BĀŠGĀH-e MEHRAGĀN (Mehragān Club), an organization founded in 1952 in Tehran by the executive committee of the Iran Teachers Association (Jāmeʿa-ye Moʿallemān-e Īrān, q.v.); membership in the club was open to teachers, students, and other intellectuals in Tehran and eventually in the provinces where branches were established. Prior to the founding of the club, Mehragān was also used as the name of a newspaper founded by the Iran Teachers Association in 1948 and edited by Moḥammad Deraḵšeš.
The Mehragān Club sponsored seminars on language and literature and other subjects under the guidance of a committee which included a number of noted scholars. As a rule the club published the lectures it sponsored, e.g., the lectures of Moḥsen Haštrūdī and a five-lecture series given by Sayyed Ḥasan Taqīzāda and published as Ḵaṭāba: tārīḵ-e awāʾel-e enqelāb wa mašrūṭīyat-e Īrān,Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, an important publication on the Constitutional Revolution in spite of its brevity. The club was also a center for art and photography exhibitions and functioned as a theater.
Early in 1340 Š./1961, the executive committee of the Iran Teachers Association called on teachers all over the country to strike in protest against low wages and difficult working conditions. The teachers went on strike on 12 Ordībehešt/3 May and gathered in Bahārestān square to stage demonstrations, during which a teacher, Dr. Ḵān-ʿAlī, was killed, three other teachers were injured, and the head of the association, Moḥammad Deraḵšeš, was arrested. The refusal of Dr. Jahānšāh Ṣāleḥ, minister of education, to accommodate the teachers’ demand stiffened the teachers’ resolve, and the strike continued until the Šarīf Emāmī government was forced to resign. In the cabinet of the new government that was formed by ʿAlī Amīnī, Deraḵšeš, at that time head of the club and of the Teachers Association and the strike organizer, became minister of education. During the years he held that post the Mehragān Club prospered; however, after the fall of this government the new government under Asad-Allāh ʿAlam (1962) ordered the cessation of the club’s activities; its headquarters and the newspaper Mehragān were closed, and the Teachers’ Association went underground.
The Bāšgāh-e Mehragān is the locus of some events in Jamāl Mīr Ṣādeqī’s novel Bādhā ḵabar az taḡyīr-e faṣl mīdādand (Tehran, 1363 Š./1985, pp. 142ff.).
Originally Published: December 15, 1988
Last Updated: December 15, 1988
This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 8, p. 845