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Afghans, who are in their 20s and 30s-- are now used to a different life which has been free, democratic and open.

By Mahua Venkatesh

Afghanistan, especially its social hue, in the last two decades has dramatically changed, something that the Taliban or even Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that played a key role in government formation in the country after the US troops withdrawal, may not have accounted for.

Foreign policy watchers told India Narrative that the young Afghans – typically those who are in their 20s and 30s-- are now used to a different life which has been free, democratic and open.

"For the Taliban, the biggest challenge is to gain acceptability of the people of Afghanistan, who are now used to their freedom and are quite conscious of their rights—men and women both," one of them said, adding that it may not be easy for the hardline government to manage them even in the medium term.

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Photo by Vishal Panchal on Unsplash.

Ganesh Chaturthi plays a wider socio-political role in Maharashtra.

A person visiting Mumbai in the month of September can easily notice a mild fragrance lingering in the air. The fragrance is none other than that of the hibiscus flower. The hibiscus flower, commonly known as the shoo flower is believed to be the favourite flower of Lord Ganesha. In the month of September, every Mumbaikar is deeply immersed in Ganeshotsav. Some start preparing for the next Ganeshotsav as soon as the current one ends.

Before the festival of Ganeshotsav, or Ganesh Chaturthi, became an Indian cultural phenomenon, one can trace it's origins to Maharashtra. Ganesh Chaturthi as a festival has been historically observed in the province of Pune. Pune (also known as Poona) is dubbed the educational hub of Maharashtra. Historians see Pune as the last bastion of the Marathi manoos.

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Credit: Reuters Photo

Buddhist nationalist monk Ashin Wirathu in Yangon, Myanmar.

Firebrand Buddhist Monk Ashin Wirathu was released from prison by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) on Monday, two years after he was booked and imprisoned for making seditious remarks against the former leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Ashin Wirathu was born on the 10th of July 1968 in Kyaukse province which is one of the numerous offshoots of the vast Mandalay Division of Myanmar (then called Burma). He is a Burmese Buddhist monk and the founder cum leader of the extremist 969 Movement in Myanmar. He was infamously dubbed as the "The Face of Buddhist Terror" by Time Magazine in 2013. Some even went a step further and unceremoniously christened him " Buddhist Bin Laden ".

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Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, the place where the British opened fire on unarmed Indians

Vijay Prashad, renowned journalist, historian, and commentator took to TikTok to express his views about the colonial crimes by the British in India and China. In a brief argument, he puts forth a mapping of how India and parts of China have suffered under the British regime. This is what he says,

"Britain has refused to come to terms with its colonial heritage. The English East India Company seized Bengal, where I was born, in 1757, by force. Then the British forced the peasantry to hand over their produce and engineered a famine in 1770 that killed a third of the population. So many famines, I mean there were 24 famines between 1850 and 1899. Tens of millions of people killed. From 1765 to 1938 Britain extracted 32 trillion-pound sterling from India. That was the down payment for the Industrial Revolution. In 1943, Winston Churchill diverted food from Bengal, from my Bengal, to British troops- a diversion that killed at least 3 million Indians. That's another holocaust, a forgotten holocaust. When Britain was thrown out of India in 1947, the literacy rate in India was 14%. So much for the gift of civilization. We were left poor and illiterate. We were denied basic democratic rights. When Britain talks about human rights and its values of freedom and so on, all I hear is the cry of the hundreds of people massacred in cold blood at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar in 1919. Not for this or for any other massacre, or engineered famine has Britain apologized. And if you live in Britain, I highly recommend you get involved with the Indian Workers Association and its Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Campaign Committee. Over the course of the past fifty years, the British have denied their colonial crimes including by destroying thousands of fires on a range of issues including the bloody war inflicted on Kenya in the 1950s. The government hides, by the way, 1.2 million files in Hounslow Park, north of London. Files which contain Britain's role in the slave trade, and the Boer war, and the decolonization process. In the margins of a document in the UK's forced labor in Kenya, a colonial official wrote, "It must on no account be published." It must on no account be published, because Britain cannot be seen as having conducted a forced labor regime in Kenya. Forced labor is what other people do. Not the British. Britain refuses to come to terms with its colonial heritage because to do so, would be to cast light on this language of human rights and freedom and liberty. What liberty? From 1841 to 1997, Britain ruled Hong Kong with an iron fist. Where was the talk of democracy then? In 1842, a British official wrote, "The poor Chinese must submit to be poisoned by opium or must be massacred by the thousands for supporting their own laws in their own lands.""

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