ABDUL GAFFAR KHAN Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » abdul gaffar khan


Badshah Khan (1890-20 Jan, 1988), as Abdul Gaffar Khan was  well known, was the founder of a party called Khudai Khidmatgar in 1929 - a  great flower of Mahatma Gandhi. Badshah Khan was the President of All India  Congress committee in 1934.


For all his austerity and simplicity, Gaffar Khan embraced  the modern world and acknowledged the progress that Europe and America had made  in some crucial areas. He enlisted unarmed recruits from the countryside and  hoped to supersede the culture of the gun. His practice of Islam and  non-violence were shaped by two longings - to rid the Pakhtoons of revenge and  save them from destruction that violence would invite from the British who were  the colonial power.


Badshah Khan was the ‘Peacemaker from the Pashtun Past’  who sought to replace revenge with justice and reconciliation. His daily life  demonstrated his belief in the unity of humanity. He was also a rock. He was  the recipient of ‘Nehru World Peace’ award and Bharat Ratna (1987), India’s  highest civilian award.


Badshah Khan was buried in the garden of his Jalalabad  home in the heart of the Pakhtoon, according to his wishes. Though the Afghan  struggle was not yet over, the Kabul government and the mujahideen both  announced a ceasefire for the event and his last rites were attended by  Pakistan’s ruler Zial-ul-Haq and India’s prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi - a sea  of humanity greeting the dead had few parallels in history.


The  naturalness of Badshah Khan’s belief is Islam, his directness, his rejection of  violence and revenge, and his readiness to co-operate with non-Muslims add up  to a valuable legacy for our times - a task of overcoming divides between Islam  and the West and Afghanistan and the rest of the world. His bridge-building  life is a refutation of the clash of civilization theory.