The taking over of Afghanistan by the Taliban shook the world into a feeling that was forgotten long ago. No one had seen this coming and it was not something the world was ready for, especially after spending 20 years in getting Afghanistan back into evolution and progress.
But since the terrorising events of the Taliban takeover, the world is watching Afghanistan slowly contract back into a shell, one Taliban act after another.
Here are some of the most bizarre incidents from the Taliban since they took over Afghanistan:
1. DO NOT FEAR SAYS THE TV ANCHOR (WHILE HE SITS NEXT TO THE GUN BEARING TALIBAN TROOPS)
Taliban militants stormed into a TV station back in August 2021 and asked the anchor to debate with them. All this, while the US was conducting a drone strike in Kabul. The anchor was reading the news and talking about the collapse of the Ghani government, while debating with the militants surrounding him. He also mentioned that the people should not be afraid of the Taliban, even when the President had just fled from the city a few days earlier. The troops behind him stood with loaded guns. What's worse is that about 40% of media houses have shut down since the Taliban took over and more than 80% of women journalists have lost their jobs.
Afghanistan TV - surreal This is what a political debate now looks like on Afghan TV, Taliban foot soldiers watching over the host. The presenter talks about the collapse of the Ghani govt & says the Islamic Emirate says the Afghan people should not to be afraid #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/oEverVgLOE— Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) August 29, 2021
2. THROW OUT THE ALCOHOL
The Taliban poured 3,000 liters of alcohol into the Kabul canal✨? pic.twitter.com/AFOap9Vefn— Commander Khattab (Red) (@khattabRED) January 4, 2022
The new Taliban does not tolerate the making and sale of alcohol (like the previous government) but is taking stricter measures to control the same. This has resulted in frequent raids and arrests in the city to send a strong message of intolerance. What happens to the seized barrels of alcohol? They are poured down a canal.
3. OFF WITH THE THROAT
Misogynists to the core.Addicted to beheading.That’s Taliban. pic.twitter.com/lOI95ML46F— Ziauddin Yousafzai (@ZiauddinY) January 3, 2022
The Taliban has recently ordered clothing shops to behead female dummy mannequins as they represent a form of "idol worship" and idol worship is against sharia law. This is hurting the Afghans who are dealing with less sales and financial support in Taliban times. Also, since each mannequin costs about $80-$100, its a straight off financial loss.
4. NO SINGING AND DANCING
The Taliban has taken measures to damage musical instruments and TV sets, and asked for promises from artists and locals to not sing or watch TV again. Their favourite pastime also seems to be checking people's phones and keeping a check on the content.
After music instruments, now Taliban is breaking TVsSo people shouldn’t play music, shouldn’t watch TV, girls shouldn’t go to school & many moreDon’t forget, We have many Taliban supporters in India, so they are also NOT far away from this thinking pic.twitter.com/dvbKRi8Vyn— Flt Lt Anoop Verma (Retd.) ?? (@FltLtAnoopVerma) January 3, 2022
5. WOMAN FOLK HAVE TOUGHER RULES
The second day of protest against the Taliban in Panjshir in connection with the killing of a civilian by the Taliban. A woman protester says Taliban kills innocent people. pic.twitter.com/aD4kcfjTwC— Tajuden Soroush (@TajudenSoroush) December 27, 2021
Afghan women have been banned from travelling for more than 72 kilometres without a male relative, and the Taliban has made it illegal for drivers to give rides to women travelling alone. The Taliban has also abolished the Women's Affairs Ministry (and brought in a notorius Vice and Virtue Ministry), has banned women from appearing on TV shows and movies, and eliminated women from the workplace. In addition, women also have to wear a hijab while going out to schools and only male students and teachers are being allowed to enter secondary schools.
6. IF NOTHING WORKS, FIRE AWAY
The Afghan women protested against Taliban's discriminatory and repressive practices to shatter the myth of a modern of Taliban 2.0 (that they claimed to be when they took over). During these protests, the Taliban fired shots in the air and injured many women protesters.
Afghan women have once again took to the streets of Kabul to protest against the #Taliban rule which deprive them of their basic rights. The demonstrators say they will come back to the streets as long as the Taliban ignore their rights. #AfghanWomen pic.twitter.com/xE6FI2UJpj— Aati (@AatiSheerazi) January 3, 2022
7. TALIBAN'S FINANCIAL BLUNDER
The Taliban accidentally transferred about $800,000 (about Rs 5.96 crore) into the bank account of the Afghan Embassy in Tajikistan. The Tajikistan government, which strongly opposes the Taliban, refused to repay the money. This money was supposed to be transferred by the earlier President Ghani to fund a school for refugee children in Tajikistan. But as the Taliban took over, the deal fell through. But even then the transfer happened, only to be recalled later. As Tajikistan saw the Taliban as a "terrorist organisation", the same was refused by the government.
As the Taliban 'govern' Afghanistan its way, there is no deluding oneself that they are any different this time around. If you have any doubts, go back to the beginning of this story.