Afghanistan's Sikhs Yearn for India

November 22, 2006

Source: The Times of India

Forced to wear yellow patches in the days of the Taliban, the homesick Sikhs of Afghanistan still hide in back alleys and yearn for India.

In the Taliban's birthplace, the southern city of Kandahar, their children cannot go to school and locals stone or spit on the men in the streets, who mostly try to hide in the narrow alleys of the mud-brick older quarter of the city.

"We don't want to stay in Afghanistan," says 40-year-old Balwant Singh. "The locals tell us 'you are not from Afghanistan, go back to India'. Sometimes, they throw stones at us, the children. We feel we have to hide.

"I am even afraid to go to parts of the city." Their temple, or gurdwara, in Kandahar is a simple traditional yellow pole capped by the orange Nishan Sahib flag.