In South Asia, when India was fighting for independence, Afghanistan had also lit the torch of freedom. The British finally had to bow down and they agreed to talk to Amir Amanullah Khan.
Hindu Diwan Niranjan Das
It would be difficult to believe seeing the situation in Afghanistan in the year 2021, but on 18 May 1925, minority Sikhs and Hindus held a three-day congregation in Kabul city. Sikhs and Hindus from all over the country had gathered in this meeting. Akhand recitation was done and bhajan kirtan was also done. In this program, the whole of Kabul was circumambulated by keeping the Guru Granth Sahib in the royal ride. The Khalsa flag was waving over the vehicle on which the Guru Granth Sahib was kept. The government of that time had given full support to the religious event of the minorities.
The garden in which this conference was held was the garden of the house of a Hindu Diwan Niranjan Das. In a country where the majority of Muslims do not feel safe today, until a century ago, minority Hindus and Sikhs had the freedom to follow their religion diligently. Seeing the Taliban rule, that phase of Afghanistan does not seem possible, but the streets of history pass through many unseen intersections.
When was Diwan Niranjan Das born?
Diwan Niranjan Das was born in Kabul around 1853. Niranjan Das held many high positions in the Sultanate of Amir Habibullah Khan of Afghanistan. The rule of Amir Habibullah Khan was from the year 1901 to the year 1919. Amir Habibullah Khan was an open-minded ruler and wanted to modernize his country. This is the reason that there was a good number of minorities around him and one of them was Niranjan Das who was also awarded the title of ‘Colonel’ in the year 1906.
You will be surprised to know that the Hindu Diwan Niranjan Das had a big role in getting the independence of Afghanistan. In the year 1920, the heir of Amir Habibullah Khan was the sultanate of Amir Amanullah Khan and the status of Diwan Niranjan Das was built upon seeing. The responsibility of handling the economy and business of the country was on the shoulders of Niranjan Das. Father Habibullah and son Amanullah respected Niranjan Das equally and never let his positions down.
Afghanistan had burnt the torch of freedom
In South Asia, when India was fighting for independence, Afghanistan had also lit the torch of freedom. The British finally had to bow down and they agreed to talk to Amir Amanullah Khan. A peace party from Afghanistan came to India to get its conditions from the British. Diwan Niranjan Das played an important role in this team. The historical picture of Diwan Niranjan Das, who came to India with the Afghan contingent, exists even today, but the dust of time has erased that contribution from the memories of Kabul. Diwan Niranjan Das is still remembered for his brilliant debate with the British on the Afghan policy which facilitated the road to independence.
Amir Amanullah Khan ruled Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929. During this, he not only took care of the rights of the minorities but also left no stone unturned to modernize the Afghan people like his father. Amir Amanullah Khan toured Europe in the year 1927 and when he returned a year later, he banned the hijab and burqa with the aim of modernizing the country, but by then fanaticism had gained its footing in Afghanistan. Civil war broke out in Afghanistan in November 1928. Amir Amanullah Khan was declared a kafir by the rebels. This civil war lasted for about a year, due to which Amir Amanullah Khan and Diwan Niranjan Das had to flee Afghanistan. The defeat of Amir Amanullah Khan in the civil war began to end the existence of minorities from Afghanistan. Sikhs and Hindus started migrating from large areas like Kabul and Kandahar and they started settling in India. In the year 1932, Niranjan Das died anonymously in India itself, he did not even get the soil of his country. In 1960, Amir Amanullah Khan, who was living in exile in Zurich, Switzerland, also died.
In the year 1901, the total population of Afghanistan was about 5 million, out of which about 7 percent were Sikhs and Hindus, but on seeing everyone had to leave their homeland and according to an estimate 99 percent of Sikh-Hindus fled from Afghanistan. They all settled in countries like India, Britain, America and Canada. According to an estimate, before the withdrawal of the Taliban, only about 1000 Sikhs and 100 Hindus were left in Afghanistan. Most of the minorities were living in Kabul while some were also spread in Jalalabad and Ghazni but now everything is ruined. The Kabul airport is crowded, the remaining Hindus and Sikhs also want to leave their homeland and settle in some corner of the world. If Diwan Niranjan Das had seen this scene, then there would have been no limit to his suffering. Within 100 years, bigotry ravaged the country with laughter and made the Hindu-Sikhs who walked shoulder to shoulder with their Afghan brothers, liberating them.
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