Taliban's popularity in virtual world on wane

| | New Delhi
  • 0

Taliban's popularity in virtual world on wane

Monday, 13 June 2022 | Rakesh K Singh | New Delhi

Following months of its rule in Afghanistan post-takeover of that country in August last year, the Taliban's social media profile is dwindling due to governance failures and stricter controls on citizens through the strict and forceful implementation of Sharia laws. The Taliban largely banks on social media platforms like Twitter for promotion of its policies and projection of its popularity.

Following the announcement of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan early last year, the Taliban began targeting multiple cities, including Herat and Kandahar, especially on the bases and outposts of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF)  and finally entered Kabul on August 15, leading the then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.

 “The Afghans then backed the Taliban for two reasons---one was the assumption that the Taliban might have changed the operational perspectives and could lead the country in a better way and the other being the anger they felt for former President Ghani who fled country leaving the public to suffer,” said counter-terrorism expert Dr Rituraj Mate.

However, the popularity of the Taliban fell due to the forceful implementation of Sharia laws, prohibiting women from joining universities, barring men and women to be seen in public and making hijab mandatory for women among others, he further said.

“Many other factors also contributed to decline of Taliban’s popularity on various social media platforms like ascendance of Islamic State Khorasan  and  Panjshir Group,” said Sonali Nagarkoti who is pursuing MBA in homeland security from National ForeNSIC Sciences University Gandhinagar. While ISIS is seeking to dethrone the Taliban in order to establish dominance in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, the Panjshir Group is aiming for the decline of Taliban’s power so that the rule of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan is established, she said.

ISIS is also increasing the number of fighters and carrying out attacks to create a sense of panic and turmoil as also puncture the credibility of Taliban’s capability to rule the country in the long term.

Initially, the Taliban neglected ISIS threat, assuming it to be a Western propaganda but following deaths of hundreds of innocent Afghan citizens, a signal was sent by ISIS that Taliban was unable to control territory.

The Taliban’s negligence and several deaths of innocent citizens led to a marked decline in Taliban’s popularity on social media platforms and loss of credibility, she added.

Sunday Edition

Religious Interactions – A Reappraisal

26 June 2022 | Susan Mishra | Agenda

A search for self-fulbillment

26 June 2022 | Navin Upadhyay | Agenda

The Trail of Buddha is like a fascinating train journey

26 June 2022 | RAJ KANWAR | Agenda

The art of job-hunting

26 June 2022 | Deepak Kumar Jha | Agenda

Astroturf | Adapt fresh methods proven by research for clear lead

26 June 2022 | Bharat Bhushan Padmadeo | Agenda

Indo-Pacific Eco Framework: Concept to strategy

26 June 2022 | Vivek Mishra/ Mrityunjaya Dubey | Agenda