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Blog Posted in avatar   Jiwan Kshetry's Blog

Poverty and misery: beyond politics in Afghanistan

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By Jiwan Kshetry
Posted Nov 23, 2011 in Politics
Even as turmoil continues in Afghanistan and political matters look worsening by the day, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment keep taking their tolls as ever, conclude three brilliant documentaries. Fixing things may be terribly hard but Afghan struggle for a better future continues and they need sensitive and considerate friends.
Ever since the Taliban were ousted from power in Afghanistan a decade back, the exercise with the 'democratic' process is going on. The outcomes of that practice, however, have been as pleasant as they were expected to be at the outset.
With ominous combination of increasingly inept and corrupt state machinery and resurging Taliban, the term 'politics' has come to symbolize little other than nepotism, favoritism, warlordism and a system called 'kleptocracy' as in many other so called 'failed' or 'likely to fail' states.
But as everywhere else in the world, politics is only one aspect of life for the Afghan people. Even though ominous political developments in Kabul keep haunting the people all over Afghanistan as ever, that is not all the Afghans are worried about.
Now there remain some questions answers of which can tell us much more about the daily lives of the Afghan people. What about the dimensions of Afghan society other than Kabul-centered politics? What are the social and cultural trends? How much has been accomplished after ouster of Taliban and how much stands to be lost in case of their victory now? Where is the historical warlordism headed now after a decade of apparent democratic practice? And how do the ordinary Afghans perceive the outside world?
And most important of all, have the Afghan women achieved something tangible and enduring during t he past decade following the horrible Taliban era?
It is hard to comment on all these issues unless one actually visits the rugged terrain in Afghanistan and meets the people over there.
Fortunately, there are some ways of knowing about some people and societies other than really meet

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