India is indeed their Motherland
This 25th March a Gurdwara in Kabul was bathed in blood. Twenty five devotees were felled by their burst of bullets or blown up with explosives by Jihadis. Their undoing was their faith. It is not that Afghanistan’s history has not been embellished by Hindus and Sikhs, all through there has been a deep connect.
In the ancient times Afghanistan was Hindu Rashtra. The mother of Karauvs, Gandhari was from Kandahar, Bharat’s mother Kaikeyi was also from eastern Afghanistan. Before the Arab conquests began in 7th century BCE, in north east Afghanistan the Zorastrians were predominant, the Hindus in south and east, and Buddhists in south-east. The Brahmin Shahi kingdoms ruled the area around Kabul.
It was during the rule of Mahmud of Ghazni (998-1030 BCE) that all Hindus were expelled. They all came to India. Guru Nanak had extensively preached in Afghanistan and a Gurdwara was built in Jalalabad to commemorate his visit. There are no more than ten gurudwaras and five temples standing in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghazni. Seven of the eight Gurdwaras in Kabul were destroyed during the civil war that began in 1992.
Many times in history, bigots and jihadis, forced the exodus of Hindus and Sikhs, and each time it was India which accommodated them because of the congenital pull and due to lack of natural and emotional alternative. In Afghanistan Hindus and Sikhs share the same places of worship, so the attack on Gurdwara is an attack on Hindus as well. Only two years back, in 2018, a suicide bomber killed ten Sikhs in Kabul. It was a targeted killing.
In the attack in Kabul Gurdwara, Tanya, barely four years old, the granddaughter of the head granthi, was killed at point blank range. Terrified, over imminent death, she kept plaintively calling her father. His spontaneous response was not forthcoming, because he was dead. He, along with Tanya’s mother had fallen to jihadi bullets.
Amongst the survivors were Tanya’s 13 year old brother and 11 years old sister. They remained alive because they were in safe vicinity. They are now orphans. Orphaned are Afghanistan’s 850 Sikhs and Hindus, because the attack convinced them that the land of Afghanistan had decided to abandon them. The process had in fact begun in 1992 with the advent of mujahideen rule.
From three lakh Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan then, negligible Hindus and 850 Sikhs remain. Now these remaining Sikhs say that living in Afghanistan, for them, has become an impossible proposition. But where do these Sikhs including Tanya’s orphan brother and sister go? The anti-CAA lobby and the Punjab CM must answer. It is indeed the Punjab CM who had initiated the resolution against the CAA in the State Assembly. Does the honourable CM suggest that they should go to Corona hit Europe aur US ? Should they go into the embrace of Khalistanis of Canada ?
Is the Canadian government waiting with open arms to welcome them? Will Pakistan extend the Kartarpur corridor bonhomie and accept them? If not, then it becomes abundantly clear that Kartarpur outreach by Pakistan is strategically devious.
And what a sinister timing of the Gurdwara massacre! It was perpetrated at a time when there is an ongoing unprecedented war between the World and invisible Coronavirus.
It is the IS Khorasan that perpetrated the massacre in the Gurdwara (ISK), and ISK has direct links to the Popular Front of India (PFI). It was indeed the PFI which was controlling and coordinating the anti-CAA, rather anti-India protests in Shaheenbagh.
The PFI through the hawala route funded anti-CAA movement. On 11 March the special cell of Delhi Police apprehended the Chairman (Pervez) and Secretary (Ilyas)of the PFI. They are accused of funding anti-CAA protests as well as violence. Earlier another counter-intelligence PFI functionary, Danish was arrested.
Danish monitored the activities of Intelligence agencies and the Police, and is believed to have played a key role in the brutal killing of IB operative. During the entire anti- CAA protests and violence, these PFI stalwarts were in constant communication with certain prominent persons, and the ED is believed to have complete record of these chain of conversations.
In Kerela, radicalization has become an entrenched and flourishing industry with sophisticated links to global jihadi networks. It feeds both the PFI and the ISK, these conjoined jihadi outfits. In the Kabul Gurdwara massacre, one Mohd Mushin from Kasargod in Kerela killed Sikh devotees without any remorse.
If global jihad in Afghanistan can turn a Keralaite into jihadi killer of Sikhs then the foreboding are ominous. Jihad does not brook cultural and national sentiments. For these unfortunate victims their obvious natural refuge is India where they can feel safe and secure.
By RSN Singh
(The Author is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research and Analysis Wing, or R&AW)