Bishwa Nath Singh
Let us remember one of the greatest personality of the world though being the first non-citizen of our country and independence activist who was awarded with our country’s highest national award the Bharat Ratna in 1987 who was often called as Badshah Khan ( "King Khan"),and Sarhaddi Gandhi ("Frontier Gandhi)"!It is high time that we must remember his great services and join all others to pay our respectful homage to him and have glimpse of his life-history in brief!
( Photo of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan often called as Badshah Khan ( "King Khan"),and Sarhaddi Gandhi ("Frontier Gandhi)")
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
In this Photo Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan who was popularly known as Badshah Khan ( "King Khan"),Fakhr-e-Afghan(pride of Afghans) and Sarhaddi Gandhi ("Frontier Gandhi ) was seen with Mahatma Gandhi.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was born in the year 1890 at Hashtnagar in Utmanzai, Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province in India.He was very popular and distinguished Pashtun (Afghan) political and spiritual leader known for his non-violent opposition to British rule during the final years of the Empire on the Indian sub-continent. He was a lifelong pacifist and a devout Muslim and remained a close friend of Mahatma Gandhi . He was educated in a small school run by Christian missionaries. His childhood was in sharp contrast to his contemporaries. Education as a means of social advancement remained an ideal throughout his life. He was initially encouraged by his family to join the British Indian Army; however the treatment of a British Raj officer towards a native offended him, and a family decision for him to study in England was put off after his mother's intervention. Having witnessed the repeated failure of revolts against the British Raj, he decided social activism and reform would be more beneficial for Pashtuns. This ultimately led to the formation of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement (Servants of God). He had worked tirelessly to organize and raise the consciousness of his fellow Pushtuns. Between 1915 and 1918, he had visited over five hundred villages in all part of the settled districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. It was in this frenzied activity that he had come to be known as Badshah (Bacha) KhanThe movement's success triggered a harsh crackdown against him and his supporters and he was sent into exile. It was at this stage in the late 1920s that he formed an alliance with Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. This alliance was to last till the 1947 partition of India. His first marriage was held in 1912 with Meharqanda who was a daughter of Yar Mohammad Khan of the Kinankhel clan of the Mohammadzai tribe of Razzar, a village adjacent to Utmanzai. They had a son who was born in 1913 who ose name was Abdul Ghani Khan, who had become a noted artist and poet. Subsequently, they had another son, Abdul Wali Khan who was born on January 17,1917., and a daughter, Sardaro. Meharqanda wh had died in 1918 because of influenza. In 1920, Abdul Ghaffar Khan remarried.His new wife’s name was Nambata, who was a cousin of his first wife and the daughter of Sultan Mohammad Khan of Razzar. She bore him a daughter, Mehar Taj who was born on May 25, 1921 and a son, Abdul Ali Khan who was born on 20 August 20,1922 and died on February 19,1997. What’s a tragedy occurred to him in 1926 when his wife Nambata died because of fall down of the the stairs of the apartment where they were staying at in Jerusalem His goal was a united, independent, secular India; to achieve this end, he founded the Khudai Khidmatgar also known as the `Red Shirts')during the 1920s. The Khudai Khidmatgar was founded on a belief in the power of complete non-violence. Ghaffar Khan forged a close, spiritual, and always uninhibited friendship with Mahatma Gandhi, the pioneer of non-violent mass civil disobedience in India. The two had a deep admiration towards each other and worked together for the rest of their lives. He was a champion of women's rights and nonviolence. He strongly opposed the partition of India. He was a champion of women's rights and nonviolence. He became a hero in a society dominated by violence; notwithstanding his liberal views, his unswerving faith and obvious bravery led to immense respect. Throughout his life, he never lost faith in his non-violent methods or in the compatibility of Islam and nonviolence. He viewed his struggle as a jihad with only the enemy holding swords. He was closely identified with Gandhi because of his non-violence principles and he is known in India as the `Frontier Gandhi” .He had taken the oath of allegiance to the new nation of Pakistan on February 23,1948 at the first session of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. He had pledged full support to the Pakistan Government and attempted to reconcile with the founder of the new state Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Initial overtures led to a successful meeting in Karachi, however a follow-up meeting in the Khudai Khidmatgar headquarters never materialised, allegedly due to the role of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Abdul Qayyum Khan who warned Jinnah that Ghaffar Khan was plotting his assassination to get him killed.Following this, Ghaffar Khan formed Pakistan's first National opposition party, on May 8,1948, the Pakistan Azad Party. The party pledged to play the role of constructive opposition and would be non-communal in its philosophy.However, suspicions of his allegiance persisted and under the new Pakistani government, Ghaffar Khan was placed under house arrest without charge from 1948 till 1954. Released from prison, he gave a speech again on the floor of the constituent assembly, this time condemning the massacre of his supporters at Babrra In 1962, he was named an "Amnesty International Prisoner of the Year". Amnesty's statement about him had said that his example symbolizes the suffering of upward of a million people all over the world who are prisoners of conscience. In September 1964, the Pakistani authorities allowed him to go to Britain for treatment. During winter his doctor advised him to go to America. He then went into exile to Afghanistan, he returned from exile in December 1972 to a popular response, following the establishment of National Awami Party provincial government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.He was arrested by Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhuttos government at Multan in November 1973 and described Bhuttos government as "the worst kind of dictatorship".He visited India and participated in the centenary celebrations of the Indian National Congress in 1985. He was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1967 and later on. being the first non-citizen, independence activist was awarded with the highest civilian award of India the Bharat Ratna, in 1987. He had died in Peshawar under house arrest on January 20,1988 and was buried in Jalalabad according to his wishes. Although he had been repeatedly imprisoned and persecuted, tens of thousands of mourners attended his funeral, marching through the historic Khyber Pass from Peshawar to Jalalabad. A cease fire was announced in the Afghan war to allow the funeral to take place. His eldest son Ghani Khan was a poet. Another son Khan Wali Khan is the founder and leader of the Awami National Party and was the Leader of the Opposition in the Pakistan National Assembly. His third son Ali Khan was non-political and a distinguished educationist and served as Vice-Chancellor of University of Peshawar as well as the head of Aitchison College Lahore and Fazle Haq college Mardan.He is still regarded as one of the top most leader who had struggled for getting independence from British colonial rule and is held in great esteem by all of us.Let us remember him very fondly for his great contribution during pre-independence era of our country and pay our respectful homage to him!