‘I Need Allies Like You, Please Help Us’; Why India Has To Remember Afghan More Than Ever? A Letter For Breaking Silence

I am writing this piece with tears filled in my eyes and I really want you to feel the same at least after reading this. As all of you, I know our country that celebrated its 75th independence is not perfect. But I cannot thank enough for being born in a democratic country like India. Because we are waking up to the news from all around the world and the only thing it has to underline is about survival of the fittest.

I know you already know what I am trying to convey. It’s about the ongoing Afghan-Taliban conflict. I don’t want to write what is happening there in general but being a woman with voice, I would like to share with you on what is happening to Afghan women and girls out there. Well, this is entirely on what the Afghan women and girls are facing now.

It was a few days back Sahraa Karimi, a film director and the current general director of Afghan Film wrote a letter to the global film community. The letter went viral within no time and it showed the heinous crimes Taliban is doing against the people of Afghan. Sahraa describes the instensity of what they are going through, specifically the women. 

From slaves to school toppers and back to slaves

In her letter, she wrote about an incident where a woman was murdered for her attire. They gauged the eyes of a woman, tortured and murdered one of Afghan’s beloved comedians. They murdered one of the historian poets and murdered the head of culture and media for the government. They assassinate people affiliated with the government. Doing all heinous crimes and even hanging the bodies publicly to inflict terror in poor people.

Taliban is in every way killing people who they find capable of raising their voice and bringing the situation to the outside world. And these people took their refuge in Kabul even when they knew that the camps were deprived of sanitation. The local media reported infants die of hunger and without getting milk. 

More shocking reports about the lives of Afghan women are hitting the headlines now. The children who are 10 and above will be no more able to get their education. They have no right to listen to music and watch movies. All the degrees they earned have already burnt and turned to ashes. Taliban which instills Sharia Law has also warned them not to step out of their houses, engage in any employment and even not to make sound while they walk on roads.

Thus, the little knowledge and freedom they gained over decades has come to an abrupt end.They’ll live their whole life being sex slaves to the men with beards. They’ll hide their certificates from not getting burned. They’ll treasure their bright lipsticks and vibrant outfits.Every time they go out, they’ll wear a burqa and have men’s escort.  Afghan under Taliban is much more than we could ever imagine, specially with great powers like China backing them.  

Sahraa says with utter pain that it is a humanitarian crisis and the world is silent. ”We have grown accustomed to this silence, yet we know it is not fair. We know that this decision to abandon our people is wrong, that this hasty troop withdrawal is a betrayal of our people and all that we did when Afghans won the Cold War for the west. Our people were forgotten then, leading up to the Taliban’s dark rule, and now, after twenty years of immense gains for our country and especially our younger generations, all could be lost again in this abandonment” her letter reads.

She requests the whole world to raise voice against these inhumane activities. She also says that all her effort to be  a filmmaker is at risk of falling. Taliban is particularly focusing on a complete ban of art and this is why people like Sahraa are coming to the fore.

”They will strip women’s rights, we will be pushed into the shadows of our homes and our voices, our expression will be stifled into silence. When the Taliban were in power, zero girls were in school. Since then there are over 9 million Afghan girls in school. This is incredible Herat, the third-largest city which just fell to the Taliban had nearly 50% women in its university. These are incredible gains that the world hardly knows about. Just in these few weeks, the Taliban have destroyed many schools and 2 million girls are forced now out of school again”  the letter reads. 

Like our silence can destroy a million people, a single word of us has the power to save them too. This is not the time to divide among ourselves in the name of faith but to unite, because we are humans over anything. Let’s stand with the Afghan and their innocent people. They really need us to fight this. 

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