|History and Biodata
Bagwan Dase, 64, is the only Hindu left in eastern Khost province. Dase sits in a Hindu temple in Prim Nagar village, east of Khost city. Dase, who was born in Khost, stays because he has a job -- securing the empty houses of the Hindus who have left -- for which he receives 14,000 afghanis per month. He lives alone, because his family is in India. Hindus and Sikhs have lived in Khost for centuries. Before the Communist regime in the mid 1970s, 243 Hindu families lived side by side with Afghans in Khost, Dase says. However, after the 1978 coup, due to the poor security and restrictions on their ability to follow their religion, some Hindus left. In contrast, when the Taliban took power in 1996, Sikhs and Hindus were free to practise their religion. They had no fear about security either. However, the Taliban did force them to wear yellow stars to make them easily distinguishable from Muslims. When Dr. Najeebullah’s government collapsed in 1991 during the decade- long civil war, Base says his properties were looted. A Hindu temple in Khost also was destroyed in 1992. Although some Hindu families remained in Khost, the lack of jobs, assaults by warlords on their properties and the worsening security forced them to move. In Latako area, more than 187 acres of land belonging to Hindu families were seized by warlords, Dase says. He says if any of the land owners even contemplate asking for their property back, they will be kidnapped and threatened with death. Royal Sang, the assistant of the Hindus Council in Afghanistan, says it is true that Dase is the only Hindu in Khost.