Security Research Review

 Bharat Rakshak > Security Research Review > Challenging Transitions


 

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan

 

Gayatri Srinivasan

 

The peaceful warrior who redefined Islam, Pakhtoonwa and Non-violence and built a resistance movement these three pillars. This is the story of a warrior who lived true to his principles till the day he died. I hope to tell  you about the gentleness and patience of Pathans, who chose to follow Islam in the peaceful way preached by Prophet Mohammed and yet managed to effectively protest against the corrupt and repressive rule of a colonial power. Yes - you read it right, in this age, it might seem a paradox, many people today cannot visualize a struggle of this nature, but it is here that we all can learn a lot from the Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, the Frontier Gandhi. 

It is simplistic to view the Indian Independence movement as merely a story of non-violent protests. The protests did give Indians a gradual victory but we must also consider what happened to people spanning the entire undivided India. Not every region got freedom, liberty and justice. Under such circumstances how can we celebrate this so called Independence Day? How can we ignore the most horrific partition violence ? Let alone a day, not even a moment of silence to pay respects to the tremendous grief and loss suffered by millions. The genocide, the betrayal of freedom fighters, the screams of a nation torn apart, apparently not important enough an event for us?

Did we really get independence or did British just manage to mangle and undermine us? The country that had overcome tremendous odds with culture, language, religion, caste, and race barriers to unite, yet again, for the supreme dream of being free. So did we get it? or did major political players in a haste to get power, instead pawn our unity, the soul of our struggle; that then came with the high interest of blood and land. First installment paid in partition and through continual bloody violence that we are paying till this day - Will we ever redeem our unity?

I will not say Happy Independence Day to you,  instead I will say - On this day, August 15, remember those who fought and died, remember what price we had to pay, and then I say “Heartfelt Remembrance and Resolution Day!”  “Shradhanjali aur Pratigya Divas” Here is to the completion of the dream of our freedom fighters! Listen to this story of a freedom fighter, who never gave up the fight for his cause. Then, think of your part  to redeem our unity, wipe away the tears and heal our nation with festering deep lacerations, over five decades.

What would your resolution be?  

The life and times of Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Sahab

Abdul Gaffar Khan was born to the Khan Behram Khan of Utmanzai village in 1890. This is in Ashtanagar, a tract in Charsadda tehsil of Peshawar district between rivers Swat and Kabul. As there was no custom to note down birthdays in those days, Gaffar Khan's birth date is unknown. Both of his parents were unlettered but were a very broad minded, loving couple who served every guest with equal respect irrespective of their station. Behram Khan had renounced "Badla" or revenge and chose to forgive who wronged him. This was significant for a person in Pathan society to do so, since at the time the society was all caught up in the web of revenge and counter-revenge that snaked its way through tribe after tribe and generation after generation. It was a bold step to take at time when this poison was strong in the Pathan land. At the age of five, Gaffar Khan was taught the Quran from the Mullah. Behram Khan then sent Gaffar Khan to Peshawar for primary education and then the missionary school. Here he got a glimpse of service to the needy from his missionary teachers and was influenced by their spirit of selflessness.  

While in the last year of his high school, Gaffar Khan applied for a Direct Commission in the British Indian Army which was considered very prestigious in those days. He was selected, being a very well built young man at 6' 3”, almost matriculate, however very soon he witnessed how the British callously insulted his friend who was a cavalry officer in the Peshawar regiment. He realized he did not want to be a servant of the British government because it did not give one respect and he left the Army. With his elder son's encouragement who was studying medicine in London, Behram Khan arranged for Gaffar Khan to study engineering in London, but his mother would not allow the only son she had left to be sent to vilayat , foreign lands from which nobody returned. Gaffar who loved his mother very much, decided to not go, and instead serve his countrymen. Gaffar Khan married twice, once in 1912, he and is wife were proud parents of two sons Ghani and Wali, who later proved to be patriotic sons of Pakhtunistan. Unfortunately, his first wife died six years into the marriage. Gaffar Khan married again in 1920, sadly his second wife died in 1926, in an accident in Jerusalem on a pilgrimage to Holy Harams and the Masjid al Aqsa. His second wife had borne him a son and a daughter.

Before the coming of Islam, the Pathans had been Hindus, and the misconception that “education is only for brahmins” still prevailed in their society, the result of which was that they created divisions amongst themselves very much like caste system. The common people were not interested in education. Moreover, the British broke down the Pathan social structure with draconian laws. In 1901, Pathan province was separated from Punjab and Frontier Crimes Regulation Act was introduced. Under this law, the police could start a fictitious case against anyone the British happened to dislike. No proof or evidence was necessary. The British used it in such an atrocious manner that it created communalism, disharmony and mutual enmity amongst Pathans.  All this to keep the Pathans backward so they could control Afghanistan and Pakhtunistan.

In this environment, Gaffar Khan had the vision to see that education and learning would be the first step to remove Pathan from this misery. Gaffar Khan had no idea how much trials and tribulations that lay ahead of him! He was sent to jail, in fetters too small that cut into his ankles leaving a life long scar. He was made to walk 4 miles in blazing heat with no water or food, chained to a vehicle, kept in jail with no food in extreme cold with torn flea ridden rags for cover.  All because he had opened schools to give basic education to children! The British were so afraid of the Pathan strength that they were threatened even by this. As the British injustices piled up, it only strengthened Gaffar Khan's resolution. When the schools started flourishing, the British warned Behram Khan about his son, when that did not work, they arrested Gaffar Khan under Section 4 of Frontier Crime Regulation, sentenced to 3 years rigorous imprisonment. In Peshawar, he was pushed into a criminal's cell with a chamberpot full of last occupants excrement. They kept him locked day and night, with the food shoved in through a barred opening in the door. Usually prisoners were kept in solitary cells for a week, but Gaffar Khan spent 2 months. After that he was transferred to Dera Ismail Khan, meant for habitual prisoners. The food was inedible, with even the prison cat refusing to eat the vegetables! With all this, he had to grind 20 seers of corn every day on a grindstone. A few months later he was transferred to Dera Gazi Khan prison. There was an interesting incident at Dera Gazi Khan prison that Gafar Khan relates in his autobiography. This was an example of the false impressions the British had given to the Hindus in India, about Pathans:

One day a Hindu friend told Abdul Gaffar Khan:

“I have been told that the Pathans drink Human blood. Do they really ?”

“Oh yes," Gaffar Khan  replied, “frequently”

“Good Heavens,” his friend cried out.

Then he asked again; “But why do they drink it?”

“Because it is very tasty,” Khan said.

“Good Heavens!” his friends cried again.

Then Khan asked him: “My friend, from where did you get this idea? Have you ever been to the Pathan country ? Have you ever seen a Pathan, for that matter? Except me of course.”

“No, I haven't,” the friend admitted.

"Then who told you this?” Khan asked him.

His friend replied that he had read about it some time back in a book! Such my dear readers was the state of India in that time. 

In 1924, after his release Gaffar Khan started thinking about a national newspaper. Finally in May 1928 it bore fruit and the first issue of Pakhtun was published. It became very popular. In fact it became so popular even in Afghanistan that the king Amanullah Khan published another journal Jagh Pakhtun, and also wanted to make Pashto the national language. Apart from this, Amanullah was always working for progress, which also impressed the Pathans very much. As always, British could not tolerate any progress and with a conspiracy with local Mullahs pronounced him a Kafir and drove king Amannullah out who then went to Italy. Then started the destruction of Afghanistan that deeply hurt the Pathans. Gaffar Khan went to India to collect money for their cause. Thus, in 1928, Gaffar Khan met Gandhiji and Nehruji for the first time in a Congress meeting. Gaffar Khan's elder brother and Nehruji had studied in the same University in London, who gave Gaffar Khan a letter of introduction.

It was in India that Gaffar Khan saw the people so full of nationalistic fervor. He went back and spoke to his country men, combining India's nationalism and king Amanullah's progressive actions. Thus the idea about an organization to bring about social reforms was conceived and realized in 1929. They called it Khudai Khidmatgars or Servants of God, and everyone joining had to take a vow to be non violent, renounce revenge and anger towards wrong doers and oppressors, treat every Pathan as his brother and friend, and serve humanity in the name of God. This revolutionized the society to a great extent. The British torture and oppression only drove more people to join. Gaffar Khan was arrested again in 1930 and sent to Gujarat prison in Punjab. British drove trucks into a human wall of protesters, killing several people. They then ordered soldiers to shoot on unarmed men, and women, Only the Garhwali regiment refused to shoot at their countrymen and embraced severe life imprisonment for this transgression at Qissa Khana Bazaar. Number of peaceful protesters died under British shoot orders. Not just this! the British used to round up Khudai Khidmatgars, remove their clothes, beat them mercilessly, and once they were unconscious throw them into ditches. Then the were made to stand naked on house tops with their faces and back sides blackened and their women-folk forced to watch this humiliation. They still could not make the Pathan break his word, his vow to non violence, his allegiance to Khudai Khidmatgars. They sodomized these brave men with tent poles, castrated them, they put sieges on villages, attacking homes, destroying food, blocking supplies, starving the women and children to death. They still could not make the Pathan break his vow. Such is the love and respect the Pathans had for their organization and their leader Gaffar Khan.

The cruelty, the barbarity of British knew no bounds, they had sealed off the whole province so no one could even get a whiff of what was going on. Two Khidmatgars Mian Jafar Shah and Mian Abdullah Shah escaped and managed to meet Gaffar Khan in the prison to inform of the horror. It was decided that the two should continue to Lahore, Delhi and Simla to  get help from friends in Muslim League. A few months later, the two returned with no success. The Muslim League leaders said they could not take the Pathan's side since the Khudai Khidmatgars were opposing the British. The British, they said, was protecting them in order that they could fight the Hindus. Desperate for help, they decided to ask Congress. Until then there had been no connection. When Congress promised all possible help if the Pathans on their part would join the freedom struggle for India, the proposal was put forth in the Frontier province, and was accepted by the Khudai Kidmatgars. When British heard of this, they came back with promises to reforms, more than what was given to any part of India – Although people in the prison advised Khan to be diplomatic,  Gaffar khan refused to be a hypocrite, he refused to break the promise made to Congress and sent back his reply to British “You have no confidence in us, and therefore we cannot have any confidence in you”

Now that Congress was with them, Vithalbhai Patel sent a delegation to the Frontier Province to inquire into the incidents. They were not allowed to enter, so the delegates wrote a long report from Rawalpindi on the atrocities, and sent it all over India. Although the British seized the report, Congress had already sent copies to America and England for distribution. Gaffar Khan continued to be repeatedly arrested, one time he was beaten so severely by an inspector called Kushdil Khan that two of his ribs were broken. Gaffar Khan wrote “he certainly did no credit to his name which means happy heart!” With long imprisonments, totaling 15 years, Khan got a good chance to study people from other religions. He felt the reason why the Sikhs could put so much more feeling and emotion into their religious practices than the Hindus or the Muslims was that their Holy Book the Guru Granth Sahib was written in their mother tongue. Therefore they understood the teachings and the prayers of their religion better. He observed that the Hindus said their prayers in Sanskrit and the Muslims in Arabic, and many Hindus and Muslims said their prayers without really understanding the meaning.

Gaffar Khan studied the Gita with equal reverence, as he did the Quran, he listened to the Guru Grant Sahib read out to him by his fellow Sikh prisoners. He considered his religion to be truth, love and service to God and humanity. He felt every religion that had come to the world had brought the message of love and brotherhood. And those who were indifferent to the welfare of their fellowmen, those whose hearts were empty of love, those who harbored hatred and resentment in their hearts, they did not know the true meaning of religion. He followed the way of life shown by Prophet - that man is a Muslim, who never hurts anyone by word or deed, but who works for the benefit and happiness of God's creatures.

After a lengthy imprisonment, when Gaffar Khan was released in 1945, he stayed with the Birlas, where Gandhiji was also staying. Here is an excerpt from one conversation between these great men, 

Khan Sahab: “Gandhiji, you have been preaching non violence in India for a long time now, but I started teaching the Pathans non-violence only a short time ago. Yet, in comparison, the Pathans seem to have grasped the idea of non-violence much quicker and much better than the Indians. Just think how much violence there was in India during the war in 1942. Yet in the North West Province, in spite of all the cruelty and the oppression the British inflicted upon them, not one Pathan resorted to violence, though they too possess the instruments of violence. How do you explain that?”

Gandhiji replied: “Non-violence is not for cowards. It is for the brave and the courageous. And the Pathans are more brave and courageous than the Hindus. That is the reason why the Pathans were able to remain non-violent.”

Political Views: Elections and Referendum

Gaffar Khan explains in his autobiography about Elections and Referendum:

“I was not in favor of the elections of 1945-46. I thought that even if we won the elections, what good would it do if we could not work for the people? After all we did not want to win the elections or form a ministry for the sake of ruling over people, but for the sake of serving them.

I attended the meeting of the Congress Working Committee and the Parliamentary Board in Calcutta. After I had reported to Gandhiji on events and conditions in the frontier Province, I told him that I did not want to take part in the elections. Gandhiji agreed with me. The Parliamentary Board tried hard to make me change my mind but they did not succeed. After the Working Committee Meeting was over I returned to my village and continued my work. I was soon absorbed in our movement again and I started touring the province. That also gave me a chance to study the government machinery that had been put into operation against me. I found out that government had closed Islamia College at Peshawar as well as other schools and colleges all over the province and that the students were being made to canvas votes for the Muslim League.

I saw British ladies going around canvassing too. They would go to people's homes, and cleverly making use of the custom of exchanging scarves when greeting a visitor, they would say: “I have come to visit you, so you must give me a dupatta (scarf). But the dupatta I want is your vote.”

Large number of students from Aligarh Muslim University and from Islamia College, Calcutta and workers and leaders of Muslim League from many parts of India had been brought to the Frontier Province. The Government and the Muslim League had also recruited religious leaders from Punjab and the frontier Province to work in this election campaign. When I saw how hard and how enthusiastically these Britishers and their wives were working on behalf of the Muslim League, I changed my mind and decided that I would also take part in the campaign. There was only one month to go before the elections.

The issue at stake in this election of 1946, the last general election in United India, was: India or Pakistan, Hindu or Muslim, Islam or kufr, temple or mosque. The Muslim League canvassers asked people: “Are you giving your vote to the mosque or to the temple?”

Unlike the other Muslims in India, however, the Pathans were politically awake, they had perception and nobody could mislead them in the  name of Islam. The knew the real meaning of Islam. They had learnt this in their nationalist movement, they had learnt to make sacrifices to serve their country. Nowhere else in India had the Muslims participated in this kind of Nationalist movement. The polling day came. The British went all out to help the Muslim league and hinder the Khudai Khidmatgars. But by the grace of God the Muslim League was defeated and we won the elections with a  large majority.

Thus in July 1946, Maulana Azad and I were elected by the Khudai Khidmatgars and the Frontier Assembly to be the members of the Central Assembly, the purpose of which was to give India a Constitution. There were three members for the Frontier Province, Maulana Azad, myself and the third was a resident of Hazara district where the Muslim League had been active and its candidate had won the election.

The fact that we had secured such a clear majority in an election which was fought on very clear issues, and under conditions in which the government had allied itself with the Muslim League and had used all the Muslim Leaders in India and all its power against us could only mean one thing; that the majority of people in the country were behind us.”

After the horror of communal violence, Gaffar Khan had tirelessly toured Bihar and other ravaged areas in 1947. Speaking of partition he writes :

“I had gone to Delhi to attend the meeting of the Congress Working Committee. It was the meeting at which partition of the country was discussed. Gandhiji and I were against the partition. I cannot say what the other members felt about it, because I had not talked to them yet. But Sardar Patel and Rajagopalachari were in favor of partition and they were putting pressure on others. The question of a referendum in the North-West frontier Province was also discussed. Gandhiji and I were against the referendum too. I said there was no need at all for a referendum. Less than a year ago, the election in the province had been fought on the issue of India or Pakistan. We had won with a large majority and the Muslim League had lost , it was as simple as that. Sardar Patel did not see eye to eye with us and they put a lot pressure on the Working Committee and argued about the desirability of referendum at great length. Finally the Working Committee agreed with them and voted in favor of both partition of the country and the referendum.

On this occasion I told the Working Committee and Gandhiji that we Pathans were standing side by side with them in the struggle for the freedom of India and that we had made great sacrifices for the cause. “But you are deserting us now, I told them and throwing us to the wolves.” Is there any doubt about what the Pathans wanted? That was one reason we do not want the referendum. And another reason is that India has left us in the lurch. So why should we have to have referendum over India or Pakistan?” Whereas everywhere in India the representative Assemblies had been asked to decide whether they wanted to remain in India or go over to Pakistan, the North West Frontier Assembly had not been given this right to choose. This was an insult to the whole nation of Pashtuns, which we could not tolerate.

Under these circumstances and after such treatment by the Congress, the question whether I wanted to remain in India or Pakistan is not only unnecessary, but improper, because the Congress, which was the representative body in India, not only deserted us but delivered us into the hands of our enemies. To meet them now is like killing all my Pathan self respect, ethics and traditions. That is why we said that if there was to be a referendum at all, it should be on the question of Pakhtunistan or Pakistan.

But nobody listened to me and the referendum was forced upon us.

As we refused to take part in this referendum the way was clear for the Muslim league, and they used all the cunning, deceit and force they could command."

The Colonel Bashir told Gaffar khan that when he and  his unit were stationed at Litambar near Bannu, on the day of the referendum, he had taken his company out to the polling booths three times, so that the soldiers could vote in favor of Pakistan. The government servants, their henchmen, the Muslim league registered thousands of false votes in the names of Khudai Khidmatgars. In spite of all that and the British looking the other way, or supporting this farce, they got only 50% of the votes, which was nowhere enough to decide the fate of a nation or fate of a country. But as the Pathans looked on, the noose tightened and choked their freedom. The decision to boycott  was not “just an emotional reaction” from a Pathan whose pride had been hurt.

The gentle Gaffar Khan realized the value of his poor Pakhtuns in the eyes of Congress, that day, which hurt him very deeply. The ones he had considered his comrades, did not think of him the same, and considered him and his brave simple Pathans dispensable. He was also intelligent to see through the tactics played by the British and Muslim league , the British had never planned to let go of their control of NWFP since it was the gateway to India, a very strategic land which they could use to wage wars against Russia and control the region in future. The British knew that the Pathans would never agree to this, whereas the Muslim league who were nothing but British henchmen would agree to their nefarious schemes and serve them in the years ahead. Also, the British along with Muslim League especially hated the Pathans for steadfastly standing up against them, supporting Congress, being the only Muslim group in India to do so amongst the hundred million Muslims. It was an eye sore, a blatant slap in in the face of two nation theory. Despite all their repeated cajoling, and incentives, the Pathans had refused to dishonor their friendship with Congress and their principles.

Gaffar Khan also knew that this was a tactical cruel move by Muslim League that had already bathed the country in blood, waiting to see what the Pathan would do now. In choosing to boycott the referendum Gaffar Khan and his Khidmatgars decided with their heart, since they did not want innocent Pathans to be butchered through instigated fights and their precious unity that they had built, with so much care, to be snuffed out. They did not want to make their Pathans sacrificial pawns in an inhuman political mockery.

There was the possibility that Congress could have been very particular not to give any other option than India or Pakistan since other regions especially Kashmir could also then demand Option C. But why did Congress force a totally farce redundant referendum down their throat, in effect, completely turning a blind eye to their friendship, their principles and the official Pathan representation ?

It is difficult, almost impossible to know whether Congress was completely naive playing into the hands of Muslim League or there were calculative negotiations in the cold surgical vivisection of India or a combination of both. Sadly, in all this politics, the precious unity with the only group of Muslims who shed blood for united India unanimously, and underwent inhuman tortures more cruel than any where else in India, was killed in cold blood. The irony was that Pathans fought for India's freedom and their own freedom was made a sacrificial lamb. Back Stabbing never had a more bitter taste.

Yet, the Pathans, the Khudai Khidmatgars never resorted to violence. They chose to express their deep anguish in the only peaceful way they could, by boycotting. They remained steadfast in their path to follow Islam peacefully.

Long after partition, in a public speech Gaffar Khan said 

“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.

Jokes aside, he was very frank and candid about the seriousness of the dangers facing Pathans. Continuing the speech he said 

“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.”

After India's independence, The Pakistani Government kept Gaffar Khan in jails for 15 years in inhuman conditions that completely broke his health, but it did not break his spirit. All through they had kept him in solitary confinement, turning a deaf ear to his requests for company, and even if at all they did, it was either a mad man or someone with a disease which was even worse. Nor did they give any proper timely medical care. The Pakistani government did not leave the Khudai Khidmatgars alone either; they destroyed their offices, murdered thousands of them, tortured them in a very inhuman ways in prisons, called them 'Hindu lovers' shaved half of their beard and mustache and made them ride donkeys, dishonored their women, shut down the Pakhtun newspaper, in short choked the Pathan ruthlessly, in manner worse than what is done to animals.

It is such an cruel irony that the ones who were British henchmen, did everything to thwart Congress and our freedom struggle, walked away with Pakistan, and the ones who fought for India's freedom got more years of imprisonment and torture. Despite all this, Gaffar Khan continued tirelessly with his quest to unite the brotherhood of Pakhtuns from Baluchistan to Chitral and an autonomous statehood, in a non violent way. He chose to not harbor hatred while being true to his mission. Gaffar Khan was the same fiery bold self while talking to Pakistani officials also. 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.

Gaffar Khan relates, 

“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 ?”

Ultimately, when Gaffar Khan was very dangerously ill in prison, he was released. His doctors advised him to go to London. But since the weather was not agreeing, they decided to go to America. The cunning Pakistani government ensured American embassy denied him a visa. After this Gaffar Khan decided to go to Afghanistan, and despite every effort to thwart the plan, reached Kabul. Although Pakistan used to request him to come back, Gaffar Khan had had enough. He spent his days in Kabul and Jalalabad. He did come to India after 22 years, for Gandhiji's centenary celebration on Oct 2 1969 and then for the last time in 1987 for a treatment. However tragically on that occasion he had a heart attack and went into a coma.

Gaffar Khan never woke up after that. He was taken to Jalalabad, where he breathed his last on Jan 20 1988. When he died, Russia called a truce with Afghanistan, and people poured into Jalalabad to bid farewell. Rajiv Gandhi , then Prime Minister of India, also postponed his other plans to pay his respects. This great being, who held no post, had the power to make one of the world's most powerful nations, Russia, to call a ceasefire,  the highest officials of nations and governments pay their respects. Even in his death, he remained the Badshah, the King of Kings.

Sources

1.    My life and struggle, Autobiography Abdul Gaffar Khan

2.    Seemanth Gandhi Badshah Khan by Madalsa Narayan

3.    Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, Ek Jeevani by Ram Saran Nageena

4.    The Pathan Unarmed by Mukulika Bannerjee

5.    Badshah Khan by Omkar Sharad

6.    Abdul Gaffar Khan, Faith is a battle by D.G Tendulkar

7.    Sarhadi Gandhi by Pyarelal

8.    India, Pakistan and Afghanistan (A Study of Freedom Struggle and Abdul Gaffar Khan) by Attar Chand

9.    Frontier Gandhi by G.L Zutshi

10. Khudai Khidmatgar and National Movement, Momentous speeches of Badshah Khan By P.S Ramu

Image Sources: The images are all scanned from the book by D. G. Tendulkar. The actual images are apparently copyrighted to Government of India. 

 

 


© 2004 Bharat-Rakshak