Afghanistan: A country where anarchy is for ever !
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

Afghanistan: A country where anarchy is for ever !

August 19, 2021

Afghanistan was waiting to be taken over by the Taliban ever since the former US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw its troops. Trump’s successor Joe Biden simply endorsed the decision and implemented the pull-out of US forces. The only safeguard against the Taliban for the Afghan Government headed by Ashraf Ghani was gone. President Ghani’s army collapsed and the Government fell. Taliban easily walked in to fill the vacuum.

Afghanistan is a land-locked country with its Southern part bordering Pakistan, a long-time patron of Taliban. The land was inhabited by various tribes and ruled by different kingdoms for over two million years with many religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Zoroastrianism. 

It is only when the Islam came to Afghanistan in the 7th century, the whole country became Muslim. Readers may remember the two massive sandstone Buddhas of Bamiyan of 3rd and 5th centuries that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. An act of vandalism to erase the heritage of an ancient civilisation of the country that only Taliban knows why. 

I also remember at this time about Rabindranath Tagore’s famous short-story Kabuliwala, a heart-touching, humane story of an Afghan fruit-seller in Kolkata. He befriends a small Bengali girl who reminds him of his own daughter back in Afghanistan. He was a lovable, kind and affectionate man from Kabul, hence Kabuliwala.

Be that as it may, I only feel overwhelmingly sorry for the centuries of misfortune that has been haunting the good people of Afghanistan because of the fundamentalist religious fanatics who have come again visiting them. I was a student of Journalism in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB) Bombay and one of the girl students was from Afghanistan. She was tall, beautiful and feeble in her speech. If we take this girl or the Kabuliwala to be the models of Afghanistan, then it is impossible to think of Taliban taking birth in Afghanistan.  Taliban with their skewed political ideology and harsh treatment of the weaker section of our society — women and children — have become a scourge of Afghanistan.

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But then history of Afghanistan has been steeped in violence and blood for centuries. How sad. If the world’s Policeman, the most powerful country, America, cannot provide succour to the good people of Afghanistan having been there for over 20 years as big brother, who could help the good people of Afghanistan? GOK.

By the way, a large number of Muslim invaders of India came from the Central Asia and Afghanistan beginning with Ghazni, Ghori and even Babur, founder of Mughal Empire.

Interestingly, in the ancient times, centuries before Christ and even Buddha, Afghanistan was not how we see it today. Hindu epics Ramayana, Mahabharata and scriptures like Vedas and Upanishads have many references to places in Afghanistan. It was once known as Gandhara and there still is a city named Kandahar. Apparently, it was bordering India of those days — Akhanda Bharata,  Hindustan. 

Veda Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, says that one King Subala ruled Gandhara some 5,500 years ago! His daughter’s name was Gandhari, who was married to Dhritarashtra of Hastinapur kingdom. Her brother was Shakuni. When Buddhism came with Mauryan Kings, Hinduism lost its importance. However, when invading Muslims came with Mohammed Ghazni, Mauryans lost. The rest is history.

One of the important books about British-Afghanistan is by the famous historian William Dalrymple  — Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan. A boring book for me. It is an account of the First Anglo-Afghan War from 1839-1842.

It is difficult to grasp the multidimensional complexion of Afghan politics. Many years ago, I had read a book by Barbara Tuchman titled The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, primarily about how America betrayed itself in Vietnam. In case the publishers are bringing out another edition of the book, the sub-title of the book may be changed to “From Troy to Afghanistan!”

But the point to ponder, ignited by the author, should be revisited today in the light of events that happened in Afghanistan on Aug.15, 2021.

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The book emphasises the fact that how Governments, regardless of place or period of history, pursue policies contrary to their self-interests. Or the interests of the people of the country. Audit the statements made, laws passed and administrative orders issued in our own country between 2004 and 2014, you will realise the bitter truth of the observation of the author Barbara Tuchman.

She defines Folly as a decision taken that is counter-productive, regretfully, during the life-time of the decision-makers themselves. As evidence to her opinion, she mentions of four Turning Points in history: 

1. The Trojan defeat after allowing the wooden horse to cross the Wall of Troy. India should, henceforth, beware of Trojan horses both inside and outside the country.

2. Popes during the period of Renaissance provoking the Protestants to leave the Catholic Church which led to the Protestant secession.

3. The British loss of America —  remember Boston Tea Party, the slogan “No taxation without representation”?

4. America betraying itself in Vietnam leading to its humiliating withdrawal. Now,                           can one say America had betrayed itself and also the Afghan Government leaving the good, innocent people of Afghanistan in limbo? No country can trust America’s military intervention in times of war or civil war. Instead, negotiate with America for military hardware, buy them and be strong yourself. But what about small countries? GOK !

Here is a lesson for India to learn. We did not learn that lesson after 1962 China War, which we lost, along with men and our land. And remember we did not strengthen our defence forces, infrastructure and military hardware till 2014.

What has happened in Afghanistan should be a lesson for us. We will ignore the lesson only at our own peril. We are warned considering the geographical position of Afghanistan and its terror-tainted Taliban Government.

India is forewarned. Let India be forearmed.

Jai Hind

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7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Afghanistan: A country where anarchy is for ever !”

  1. boregowda says:

    Excellent analysis! Thanks.

  2. Samuel says:

    I read everywhere that Dry fruits imported from Afghanistan has stopped and these have become very expensive in India! This is a Big blow to “POOR Farmers from Punjab” protesting the farm laws . These poor farmers were munching regularly on these dry fruits while they were protesting! They now have to survive on free Langar food only! So sad!!

  3. Abdul Ghani says:

    By watching various news channels and try to understand the mood of many indians, Here are my observations logically analysed.
    1. Lot of Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and even Muslims who do not agree with the Taliban ideology are stranged in Afghanistan and obviously scared of their life(and their wives, sons and Daughters safety)
    2. India as per our debates on news channels, a lot of their particpants are fans of Taliban culture, they want Indian government should negotiate with them as a legitimate government (Like Pak and China). Coincidentally, the same people are concerned about their safety in India and it’s eroding democratic values under the present government.
    3. India is trying offer Visas to a large number of people Afghan nationals to save them from certain death due their ideological differences with Taliban
    4. As per the Taliban fans in India who suggest that Indian govenment should have talks with , They may be right! Eventhough I am not a Taliban Fan, I do agree with their suggestion! But the contents of negotiation must be as follows
    5. Instead if granting temporary visas to all those who apply blindly, we should have a citizen exchange program where a Taliban fam from our nation must be exchnaged for an Afghan citizen! Because the people we are exporting are already fans of Taliban, their are much more than their situtaion in India. We should make sure their entire family is exchanged. This process will eliminate all the hostility in both nations
    6.The Taliban Fans who become the ultimate afghan citizens can be the advisorss to Afhan government who lack in education and Indian/Internation laws.
    7. Also, it provides them a good place for their toolkit development without any fear and may even become eligible for Nobel peace prize!
    8. All these people can convince the Talibans about the white collar crimes and that way they can help their international image and who knows, they can even become democratic like Pakistan!
    9. Indian givernment should give serious thought to this plan that way we can give visas to any number of Afghan nationals without increasing our population as it is a Visa exchange program
    10. Even Afghans who are already here as a student or on any other terms need not return to Afghanistan if a person like Swara Bhaskar or Owaisi can be sent to Afghanisatn in his place! That way I get to stay in Inda for the rest of my life!

  4. Mysorean of Yore says:

    No use to go back to the Vedic times, when India has its own Talibans-the ruling politicians and others in opposition. India has a very large Muslim population where Muslims are still considered as backward for the purposes of education and jobs reservations. Well, it is a matter of time for them and Afghan Talibans to be linked in the spirit of their common Prophet.
    India is going to face the combined might of Afghanistan, Pakistan and China, the latter the elephant in the room, which is almost recognising the Taliban regime along with Russia. That was called NW Frontier, to signal that it was always a bandit country.
    Why should Afghans come to India as refugees? India is just a large third world country, when they can go to Western countries to live in comfort with benefits galore. With These refugee numbers going up and up, Indians are worried about their chance of emigration to these Western countries, as the countries concerned do not want them any more.
    Mr Ganapathy forgets that Indians are escaping India in thousands, leaving a corrupt country behind. Boasting technical expertise, shadows the fact that they are prepared to work as cheap labourers using computer keyboards! Most others do not hesitate claiming refugee status.
    If one could travel to a remote patch of New Zealand, one could see dozens of Indians working there -hardly Manhattan!

  5. Roopadarshi says:

    No purpose is served by looking back to history of this North West Frontier land, whose civilisation has always been frozen in the medieval period.
    Looking at Taliban newly developed friendship with China, and given that Pakistan and Afghanistan have no border separating them and linked together with a common religion, I agree with the danger that this China-Afghanistan-Pakistan poses to India. It is only a matter of time Taliban influence is felt in the large Muslim community in India.

  6. Nikhil says:

    *Lessons Learnt From Afghanistan:*
    Your dream house, dream car, dream life, bank balance, business all turn to dust, if your nation does not stand. Your assets are valueless, if your country has no asset. You can become refugee in minutes, if your leaders sell you off & flee away. Afghanistan built a 3.5 Lakh men army with ultra modren weapons and they surrendered with all their training and resources to 75,000 Talinanis who came on bicycles and motor cycles /SUVs with handguns! This was beause the Commander in Chief told them to surrender to Talinab with all their ammunition!
    Today, most of the media are not even criticizing them. and busy reporting other stuff!
    We have seen videos of 15 year old girls being sold for 100-150 dollars by Taliban and their mother pleading was shot in the head! Yet, we have our intellectual community who scream on the top of their lungs based on fake videos are absolutely silent!
    If your rulers are corrupt, their silence can be bought! That is how 4 million Kashmiri Pandits last their home and evenrything overnight while India or the reest of the world gave a damn about it!
    *Moral of the story:*
    Build your Nation. Choose strong leadership instead of looking for freebies from leaders & voting for those who bring you free goods. Choose a leader who will stand to protect you. Remember your country is your family & you need a father who teach us to grow & guide to choose right path. Don’t choose leaders who comes for season with gifts bought by the money saved in your own piggy bank. Dont make the mistake the Kashmiris made before they were kicked out!!

  7. Shantala says:

    Indians should be careful before accusing of another country in a state of anarchy.
    India which prides itself as the largest democracy is at best in a state of anarchy. corruption , nepotism, dominant caste-based practices in every areas of human endeavour, the list goes on, means it is in no position to preach other countries. Talibans wield guns to get what they want, Indian politicians and officials do it in much subtler ways.
    How else one could explain the thousands of visa applications by Indians landing in the desks of every immigration department in every Western country, wanting to escape from Indian anarchy?


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