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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Afghan Market Delhi: The Afghan Affair & It’s Legal Story

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Imtiaz Ullah
Imtiaz Ullahhttps://nomadlawyer.org/about/
Imtiaz Ullah is the founder of travel website - NomadLawyer. A Corporate Lawyer, Senior Travel Correspondent, The Traveller Trails magazine and also acts as an Advisory Member, NGO - Sarvahitey. His travel philosophy is exploring new places, meeting new people, knowing the culture, eating like a local. He always believes in the idea-“ Don't just be a traveller but a Responsible one”.

Overview: Afghan market delhi

This is not Afghanistan for sure but there is a place called Afghan street in Delhi(Afghan market delhi), Lajpat Nagar II. It is also called “Little Kabul”. Head into the narrow alleys of Lajpat 2 market and be transported to a whole new world of Afghan Cuisine that has made its way into the city’s culinary landscape.

What is this Afghan Affair?

When the migration from Afghanistan to India started, many of the immigrants made Delhi their base, especially areas such as Bhogal and Lajpat Nagar. With them, they brought their culture of Afghani Cuisine.

Many people in Afghanistan has known fear in their home, looking death in the eye, day and night. India is home to almost 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan who have fled the war-torn country in search of safety and a better life.

I have been travelling to afghan market delhi for 6 years now, and have fallen in love with the breads, the cakes, the burgers, baklava, jowari, namki, tauti and shrinidor, kebabs and the best of them is Uzbeki pulao and roht, a cardamom-scented bread.

Naan afghani, naan obi, bolani, lavasa, roghani.

Afghan market delhi

Naan afghani, naan obi, bolani, lavasa, roghani: Afghan market delhi

Wondering what they are? They’re typical Afghan breads that are available in the heart of Delhi. Thanks to a bustling Afghan community, the traditional naanwais of Afghanistan have been transported to the Capital. Naanwais, as the name indicates, are makers and sellers of naans or bread.

Afghan market delhi
Afghan market delhi

Afghan cuisine is largely based upon the nation’s chief crops, such as wheat, maize, barley and rice. Accompanying these staples are native fruits and vegetables as well as dairy products such as milk, yogurt dough and whey. Kabuli Palaw is the national dish of Afghanistan.


Delhi- an amalgamation of Culture and Cuisine

An intrinsic part of the charm of Delhi’s culture is the variety of cuisines available here. Delhi is amalgamation of people from vibrant cultures and customs and what people from different cultures bring with them – FOOD. Delhi has a cocktail of food and this is what makes Delhi unique in its food.

The bustling area is full of men in Pathani salwars and women in fashionable abayas, every sign board in the street, lined with Afghan eateries, chemists, travel agencies, money exchangers and shops, is both in English and Dari.

Some noteworthy Afghani restaurants that do not deserve a miss: Afghan market delhi

  • Kabul Delhi Restaurant
  • Afghan Darbar Restaurant
  • Mazaar Restaurant
  • Balkh Restaurant
  • New Kabul-Delhi Restaurant
  • Chopaan Kebab
Afghan market delhi
Afghan market delhi

Have you ever thought of their Legal Status

Urban refugees in Delhi face myriad problems that affect their ability to live meaningful lives in the city.

The life of refugees in Delhi goes beyond stereotypical Afghan bakeries and other cultural symbolism. It is a life of daily struggle, a life where thousands of men, women and refugee children are trying to adjust in a city where they are mostly misunderstood, have no legal rights — and their only identity is a UNHCR refugee card or a registration certificate issued by the government.

There is hardly any local integration, and most of them establish social contacts either within their own and other refugee communities at Refugee Assistant.

As there is no domestic legal framework for status 

recognition, refugees are categorised as foreigners 

and fall under a range of Acts, the most relevant of 

which include: the Foreigners Act of 1946 and the 

Citizenship Act of 1955. These Acts make it an offence for anyone to be in the country without valid travel and identity documents, which puts many refugees and stateless persons at risk of classification as an illegal immigrant and deportation. In terms of what protections are available, the country is obliged to adhere to the principle of non-refoulement, as part of customary international law, including Conventions such as the 1948 Universal Human Rights Declaration (to which 

India is a signatory). India has also accepted the 

Bangkok Principles on the Status and Treatment of 

Refugees in 1966 – though this latter agreement is not legally binding (AALCO, 1966).

There is lack of access to education, jobs and healthcare because of their not-so-clear legal status in India, which is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. There is no national refugee law, which means decisions on them are mostly administrative, and different groups of refugees are often treated differently.

The legal status of refugees in India is governed by the Foreigners Act 1946 and the Citizenship Act 1955. These Acts do not differentiate between refugees fleeing persecution and violence, and other foreigners. It is a criminal offence, under these Acts, to be without valid travel or residence documents.

India has a long tradition of welcoming refugees.

Please Note: Don’t construe the comments on legal status of refugees as legal advice given by NomadLawyer

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