Home >> India Information >> Great Indians >> Freedom Fighters
Login
|
 Register Now 

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan born at Hashtnagar in Utmanzai, Peshawar, North-West Frontier Province, India, 1890 and died in Peshawar, NWFP, Pakistan, 20 January 1988, was a 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. He was known as Badshah Khan (sometimes written as Bacha Khan), the `Khan of Khans', and `Frontier Gandhi'. Ghaffar Khan 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. Ghaffar Khan's 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. Ghaffar Khan was a champion of women's rights and nonviolence. He strongly opposed the partition of India.

Date of Birth 1890
Date of Death Jan 20, 1988
Place of Birth Peshawar

His autobiography My life and struggle: Autobiography of Badshah Khan was published in 1969. He visited India and participated in the centenary celebrations of the Indian National Congress in 1985; he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1987. Ghaffar Khan died in Peshawar under house arrest in 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.