Oil Politics, Taliban and Islamophobia: Impact on India

taliban government

Withdrawal of US army from Afghanistan has led to the Taliban coming to power. The scene created in Afghanistan has been very disturbing. The minorities trying to flee, the Muslims attempting to leave the country desperately have made a sad spectacle. This has drawn global attention to the phenomenon in Afghanistan. The past record of Taliban rule is flashing in front of people’s eyes, the oppression of women, dictating codes for men, imposition the their version of Sharia law and to cap it all the demolition of Bamiyan Buddha statues tells us what the Taliban’s stand for. Some are hoping that this time Taliban have changed, but even their initial steps have made it clear that Taliban mindset remains the same. Sadly couple of Muslim leaders welcomed their rule but most of the Muslims of the country have not only been apprehensive but are opposing the policies of new regime. The likes of Naseeruddin Shah and Javed Akhtar have forthrightly expressed their condemnation of the fundamentalist politics of Taliban.

While Taliban is happening in Afghanistan, section of Indian media, identified as Godi media which is toeing the line of ruling party and attacking those criticizing the ruling Government, has got gala time after Taliban’s coming to power. Its major air time is being spent on presenting the horrors of Taliban rule. This in a way is true but the proportionality is totally misplaced. It seems the only problem Indian people are facing is that of Taliban. For this section rising unemployment, the issues like farmers movement, increasing atrocities against dalits and women is absent from its concerns. The intimidation of religious minorities is neither presented by them in objective way nor are they willing to nail the culprits. Mostly this section of media presents religious minorities themselves as the culprits! The ‘Hate Muslim’ sentiment which has been already strengthened by various mechanisms led by the communal outfit and its multiple progeny has been intensified much more in intensity.

The impression and the language being used is as if Taliban represents the World Muslims and is an embodiment of Islamic values. This is used to cast Indian Muslim under deep shadow, further increasing their alienation and marginalization. Does Taliban in any way represent the Muslims Worldwide? Do they represent the values from Quran or Islam in any way? This section of powerful media is not concerned about the genesis of Taliban, the politics behind its being propped up. This media even does not bother to introspect as to how come the Muslim countries with largest Muslim population like Indonesia do not have these types of oppressive groups. The botheration to think the correlation of fundamentalist Islam, the Taliban Al Qaeda variety in the oil rich region gives the truth away but that will be an obstacle to the sectarian politics in India, that will be against the economic-political interests of the Corporate controlling this media and the politics, which has won over this section of corporate.

It is very much a recent history. The imperialism has been out to control the World resources and plunder it. Following Colonial period, when some European powers were out to control the ‘Wealth of Nations’, last few decades has seen the ascendance of America and its cohorts to control the oil resources and the markets in different parts of the World. As such West Asia, rich in the oil resources is suffering from its ‘richness’, it is this which has made America to plan the training of Muslim youth in the retrograde version of Islam. During cold war era the imperialist designs were being perpetrated in the name of ‘free World’ against communism. Soviet regime was supporting many national liberation struggles, which were not to the liking of US. Vietnam was the best example of its policies in launching its agenda through overseas attacks.

In the wake of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, a big blunder by Russia, US intensified its support to the fundamentalist Muslim groups in the area. While Saudi Arabia also helped in training of Muslim youth, primarily it was American planning to promote Mujahidin, Taliban and Al Qaeda in few Madrassas in Pakistan. The syllabus was prepared in Washington, funding was done by America and Muslim youth were lured into these Madrassas for indoctrination. It was close collaboration between CIA and ISI which not only indoctrinated these Muslim youth but also provided them sophisticated weapons.

Their goal was to ally with section of Afghan forces to defeat Russian army. One recalls the visit of these elements in to white house. Ronald Regan did host them at oval office in 1985 and stated that “These gentlemen are the moral equivalent of America’s Founding Fathers.” CIA’s machinations created the world’s deadliest terrorists.

To cut the long story short the Hillary Clinton, the sectary of the state in an interview “… accepted that USA funded Taliban and Al Qaida.” Today globally most of the survey amongst the Muslims shows their disdain for the variety of aggression and politics practiced by the likes of Taliban, Al Qaeda and company. “The 2016 report What Muslims Want, the most extensive research of British Muslims ever conducted, found that nine of 10 British Muslims reject terrorism outright.”

West Asia is victim of the oil and wealth lust of American imperialism. The majority of victims of this type of terrorism have been Muslims themselves. Pakistan lost close to seventy thousand people due to terror troubles, apart from its ex Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto in such an attack. This has become a Frankenstein’s monster. To cap it all the American media coined the phrase, ‘Islamic terrorism’ in the aftermath of 9/11 twin tower demolition. The global media picked it up uncritically.

In India already the Muslim community was labeled in a negative light, the rise of this dastardly phenomenon, product of American policies, has further added to the adverse perception of this community in India.

Media has a responsibility to ponder deep to unravel the truth. Such a recent history is well presented in excellent books on the topic, only if Godi media bothers to go a bit deep into it and present the real problem faced by the country rather than playing in the hands of divisive politics.

Originally published in NewsClick

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Dr Ram Puniyani

Dr Ram Puniyani was a professor in biomedical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, and took voluntary retirement in December 2004 to work full time for communal harmony in India. Email: [email protected]

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