Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

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Bacha Khan with Mohandas Gandhi

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (in Pashto خان عبد) الغفار خان)) (date of Birth 1890 – 20 January 1988), also known as or Badshah Khan ("King Khan") was a pashtun non-violent activist and close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi. He led his non-violent Khudai Khidmatgar movement against the British Raj in the 1930s and 1940s. As a consequence of his opposition to the partition of India he was considered a traitor or secessionist for much of his life after the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Post partition he fought for state/provincial rights as well as the eventual unification of Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand line.

Quotes[edit]

  • [There is] ‘an open conspiracy with the Muslim League to bathe the province in blood’... ‘he (the Governor) wanted to hand over power to the Muslim League, whose followers have been indulging in the murder of innocent men, women and children.’ .... “if the Governor wants he can stop all lawlessness in the Frontier in two days, but how can he when he himself is guiding the violent and communal League movement?”
  • Pathans! Your house has fallen into ruin. Arise and rebuild it and remember to what race you belong.
    • Quoted in Eknath Easwaran, A Man to Match his Mountains: Bacha Khan, Nonviolent Soldier of Islam (Nilgiri Press, Petaluma, 1984), p. 25.
  • Whenever I had an opportunity to address the people in different parts of our province, I told them clearly that indeed, I was of the opinion that India should not be divided because today in India we have witnessed the result. Thousands and thousands of young and old, children, men, and women were massacred and ruined. But now that the division is an accomplished fact, the dispute is over. " I delivered many speeches against the division of India, but the question is: has anybody listened to me? You may hold any opinion about me, but I am not a man of destruction but of construction. If you study my life, you will find that I devoted it to the welfare of our country. We have proclaimed that if the Government of Pakistan would work for our people and our country the Khudai Khidmatgars would be with them. I repeat that I am not for the destruction of Pakistan. In destruction lies no good. "Neither Hindus nor Muslims, nor the Frontier, not Punjab, Bengal or Sindh stands to gain from it. There is advantage only in construction. I want to tell you categorically I will not support anybody in destruction. If any constructive programme is before you, if you want to do something constructive for our people, not in theory, but in practice, I declare before this House that I and my people are at your service... (February 1948)
    • Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan: A True Servant of Humanity by Girdhari Lal Puri pp -188 ? 190
  • My religion is truth, love and service to God and humanity. Every religion that has come into the world has brought the message of love and brotherhood. Those who are indifferent to the welfare of their fellowmen, whose hearts are empty of love, they do not know the meaning of religion.
    • Quoted from the Progressive February 2002
  • There is nothing surprising in a Muslim or a Pathan like me subscribing to the creed of nonviolence. It is not a new creed. It was followed fourteen hundred years ago by the Prophet all the time he was in Mecca.
    • Author : Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan
    • Badshah Khan by Eknath Easwaran (Penguin Books).
  • “It is my inmost conviction,” Badshah Khan said, “that Islam is amal, yakeen, muhabat” – selfless service, faith, and love.
    • Badshah Khan by Eknath Easwaran (Penguin Books).
  • Only a dead nation remembers its heroes when they die. Real nations respect them when they are alive.
    • Zareef, Adil Saturday, (January 28, 2006) The Demise of a Dream. The Daily Times [4]
  • "In 1958, Ghaffar Khan wrote that he had been killed ’by those people for whom he had forsaken his own people’."
    • p 245 (writing in reference to Dr. Khan Sahibs support for the One Unit.
    • Afghan Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia
    • by Victoria Schofield
  • I have one great desire.

I want to rescue these gentle, brave, patriotic people from the tyranny of the foreigners who have disgraced and dishonored them.

I want to create for them a world of freedom, where they can live in peace, where they can laugh and be happy.

I want to kiss the ground where their ruined homes once stood, before they were destroyed by savage strangers.

I want to take a broom and sweep the alleys and the lanes, and I want to clean their houses with my own hands.

I want to wash the stains of blood from their garments.

I want to show the world how beautiful they are, these people from the hills, and then I wan to proclaim: “Show me, if you can, any gentler, more courteous, more cultured people than these.”

Famous speeches[edit]

“Where is the democracy that British gave us? Ayub Khan robbed us of it. And what did he give us in return ? He gave us his own version of democracy which does not even deserve the name of democracy.

Look at our financial position, look at our language, culture, society. He has taken it all. Look at our schools, our colleges, the education and instruction of our children. And look at his manners. I am always surprised at these people who keep telling us:”We are making such progress. Pakistan has a target and we are fast approaching it.” Actually there are several jokes in circulation about that. I will tell you one. It goes like this:

A woman said to her husband, warmly embracing him: “Darling, I want a diamond nose-ornament!” The husband replied: “Actually I was considering how I could cut off your nose altogether.”

All we are asking is for a nose ornament, it does not even have to be diamond. But Pakistan is thinking how they can cut off our nose altogether.”“I want you and the Pakistani leaders to take a look at the misery which our Balochi brothers are living in. They have been asking and crying and shouting for their rights for the last twenty years. When nobody listened to them they had no choice but to take up arms. You all know what happened to them, the tyranny they had to suffer, the cruelties that were committed. Now Pakistan has found that the question cannot be solved by cruelty and oppression, and these poor people are told; Come on, let us sit down together and settle our dispute. It did not take me long to find out that in the heart of Pakistan there is no room for any Baluchi or Sindhi or Bengali or Pakhtun. Therefore I want my Baluchi brothers to know that the Sindhis and the Pakhtuns are just as oppressed and that our aim and objectives are the same. Pakistan's real design will be clear if you look at Punjab. The Punjab leaders met and had discussions and consultations with their Jirga. They said “look at the Pakhtuns, they are all very rich. They have electricity you know. Then they said; look at the Sindhis, they have so much land. About the Baluchis they said, they have in their country wealth of mineral resources and gas.

Brothers, all this is trickery and they are only saying all this because they want it for themselves: the electricity of Pathans, the land of Sindhis and the minerals of Baluchis. Then they have this idea of “one unit”. Work it out for yourselves, is this in harmony with Islamic belief? Does Islam tell you to rob one brother of electricity, another brother of his fertile land and take possessions of the mines and minerals of another?

And you, ignorant and misguided Pathans, you do not even stop to think whether this is Islam or not, you just swallow anything you are told.”

One time the Pakistani Minister of Foreign affairs Manzur Qadir had come to see him over a statement made by Russian Prime Minister Khrushchev about Pakhtuns.

“He talked for four hours. First about democracy. He said, “Because here in Pakistan democracy did not work, we do not give the people democracy anymore”

I asked him, “Where was this democracy in the first place ? You never had democracy, so how do you know whether it works or not? In India they have had three or four elections. When did you last have elections in Pakistan? Did you ever? Have you ever asked the people what kind of government they want ?”

External links[edit]

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