Malayalis in the Taliban? Tharoor’s tweet sparks a twitter storm

Tharoor was castigated by Twitter users for casting suspicion on whether there were Malayalis among the Taliban celebrating outside Kabul. But the MP refused to be cowed down

Tharoor was told by a Twitter user that the Baloch from Zabul province in Afghanistan who speak a language that is similar to Dravidian languages like Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu

Malayalis seem to be everywhere. They were recently spotted hailing soccer sensation Lionel Messi at a celebration when he arrived in Paris to join Paris Saint–Germain, and now Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has stumbled upon them speaking Malayalam among Taliban fighters who were rejoicing over their victory in Afghanistan.

Malayali Taliban, is that possible? The MP from Thiruvananthapuram thinks so.

On Tuesday (August 17), Tharoor posted a video on his Twitter account showing a group of gun-wielding Taliban militants, who were doubled up on the ground crying with joy on reaching the outskirts of Kabul. They were emotional as they knew they were just hours away from victory and gaining complete control over Afghanistan.

In the midst of their joy, Tharoor heard them conversing in Malayalam.


Tharoor tweeted that it sounds as if there are at least two Malayali Taliban here – one who says samsarikkette around the 8-second mark and another who understands him!

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However, a Twitter user squashed any such possibility as he tweeted in response to Tharoor’s post. “There are no Kerala origin fighters in the rank and file of Taliban. They are Baloch from Zabul province who widely speak brahui. It is a Dravidian language very similar to Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam,” he said.

To which Tharoor responded: “Interesting explanation. Will leave it to the linguists to figure this one out. But there have indeed been misguided Malayalis who joined the Taliban, so that possibility cannot be ruled out entirely.”

Tharoor was also castigated by other Malayalis for bringing this up in a proud manner as if the Taliban had won the soccer world cup or saved the world from “alien invasion”. If I was a Malayali, I would condemn this Talibani for bringing bad name to my language and not be proud of it, said another user.

The MP was accused of doing the right wing’s job for them. For one user said that Shashi Tharoor tweets out BJP-RSS propaganda about Malayali Talibanis based on ‘ONE’ word in a video which sounds similar to Malayalam.

Further, users criticised him for fuelling fascistic right wing accounts despite being told the facts of the situation and insisting that Malayali presence in the Taliban cannot be ruled out. One twitter user complained that Tharoor’s tweet has forced the entire Malayali community to defend themselves against being branded as Taliban sympathisers.

The irrepressible Tharoor however did not back down and seemed to revel in his discovery of Malayalis among the Taliban!