Tahir Badakhshi

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Taher Badakhshi طاهر بدخشی
Born 1933
Badakhshan province,  Afghanistan
Died 1979 (aged 45–46)
Kabul,  Afghanistan
Nationality  Afghanistan
Ethnicity Turk & Tajik
Occupation Political activist

Muhammad Taher Badakhshi (1933–1979) (Persian: محمد طاهر بدخشی‎‎) was a cultural and political activist in Afghanistan. He was the founder of SAZA (Revolutionary Organisation of Hardworkers of Afghanistan) (Persian: سازمان انقلابی زحمتکشان افغانستان‎‎).


Taher Badakhshi did his primary studies in Badakhshan, and then moved to Kabul for continuing his higher studies in economics and law at the University of Kabul. During this time he was very close to a Kabul-based literature scene under the influence of Sufi poets Ghulam Sarwar Dehqan and Khalilullah Khalili, both supporters of Habibullah Kalakani.

He began contacting a broad circle of urban intellectuals with activities in the field of culture and politics. He was connected to the avangardist writers and poets like his friends Wasef Bakhtari and Azam Rahnaward Zariab, who were the primary sources of the contemporary poetics and fiction of Persian literature in Afghanistan. He was actively involved in literature circles of Kabul.

He was a co-ordinator of the first congress of People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, the first main leftist democratic party in Afghanistan. He left the party in 1967 after the membership of Hafizullah Amin who had a suspected prehistory of ethnicentric chauvinist activities in the south of the country and recently returned from the United States. He soon created the "Mahfili Intezar" (Waiting circle) movement and later the SAZA Political movement speaking out for the basic political rights and for amelioration of economic and educational conditions for all non-Pashtun people in Afghanistan.

The main political background was built by third world freedom movements like in Vietnam, Palestine, or African anti-colonial fights and it was orientated on Non-Aligned Movement. His political activities were mainly based against the Pashtun ethno-dominance in relevant fields like politics, finance, military, police; asking for equal rights of all other ethnicities in Afghanistan. The political organization he led was called as Setami Milli (National Oppression) by the royal regime and leftist opponents such as People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and especially by Hafizullah Amin. In 1977 he helped Dehqan Kabuli's closest friend Mohammed Yusuf Nazary publish a collection of Dehqan's poetry. He continuited his work in the Ministry of Education during the regime of Nur Muhammad Taraki after the leftist coup d état in April 1978 . Later he was arrested by the Taraki government. By the government of Hafizullah Amin in 1979, he was killed with his son Baiqara Badakhshi under the name of anti-government activists.

His 20th death anniversary was held in Dushanbe in 2000 by the Institute of Oriental Studies as well as his 32nd anniversary in February 2011 in Kabul.