Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, May 20th, 2019

Anniversary of Baba Mazari: Learning Occasion or Political Opportunity?

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Anniversary of Baba Mazari: Learning Occasion  or Political Opportunity?

Before anything, the deepest condolences to the family of Baba Mazari and his true followers who devoted his life for the sake of unity, justice and brotherhood in this country. According to many analysts Baba Mazari was a unique leader who could change the course of history in Afghanistan, and so has a lot of messages to learn. One of his great achievements was to unite the people on a single political platform, despite many political and ideological differences. For the first time in our history, he made his people accepted as a single unit and recognized as a political force in Afghanistan. This was only achieved under the leadership of Baba Mazari and for that we all have enormous amount of respect in our heart for him. The great Baba Mazari was martyred on the 13th of March 1993. In fact, on the 13th of March 1993 Afghanistan lost a leader, a father, a hero and savior, who for the first time in the history of our country equalized us with the other Afghans, and gave the courage and self-confidence to stand up and fight for what was ours.  His martyrdom upset not only the Afghan, but many people in different parts of the world as well.
To evaluate his personality, let’s raise this question whether the history made his personality or he made the history? It is not surprising when the history shape or impose a person or a character to a society due to certain political circumstances. For instance, there are many examples in the past that were made by history such as series of kings, imperators and tribal leaders, and also examples exist in the current era such as presidents, prime ministers, ministers, and many government officials. Sometimes, without playing a self-contributing role, they are created and overnight become a personality and appointed in a top position because of a political reason. But it would be amazing when an unknown person come and try to change the entire history of a nation and a land. Based on this view, on the eve of the 24th anniversary of Baba Mazari, we need to evaluate his personality whether he made the history or was made by the history.
First of all, it must be made clear that becoming like Mazari is not impossible and his political life is a fully practical example for his followers, especially for today’s political leaders. Therefore, besides celebrating his anniversary to make a political opportunity for election campaigns, it is also possible to learn from the contents of his political life. The spirit of Mazari would not be satisfied from those who introduce him as a mythical personality blocking the way and goals of Mazari for the sake of their personal/family interests. If we are respectful to goals of Mazari, we have to let the mentality of becoming Mazari open to all not few and learn how he prioritized the national interests over personal and family interests.
The second thing, why Mazari become Mazari? And how he became Mazari? He won the heart and mind of people because he recognized the common goal and pain of his people. He devoted his life to achieve that goal and relieve that pain. So, anyone can become Mazari of his time on condition that he does the work of Mazari and choose to live like him. We need to accept the Afghan community, especially the deprived community of Hazara are grateful to the sacrifices and efforts of Mazari, but our society always needs the Mazari of its time. Based on this, it is also clear that Mazari created the history with devotion of his personal and family life.
Mazari set the leadership standard amongst the nation very high.  We always compare and expect every one of our contemporary leaders to Baba Mazari. That is clearly a position too high to achieve. Baba Mazari for the Hazaras is what Gandhi was to British Indians, what Martin Luther King Jr. was to black Americans and what Neilson Mandela was to South Africans. They were the men with commitments, honesty, intuitions and charisma whom we don’t get a lot. Like in the case of the Indians, the black Americans and the South Africans, we might not have the pleasure of having another Baba Mazari like leader in years to come. Therefore we must stand united behind the next best option we have and imply what Baba Mazari thought us.
Baba Mazari is the most charismatic leader who for the first time managed to unite a much divided ethnic group, despite the interferences of foreign and domestic hands against him. In the 1989 when he succeeded in unifying nine different groups under the umbrella of Wahdat Islamic Party in Bamiyan, it was very rarely believed that the Hazaras would one day become a significant political and military force in Afghanistan, but under the new name and leadership of Baba Mazari unity further consolidated his political dominance. The Wahdat manifesto emphasized the continuation and intensification efforts for the creation of an Islamic government based on equality, social justice and brotherhood, which was the first demand of its kind at that time.
Ideologically Baba Mazari was a political Islamist and a pragmatic Hazara nationalist. However, some of the brothers who have problem with his cleric dimension are trying to conceal this part of his personality, while he was a faithful and true religious scholar. We have to recognize Mazari as he was; and must not portray him as we wish- to invent a face that is not true. Anyway, he fully understood the rules and requirements of contemporary politics in Afghanistan. He knew that idealism, and morality alone would not work at the time of his leadership. He consequently initiated a new approach which was the most effective approach or strategy in the political history of the Hazaras.
Unfortunately, the Hazaras have again lost their political objectives they had gained during the Baba Mazari era. To regain what is lost, we need to revisit his philosophy. Baba Mazari without any doubt was the most effective leader in the history of Afghanistan. He promoted women rights, equality, justice, civility and every other democratic and modern norms and values. But when the interests of his people were not guaranteed, he had other ways to protest and resist and he definitely hoped to see an Afghanistan where everyone is equal, regardless of his ethnicity and religion and that has been achieved to a certain extent. 

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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