Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 15th, 2018

The Dark Page of History

|

The Dark Page of History

The deadly episode in Afghanistan’s history reveals the ugly face of the kings’ despotic regimes who ruled under the mask of religion. Afghans’ rights to life, liberty and estate were violated on the grounds of their caste, color and creed and the political figures, who were accommodated in courts, played the role of fox and wolf and betrayed their nation. The violent practices of the kings and their men, with few exceptions, led to great destructions and large casualties across the country.
The regime of Muhammad Nadir Shah, who succeeded Habibullah Kalakani through insurgency, was initiated with bloodshed. He made a written vow to Kalakani not to kill him and his dedicated men, but soon after his presence, Nadir Shah had him shot along with his men. Shah is said to pay tribute to Abdul Rahman’s tomb and said that he, pointing to his tomb, was the king who knew the people well and controlled them appropriately – this uncovered his policy and the public believed that he would follow Abdul Rahman’s footsteps.
With the establishment of Nadir Shah’s regime, the reformation and democratic movements of King Amanullah Khan were proved abortive and freedom fighters, liberalists and the Kabul intellectuals (members of Afghan youths’ Party) – including Shah Abdul Rahman Khan Lodi, Taj Mohammad Khan Paghmani, Faiz Mohammad Khan Barut Saz, Mohammad Wali Khan, etc. – were executed without an iota of mercy. To justify his acts of cruelty, Nadir Shah solicited religious decree from the so-called clergy to state the infidelity or insurgency of his political opponents and those who posed threat to his reign.
Nadir Shah also terminated the penal code approved during Amanullah’s regime, which restricted the authority of judges. Under Shah’s regime, a large number of people were punished in the worst possible way without standing trial. Torture, mutilation, chaining, dangling one upside down, using foul language, etc. were revived again after being banned by Amanullah. In a nutshell, Shah followed the very steps of Abdul Rahman and exercised his violent policy.
In case of any backlash from the public, Nadir Shah, stoked racial issues and channeled the public attention to sectarianism. Therefore, he spilt the blood of people on the grounds of their race, color and creed and mobilized an ethnic group against the other – this policy sparked tension among the ethnic groups and led to bloody skirmishes. Similarly, following the massacre of individuals, he proclaimed them “insurgent” resorted to militancy against his caliphate and solicited the approval of some individuals who introduced themselves clergy. So, Afghan nation – who fought bloody battles against the British Empire and gained victory at the cost of millions of lives – were butchered under an Afghan king.
More painful tragedy is when despotic kings rule a country under the term of religion and claim that they will protect religious tenets and national values through their sultanates/caliphates and introduce themselves religious caliphs. In other words, the sacred term of religion has been constantly used as vehicle for political interests throughout the world, in Islamic and non-Islamic societies. Currently, the insurgent groups, including the al-Qaeda, Taliban and self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), resort to terror and violence under the mask of religion whereas their fundamental ideologies are against religious instructions and void of moral standards.
Under Nadir Shah, female schools were closed and Kabul Women Council and Ershad Neswan (women guidance) Journal were ended. Afghan women were supposed to wear burqa and were restricted within the four walls. Moreover, primary and secondary schools were closed and some dictator instructors were employed, in symbolic high schools in Kabul, to torture and demoralize the students. Lately, some primary schools were established, though, where unqualified teachers taught.  
Freedoms of the public, mainly freedom of speech, were curtailed and non-governmental newspapers were ended. Governmental newspapers had to praise the officials and were not allowed to state a single word not only against the regime but also against the British Empire. Those who crossed the red line, determined by regime, were tortured severely.
The honor of epic wars against the British Empire and great sacrifices made to protect religious values, ethical code and national norms, eroded and the nation suffered painfully under Shah’s regime. Moreover, the progressive movements of Amanullah came to a standstill and education, economy and culture declined immensely. The flagrant violation of rights and liberty and the regime’s violent practices were a slap in the face of democracy and a tragedy for the nation.
Needless to say, Afghanistan has left bloody incidents behind under different regimes and fought for their rights and freedom – the greatest harm they sustained was by the sinister regimes that ruled despotically under friendly mask and shed crocodile tears for the nation. They always justified their cruelty through sympathetic remarks. For instance, the Taliban regime that occupied the country via religious rhetoric played a highly destructive role in the country and massacred a large number of men, women and children in the worst possible way.

Now, it is the government to heal the bleeding wounds of nation through protecting their rights and liberty and combating insurgency and terrorism. Afghan officials should uphold the nascent democracy and form a civil society void of violence and carnage. The Taliban fighters, who never stop spilling the blood of soldiers and civilians, must be fought against strongly.                 

Hujjattullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

Go Top