Home / News / India /  'Soul-crushing': says Anand Mahindra as Taliban bar women from university education

As Taliban rulers in Afghanistan banned female students from attending universities, Indian industrialist Anand Mahindra has called the news 'soul-crushing'.

The Mahindra Group chairman on Twitter wrote that his main mode of giving back to society has been through supporting women's education.

Calling Taliban's ban on women's higher education 'soul-crushing, the M&M chairman added that it is a slow and cruel murder of the mind.

"All my life, my main mode of giving back to society has been through supporting women’s education. So, to me, this news is soul-crushing. The murder of people through war & violence is immediately bloody & shocking. But this is also murder—a slow & cruel murder of the mind," Anand Mahindra wrote.

Female university students in Afghanistan were turned away from campuses this week after the Taliban-run administration said women would be suspended from tertiary education.

Despite initially promising a more moderate rule respecting rights for women and minorities, the Taliban have widely implemented their strict interpretation of Islamic law or Sharia.

They have banned girls from middle school and high school, restricted women from most employment, and ordered them to wear head-to-toe clothing in public.

The Taliban have slowly returned to their hardline position against the education of women and their freedoms since their return to power in Afghanistan 16 months ago.

They argue their rules are in keeping with their interpretation of Islam, although Afghanistan is the only Muslim country that prohibits girls from being educated.

Last month Taliban banned women's entry to parks, funfairs, gyms, and public baths.

The hardline Islamists beat women protesters chanting "bread, work, and freedom" and fire into the air on August 13 to break up a demonstration outside the education ministry in Kabul.

The move is certain to hurt efforts by the Taliban to win international recognition for their government and aid from potential donors at a time when Afghanistan is mired in a worsening humanitarian crisis. The international community has urged Taliban leaders to reopen schools and give women their right to public space.

Turkey, Qatar, and Pakistan, all Muslim countries, have expressed their disappointment at the university ban and urged authorities to withdraw or reconsider their decision.

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