Bacha Bazi – Innocence Exploited and Abandoned

I first came to know about this illegal, horrid and absolutely criminal practice when it was mentioned in Khalid Hossieni’s “The Kite Runner” where Amir returns to Afghanistan to find his friend Hassan’s son sold and kept captive to feed the pervert imaginations of Afghan warlords in the Taliban regime.

My initial thought was that this was just a one kind of incident and might have gone away when the Taliban exited. But I was wrong.

A recent documentary about the practice “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan” a daring effort by  Najibullah Quraishi the award winning Afghan Journalist in exile.

The documentary was aired in PBS Frontline in US this April and takes you deep into what is called the Bacha Bazi (translated as Child Play) custom that is very active even now in many parts of Afghanistan.

Boys as young as 9 or 10 are sold to wealthy business people, warlords and other influential elite who train them in music and dance for entertainment and often use and also share them for sexual activities. The documentary shows many people publicly agree that they involve in this barbaric behavior.

The documentary claims that the police and authorities show a blind eye towards this custom and even picture the chief of local police and an investigation officer attending one of these events.

Some of these kids who resist get murdered and yet no one is punished and life moves on as usual for these wealthy perverts as they prey on more and more poor and helpless young boys.

UNICEF is actively working to see that this custom is tackled and lives and futures of the thousands of innocents are saved. But many shouts and requests keep falling on deaf years. People get arrested and get back to business in a matter of months.

Interestingly according to the laws of the country this practice is illegal both now and before during the Taliban regime and yet it keeps opening dark chapters in the yet to be written future of thousands of boys in Afghanistan

Why is it that every reform that starts at the top has to end somewhere in the middle and the bottom line have to continue dealing with the same horrifying truths of daily life irrespective of all the hullabaloo the world creates in their name.

This documentary is a must watch for everyone who wants to know how the world revolves around them when they have a good nights sleep complaining about how wrongly cooked or served their multi course dinner was.

Hats off to Najibullah Quraishi and the producer Jamie Doran for bringing this story to light.

Categories: Opinions, Society

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9 replies

  1. When we sleep tight immersed in our dreams succumbing to the self inflicted fatigues of our march towards prosperity, nightmares of distress wakes up on many around the world. Nightmares that barge into their lives uncalled and snatch away the childhoods that have just started unfolding.

  2. u r absolutely right Vinod.The other day i read an article where literally these kids r literally used as dolls and u won't believe in all this there r so many prominant figures whom i used to worship,names i am not disclosing.I myself was shocked that even the orphanages r no more simple orphanages but such places where weird and disastrous episodes take place.The world is reaching a saturation point in philosophical sense.That is how i see it.

    • This world we live has reached saturate points even before. But it has been the spirit of people that have pushed it forward. I have heard people say what is the point in talking if we cant do anything directly. But the fact is once you start talking things will start moving and action will happen.

  3. I’m not sure about the world reaching a ‘saturation point’. It wasn’t so long ago that any form of slavery was considered acceptable by the vast majority. I believe Bacha Bazi has been going on at least a thousand years, and certainly slavery in all its forms since ‘civilization’ began; only today, some of us are lucky enough to live in places where such things are not tolerated by society, and the chances of falling into slavery are relatively low; likewise, some of us are also lucky enough to be able to think and speak freely about it.

    I’m not saying there’s not a lot of horrific things going on in the world, nor would I be able to quantify it compared to say, 100 years ago. It might seem there’s more today as we’re able to watch it, live, 24/7, but at least today many people/societies condemn and do at least something to prevent/reduce such activities.

    I just feel that saying the world is at a ‘saturation’ point is a bit of a ‘doom and gloom’ view. I think we have to recognize that humanity has just begun an evolutionary journey from animal to hopefully something better. We have a long way to go but to talk in such biblical terms doesn’t really help. This needs to be studied. Let’s look scientifically at the social and cultural reasons that such a practice could become widely accepted. We are nothing but nature and nurture. I’ve not seen the documentary but I’ve read a bit on the subject and one thing that came up was sexual confusion due to the strict segregation of men and women. Given that we see similar prevalences of child abuse with Catholic priests, it seems to me that’s not a bad place to start.

  4. I do not drop many remarks, however i did some searching and wound up here Bacha
    Bazi – Innocence Exploited and Abandoned Vinod Narayan.
    And I actually do have 2 questions for you if
    it’s allright. Could it be only me or does it give the impression like a
    few of the comments look like they are written by brain
    dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I would like to
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  5. Howdy! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if
    that would be ok. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to
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  6. Came across your fabulous blog while searching about my new craze, Papon. Commendable writing, humanistic views, enlightened treatment of difficult subjects- you have got all. Will refer my friends to this blog. Keep up the good work, bro!

    • Thank You Prashant… Appreciate you visiting and commenting here.. I do get a lot of comments from people who oppose my views both subtly and vehemently… 🙂 And when people like you who do not know me come and comment after reading the posts, I feel extremely honored and will always remind me of a sense of togetherness even in some lonely paths I will need to tread…
      Thanks Again… and Papon is the best…. 🙂

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