Blame it on others, and if you have not blamed others for almost all the bad things that happen in Afghanistan then you are quite a rare exception.
Here in my country almost everything is blamed on either Karzai, the neighbouring countries or the US If there is anything related to the lack of security, economic problems, and lack of unity among the Afghans, we all blame the US and the neighbouring countries. For everything else, Karzai is always there to get the blame.
People blame the government or more precisely Karzai for variety of problems. Karzai is held responsible for issues ranging from serious ones such as corruption, poverty, social injustice to less serious ones as bad driving, stray dogs on the street, and lack of control over free market. Though the government is partly responsible for all these miseries and Karzai is at the helms of the government; what is wrong about this whole attitude is that people blame the government only; creating a social mindset that ordinary people have no responsibility in this regard. We expect the government do the things that are within our reach or even fall under our social and individual responsibilities such us keeping our streets clean, giving our kids proper education, or keeping our youth away from drugs.
To make things even worse, a whole web of media outlets brought up by millions of dollars are busy in steering this national blame syndrome and feed on the popular sentiments of blaming everything on the government.
Religious figures definitely are cashing on this attitude. Instead of indulging in Islamic teachings, much of their time is spent bashing the government in their Friday sermons. I have even heard an Imam criticising the government for paving roads in rural areas and not doing the same in Kabul city. One thing is for sure, and that you can criticise and blame the government for anything, you do not need to be even remotely accurate. Blaming the government always sells.
Based on some estimates, one out of every eight Afghan workforce is employed by the government. Now, I do not understand how can someone separate the government from the people? Aren’t these the same people who make up the government? And if the government is to be responsible for all the social, political and economic ills, doesn’t that mean that the entire nation has to take some responsibility?
Just look at our mosques and see how many mosques in Kabul or elsewhere in the country hold daily or weekly learning circles? Isn’t our religion emphasising on learning and education? And don’t we claim to be good Muslims? Should we be waiting for the government to arrange such circles for us?
More importantly, we should know that by blaming the government we just add to the sheer mistrust and lack of confidence in our society and ourselves. Neither the government is going to put its matters straight by receiving unnecessary criticisms, nor will we ever be able to look into our own selves after blaming others for what we too are responsible. And there are problems that the government cannot do much about e.g. poverty or security.
I know that deciding on whether the government or people are responsible for fixing any particular problem in the society is a broad topic, something which is beyond the scope of this article.
Rather the point or the points I want to make are: i), We, collectively or as individuals, are capable of making positive changes without any help from the government; ii), We will only be able to make positive changes if we feel responsible towards the problems we see around us; and iii), we will feel responsible only after we stop blaming others e.g. the government, the US or the neighbouring countries.
As the above three points are interrelated and one leads to the other, therefore the first step towards social development is to stop blaming others. Such an attitude will instill a sense of responsibility in us which in turn will lead us to be more creative in solving our problems, resulting in self growth. On the other hand blaming others never involves any creativity or self growth, helping in no way to become mature as individuals or all together as a mature society.
Afghanistan is at an important crossroads in its history. As Afghans we all have the ability and responsibility to help create a better Afghanistan for ourselves, our children and for each other.