Hindus In Afghanistan
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The Oxford American Dictionarys definition of religion is “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power”. Religion is the one identity trait which goes through a painful process when changed. Hindus and Sikhs lived peacefully with their Muslim friends in Afghanistan, but after the Taliban came in power, things have changed. As Afghanistan was going through a rather violent period during the Taliban years, the Hindus and people of other minority religions were suppressed. As a result, many Hindus had to flee to other countries. Religion became the national identity; it became more important to be a Muslim than to be an Afghan.

Hinduism, originally from India, is the most ancient religion in the world. But nothing can be said about when it started and who established the religion. It initiated with the religious practices of the Aryans who moved from present day Iran towards India (“The History of Hinduism”).

“Hindu Afghans who have seen their loved ones, their community and their way of like evaporate before their very eyes” (Melwani, 1994). There used to be 40,000 Hindus living in Afghanistan at one time, and now, hardly too many are there. Most of the Hindus were merchants, selling food, dry fruits, medicines Indian tea and spices, and currency exchange. Some Hindus had so much power that “they controlled the exchanged market” (Melwani, 1994). This is feared to frighten the others. But at the same time, there were many Hindus that lived in poor conditions. There were many Hindu temples in Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad. Hindus were treated with immense respect and honor. (Melwani, 1994)

In 1992, the Mata Asha Mai Temple in Kabul was attacked with rockets, “to which local Hindus had devoted a lot of time and money” (Melwani, 1994). Most of the destruction was because of the Babri Masjid Demolition in Ayodha, India. This illustrates how distance is irrelevant to the strong religious feelings people react with. “After the destruction of Babri Masjid, there was an emotional reaction on the part of some of the people there, and they attacked both the mandir and gurudwara and destroyed quite a lot of the property there; over 2,000 carpets and other valuables which had been endowed to the temple and where stored in the basement were burnt or looted” (Melwani, 1994).

“The Shurra of the town later apologized to the Sikhs on realizing that they had nothing to do with the destruction of the Babri Masjid, but theres a kind of tribal mentality that when members of a vertain group harm your group, you take vengeance on that group. So they did not apologize to the Hindus” (Melwani, 1994).

Hindus who wanted to go to Delhi, were not helped with the on-going war in Kabul and did not get visas. And to go over land from Pakistan, you will not get transit visas unless you show the visas from India. But as an Afghan could not be distinguished from a Hindu Afghan, they slipped through. “There is some kind of religious discrimination on the part of the Pakistani authorities since they dont allow Hindu or Sikh Afghans to go into Pakistan without a visa while other Afghans are allowed to do so” (Melwani, 1994) Many have gone to Germany, India, and US. (Melwani, 1994)

Many of have fled, miss being back in Afghanistan. “The peace itself. That was a time when people were innocent, when there wasnt much enmity. There was little religious intolerance. Hindus and Muslims were friends. There were a God-fearing people, living in peace. People have lost the culture they had for centuries. Something has been lost in the war, and it cannot be found again” (Melwani, 1994).

Hindus were asked to “wear yellow cloth to identify themselves

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People Of Other Minority Religions And Babri Masjid Demolition. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/people-of-other-minority-religions-and-babri-masjid-demolition-essay/