Afghanistan news was widespread all over the media, international forums, and intellectual groups this month. Moreover, I hope the internal politics of Afghanistan will be a top-notch discussion in international geopolitics throughout the coming seasons as well. For me, the most surprising aspect was not how the Taliban took over the whole Afghan regime but how peacefully the regime was handed by America to the Taliban. Besides, many were also shocked to find how stealthily Ashraf Ghani left the state and cheated his followers and the government. Until 31st August, international media was waiting for the clueless transit of America, however, after the deadline set by the Taliban, the curiosity ended when for the first time America was true to its promise to the Taliban. For many, it was another unexpected shock when they come to realize that America has actually committed the act opposite to its global narratives.
When the Taliban took over the charge of internal government and security, it was not that the whole country wanted to flee away. According to the visuals and news report, it could be clearly seen that to the majority of Afghans, it was just the new government. While many locals were seen desperately trying to flee the state, everyday life was not much interested in the subversion. Later on, the former vice president Amrulla Saleh declared himself as acting President from his hometown-Panjshir. He announced that he and his people will fight to the death instead of surrendering to the Taliban. He was backed by the son of former Tajik guerilla fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud- Ahmad Massoud. The Panjshir group claimed themselves as the resistance 2.0 or the Northern Alliance.
The story of the uselessness of international humanitarian organizations starts when we see how Panjshirians fought for their dignity and still succumbed to the Taliban. I have been following Ahmad Massoud and Amrullah Saleh on Twitter. Whenever they were twitted, they accused the Taliban of trying to suppress the resistance and minorities. Since the Taliban’s group mostly comprise of Pashtuns, Shah and Saleh accused them of trying to dominate the other tribes except their own.
The resistance started with the message to the rest of the world and many international intellectual think-tanks as the resistance against terrorism, suppression, and human massacre. However, the Northern Alliance, this time, was helpless. Not a single nation in the world came to their support and their own alliance of history remained solely in the history. Shah kept on begging the support but as the 6th September’s Sun was about to raise down, the news of the Taliban taking down the flag of Panjshir broke the hope of many who were otherwise expecting a strong counterpart to Taliban to survive. The end of resistance was sooner or later expected to end had it not received any assistance from those nations who openly criticize terrorism.
When it was all evident that not a single country nor a single community came to support the Panjshir resistance, Shah and Saleh stopped tweeting the messages. To my surprise, I could not bear the silence of the United Nations and the rest of the community keeping their voice shut. Then, I thought as the wise saying goes “Everyone worships the rising Sun” has really come true. Finally, the dawn set on the beautiful valley of Panjshir. To one who believes in peace, democracy, and the self-proclaimed savior of peace: America, the Taliban’s takeover shattered the whole belief system. One who was expecting something miraculous to happen, some savior to arrive and pen take over the mighty sword is proved to have been utterly wrong. Were we wrong who believed educated people make society civilized?
Looking at the performance of the great humanitarian organizations and their dumbness to minority massacre, power-centered politics, and geopolitics turbulence, should we believe that these are nothing but by the powerful for the powerful. Putting it aside, if we consider the Palestine-Israel conflict, China-Taiwan conflict, we rarely see them exhibiting their stand. If geopolitics keeps on moving unchecked, will the wealthiest one conquer the whole of humanity a day? I do not have any answer for myself. The question undoubtedly sounds banal but as the wise saying goes “Only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches.” Why most of the clauses in the UN legislature book have stopped functioning. Primarily, the UN’s infertility and mercilessness have once again provoked the ethnic tribes and minorities.
Resistance against power, moreover tyrannical power never succeeds unless the community resisting it gathers enough resources to counter the other one. Panjshir’s resistance exactly reminded me of the same inadequate resistance of most of the world’s ethnic tribes. As the Taliban has proved quite well that the power comes from the sacrifice. And the sacrifice is not possible firing the barrel of your gun. Perhaps, Resistance 2.0 had no had enough countermeasures to check the Taliban. What if you are unheard and still go unheard even after circulating your demands all over the media portal? What if in a case like Panjshir, no international community will come to take you up from the pit of the proxy subjugation.
Observing the Tharu rights movement in Nepal against the backdrop of Panjshir’s helplessness, it has again become clear that no authority simply shares its power to you unless you are strong enough against them or you really hold capital too seriously harm them. The more threat you create to the power, the more serious laws will be drafted and implemented against you. In the meantime, I remember the Maoists ‘ terror in Nepal for 12 long years that produced no good for to whole Nepali but created friction, faction, and more hatred among its own citizens. The Maoist terror was one of the most unwelcomed consequences in Nepal finally when it could bring no change to the fate of the whole Nepalese. Looking at the initial stage of the Taliban also, it can be assumed that tomorrow’s Sun may witness more red shades on Afghanistan’s land than its own rising tint.
Localizing the Taliban’s uprising and Panjshir’s fall, one should have clear conscience for their lack of proper vision and leadership. Looking at Panjshir, what Tharus can learn is the selection of proper leaders and the rise of a visionary leader. The insufficiency of geopolitical consciousness has put the community still hovering around the very basics rights in our state politics. Just before yesterday, Ranatharus of Farwest province crying their utmost against the state’s failure to address the presence of their linguistic proficiency in the constitution. Thus, looking at the backdrop of the Middle Eastern revolution not weighing with the violence, the South Asian renaissance seems in its utopian dream.
One question that may sound over sophisticated and aggressive is: are the tribal movement in South Asian countries like Nepal and India has really been secluded? There comes various reasons behind the bar revolution of ethnic tribes. Nonetheless, analyzing bureaucracy, state politics, and the world shrinking more towards communal has really brought problems for the believers of democracy. Democracy sounds more like a term created for facilitating the fouls and misuse opposite to the allegation for misusing it. Even if society proclaims to have shifted to organic thread, the vacant space of mistrust, mistreatment, and possibility of chaos always remains.
The challenge to end the state seclusion needs proper leadership, organized, and informative movement. As the political consciousness still remains uncultivated among the Tharus, first they need more informative discussion and glamorous fiestas to divert the international community’s attention. The second thing they need is an accumulation of resources and funding to continue the unrestrained movement. If they can manage the vision and the ways to achieve them, the community will be more progressive and empowered.
Mr. Dangaura is a faculty at the Department of English, Trinity College, Dillibazar affiliated to Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He is currently pursuing an MPhil in English at Tribhuvan University. Some of his notable works are:
Dangaura, M. (2021). BhadaTharu Homestay: Building National Integrity through Cultural Performance. Molung Educational Frontier, 11, 78–100. https://doi.org/10.3126/mef.v11i0.37848
___. (2019, June). Breaking the illusion of disembeddedness in science fiction movies Interstellar and The Martian. Bon Voyage, 4(1), 85-94.
___. (2020, Sept. 10-12). Framing the responsibility of Dalit intellect in Omprakash Valmiki’s Joothan [Graduate Conference]. Repressive Orders: Casteism and Dalit, Central Department of English, Kirtipur.
___. (2021, April 22-23). Naessianbiocentric self in Tharu folk songs: A study of nexus between ecology and subjectivity [Conference Session]. Identity and Space, UCL Institute of Education, London. https://www.bnac.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/BNAC-NSD-2021-Prog.pdf