Amanullah Khan period and first experience of freedom of press

By: The Kabul Times

In this period the press was under the censorship of government. According to Dr. Assadulah Shoaour, this censorship was very slight comparing other periods.
We didn’t heard about serious censorship of press by government. But, as Afghanistan was a backward country and the backward mentality is remained in Afghanistan till date.
Some authorities in the then government were trying to impose their thoughts to others in contradiction with regulations and principle of press under government control. This should not be regarded as government control over press.
Enlightened supporting the king:
Why there were meagre cases of censor of journalists and publications and calling to account of journalists. Dr. Senzel Naveed regards it as agreeing of journalists and the king in person.
One of Amani’s government goals was establishment of democracy. So, the free press was enshrined in constitution and some figures like Mohayyudin Anis was from among liberals that was in agreeing with the king. Because of this, meagre difference was seen between free and government press. Because, majority of editor in-chiefs were in harmony with the king.
Paying heed to the rights and freedoms of women:
One of prominent specifications of this period was paying serious attention towards life, rights and basic freedoms of women in Afghanistan.
The symbols of this attention were focusing to the laws which were the guarantors of rights of women, establishment of schools and madrassas for girls and appearance of “Irshd-un-Neswan”, the specific publication of women.
The issuance of this publication had its own importance. Because from one side, in conservative society of that time, Afghanistan was enumerating one of manifestations of modernism and authority of modernism forces and on the other, it was the first specific publication of women that was publishing in the region.
One of French expert in Afghanistan affairs belong to Habibullah and Amanullah’s periods believes that the work and efforts made by Ms. Asma the lady of Mahmoud Tarzi who released the publication belong to women was effective in the connection.
Ms. Rouh Afza was editor in-chief and Ms “Asma” was editor of Irshadun-Neswan, the first specific publication for women.
The first issue of “Irshadun-Neswan” the specific weekly publication of women was published in Thursday March 17,1921, but so far, its exact number is unknown.
Dr. Assadullah Shoaour believes that the press of Amanullah period helped in nourishment of a freedom-loving and freedom-fighting generation.
The generation when in the subsequent years when the civil freedoms were negated, their representatives sacrifices themselves for regaining of those freedoms.
It is obvious that the numerous publications and relatively freedom of expression and expansion of press in provinces can cause further political awareness of people.
In this period, 14 printing houses were active in capital and provinces of the country.
The figures show that from 1324 to 1327 about 700000 text books were printed in these printing houses that was unprecedented in Afghanistan.
With the collapse of Amani government, those enlightened were under the influence of press in Amani period acted more to protect democracy that hundreds with families sacrificed themselves in this way.
Impact of press on literature:
Researchers believe that the press of period of Amanullah Khan remained its impact in the field of literature as well.
Latif Nazemi, Poet, journalist and researcher in literature believes the press of this period was the first manifestation literal experiences in Afghanistan.
For example: The first story was printed in Afghanistan in this period that its first one is “Jehadi-Akbar”, that was written by one of Indians residing in Afghanistan.
He was one of constitutionalists. According to him, majority of historians believe the press of Amani period despite playing role in promotion of mentality of freedom-loving, progressive and expansion of modernism, was supported by all social and political groupings.
Great spiritual figures, great land-lords, influential figures, nobelists and some court dwellers were satisfied with reforms of this period.
A number of historians believe that there were some documents that a number of government officials in collaboration with that of British-Indians maintained contact and were willing to collapse the Amani kingdom.
Similarly, a number of spiritual leaders in borderly regions were propagating against Amanullah Khan among tribes.
These factors caused that the regime of Amanullah be collapsed in January 1929 and Emir Habbibullah Kalakani who was famed as “Son of Saqao” took the throne.
The short period of Kalakani was passed in war and clashes. Reforms were stopped, but a number of periodicals were publishing in capital and provinces of the country.
“Aman-i-Afghan” was replaced by Habibul-Islam publication as soon as possible.
In this nine months period, a number of publications were defending from Emir Habibullah Kalakani and a number of publications belong to Amani period were publishing in the provinces were under the control of anti-government forces.
Some new publications also were established in a number of provinces.
In the name of “Ghairat-i-Islam” a publication was established in Jalalabad and Ibrahim Kamavi was publishing a publication in the name of “Al-Aiman” that was anti-government.
After nine months, the monarchy of Emir Habibullah was collapsed.
He and his close colleagues were executed and in Oct. 1929 Nader Khan took the throne. Concluded

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