Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

The Undying Class Disparities

A glance at Afghan society will clearly depict that there is a marked division between the rich and the poor. This division has existed for a long period in Afghan history. When the society was overwhelmingly tribal and feudal and was led by monarchy, the situation was no different. The king, his relatives, the landlords, and tribal heads had most of the authority and power by dint of their wealth, while the poor people, mostly farmers, had to face lack of resources, wealth and ultimately power.
The situation has not improved much even in today’s Afghanistan. Though, the country is said to be democratic, it still remains tribal to a large extent. And, more unfortunate is the fact that the socio-political setup has not changed much in its essence. There have been certain changes in the appearance or the attire but the infra-structure still remains the same.
Afghan society can be easily divided into two classes, factions or strata, whatever they are named. There are marked differences between both the classes and they can be easily observed. A very dominant and clear line can be drawn between them and the gap between them can be observed conveniently. Ill-fatedly, that gap seems to be getting wider with each passing day.
The intervention of international community, though changed Afghan society to certain extent, it could not bring about real change. In fact, it further widened the gap between the rich and the poor. The wealth that poured in the country for assistance and help could only find the rich people waiting for them. Therefore, they made sure that it did not reach the poor and deserving masses and made sure to strengthen their position with its support. This intensification in inequality can be easily observed in different parts of the country. For example, in capital Kabul, through cursory observation one can find the unevenness in the so-called development – poor and muddy houses can be easily observed in the shadows of tall buildings and in similar fashion various groups of poor children can be found running after or beside luxury cars for alms.
Apart from that, its manifestations can be found in various other ways as well. Just consider the way the law and order system treat the people. There is a marked difference between how the rich people are treated by it, and how the poor are victimized. Those among the rich who might have earned all their earnings through illegal means, can easily avoid any sort of punishment by law enforcement agencies. They can threaten the police, dodge them or even bribe them. They can even buy the decisions of the courts in their favor. There is no way they can be punished. If they have no other way, they can even escape easily from the country. While there are many poor people, who might have not done any crime or may have committed small crimes so as to fulfill the overgrowing necessities of life, to serve their families or to find some morsels of food can be caught easily, and more easily can they be punished. Thus justice has itself become the will of the rich.
This division is not a natural phenomenon. There can be rich and poor in a society but in Afghanistan they have reached to the extreme. There are extremely rich and poor people and the gap between them is ever widening. This generates injustice and also a sense of dispossession. The ones who are deprived, who are intentionally kept away from the facilities and treated in the worst possible manner, will become nonconformist. They will definitely rise against the government and against the system. They know that they would not be provided the deserving rights; therefore, they will opt for illegal means and will thus generate many social evils.
There should be necessary measures to curb the situation. First, it should be made sure that justice should be maintained in its true spirit, i.e. it must not favor only the upper class; rather the upper class itself should be treated by the law and order system in the same way as the other classes. To put it in simpler terms it can be said that social stratification should not be changed to social injustice.
Second, social mobility should be made smoother in our society. For example, it should not be very difficult for a person taking birth in a lower class to work hard, develop the capability and move to the middle and even to upper class. There should be equal opportunities for almost all the members of the society to excel in their lives and become rich. The reverse should be maintained as well, i.e. the people born in rich families but not working hard should be pushed to the lower strata. Social mobility should be able to provide some oxygen for the social setup to inhale so that it must keep on living.