Afghanistan; India provided hide-out to twenty-one Hindu and Sikh families from Ghazni in Afghanistan. The continuous threat to their lives and the hardships they have to suffer is not something that is a secret. Islamic terrorism has made the lives of ethnic and religious minorities in the war torn country a living hell.
While the Hindu and Sikh families came over to India, one man remained. He had to stay behind in order to take care of the Hindu Temple that still exists. His name is Raja Ram. He may never have set foot in India, but his mind is with India.Although his wife and four children came to India in search of a better future, he remained in Afghanistan to maintain the temple. The Afghan government pays him $100 a month to take care of it.Raja Ram still lives as Ghazni’s last Hindu in the hope that one day he will be able to live peacefully at home with his wife and children.
“We all love our homeland, but they had to flee after the attack. Kashmir is the birthplace of all and many left here with broken hearts due to bad conditions. I hope everyone returns to Afghanistan if there is peace here. Hindus and Sikhs are the sons of this soil – they are also Afghans, ”Raja Ram said.
Hindus and Sikhs were once an 80,000 strong minority in Afghanistan but they are now vanishing. Most of them have come over to India while some, with the means for it, chose to leave for the West. In India, the harrassed minorities have found a home and an opportunity to build a future for their children.The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, was the initial step towards recognising this sacred duty that India bears towards these unfortunate victims of Islamic extremism. In neighbouring Pakistan, we are daily witnessing to the savagery that the Hindu and Sikh minorities are subjected to.
The story of the last Hindu of Ghazni, Raja Ram, also demonstrates the sacrifices that Hindus have made through the ages to ensure the continued worship of our Gods and Goddesses. All alone in a hostile environment, with his children and wife away in a distant land, he chose to remain to ensure that a candle is still lit in the Temple that has been placed in his care.