Monday, April 15, 2013

Role of "Khudai Khidmatgar" movement in freedom struggle

    In the 'Gandhian era' of Indian National Movement, under the leadership of M K Gandhi many mass movements were organised. In 1919, Khilafat movement was led by M K Gandhi in view of uniting the two majority communities (Hindu & Muslim) of India. During that movement Hindu-Muslim unity was very good. As a sequel, Non-cooperation movement also started in 1920. But due to Chauri-chaura incident the movement was suspended abruptly. This unexpected end of the movement frustrated some of the Muslim community. After 1923, communal riots became common.

    During the Civil Disobedience Movement social base of the National Movement became wider. Students, Women, Peasants and Zamindars alike were participated in that movement. But Muslim community participation was very low. Only few of the Muslim organizations participated in this. One of such noticeable organisation was the volunteer corps of the "Khudai Khidmatdgar" led by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in the North-West Frontier Province. This was originally a social reform movement also called as "Red Shirts" focused on education and eliminating the blood feuds. Gradually it entered into politics and started non-violent struggle against British Raj. And Ghaffar Khan's brother Dr.Khan Sahib became chief minister in the 1937 elections.

    However, after 1940 during the quit India movement this "Khudai Khidmatgar" movement faced heavy opposition from Muslim League supporters. After 1946, Congress party agreed for partition of India and referendum was held in North-West Frontier Province to decide whether NWFP wants to join Pakisthan or not. The Khudai Khidmatgar movement was abstained from voting in referendum and eventually NWFP became part of Pakisthan. After partition this movement was banned.

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