruye zamin etteḥād (Workers of the world unite!) on its headpiece.

The publisher was Sayyed Moḥammad Dehgān, who was also the secretary of the Central Council of the Labor Unions. Dehgān, who had studied in Russia (“Dar jawāb-e tohmathā”) published articles that he himself had written under both his own name and various pseudonyms. According to the writings of Sayyed Jawād Piševari (“Sar-goḏašt-e man”) and the corroboration of subsequent works by Iranian communists, most of the fiercely critical editorial articles of this newspaper were written by Piševari himself (then called, Jawādzāda), either under the pseudonym “Parviz,” or anonymously.

Ḥaqiqat was involved in a dispute with the rival newspapers Etteḥād (q.v.) and Irān, and it was banned twice. It consisted of editorial articles, domestic and international news, revolutionary poems and political supplements translated from Russian. The editorial articles of this newspaper were about contemporary issues and Marxist ideas, while most of the international news was about the progress made by the Central Asian peoples belonging to the USSR. It was published in four 41.5 x 58 cm pages, using a five-column format, to begin with in Maṭbaʿa-ye Irān, and then later at the Maṭbaʿa-ye Modern printing house. None of its surviving copies contain any illustrations.

The subscription rate was 50 qerāns in Iran and 60 qerāns for overseas subscribers. Members of the labor unions were given the concessionary rate of 30 qerāns. For the final issues, the subscription rate was advertised as 100 qerāns for the “nobles” (ašrāf). The price of a single copy was 1 ʿAbbāsi for the first issue, and after three changes in price it became 4 šāhis. The number of commercials printed in Ḥaqiqat was proportionate for its size.

A relatively complete set of Ḥaqiqat is held in the Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Melli-e Irān, while incomplete sets are held by the Central Library of Tehran University (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Markazi-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān), the ʿAllāma-ye Ṭabāṭabāʾi Library in Shiraz and the Central State Archive for the History of Political Parties and Social Movements in Baku.

5. Newspaper published three times per week in Kabul from 22 Asad 1303 Š./13 August 1924 to 7 Saraṭān 1304 Š./28 June 1925. 140 issues of this Persian-language news-paper were published in total during this period. The editor, Borhān-al-Din Koškaki, also served as either editor, or director, of four other newspapers and periodicals (see ʿERFĀN; EṢLĀH; áḤABIB AL-ESLĀM).

Like all other newspapers in Afghanistan at that time, Ḥaqiqat was state-run, and was published by the Ministry of Defense (Wezārat-e ḥarbiya; Juyā, p. 73). It was published for the sake of a propaganda campaign against the Mangal religious revolt led by Mollā ʿAbd-Allāh, known as “Mollā-ye lang” (Āhang, pp. 176, 183). In addition to information related to this issue, Ḥaqiqat contained domestic and foreign news and poems about social and political concerns. Some of the poems are written in Pashto, rather than Persian.

Ḥaqiqat was written in nastaʿliq script, which was reproduced using lithography. It was published in four 21.5 x 34 cm pages, each containing two columns of text. It did not print commercials, illustrations, or the name of the printing house. The price of a single copy was one šāhi, while the annual subscription rate was 5 rupees in Kabul, 7 rupees elsewhere in Afghanistan, 8 rupees abroad and 11 rupees for ministers and ambassadors. A complete set of Ḥaqiqat was held in the Kabul Public Library (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye ʿĀmma-ye Kābol) at least until the fall of the Communist regime in 1992.

6. A monthly periodical which began to be published from Mehr 1355 Š./September-October 1976, as the organ of the Union of (Maoist) Communists of Iran (Etteḥādiya-ye kommunisthā-ye Irān). It was published in four 21 x 30.5 cm pages, each containing 4 columns of text and incorporating some illustrations. It is not known where this ideological publication was prepared and published, but the address provided is in Aarhus, Denmark.

After the Islamic Revolution, the second series of Ḥaqiqat was published, from Bahmān 1357 Š./January-February 1978 to the middle of 1359 Š./1980, when all publication of this periodical ceased. During this period it was prepared under the directorship of Sayyed ʿAbd-al-Reżā Azḡandi, under whose name it was also registered. These issues consisted of sixteen 30 x 43 cm pages, which contained 5 columns of text and incorporated illustrations. Copies of the issues published in Europe are present in the holdings of the University Library (Universitätsbibliothek) in Berlin, while copies of the issues published in Iran are held in various Iranian libraries, including the National Library of Iran (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye Melli-e Irān).

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Ṭufān, 18 ʿAqrab 1301 Š./10 November 1922.

(Nasseredin Parvin)

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