THE EDUCATIONAL AND SOCIO-CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS AND EMERGENCE OF RELIGIOUS AUTHORITY UNDER THE PASHTUN MONARCHY IN MODERN AFGHANISTAN
Keywords:Afghanistan, Islamism , Nationalism and Pashtunwali , Afghan Monarchy 1880-1973 , Afghan Constitutions and Legal Reforms, Tribalism
This paper is an endeavour to study the formation of the national state of Afghanistan that brought a significant change in the traditional authority pattern of Afghans. It can be observed that, with the project of State-building, marginal ethnic and religious elements gradually gained a considerable position in national politics. Amir Abdur Rahman (r.1880-1901) is considered the founder of the modern State of Afghanistan. He attempted to establish an authoritative central government in Afghanistan- a land of powerful independent Pashtun tribes under their tribal chiefs. This paper explores how the Afghan monarchy reduced the autonomy of these influential tribal chiefs. What was the nature of their reforms and how much religion was given a space in the socio-political and constitutional reforms and how these reforms influenced various segments of Afghans. We shall also analyse the role of religion in the establishment of modern Afghanistan. It has often been argued that Afghan rulers utilize religion to minimize the authority of tribal chiefs. This act created a space for religious scholars which ultimately culminated in the emergence of religious elites in the national politics of Afghanistan. A meticulous effort has been made to investigate how the constitutional and educational reforms shaped the role of mullahs in national politics and the extent to which their role was variant from their traditional character in Afghan society. Moreover, it will be discussed how the legal reforms of Afghan rulers broaden the horizon of religious class in the judiciary and educational institutions. This paper also briefly examines the factors which remained a hindrance in the development of Afghan national identity and in the formation of the Afghan central government.
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