Introducing new Digital Library website containing digital content about Afghan Hindus and Sikhs.


Mukesh is Prannath Ganimat’s son

Ishwar Das, an Afghan Hindu, now a resident in Germany talks about history of Afghan Hindus in the first part of this video. Second part is dedicated to memory of Hukam Chand Khan [Kapoor[, former president of Afghan Meli Bank.

Dargh-e-Kabul was one of the Hindu temples in Kabul. I think the footage is from the 1980’s.

Source: The Tribune

London, March 7

Two teenagers have been found guilty of murdering a 16-year-old Afghan Sikh refugee in London who they mistakenly thought belonged to a rival gang, according to Scotland Yard.

Vanushan Balakrishnan and Ilyas Suleiman, both 18, were convicted for the murder of Rishmeet Singh “in cold blood” on Monday following a trial at the Old Bailey court in London.

The duo will be sentenced at the same court next month. “Rishmeet was an innocent, young 16-year-old who had his whole life ahead of him.

He had just spent an enjoyable evening with his friends and was making the short walk home when he was callously chased down and knifed to death by Balakrishnan and Suleiman,” said Detective Inspector Laura Semple, from the Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command. The police said that between them, the two teens stabbed Singh 15 times while he was “defenceless on the floor”. “There is never an excuse to murder someone in cold blood, but this case is made even more tragic by the fact that Rishmeet was wrongly targeted by his attackers. Balakrishnan and Suleiman left the flat that day with the intention of ending someone’s life,” said Semple.

“Poor Rishmeet was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. My thoughts are with his family and friends, who have shown extraordinary courage throughout, including during the trial where they were forced to re-live his horrific last moments,” she added.

Source: The Quint World

In 2022, Louis Vuitton employed its first ever Afghan Sikh model to feature in one of its campaigns. Karanjee Gaba sported a bright pink suit and a black turban, and caused a social media frenzy.

The London-based model has had a successful career, having featured in Lewis MagazinePaper Magazine, and 10 Magazine among others.

Speaking about how he got into modelling, Gaba told GUAP:

“In my teenage years, I was always the tall one amongst my friends and family. I always loved being stylish and colour-coordinating my clothes. I used to do photography and at some point, I was teaching my friends how to shoot with me as the subject. Unknowingly, I had made my own portfolio, and that is when the journey of modelling began. I was approached on one of my social media accounts by a stylist who asked me to shoot for Lurve Magazine. Two weeks later, I walked in the Nicholas Daley show. Since then I haven’t looked back.”

He also said that modelling allows him to meet people from different ethnicities, culture and experiences, thus making it a fulfilling experience.

“It is a place where you can represent and tell your story through fashion. It is fun and exciting as it is always a brand new day in fashion. It is unexpected as you do not know who you will meet and who you will work with. Together you are creating art,” he said.

Speaking about the time he got a call from Louis Vuitton asking him to model for them, Gaba said that he was in “shock” and that he “couldn’t believe it.”

“I remember two months before, my friend was showing me the book of Tim Walker, the greatest photographers in fashion. Then, two months later I was grateful to be working with him on set and for Louis Vuitton. It felt like a dream, but it was real,” he told GUAP.

Sharing his thoughts on the future of the fashion industry, Gaba said that he would like to see more cultural representation in catwalks. “I have seen many shows and I see that it doesn’t consist of diversity like in campaigns and other sectors of fashion. It needs to have a change and we are all waiting for it.”


New Delhi: 51-year-old Gurpreet Sahni (name changed) arrived in Delhi last August. He was part of a batch of 30 Afghan Sikhs who were evacuated two months following a terrorist attack on one of Kabul’s largest gurdwaras that killed two. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had then written to the community, condemning the attack and paving the way for their evacuation to India.

However, after six months and an expired e-visa, Sahni is prepared to return to Afghanistan.

“If I don’t get a Canadian visa within the next few months, I’ll go back to Kabul and find a job there. The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) process also does not seem like an option. There’s no point waiting here,” he told ThePrint, sipping tea and looking wistfully out the window of his 3-BHK apartment in Tilak Nagar. 

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, offers a pathway of citizenship for persecuted religious minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis or Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. However, it only applies to those who arrived in India before 31 December 2014. Therefore, Afghan Sikhs fleeing the recent Taliban takeover haven’t been able to pursue Indian citizenship under this law. 

Sahini explained that he was finding it increasingly difficult to support his six children, wife and sister-in-law, especially after all their e-visas expired in December 2022. He is one of about 350 Afghan Sikhs in India who are waiting for visas to Canada.

According to Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney, an estimated 120 Afghan Sikhs, who took refuge in India, are now in Canada. About 17 have gone to the US.

Sahney, who is helping the refugees in India, said those who reached Canada are part of a programme under which the Canadian government has offered to cover house rent and provide monthly stipends of Rs 1.2 lakh (Can$ 2,000) to adults of the household for one year.

Sahney has been helping the refugees in India alongside the heads of two gurdwaras in Delhi. Chabol Singh, 57, an Afghan Sikh living in India for over two decades, is the main coordinator for the refugees.

Chabol Singh, 57, an Afghan Sikh living in Delhi for over two decades, is coordinating the journey of refugees to Canada | ThePrint

By Neetu Garcha Global News

Sikhs in Afghanistan have faced decades of religious prosecution, prompting many to flee the country in search of a fresh start. Neetu Garcha speaks with two teenagers who now call British Columbia home, and are celebrating the freedom and independence they once thought was impossible – Jan 11, 2023 – Click here for the video from Global News

Two Sikh teenage girls who were born and raised in Afghanistan are enjoying freedoms in Canada that most Canadians their age take for granted — and as a Taliban crackdown on women’s rights continues to restrict opportunities for those still in that country.

“I can go outside, I can talk with my friends and meet them somewhere, I can go to school,” 13-year-old Chandar Kaur Khalsa told Global News.

The Grade 8 student from Afghanistan’s Helmand province moved to B.C. in 2019 with her brothers and parents. She said she wants to become a chef and loves to go shopping, noting how it’s a very different experience in Afghanistan, where she could hardly leave her home.

“My father and my brother, they would go outside and call us and show us what we can buy and we say to them what we want to buy,” she said.

For 15-year-old Chaspal Kaur Khalsa, who was also born in Helmand, being able to experience such freedoms is a more recent shift. She came to Canada in the spring of 2022. The Grade 10 student lives in B.C., works at a local restaurant, and hopes to become a nurse.

“My mother tells me, ‘You are very lucky you live in Canada,’ and, ‘You have a very bright future in Canada,’” she said.

Sikhs in Afghanistan have faced decades of oppression, with the majority fleeing the country seeking religious freedom.

Hamreet Bains, a B.C. resident, travelled to India in 2015 and spent months helping Sikh families, including the Khalsas, who had fled Afghanistan and became refugees awaiting resettlement to Canada.

“We have letters the Taliban sent them to either convert to Islam or accept death,” Bains said of the oppression facing Sikhs in Afghanistan.

Picking up families at the airport, bringing them to the United Nations office to register as refugees, trying to find temporary housing and education are all things that need to be done to help those trying to resettle — along with finding healthcare.

“All the kids were malnourished, and each family’s needs were different,” Bains said.

Bains sprung into this service after being inspired by former Alberta Cabinet Minister Manmeet Bhullar.

“I was only a small part of something so big,” Bains said.

In 2015, Bhullar learned the plight of persecuted Hindu and Sikh families in Afghanistan, who had tried for years to come to Canada. Bhullar worked tirelessly to help them through his passion for selfless service, a pillar of his Sikh faith called seva.

“He treated them like family and said, ‘If I have to give everything I have for these families, I will. We have to try everything,’” Bains said.

But Bhullar would never see the impact of his efforts. Just six months after starting the work in 2015, he died in a vehicle collision, while he was trying to help a driver in distress.

“Seva, or selfless service, was his passion and he lived by that,” Bains said.

She said that just a few days after losing his son, Bhullar’s father continued the work in his name. A short time later, the family helped establish a foundation in his name.

Since then, the group has worked with several partners, including the Canadian government, to help resettle 220 Afghans in Canada, according to Manmeet’s sister, Tarjinder Kaur Bhullar.

“It’s a foundation I wish we never had to start,” she said.

She said the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation is now helping another 270 people be sponsored through a government-assisted program as it prepares to resettle a third group of about 300 Afghans in need.

“I think one of the most eye-opening pieces of this is the privilege that every single one of us has being Canadian,” Bhullar said, adding after the sudden death of her brother, another lesson became clear.

“We are all one life event away from a totally different life. Privilege is a powerful thing, it’s also a fleeting thing. You have it today, you may not have it tomorrow. I always remind myself, that once we had it all,” she said.

Bhullar said that her brother would always encourage those he helped to pay it forward and that she hopes in the case of the hundreds of Afghans being supported in his memory, they will carry on the acts of seva.

“It’s the next generation of people that hopefully will see they have a life here in Canada because someone halfway around the world started to think, how can we help them?”

Chandar and Chaspal both said they want to find a way to help other young girls.

“My message for other girls: if you want anything, then you can do anything,” Chaspal said.