Who was Badshah Khan?

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Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known also as Badshah, or King, was born in 1890 in India. He was a political and spiritual leader known for his nonviolent opposition to the British Raj in British India.
Ghaffar Khan’s early years ran a parallel course to Gandhi’s: He was devoted to the uplift of his people, had was deeply spiritual and at first, accepted British rule as a matter of course, but saw the light when he was deeply offended by certain insults that are the inevitable concomitant of domination. He came to realize that his educational work, like Gandhi’s constructive program, was “not just service, but rebellion” — a point that must have gone home powerfully with Malala Yousafzai.

After meeting Gandhi in 1919, Khan founded the Khudai Khidmatgars or “Servants of God” to expand his revolutionary work. The Servants and their leader, known as the “Frontier Gandhi”, were shot, tortured, humiliated and jailed, but not before they had played a signal role in liberating their country and helping Gandhi give “an ocular demonstration” to the world of the power of nonviolence.

Read more on Waging Nonviolence


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