Memory index of martyr Mohammad Javad Tondguyan
In the years of education I taught him the ways of Islam as much as I could, he was always good in his lessons, he entered the pre university examination and was successful for three, universities of Tehran, industrial and oil, and to his own liking he chose the Oil University. He started the Islamic committee in the university, and he was constantly busy with it, he would buy books and take them there, also invite speakers, in fact several times DR. Ali Shariati was there.
His family benefited from his activities too, he would tell his mother the universe is worthless, Islam is important. After completing his education he joined the military. He worked in the city of Ray refinery for a while, until he got arrested by Savak. In the month of Ramazan his mother was sick and his wife pregnant. They came to our house arrested him and myself and took us away.
For about four month we hid no news until the decade of Ashura we managed to get a visit. I remember one of the court house lawyers told me to write a letter to General Zandi so they would allow me to visit my son. The core of the letter was that we were all Shah Lovers; so I tore it up and threw it away; thank God we managed to visit him anyway. He was in jail for about a year and a half, after his release Savak wouldn’t let him get work anywhere, until one of his university friends introduced him to the Butane Company, he was there for a while but Savak kept disturbing until he had to resign.
For some times, he used to hold his child's hand and his wife and they'd walk around the streets till two in the morning. We have forgotten the times when they would take people's children away at midnight, we don't value the freedom we have now, and we damn all the blessings that we get.
After a while he would borrow his friend’s cars and work as a taxi. I remember exactly it was in those days when he got accepted to Mess Sarcheshmeh but he didn’t go there, I think they had decided 13000 tomans for his salary. When I asked him why he wouldn’t go there he said because they work for the Americans and the benefit will go to them, so I am not going. Then when he went to Paris Toshiba for management, until the victory of the revolution when they wanted him for the Abadan refinery and he was there for a while in the cleansing department. They say when he went to the refinery the production went up from 230 barrels to 570.
He was always waiting for a flyer or tape from the Imam, so he could act on it. All his love was for the Imam. When Mr. Hakim died I asked him who are we going to follow now, he said follow Mr. Khomeini. In the year 57 I had a hand in the happenings of the revolution too. At that time Mr. Khomeini's tapes were out, we would record them then play it. The flyers would come from Qom and since I work in the Bazar I would circulate them there. He would do the same thing.
It was in the month of Azar when my mother died. There was martial law at the time and we had to get permission for ceremonies but to the orders of the Imam we did not do that and just held the ceremony at home. He would bring lots of flyers at the time and when we had friends over at the time of leaving he’d tell them, there is all sorts of flyers in the next yard, take whichever you like. He would participate in all the demonstrations with his wife and children.
At the Fetr celebrations in 57 we went to Gheitarieh for prayers, also the Shahrivar 16th walks. On the 17th of Shahrivar when they announced martial law we went to the hospital together, they were bringing 3rd of Shaban martyrs. I couldn’t take it but he went to the front, when he came back he was hitting himself over the head and crying, he stayed till evening and helped that day. When hospitals needed blood, he would go and find volunteers, he would take the injured to the hospital, anyway until the 22nd of Bahman he was constantly demonstrating or helping in some way, until the arrival of the Imam was announced. They wanted him from Ghaba mosque for welcoming the Imam.
That day he was given a mini bus with foreign reporters, he had to take them to Zahra paradise and he would translate when they interviewed people, until the Imam arrived. On the 22nd of Bahman when the trucks were taking the martyr's bloody clothes to Zahra paradise he volunteered for unloading them. He was active after the victory too; he went to the prayers and walks with his wife and children.
From childhood he was always active. He was fond of religion, he was learning the Koran and after school they would hold meetings about it, in those days he was always active, also learned the doctor's lessons till one day Savak attacked our house, they looked everywhere but did not find anything so they took him.
For a long while we had no news of him and he was not allowed to have visits and every time we went to get a word on him they would rudely turn us away, until after six months they transferred him to Ghasr prison and gave us visiting rights, he had got very weak. We visited a few times, in the last visit he told me "mother when you go out let every one know that when we want to pray, they turn us upside down and beat us".
The guard close by had heard what he told me and reported him , so they took him to Savak again and unable to visit. When we managed to see him again he had been tortured so much we could not recognize him. The rest of his sentence he was at Ghasr until he was released. He was out of work, he would drive a taxi. By the time he got hired at Butane again Savak interfered. After a while he went to Pars Toshiba, he would hold Koran meetings with the workers and with the victory of The Revolution he went to Abadan.
When I met him he had been graduated for a year and was working at the Tehran Oil Refinery , it was year 52 , in the mean time he continued his political activities such as circulating books , he'd print the speeches and air them country wide, he would circulate Khomeini flyers. Because of his love for learning he would read every book he got a hold of and help others too, such as his sister. Since our talks of marriage started, he told me that he might be taken away at any time, he knew with the activities he was in, they were on his track.
Four months had passed from our marriage that he took a trip to Abadan to see his college friends, apparently the vacation form he'd requested had not got through to the boss, they used this as an excuse that he has left without permission and they reported it to the authorities. So when he returned they got him in his work area, then they came to the house and searched everything. Of course they did not find anything because his books were all hidden.
They locked him up for a year , seven months of which he was in a single cell in Savak, along with torture some of his friends were arrested , in those days they did not give long sentences for political reasons ,but because Tondguyan had been known as a leader they locked him up for one year. Even in jail he kept getting his books, in other words he would tell us and we would take it for him, of course books that were not too obvious and the guards would not catch on. He would teach Arabic and high school lessons to the prisoners so he was completely active, and if something happened in group activities they would all take a vow of silence. When he was released his work was cut down since he knew he is under control, so it was not like before. He studied and helped others in these matters too; he also took part in meetings that were not crowded and such activities.
For a long time he was banned from any kind of government work , so he worked as a taxi with a Peykan that we had, even though his father was there and we were not that needy, he hated borrowing or taking hand outs, even from his father. Finally he was requested by the Butane Company, he worked there for about a year, it was 54 Savak came to our house asking for him and his where about, I knew it is better for me to answer, and they had said they were from the police. Since Tondguyan knew he was under surveillance, he thought it was better to get work in a smaller town, therefore he moved to Pars Toshiba again and we were there about two years until we moved back to the central office in Tehran. It was near the Revolution when he left Toshiba.
The workers were all on strike and the company was on its way down so they asked him to go back. We went back to Rasht again, he was very useful to the company, he would guide the workers, and he’d spend an hour a day and teach them based on the Koran. Our situation stayed the same until the victory of the revolution when they wanted him for the oil company, at first he was re organizing till the group was cancelled so he came back to Tehran. For a while he was over seeing the oil areas until he was chosen to work instead of Mr. Ebrahim in the ministry of oil.
The most obvious of them were his love of learning and political activities, and then while working, he would not waste a second. He did not like to stay at the same job more than a few months. He never liked easy work for instance at Toshiba he was doing a job that before him two people had not been able to handle. Even at home he would not waste a second, he was either reading or listening to the news or checking the news papers. His rest time was limited and slept very little at nights, and he was an early riser, at times he'd get so tired he would say "I could sleep for two days" but of course that was only a wish.
In his free time came his religious duties and top of the list was praying, in this way he was an example for the family. As far as studying the Koran he would try and read it at least twice a year, once on the month of Ramazan and since his Arabic was good, he had excellent comprehension and knew lots of hymns by heart which he used in jail because he did not have a Koran. He would get over his exhaustion by playing with the children and when he came home late and the kids were sleep he'd get upset.
Incident of captivity;
I was with him a few trips; he liked to see to the problems of the workers personally. One trip to Mahshahr that had been cancelled because of an arrest, he insisted going on. Before I tell you the incident of his captivity I have to point out , at the beginning of the war in Abidjan our situation was bad , Tondguyan insisted on going to the refinery so he could be among his colleagues to help them, for this he decided to go back sooner and everyone agreed ; in Ahvaz some other friends from different groups joined us, from ministry of health the minister so he could oversee the health problems, from the gentlemen of the congress Eng. Bootarabi joined us , so we left the next morning in four cars.
That morning we had an accident and one of the cars could not continue. Before leaving they had checked with the authorities and everything was all right the roads were suppose to be open. This time we took the Shadegan road to Mahshahr, Abadan is an area full of trees we stopped there and got permission from the authorities and continued. I need to give you an image of the road, it is twelve Kms from the main road, next comes a dirt road which unless you see for yourself you won't believe, children and elderly on foot with their stuff tied to their heads, as we went on they became more in numbers all thirsty asking us if we had water.
The earth there is like powder, we have samples of it in the refinery it is so soft that when you walk on it you sink half a meter. We saw pieces of Mig and Iraqi equipment on the way too. We were in three cars when we got to Bahmanshir river there were two cars on the road with some Iranian soldiers talking , we stopped behind them, the first car had Mr. Tondgooian, Booshehr, Yahyavi, two security staff and the driver. We were behind them, we noticed the front car reversing so we had to move back and there was a little distance between us, at that time one of the staff in the front car got off to let the soldiers know he is carrying a minister. When he got off he had his oozy with him, when the soldiers saw this they quickly took cover and started firing, the security tried to take cover and the driver moved the car at the same time, this resulted in heavier fire, we knew we should not move.
When we inquired we were told the road is in our control but apparently the Iraqi's had taken it and had cut some trees to build a bridge. When we got there they had just taken the road, the two cars I told you about were local and had no knowledge of the Iraqis but they used this opportunity and got away.
Javad kept traveling to the oil areas. The extraordinary conditions of war, pouring of the rockets, the enemy planes, the constant bombings, nothing could stop these inspections of the oil fields. In the last trip south that resulted in our captivity, some of the friends advise to try and talk him out of going did not work and we set out for Abidjan. Around Abidjan when our cars were fired at, Javad jumped out.
At first the enemy did not recognize us, we destroyed our I.D cards. The Iraqis took us to a stronghold they had prepared for their tanks, they had 40 or 50 other people there, they covered our eyes, sound of the rockets got louder, we felt they were going to massacre the captives, we got the others talking Javad shouted I am the minister of oil at the same time sound of the rockets stopped. On the way of transferring us to Baghdad, out of necessity we had to talk to the enemy commanders a few times, each time brave and to the point. From the time we entered jail which later became the slaughter house the strange martyr died in, they separated us to single cells.
·Even there that man of God did not stop, the sounds of his Koran hymns could be heard in the corridors of the jail and it comforted the rest of us.
·Memory from the freed Eng. Mohsen Yahyavi;
In your name mention of a simple man, in your eye the sun all disappeared. In the days when "WAR" was the subject of people’s lives, you went to the front lines with your heart full of love.
The curiosity of his being didn’t allow him to go through life in it's normal pace.
·When his colleagues tried to stop him from going he said "you don’t like war but you love to say how it is"
·He preferred the dangers of war to tranquility so he could answer on the basis of Hossein Alihe Islam.
·Tondguyan wasn’t the man to save his love and youth and sit back against rape. To take the road north, NO! He made the world small, and seemed large in the eyes; his martyrdom set such flame in others lives that will never go out. Living simply may have been a slogan for us; it may still be for most. But in Javad it was a value, one he lived by.
·Martyr Dr. Beheshti who knew Todgooian`s worthy character and the way of his management says: " because he was a kid from Khaniabad I recommended him for ministry" from the time Tondguyan was recommended to the oil ministry by Dr. Beheshti he could not sit still. He kept inspecting oil areas and when friends told him to rest, he'd say "there is lots of time for rest, today is a day for action".
·No one knew what a jewel Javad was!
·He was the most ideal human in any way, from life to education, from fight to stance ….idealism and martyrdom in the dark cells of Baghdad. He never just talked. In his character words burnt and went up in smoke.