42 Facts About Bacha Khan


Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as Bacha Khan or Badshah Khan, and honourably addressed as Fakhr-e-Afghan, was a Pashtun, Indian freedom fighter, independence activist, and founder of the Khudai Khidmatgar resistance movement against British colonial rule in India.

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Bacha Khan was a political and spiritual leader known for his nonviolent opposition and lifelong pacifism; he was a devout Muslim and an advocate for Hindu–Muslim unity in the Indian subcontinent.

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In 1929, Bacha Khan founded the Khudai Khidmatgar, an anti-colonial nonviolent resistance movement.

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Bacha Khan strongly opposed the proposal for the Partition of India into the Muslim-majority Dominion of Pakistan and the Hindu-majority Dominion of India, and consequently sided with the pro-union Indian National Congress and All-India Azad Muslim Conference against the pro-partition All-India Muslim League.

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Bacha Khan was jailed or in exile during much of the 1960s and 1970s.

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Abdul Ghaffar Bacha Khan was born on 6 February 1890 into a prosperous Sunni Muslim Pashtun family from Utmanzai, Hashtnagar; they lived by the Jindee-a, a branch of the Swat River, in what was then British India's Punjab province.

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Bacha Khan's father, Abdul Bahram Khan, was a land owner in Hashtnagar.

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Bacha Khan was the second son of Bahram to attend the British-run Edward's Mission School, which was the only fully-functioning school in the region and which was administered by Christian missionaries.

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At school, Bacha Khan did well in his studies, and was inspired by his mentor, Reverend Wigram, into seeing the crucial role education played in service to the local community.

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Bacha Khan declined due to his observational feelings that even Guides' Indian officers were still second-class citizens in their own nation.

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Bacha Khan subsequently followed through with his initial desire to attend university, and Reverend Wigram offered him the opportunity to follow his brother, Abdul Jabbar Khan, to study in London, England.

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Finally, in November 1929, Bacha Khan founded the Khudayi Khidmatgar movement, which would strongly advocate for the end of British colonial rule and establishment of a unified and independent India.

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Opposition to British colonial rule, the authority of the mullahs, and an ancient culture of violence and vendetta prompted Bacha Khan to want to serve and uplift his fellow men and women by means of education.

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Bacha Khan married his first wife Meharqanda in 1912; she was a daughter of Yar Mohammad Khan of the Kinankhel clan of the Mohammadzai tribe of Razzar, a village adjacent to Utmanzai.

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In 1920, Bacha Khan remarried; his new wife, Nambata, was a cousin of his first wife and the daughter of Sultan Mohammad Khan of Razzar.

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Bacha Khan bore him a daughter, Mehar Taj, and a son, Abdul Ali Khan.

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In time, Bacha Khan's goal came to be the formulation of a united, independent, secular India.

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On 23 April 1930, Bacha Khan was arrested during protests arising out of the Salt Satyagraha.

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Bacha Khan forged a close, spiritual, and uninhibited friendship with Gandhi, the pioneer of non-violent mass civil disobedience in India.

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Khudai Khidmatgar agitated and worked cohesively with the Indian National Congress, the leading national organisation fighting for independence, of which Bacha Khan was a senior and respected member.

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Bacha Khan rejoined the Congress Party when the War Policy was revised.

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Bacha Khan was a champion of women's rights and non-violence.

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Bacha Khan became a hero in a society dominated by violence; notwithstanding his liberal views, his unswerving faith and obvious bravery led to immense respect.

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Bacha Khan recognised as a jihad struggle with only the enemy holding swords.

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Bacha Khan was closely identified with Gandhi because of his non-violence principles and he is known in India as the 'Frontier Gandhi'.

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Bacha Khan took the oath of allegiance to the new nation of Pakistan on 23 February 1948 at the first session of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly.

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Bacha Khan pledged full support to the government and attempted to reconcile with the founder of the new state Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

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However, suspicions of his allegiance persisted and under the new Pakistani government, Bacha Khan was placed under house arrest without charge from 1948 till 1954.

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Bacha Khan was arrested several times between late 1948 and in 1956 for his opposition to the One Unit scheme.

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Bacha Khan remained in prison till 1957 only to be re-arrested in 1958 until an illness in 1964 allowed for his release.

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In 1962, Bacha Khan was named an "Amnesty International Prisoner of the Year".

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Bacha Khan then went into exile to Afghanistan, he returned from exile in December 1972 to popular support, following the establishment of a National Awami Party provincial government in North West Frontier Province and Balochistan.

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Bacha Khan was arrested by Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's government at Multan in November 1973 and described Bhuttos government as "the worst kind of dictatorship".

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Bacha Khan visited India and participated in the centennial celebrations of the Indian National Congress in 1985; he was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1967 and later Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1987.

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Bacha Khan died in Peshawar under house arrest in 1988 from complications of a stroke and was buried in his house at Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

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Abdul Ghaffar Bacha Khan took an oath of allegiance to Pakistan in 1948 in the legislation assembly.

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Later on in 1980, during an interview with an Indian journalist, Haroon Siddiqui, Abdul Ghaffar Bacha Khan said that the "idea of Pashtunistan never helped Pashtuns".

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Bacha Khan said that "Pashtun people greatly suffered because of all this".

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Abdul Ghaffar Bacha Khan gave this interview while he was in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

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Ali Bacha Khan was the head of Aitchison College, Lahore and Fazle Haq college, Mardan.

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Bacha Khan was listed as one of 26 men who changed the world in a recent children's book published in the United States, alongside Tiger Woods and Yo Yo Ma.

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Bacha Khan wrote an autobiography, and has been the subject of biographies by Eknath Easwaran and Rajmohan Gandhi.

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