What do Afghans think of Indians?
Achal Gautam lives in India
Last week I booked a taxi in a small Danish town to go to Airport at 3 AM. The driver was listening some songs. After a few minutes, I was shocked to found that the driver was listening old Hindi songs. The driver was from Afghanistan. I met 5 Afghans during my last trip and in total I have met more than 10 Afghans.
- Afghans think that unlike Pakistan India does not interfering in their internal politics & ongoing civil war. India is perceived to be helping Afghanistan without any hidden agenda.
- India is helping to build hospitals, dams, institutions (like parliament building), schools etc. One Afghan told me about Indira Gandhi hospital (a child hospital) in Kabul.
- When they visit India, they don’t feel that they are in a foreign land. Unlike Pakistan, Afghans are treated well in India. Many Afghans are regularly harassed in Pakistan by local people & police who demand extortion money from Afghans.
- India is a favorable destination for Afghan students. Thousands of Afghans students study in Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Manipal etc. They return to Afghanistan with a friendlier image of India.
- India has a historical tie with Afghanistan dating back to 3-4000 years
- Generally, Afghans hate Pakistan and enemy of enemy is always a friend. Even Pak sponsored terrorist group Taliban didn’t recognize Durand Line as legitimate border when Taliban was ruling Afghanistan.
- Then there is Bollywood factor. Many Afghans can understand Urdu, Hindi and Urdu have same origin. Afghans are very proud that many Indian actors like, Shahrukh khan, Salman Khan, Kadar Khan etc. are of Afghan origin.
- Now the cricket angle is growing. India is the main reason Afghan National team has got test status and many times Afghan team plays their home matches in India.
Whenever I meet an Afghan and discuss about Afghanistan, each & every Afghan would talk mention Durand Line and friendlier attitude of India.
Hi, I’m from Afghanistan but now live in the US and am studying at a University.
There are a lot of answers so I will be candid.
Politics & Trust : In comparison to neighboring states, those from Afghanistan trust India far more than Pakistan (for sure) and Iran. India has helped us with infrastructure and has been one of the core players who we see as genuinely wanting to help us build our democracy (perhaps even more than the US). This has led to a friendly view of Hindustan.
However, it is interesting seeing reading about the tension that often occurs between Muslims and Hindus in Hindustan. This is just a reminder to us that India is a very diverse state. We often see India as a model democracy to follow (except the corruption) and so we often do not think that religious or ethnic tensions occurs there as they do in the Middle East and Afghanistan. However, even with all the diversity both ethnic wise and religious wise, India has shown us how to establish stable democracy with a vibrant society. Democracy is not an easy thing to achieve, especially in a diverse state, and this is something to be admired from India.
Culture: Bollywood, music, dance, clothing style, etc. We learn a lot about India through Bollywood….we love the music that is produced by the singers/songwriters. The language sounds very beautiful and flows harmoniously with the instruments. I wish that songs in Farsi were often produced at the quality that Hindi music is. Majority of Afghans speak Farsi and there are A-LOT of similarities between the two Indo-European languages. When I hear Hindi, I can make out the gist of what is being communicated (but not all the time).
Muhammed Riyas, Chief Psychologist and Career Coach at LCAT
A former bomb disposal expert in Afghan Army Abdul Rahim had lost his hands while defusing a bomb two years back.
He had approached several hospitals for the hand transplant.Finally he approached a hospital in kerala at the end of a search in many other countries.
The main problem was the collection of hands But that didn't take much time. A family from Eloor(kerala) was ready to donate hands of 54-year-old man Joseph,he succumbed to brain death in a road accident.
After four months the transplanting succsesfully carried out in a marathon surgical feat lasting for almost 15 hours with more than 20 surgeons and eight anaesthetics participating in the procedure. Rahim can now write, drink a glass of water on his own and dial numbers on his mobile phone. He will be able to eat with his own hands soon after the rest.
At the end he thanked the family and doctors and said by rising his both hands "I am very happy that after about three years I have my own hands,
I thought my life was gone. I was very unhappy and thought it was better to die rather than live like this,”
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.gremelin.com/47890.html 译者：Joyceliu
Dharav Kothwala, Manager - Exports at Panama Petrochem Ltd
Have been there that too twice. Kabul and Kandahar. Kabul is as beautiful as Shimla and Kandahar being a bit deserted, but none the less beautiful. Wish if aliens (sarcasm) wouldn't have invaded this beautiful place, things would have been different. This picture below is the beautiful Qargah lake. Its said in winters the lake freezes and people walk over it.
Back to answering the question.
Was able to make two Afghani friends, not in touch now though, but I am sure if I ping back they will reply back with a lot of love. Friendship matters !
While I was there, I was treated very very well, good food, good conversations and they will always make you feel secured. One of them completed his education in Pakistan, and came back to Afghanistan. He definitely used to abuse Pakistan and didn't like the country much (for reasons not unknown).
Also, met few Indians who are working for a living in Afghanistan. I was surprised at first, but after conversing with them, they said generally people are open and quite friendly with Indians. A lot of respect at work and are valued. Although the risk of getting injured or killed is always there.
A personal experience - Met an afghan trader, while the first time I met him he just came and gave me a warm hug as a greeting, offered their traditional tea and put his points across in a very open way. He never promised to buy from us as he, rather locals, couldn't afford the Indian made product, preferred the Chinese counter part as he had to justify his profit/loss. He was very generous and did give me a lot of info with regards to his business. I felt trusted !
They love and admire Bollywood. Used to sing songs with them in their car, at their office. By the way cars have both left and right hand drives. Reason, most of them are gifted by Asian , US or European countries.
I am still in touch with an Afghan-German lady. She migrated to Germany during the sad times of the war. She loves Afghanistan as much as she loves Germany. A few rich people (rich in afghan sense) still follow a custom of Bachezaadi, where young kids are made to do things which are not appropriate at their age. She is trying to fight this. Patriotic, isn't it !
These are my personal views political on how I was treated. Diplomatic and political relations too also have their place, which can be easily googled. I am not sure how other nationalities are treated or what they think about them. We have had a long history with them and they truly acknowledge that.
In short I would say they respect, trust and value Indians.
Aditya Modi, PGP(2014-16), IIM Ahmedabad
I am writing this answer on the basis of a discussion with three guys from Afghanistan which happened while I was travelling from Hamburg to Copenhagen.
- They were fond of Bollywood
I was amazed to see their knowledge about the bollywood. They were vivid watchers of Bollywood movies. One of them started humming a song "Qayamat- Qayamat" from the movie Deewane.
Apart from the Khan trio of the bollywood, they were fond of Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar. They even mentioned Fardeen Khan (Seriously! Even Indians do not talk about him now).
- They were vehemently vocal against Pakistan
According to them Pakistan is the only obstacle in the growth and development of Afghanistan. "Pakistan doesn't want India to enter Afghanistan. They want us to be on their mercy". One of them had travelled to Pakistan and he termed Pakistani police officials as the most corrupt people he has ever seen.
They accused Pakistan and Iran of spreading terrorism in the Afghanistan. In their views Pakistan and ISI were responsible for attacks on the Indian embassy in Kabul. They even suggested that India should go for a full fledged war and nuke/destroy Pakistan. (P.S.- I don't want India to accept this suggestion.)
- They were a great fan of Indian education system
According to them Indians have achieved a global status due to its education system. They were wondering that how an Indian kid start his schooling and start learning english at an age of 3-4 years. One of their friend got his education from an Indian institute. They wanted India to spread its education system in Afghanistan.
Once United States withdraws completely from Afghanistan, there are three countries which have strategic interests here, more than anybody else - India, Pakistan and China. Among these countries, I think India is the most favoured among the Afghan people. The same cannot by said about the Afghan government.
Governments's relations with other countries are driven by geopolitics, economic benefits from that particular country, while people's connections with other nations are motivated by the good-will generated. India has been doing many economic, educational, health developments works in Afghanistan. India, also has always opposed Taliban rule in Afghanistan and denounced any terror activity in the country. While, Pakistan had covertly supported Taliban activities and Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI provides logistical and arms support to Taliban.
Clearly, India's developments works and it's consistent neutral stand in internal affairs of Afghanistan have created a positive outlook of India in Afghan people's mind. Afghans are very proud people and India has always respected that and still does. On the other hand, Pakistan always interfered in afghan politics and supported the groups which were against the welfare of Afghanistan and it's people.
So, to conclude Afghans favour India over Pakistan and so did the Hamid Karzai government. The present Afghan government is tilted towards Pakistan to seek it's support in Taliban peace talks.
Sri Harsha, Student, Always learning.
As an Indian who studies abroad i have the real pleasure to meet several people of various nationalities. Overall India does carry a negative air "poor country, people are barbarians etc., (Thanks popular media)" But in sweden there were quite few afghans i had the pleasure to interact with. They love India... I was shocked at first but soon came to realize India has been investing in their education infrastructure and also helping them get foot hold after Americans obliterated most of their infrastructure and as usual absconded the place to rot.
I had a sit down with an afghan guy who was in sweden as a refugee and talked for quite some time. He had great regard to India, Our previous govt and the current one has been supplying several medical and social aid packages to help the country raise; For once I felt proud and indeed it changed the my personal view of Indian political system too. He said times are tough there (esp during war) but currently they are ameliorating for good. He was happy that India a global competeting economy is looking after countries in sub-continent. Well i wish to visit afghanistan as a tourist and as a photographer.
Hitesh Saini, MA Honours Economics (2018)
Nearly every point concerning what India has done for Afghanistan (and vice versa) and why Afghanistan doesn't get along with Pakistan well have been covered.
I'll try to give another perspective. I study in Panjab University in Chandigarh and we have lots and lots of students around us who are Afghan nationals. Two of my classmates are also from Afghanistan. One of them, Shahab (short for Shahabuddin Noori), is a very good friend. He always speaks about how much India has helped Afghanistan through thick and thin. When the construction of Salma Dam was completed recently he thanked me as if I was the one who built that dam. Of course! I took that thanks in a very national sense.
Well, sometimes when we talk he vehemently opposes Pakistan, among other reasons, over Durand Line.
Overall, they are very good people, very polite and very fun loving. We've danced on our freshers on random Afghani songs we had no idea about.
我想试着给出另一种观点。我在昌迪加尔的潘贾布大学学习，我们身边有很多学生都是阿富汗人。我的两个同学也来自阿富汗。其中之一，Shahab (Shahabuddin Noori的缩写)是我一个非常好的朋友。他总是说印度帮助阿富汗度过了多少艰难困苦。当萨尔玛大坝最近完工时，他感谢我，好像是我建造了那座大坝。当然！我从国家的角度接受这份谢意。
Piyush Joshi, works at National Remote Sensing Centre , ISRO
Some years ago when I was travelling back to my college, I had a chance to meet an Indian Soldier who was posted in Afghanistan as a part of the UN's peacekeeping mission. I had quite a lot of discussion with him as the journey was a whooping 32 hours one. One of the several questions that I asked was the same as stated here and following was the reply as said by the afghan people to him:
"Hindustan ka admi!! Acha aadmi, Sacha aadmi!!"
(Indian people, Good people, honest people)
The pride in his eyes while saying this statement cannot be described in words. Whenever I tell this incident to anyone I have the same pride flowing through me.
“Hindustan ka admi!! Acha aadmi, Sacha aadmi!!”
I was part of the special forces team in Kabul, to train our friends how to neutralize the extremest forces. I had a tough time in Kabul but my counterparts were fabulous people. we got together very easily and one specific thing in Afghan culture that i am fan off is when they welcome you that is wholeheartedly. They hug you and you can feel the warmth. Anyone who knew that i am from India, were my best buddies. I am still friends with most of them , During my time there i attended Afghan weddings and went out with my friends as safe as heaven. They took me to some most amazing places.
I am just putting my views and i cannot comment how they treat others. tough i must say they are very respectful and ideological brothers.
Chandravadan Trivedi, former Retired Fishery Scientist
Afghans know that Pakistan doesn't want the country to develop. The Pakistanis want the Afghans to be at their mercy.
A great chunk of money given by U.S. to combat Tehrike Taliban Afghanistan has been gobbled by Pakistani Army & each of their general have become richer by 80 crores of Rupees, & many have left Pakistan & settled in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Canada & Kuwait.
Pakistan is not allowing a road link between Afghanistan to India via Pakistan, for traffic of goods from India to Afghanistan. With the result, India now proposes to build Chabahar in Iran & from there a rail line is laid to transfer goods to Afghanistan.
Pakistan is behind all terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. Now Ashraf Gani, the Afghan President is not in good terms with Pakistan for the same reasons.
Afghans has high respect for Indians, for numerous reasons - foremost being the cultural tie up, many Indian projects are running to develop the country.
They know many Bollywood actors & avidly watch Indian movies.
Pakistan and Afghans are step brothers so they always fight each other. India and Pakistan are step brothers so they do always fight. Afghans and Indians are cousins. So the relation is distant and mutual respect. America spent billions in Afghanistan but they are billed again to expensive American consultants for 350$ per hour and costly hardware. So average Afghan does not see any use of American Aid other than some NGO public health campaigns.
India's aid directly goes to projects even if they are executed by Indian firms they are cheep and actually building some roads, projects for people to use. Pakistan might have spent more money hosting Afghans in Pakistan but they want to control Afghanistan which is not liked by Pakistan.