Citizenship Bill: Afghan Hindus and Sikhs back the move (Videos)

Afghan Hindus, Afghan Sikhs, Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, Citizenship Bill, India, Modi government, Fagirchand Chandihok

A suicide bombing in Jalalabad, eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, last year woke the world up about the dangers that Afghan Hindus and Sikhs face each day.

The suicide bombing, aimed at killing the Afghan Hindus and Sikhs, happened near Governor House at Mukhabirat Chowk after President Ashraf Ghani’s visit.

India has always kept an eye on the situation of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs, and it has always been the first country they turn to in the time of need. When Moor Singh was shot, he got help from his family in India. This arrangement has enabled Afghan Hindus and Sikhs to come to India but due to lack of education, they are unable to avail opportunities and are forced to go back where they face greater danger due to their frequent forays back and forth which makes them more visible to the terrorist groups.

It is, therefore, no wonders that after the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, was passed in Lok Sabha, Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have heaved a sigh of relief.

ANI released two videos which show the plight of Afghan Hindus and Sikhs.

A woman names Amarjeet Kaur told ANI News that she has 3 children and that they were in trouble in Afghanistan but even in India, they faced trouble.

Amarjeet Kaur said:

“People ask us to convert to Islam. It was our father-in-law who earned for family, he also died in a bomb blast.”

Conversion to Islam is just one issue. Hindus and Sikhs also have to battle radical forces which demand Jizya from them and grab lands or just ordinary compatriots following Islam who frown upon cremation.

In this scenario, what is the option for a minority except to move out of the country? asked an Afghan Hindu on the condition of anonymity.

But in India too, due to a lengthier time for Citizenship grant, the refugees face difficulties, loss of identity being one of them.

Manohar Singh who migrated from Afghanistan lamented that ‘in our own country, we are not counted as Indians. This is our tragedy. We’ve been trying for citizenship since 20-25 years. I request all parties to support in passing the bill.’

This is not the lone case in which an Afghan Hindu or Sikh has said that he has failed to get citizenship despite spending decades in India. In desperation, they fall into the trap of touts and then face even more difficulties.

But this situation is just not of India alone.

Several Afghan Hindus and Sikhs have been forced to migrate to countries like Germany where they face a harrowing time. An Afghan Hindu’s deportation from Germany laid bare the risks that this community faces. In their desperation to escape from Afghanistan, they often take dangerous and arduous journeys which claim the very lives they want to save.

In a situation like this, it is but natural that the Indian government should step in.

Fagirchand Chandihok, an Afghan Hindu activist, based in Germany, has thanked Modi government for this step.

In a statement to, he termed the Citizenship Bill ‘a very good step’ and said that this step will help not just Sikhs and Hindus of Afghanistan but also of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

He said: ‘We Hindus have no country to go to except India. India is our cultural, language, and also our faith mother. We are harassed to pay Jizya and executed and we are treated like the second class citizens and the current Afghan government can’t protect our lives not only because of weak security but also because of Sharia law which puts the lives and freedom of non-Muslims at a second pedestal.’

He finished off saying that we Afghan Hindus fully support the compassionate move of Modi government.

Namta Gupta

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