Before posing the question, let me give you a brief background to the question,
In 1939, France declared war on Germany and made a land and sea blockade of Germany along with Britain but in less than a year in 1940, France fell to German forces. It was a national shock to French and a period of national humiliations and demoralization. The French started underground liberation movements. In 1944 the Allied forces invaded France and by the end of war in 1945, the France was again a free country. French people were in debt to Allied forces for their freedom. The painful defeat and becoming in debt to allied forces for their liberation, made French lose their historical honor and pride.
Out of the ashes of burned honor, two flames by name of Jean Paul Sartre, the father of existentialism and Simone de Beauvoir (Simone-Ernestine-Lucie-Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, often shortened to Simone de Beauvoir), the mother of feminism (She got this title after publishing her famous book, “Second Sex”) started burning again and warming the hearts that enlightened and shaped deeply the Philosophical and cultural course of the next half of the last century.
Jean Paul Sartre shared along with other French, the national demoralization and dishonoring. As a Philosopher, it made him to question the basic nature of human and introduce existentialism as a philosophy human nature by challenging the traditional philosophy of essentialism on the contrast. Similarly Simone de Beauvoir was also passed through same national trauma as Sartre and other French did. Simone as a companion of Sartre, not only shaped the existentialism but she became the mother of Feminism by giving Feminism a new meaning under light of existentialist philosophy.
Sartre’s existentialism and De Beauvoir’s Feminism were rebellion to the dominant Philosophies and traditions of times that from one side prepared Germans for aggression and from other side made French vulnerable to that aggression. The essentialism left people in despair by snatching the hopes from them by failing to explain the pains of great depression and following WWII. Existentialism was the Philosophy of Free will, choices and taking responsibility for freedom and Feminism was the Philosophy of self-autonomy. These Philosophies were making people to accept the pains as the outcome of their own acts and shortcomings and making them ready to take responsibility for their liberty by making choices and getting ready to face their consequences. I am not in total agreement with both philosophies yet they have important lessons for us.
Sartre and De Beauvoir didn’t close their eyes to those of French defeats but put their experiences and feelings into Philosophical packages of existentialism and Feminism. Of course, French lost the war but Sartre and De Beauvoir won France a way, honor and recognition that Allied Forces couldn’t get and that was winning the hearts and minds of people across continents.
Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre are not alone to use Human pain and despair as a tool for a deep introspection into human nature. Siddhartha Gautama or what we know as a Buddha was another Philosopher (or Spiritual leader) who also used human pains and suffering as a tool to go deep into human nature and come up with a Philosophy of life that changed more than half of human population’s lives for thousands of years. Siddhartha was the prince of a small Kingdom (Kapilavastu) in today’s Nepal. One day out of his palace he saw an old man which made him depressed by making him to realize that everybody has to suffer from an old age. In order to explore more of human sufferings he started travelling across his kingdom and became deeply depressed by seeing people suffering from poverty, diseases and also seeing decaying bodies. In his travels, he found Sadhus, who were living an ascetic life in order to escape human sufferings. He quit his palace in search for a solution to human sufferings. He started to live and learn ascetic life style but soon learnt that this is not a solution and started meditating to find his own way and became Buddha (awakened) by finding nirvana and methods to attain nirvana.
Having in mind the Sartre, De Beauvoir and Siddhartha’s response to humiliation and suffering, what do you think their response would be, if they were belonging to a nation, whose 63% to 75% of populations have been massacred at one instance and then massacres continued for rest of coming one and quarter of century? How would be their responses if their nation were humiliated, mistreated and discriminated against by friends and foes equally?
The French was humiliated only for less than 6 years and produced Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and Siddhartha couldn’t see the pains and suffering that are common to all humankind…..
Compare to them the suffering of Hazaras,
Until 1885 Hazarajat was a self-ruling area, part of no country since early 1300, when red city of Bamiyan was destroyed by Mongols. When Tsarist Russia and British Empire needed a buffer zone to prevent the war between two expansionist empires, they created Afghanistan. The Hazaras wanted to maintain their self-ruling status which didn’t match the interests of both empires and British Empire helped Afghans to forcefully make Hazarajat part of Afghanistan and punish Hazaras by massacring 63-75% of population, repopulating their lands with Afghans and selling their children and women in open markets. The suffering of Hazaras didn’t end by dawning of 1900 as the plan of wiping out of Hazaras continued by every ruler of Afghanistan. The world is only aware of massacres of Taliban in Mazar and Bamiyan and less of those of Afshar (Kabul) by Massoud’s forces. The recent Target Killings in Quetta is another addition to massacres of Hazaras. Beside the migrations of Hazaras in search of safe place has stretched over one and a quarter century. No other nation has suffered for so long (nonstop) and with such intensity.
This description of suffering of Hazaras might be repetition for a lot of people but for a Hazara, they are a bitter reality of everyday life. I am asking the Hazara intellectuals, why they haven’t reflected over suffering of Hazaras? Do they lack the heart of Siddhartha or do they lack the deep sense of humiliation that Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir suffered from?
There is no doubt that no one else have experienced the sufferings that Hazaras have suffered and there might be very few nations that can understand truly our pains yet why Hazara intellectuals failed to use such suffering to go deep into human suffering and bring to humanity what Sartre, Simon de Beauvoir and Siddhartha brought?
THIS IS THE BIGGEST QUESTION TO THE HAZARA INTELLECTUALS…………. (I should acknowledge that one of our sisters from Kabul University posed the identical question to me and asked how could I have left the sufferings of Hazaras into blank? I should apologize to my nation that I couldn’t yet succeed to pay my part in reducing their suffering :(