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Unequal Rights


Why has there not been the worldwide loud condemnation of the bomb blasts in Kabul’s Shia neighbourhood of Dasht-i-Barchi that killed over 55 persons, most of them schoolgirls, which is usually heard in matters such as the Indian Government not conceding demands raised by agitating farmers? Where are the social media influencers, human rights activists, furious feminists, self-styled liberals and progressives, etc.? Why are they not making the kind of consistent noise they usually do in matters of actual interest to them? In fact, the incident has already been forgotten by the rest of the world.

This is actually the case of the ostrich burying its head in the sand – ignore the really difficult issues and they will go away. Not really! Some may argue that such incidents happen so often and are commonplace in those societies. Foreign interference does not work – they should be left to work things out for themselves. What good has American presence done in Afghanistan over so many years? Such thinking is obviously wrong at so many levels. The US has never been in Afghanistan for the good of the local people. It was in pursuit of its own strategic interests.

The latest Kabul attack is one of the thousands of similar ones that have taken place in countries at the receiving end of a fundamentalist movement which the politically correct are afraid of even naming for fear of causing offence. The Taliban in Afghanistan are inspired by a worldview that can see only the existence of a theocratic system of governance. Having come so close to power, they are blaming the even more extreme ‘Islamic State’ for the horrific act. In contrast, they will even come to be portrayed as the ‘moderates’. The fact that every such regime completely denies equal rights to women and minorities is taken as a given. Such nations are, however, given equal status at the United Nations and even appointed to the Human Rights Council. Nations like India not only have to stand next to such entities but also acknowledge as equals dictatorships, absolute monarchies and Communist single party totalitarian states. India is pilloried if a journalist or human rights activist faces legal action or is not provided bail, but countries where such persons disappear entirely are just given a rap on the knuckles. Is this a fair world order? This actually disincentivises democracy. Unless civilised societies recognise the danger and work collectively, the extremists of all hues are knocking on their doors to wreak mayhem in the not so distant future.