By: Mir M.Hosseini
Mirza Kouchak Khan was known as the Warlord of Jungle. His name was Yunos, the son of Mirza Bozorg. He was born in 1880 in Rasht during some of the darkest days of Iran's history. Iran was under direct influence of Russian and British occupation forces. He studied in Haji Hasan's school in Salehabad of Rasht and continued education at the Jameh School. Then he continued his study in Mahmoudiyeh school of Tehran for some time. He was a blue-eyed strong and handsome man with perfect manners. He participated in national movements for constitution and liberty in Iran. He joined the Mohajedin and fought in Qazvin, Tehran and was seriously injured in Gorgan.
In 1910 Russia assisted Mohammad Ali Shah in an unsuccessful coup, bombing the parliament; this was a significant turning point in the failure of democratic movements of the Iranian people known as the Constitutional Monarchy Movement (Mashrouteh). After Iran was occupied by the Russian army from north, Mirza formed a resistance group and started militia battle against invaders later to become known as the Jungle Movement. Many Iranians joined his movement. The fight was not only against the foreign troops; the central government was also known as a puppet regime and was disliked by the people. In 1917 he chose the village of Kasma as his headquarters and most northern regions of Gilan, Mazandaran, Talesh and Astara were practically under his domain of control. A weekly called Jungle was published in Gilan in support of national, patriotic movements. With collapse of the Czar Empire and formation of the Soviets, Russian troops were recalled and provided a condition when the British were enjoying less competition. Same year, he founded the Social Democratic Justice (Edalat) party. After the World War I, in 1919 the English signed a treaty with the Iranian government that was denounced by most revolutionary people of Iran. Meanwhile the Soviet influence increased. In 1920 the Communist party of Iran was founded in Bandar Anzali but their leader Heydar Oghli was soon assassinated. However, in 1920 British forces attacked Bandar Anzali. In the midst of this conflict between Britain and Russia, the Jungle Movement entered into an alliance with the Bolsheviks against the British ending in the establishment of the Pan-Islamist Soviet Republic of Gilan, which lasted from June 1920 until September 1921. In February 1921 the Soviets withdrew their support for the government of Gilan, and signed a treaty with Tehran. The Jungle Movement continued to struggle against the central government for the rest of that year until their final defeat in September when control of Gilan returned to Tehran.
Mirza and two of his friends took off towards the city of Khalkhal to seek help and reorganize the movement. On their way they were caught in the cold and snow and his frozen body was decapitated and sent to Reza Shah at the age of 42. There are still debates on his thoughts and ideology. There were times when he was labeled communist and people were afraid to call his name but his legend has remained as one of the few restless fighters that did not bow to imperialism or despotism.