In 1994, about 50 religious’ students (Talibs) started a movement in Afghanistan. They received education from traditional Islamic schools in Pakistan. This movement spread to become the leading rebellion organization in Afghanistan. The number of members soon reached thousands.
Further, Afghan refugees studying in the Madarsa of Pakistan joined the movement. Since then, Pakistan has helped to fund and strengthening this organization.
It is likely that initial Taliban funding came from superpowers from west. It fueled the Taliban movement for their vested interest. This backfired with the 9/11 attack backed by the Taliban.
Afghanistan is an Islamic country, and the Taliban is its Islamic organization. Then why the government takeover is so violent? Why there is a massive massacre of own countrymen? Why so many people are fleeing out of the country? The sight of mothers throwing their babies above the razor wire to take them out of the country can make even the stone-hearted person cry. From whom these mothers are saving their babies?
There is no invasion from any other country. There is no inter-religion battle. The Hindus and Sikhs are the minority with the minuscule number in Afghanistan. Even among Islamists, the major population in Afghanistan is of the Sunni denomination. So, this doesn’t even seem to be a conflict or battle between the two denominations of Islam (Shia and Sunni). Then where is the problem if it is not between two countries or two religions or two faiths?
The problem is the fight between “Liberalization” and “Radicalism”. The Taliban follow radical Islam and are in favor to install sharia law. They seem to be not in favor of democracy, women’s empowerment, and modernization. Taliban feels Afghan people suffered because of not following sharia law (the law of Islam). Hence, they enforced it with cruelty that increased the sufferings of Afghans multi-fold. They killed and massacred their citizens and people of other faiths and beliefs. This turned them from students to militants. In a nutshell, this fight is between the “Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” and “Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan”.
Taliban mercilessly ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. But, then 9/11 happened. Then US, with other western superpowers, came forward and dethroned Taliban. The phases of insurgency continued. Recently, Taliban again took over Afghanistan in July-August 2021. We can consider this as the beginning of the fall of the west in the east. Especially with recognition from China, Pakistan, and Qatar to the Taliban government. Russia and few others followed this.
Taliban and India:
1. Taliban refers to itself as “Deobandi Islamist Religious Political Movement.”
2. Deobandi Islamist revivalist movement (Sunni denomination) has its roots of origin in Deoband.
3. Deoband is a town in the Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh (India).
4. Deobandi played an important role in India’s freedom movement against the British. They opposed the idea of a partition in India. They also encouraged interfaith and inter-religion debates.
5. Saudi Arabia heavily funded some Deobandis from the early 1980s to the 2000s, which gave them strength.
6. The Pakistan government cultivated Deobandi militancy to fight against Soviet Union (in Afghanistan) and India (in Kashmir).
7. The superpower of the west funded Deobandis to destabilize the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
8. Later, these Deobandi fueled and funded by various governments became Taliban and the rest is history.
What is bothering me as an Indian?
1. It is possible to brainwash a group of religious students, fueled, and funded by various countries’ governments, to convert them into “Radical Islamists”. It is also possible to motivate them to massacre their countrymen (mostly of the same religion and faith) just to eradicate “liberalization” and “Democracy” in the name of Sharia law. What would happen if not-so-friendly neighbors of India make such an attempt in our country?
2. A country dominated by one religion suffered such a civil war just in the name of implementation of strict sharia laws and elimination of democracy. What would happen if they make such attempts in our country where many religions and faiths are in harmony?
3. If a handful of so-called scholars from Deoband and various other madarsa (in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) can bring such havoc in a country then what would happen if Radical Islam teaching continues to fuel and brainwash innocent youngsters in hundreds and thousands of madarsa across the nation?
4. Taliban is not just an organization. It’s a movement and ideology which engraves deep inside the brain. It has a clear agenda to end anything which doesn’t follow sharia law. Various countries (following sharia laws) back this movement. Some backed this movement to weaken or end their rivals. This is more complicated than it seems.
In our country, a section of the society is against the Uniform Civil Code and advocates the enforcement of sharia law. This only increases the likelihood of the rise of the Taliban without timely interventions.
India has been home to millions of refugees for decades. Countless illegal immigrants have also inhabited this country with no legal route. Government should devise a clear policy about the status of these refugees in our country? I am afraid that Taliban may find its fuel and passage in our country through them. It’s prime time that we Indians stay vigilant and unitedly protect our country from the Taliban and Talibani mindset.
I, as a citizen of India, would urge our government to:
1. Implement Uniform Civil Code
2. Implement CAA and NRC with whatever realistic modifications as needed.
3. Meet the intent of abolishment of section 370 with its real purpose of unifying India as a nation (from Kashmir to Kanyakumari).
4. Watch for source, quantum, and intentions of funding (Local and international) of all the radical religious and political organizations/institutions.
5. Stop appeasement politics completely (by all political parties).
The viewpoint presented here is of the author only. They depend on his interpretation and research of the subject through various sources. The author doesn’t have any intent to hurt the sentiments of individuals or groups belonging to any country, religion, caste, creed, faith, and belief with this article.