MARD-E ĀZĀD, a daily newspaper published in Tehran by the then Majles deputy, ʿAli-Akbar Dāvar (b. Tehran, 1885; d. Tehran, 1937), from 8 Bahman 1301 until 22 Ābān 1302 Š. (29 January to 14 November 1923) to support Reżā Khan Sardār-e Sepah (the future Reza Shah) in his bid for power. In total 162 issues were published. ʿIsā Ṣadiq, an associate of Dāvar and the future minister of education, later claimed that he was the paper’s administrative director (modir-e dāḵ-eli),but his name was not mentioned as such in the publication, although the paper did publish a good number of articles written by him. The title of the paper was adopted from the French newspaper L’homme libre, published by Georges Clemenceau in Paris in 1913 (Ṣadiq, I, p. 275). The editorial of the first issue ended with the motto kār-e now, mard-e now (new task, new man).
Mard-e āzād was a political newspaper and in reality functioned as the organ of the Radical Party (ḤOezb-e rādikāl) that was established under Dāvar’s leadership. The most significant feature of the paper were its editorials, titled “Yāddāšt-e yawmiya” (Daily note). They were written by Dāvar himself in support of Sardār-e Sepah, and to promote the policy of relieving the government apparatus of all its old guard. In his unrelenting, venomous articles in a style reminiscent of European political party organs, he attacked prominent figures of upstanding reputation (e.g. Mirzā ḤOasan Mostawfi-al-Mamālek, Moḥammad-Taqi Bahār, etc.) who did not support the ambitions of Sardār-e Sepah. A few days after Sardār-e Sepahbecame the new prime minister, Dāvar ceased publication of Mard-e āzād.
Dāvar’s political opponents and even his friends and associates were often critical of the contents of Mard-e āzād (Moqaddam, p. 687). The paper appears to have failed to create a significant readership, as evidenced by its financial difficulties and the scarcity of extant issues (Ṣadiq, I, pp. 276-77).
Mard-e āzād was printed at the Bosfor printing house in four five-column pages of 39 x 53 cm and carried no illustrations. The annual subscription rate within the country was set at 100 krans. The complete set of Mard-e āzād is available at the National Library (Ketāb-ḵ-āna-ye melli) in Tehran, and some single issues are held at the Majles Library (1) and the Library of the University of Tehran.
Bāqer ʿĀqeli, Dāvar o ʿadliya, Tehran, 1990, pp. 30-33, 371-73.
Bāmdād, Rejāl II, pp. 427, 429.
ḤOasan Moqaddam (Ali No-Rouze), “Nāmahā-ye ʿAli Nowruz,”Āyanda 19/7-9, 1993, p. 687.
ʿIsā Ṣadiq, Yādgār-e ʿomr, 4 vols., Tehran, 1961-77, I, pp. 275-76.
Ṣadr Hāšemi, Jarāʾed o majallāt IV, pp. 201-2.
Bižan Sartipzāda and Kobrā Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye mawjud dar Ketāb-ḵ-āna-ye melli, 1978, no. 387.
Mortażā Solṭāni, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye fārsi dar majmuʿa-ye ketāb-ḵ-āna-ye markazi wa markaz-e asnād-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān, Tehran, 1975, no. 316.
Moḥammad Moḥiṭ Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tāriḵ--e taḥlili-e maṭbuʿāt-e Irān, Tehran, 1987, p. 187.
April 7, 2008
Originally Published: April 7, 2008
Last Updated: April 7, 2008