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.