- December 5, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
- The KhudaiKhidmatgar was a non-violent movement against British occupation of the Indian subcontinent.
- It was led by Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Pashtun freedom fighter, in the North-West Frontier Province.
- Over time, the movement acquired a more political colour, leading to the British taking notice of its growing prominence in the region.
- Following the arrest of Khan and other leaders in 1929, the movement formally joined the Indian National Congress after they failed to receive support from the All-India Muslim League.
- Members of the KhudaiKhidmatgar were organised and the men stood out because of the bright red shirts they wore as uniforms, while the women wore black garments.
QissaKhwani Bazaar massacre
- Abdul Ghaffar Khan and other leaders of the KhudaiKhidmatgar were arrested on April 23, 1930 by British police after he gave a speech at a gathering in the town of Utmanzai in the North-West Frontier Province.
- Khan’s arrest spurred protests in neighbouring towns, including Peshawar.
- Protests spilled into the QissaKhwani Bazaar in Peshawar on the day of Khan’s arrest.
- British soldiers entered the market area to disperse crowds that had refused to leave. In response, British army vehicles drove into the crowds, killing several protesters and bystanders.
- In August 1931, the KhudaiKhidmatgar aligned themselves with the Congress party, forcing the British to reduce the violence they were perpetrated on the movement.
- The KhudaiKhidmatgar opposed Partition, a stance that many interpreted as the movement not being in favour of the creation of the independent nation of Pakistan.
- Post 1947, the KhudaiKhidmatgar slowly found their political influence decreasing to such an extent that the movement and the massacre 90 years ago in the QissaKhwani Bazaar has been wiped out from collective memory.