Question of Development in the Iranian Baloch Society: The Other Side of the Issue
Keywords:Iran, Balochestan, Sunni Baloch, Local elites, Development
The Baloch are adhering to their traditional and religious beliefs. Religious elites promote these beliefs and hence they have a special place in the hearts of the people. However, due to the influence of modern Persian culture and globalization, modern way of life have somewhat overshadowed some of the Balochi traditional values. Yet, modern values like secular world view have not totally undermined the Balochi religious values. Some aspects of traditionalism, such as fatalism have often challenged the issue of development in the Baloch society. Thus, the present paper deals with the role of Iranian Baloch elites in cultural, economic, and political development of the Baloch society under the Islamic Republic by focusing on three major questions: First, how far the local culture has pushed forward the Baloch society? Second, does the Baloch elites' contribution in private sector help in privatization or entrepreneurship? And, third, to what extent the political participation of Baloch has lifted their political culture? The paper suggests that local culture has strengthened the religious values but these values have not turned progressive. The Baloch's role in privatization failed to create a privatization culture. And, the political participation of Baloch, relatively, has lifted their political culture.