BY Harsimran Kaur ON April 06, 2022 IN BOOK REVIEWS, THE COMRADES AND THE MULLAHS (CHINA, AFGHANISTAN AND THE NEW ASIAN GEOPOLITICS)/ANANTH KRISHNAN—STANLY JOHNY/NON FICTION
The book “The Comrades and the Mullahs” is about China’s emergence as Taliban’s new political and economic ally, and how this association can bring about a transition in the flora and fauna of Asian geopolitics.
Articulately substantiated with reasoning and analysis, the book traverses the incomprehensible imbroglio festered by Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1978, perpetually culminating into a civil war and anarchy. What rose from the blemished and forsaken war ground was the radical Islamist regime of Taliban that shook the Earth under the feet. It fomented large scale terrorism on the Afghan soil creating a cataclysm of subjugation and fear.
Fear throngs the imbecile to form patches of invalid presumptions so that his walk in the unnerving woodland upsurges a precipitous state of power to control his own freckles mind. Power takes grip over the fear, ingratiating the locked-up fugitive thoughts to embolden their intrinsic motives for an incendiary megalomania, thrusting behind its foibles and follies. The Taliban has been a jester of popping up balls of fear and power, each transcending the other to give way to hard-boiled ideologies and ramifications. In 2021, we saw the Taliban breaking the nexus of fear and reigning in power, leaving behind sordid 20 years of unabashed silence and worldly expostulation.
The squirrels nibbling in fear were not behind to placidly calm the roaring lion, and so started the rendition of poodling and prodding by China to create its own relevant sanctuary with the Taliban. China has a lot to answer to the people of its country and the World that stands awestruck with an intemperate union.
- Is China posing as a demagogue to deliquescently portray the Taliban as a soft political ally and not the “Peter Pan” who refused to grow up?
- Will China be able to diligently give shape to the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) and its foreign policy without any impediments from the Taliban
- If America is to be blamed for an impromptu backlash and whisking away as a pariah, can China stand tall with the Taliban’s strait-laced and well-established shibboleths?
The book attempts to answer these questions considering the geographical, cultural and political stand points. And, where does India stand in this not so propitious union? Being a calm weather-band in many of Afghanistan’s turmoil, India seems reluctant now to consider Taliban as a legitimate Pied Piper.
What history presents since the last 40 years of the dishevelled governance of Afghanistan is a choc-a-bloc of ineluctable seize of power, a romanticized jihadi ambition to love the solipsism belief of “self” and a deluge of implacability that refuses to abate.Will China evolve with these fulcrums that sabotage the entire edifice of humanitarianism or peddle back leaving the Xinjiang mess to the Taliban’s for seizure? And the bedevilling juxtaposition of ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) to the Taliban’s radicalism is a fervour China would like to avoid. The paths seem different and aligning the beast together would be a show of inanimate ideological drifts…
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