On the 14th of August, the Taliban surrounded the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. By nightfall of the 15th, the former President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, had left the country. Hours later, Taliban forces occupied the Presidential palace, and began talks on the formation of a new government. As Stanly Johny in The Hindu puts it,
“Almost 20 years after the U.S. started its war on terror driving the Taliban out of power, life is back to square one for millions of Afghans.”
The rise of the Taliban, amidst the pandemic no less, will affect the futures of 3,87,946 students enrolled in Afghanistan’s universities as of 2020. Of these, 1,08,852 students are women: their academic and professional lives will most likely come to a standstill under the fundamentalist regime.
We spoke to a young, Afghan, Muslim woman in Kabul on her plea to the Indian Government to help the many Afghan students, women, and families whose lives and education are at threat under the Taliban.
A cycle of imperialism and fundamentalism is repeating itself in Afghanistan, once again. The Indian government’s response to the situation in Afghanistan will lay down markers for the type of developmental path we choose to tread.
Editor’s note: The Indian government has started an emergency e-visa service for Afghan citizens looking to enter the country. It can be applied for at: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa. The Ministry of External Affairs has also set up a “Special Afghanistan Cell” to coordinate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan. You can contact them at +919717785379 or MEAHelpdeskIndia@gmail.com.