Saturday, 14 September 2013

Back On The Topic Of 'Progress' And 'Regression'

And as promised in my previous piece about Iran, this time about Afghanistan.

Some of you may have watched a movie called The Kite Runner. Actually it's a book by Khaled Hosseini, and I only came across it when I was living in the UK.

It describes the life of a Pashtun boy whose friend is Hazara. There is a certain amount of racism against the Hazara people who are one of the minorities (who have Mongolian ancestry) in Afghanistan. The Pashtuns are Sunnis while the Hazaras are Shiites.

Anyway, both the book and the movie describe what Afghanistan was like before the invasions by the Soviet Union, Taliban and United States of America.

Most notable is the way the women were: back in the 1960s, it appeared to be a carefree life, with educated, identificable and sociable women on the streets.

These days, the women look like walking clothes bundles. Their clothing is possibly designed to make them look as unattractive as possible as prescribed by the omniscient Taliban.

It can get depressing if you go deep into their history. I'm sure that no one expected, back in the 1960s that the state of their once proud nation would deteriorate to such levels.

The people did not elect or assign a mandate on the Taliban on a whim. It all happened because the Russians invaded, took over lands, made all sorts of rules and regulations, raped the women, stole from the men and generally made it an unpleasant place to live.

People then started moving out of there. It started steadily, but like a small stream and then started gushing like a torrent.

But the Soviet Union was defeated, and in place of them came the Taliban. Interestingly, Talib means 'student' and these guys were the students of Islam. The fundamentals of the religion. But their fervour was unchecked and they went overboard on the basics.

They probably thought that covering up their women was the solution to them not being raped. But in essence, it wasn't their skin that made them vulnerable, but the attitude of the invaders towards them.

They possibly thought that this invasion was a form of punishment by God for their past mistakes, so naturally, they outlawed homosexuality, sports, any form of entertainment including music, films, dancing etc.

Outlawing it does not mean that everyone adheres to the rules; it simply goes underground as demonstrated in The Kite Runner, where the childhood bully uses the little boy (son of the Hazara kite-runner) for his sexual pleasures.

It is sad to think of how nations can sink to such depths.


Anonymous said...

Malala the little girl who was forbiddin to go to school by the Taliban, and who now studies in Britain, may start the ball rolling for Afghanistan to become a free nation.

She just shows the world that all is not lost and that a small spark is usually what it takes. Wish her the best for her future and that of Afghanistan

James said...

I think there may be hope for Afghanistan at last.