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Khaksars

Khaksars

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The Khaksar movement was a  social movement
Social movement
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large informal groupings of individuals or organizations focused on specific political or social issues, in other words, on carrying out, resisting or undoing a social change....

 based in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, British India, established by Allama Mashriqi in 1931 to free India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 from the rule of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 and establish a Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

-Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 government in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 The word "Khaksar" is derived from the Persian language, Khak means dust, and Sar means life, roughly translated as "a humble person."

History of Khaksar movement


The Khaksar movement began at a time when the Indian economy was experiencing the effects of The Great Depression. This placed an unprecedented amount of stress on all classes of Indian society. After the disastrous proceedings of the second Round Table Conference On March 5, 1931 Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

's Civil Disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

 movement was halted with the signing of the Gandhi–Irwin Pact. 
On July 8, 1931 Allama Mashriqi, a Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 intellectual, made a full analysis of his principles for self-reform and self-conduct that he had laid out in his 1924 treatise
Treatise
A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.-Noteworthy treatises:...

 entitled Tazkira and reincorporated them into his second treatise
Treatise
A treatise is a formal and systematic written discourse on some subject, generally longer and treating it in greater depth than an essay, and more concerned with investigating or exposing the principles of the subject.-Noteworthy treatises:...

 Isharat in August 1931. Both of these documents serve as the foundation for Khaksar movement. Mashriqi began recruiting followers to his cause in his village of Ichhra
Ichhra
Ichhra is a commercial and residential area in Lahore, Pakistan.-History:The neighbourhood was named after the death of an old woman who's nickname was Mai Ichhra of now Muslim Kamboja tribe who migrated from Mesopotamia/Mittani having worshipped in ancient times their mother goddess Ishara, sacred...

 near Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, British India. An initial report citied that the movement began with 90 followers. The movement quickly expanded, adding 300 young members within a few short weeks. Over the next six years Allama Mashriqi developed his ideology which he delivered in a series of speeches at Khaksar camps.

Twenty-Four Principles


In 1931, Allama Mashriqi stated that the Khaksar movement had three distinct objectives; "to emphasize the idea of superiority of God, unity of the nation and service to mankind" In addition Mashriqi outlined twenty-four principles on November 29, 1936 in an address to a Khaksar camp at Sialkot
Sialkot
Sialkot is a city in Pakistan situated in the north-east of the Punjab province at the foothills of snow-covered peaks of Kashmir near the Chenab river. It is the capital of Sialkot District. The city is about north-west of Lahore and only a few kilometers from Indian-controlled Jammu.The...

. This initial speech and subsequent set of principles encouraged members of the movement to serve the people regardless of their social caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 or religion; and Khaksars were expected to convince others to join the movement through "love and affection".

Fourteen Points; The Khaksar Creed


On March 14, 1937 Allama Mashriqi again addressed a camp of Khaksars at Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 to deliver the fourteen points that became the foundation of the movement. These points solidified the notion that the movement was both dictatorial and militaristic. At this point the goals of the Khaksar movement were to establish rule in India, and then perhaps over the entire world. However the success of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 rule in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 necessitated certain conditions, such as: "(a) "regard for the religious and social sentiments of the various communities that live in this county: (b) maintenance of their particular culture and customs, and (c) general tolerance".

"Al-Islah" (Khaksar Tehrik weekly)


Al-Islah (Khaksar Tehrik weekly)
Al-Islah (Khaksar Tehrik weekly)
Al-Islah was the weekly newspaper of the Khaksar Tehrik movement. It was started in 1934 by the founder of the Khaksar Tehrik, Allama Mashriqi. It was printed and distributed from Lahore, India, and contained Mashriqi’s speeches as well as articles that reflected the philosophy and message of the...

 was the weekly newspaper of the Khaksar Tehrik. It was started in 1934 by the founder of the Khaksar Tehrik, Allama Mashriqi.

"Al-Islah" (Khaksar Tehrik weekly)


Allama Mashriqi’s grandson, Nasim Yousaf
Nasim Yousaf
Nasim Yousaf is a scholar, historian and intellectual. He comes from a famous family of the Indian sub-continent and is a grandson of the pre-eminent Allama Mashriqi . He is also a nephew of globally recognized social scientist Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan Nasim Yousaf is a scholar, historian and...

, has completed a massive undertaking to compile historic copies of the Khaksar Tehrik’s weekly newspaper, “Al-Islah,” into a digital format. Prior to this effort, “Al-Islah” had not seen the light of day since 1947 for political reasons. This publication is extremely important in understanding not only the history of the freedom movement of the Indian sub-continent, but also the true driving force behind the British transfer of power in 1947. By painstakingly compiling a digital version of the newspaper, Mr. Yousaf has taken an important step towards making the publication accessible to a wide audience.

“Al-Islah” was originally founded in 1934 by Allama Mashriqi (founder of the Khaksar Tehrik) and launched from Lahore. It quickly established a large following, including subscribers in British India, England, Bahrain, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. “Al-Islah” played a key role in spreading Allama Mashriqi and the Khaksar Tehrik’s ideology and helped Mashriqi raise a well-disciplined private army of 5 million. In addition, “Al-Islah” inspired other Muslim as well as non-Muslim organizations to follow the Khaksar Tehrik and form similar organizations. The newspaper is essential to a complete understanding of the freedom movement because it describes the critical role played by the Khaksar Movement in bringing independence to the nation; without access to this publication, there would remain a large gap in the knowledge of the freedom movement. Thus, the digital compilation of “Al-Islah” is indeed momentous, as it will enable professors, students, researchers, historians and others to further study Allama Mashriqi’s role in the struggle for the freedom of British India and emergence of Pakistan and India as two separate countries.

In addition to compiling “Al-Islah,” scholar and historian Mr. Yousaf has so far written nine books (five primarily focusing on Allama Mashriqi and the Khaksar Tehrik and four on import and export of consumer products such as rugs, apparel, and textiles). He has presented papers at U.S. scholarly conferences and written many articles and books. In 2007, he presented at the New York Conference on Asian Studies on the military-style activities of the uniformed Khaksars; this is believed to be the first time anyone had presented a paper and slide show on the Khaksar Tehrik to an academic audience in the USA. Mr. Yousaf has also contributed articles to the “Harvard Asia Quarterly” and the “World History Encyclopedia (USA).” His forthcoming book entitled “Mahatma Gandhi & My Grandfather, Allama Mashriqi” uncovers many hidden realities behind the freedom of British India.

Growth


The membership of the Khaksar Tehreek was over 4 million. In 1942, The Eastern Times reported:

“He [Mashraqi] asserted that 40 lakh [four million] persons had joined his movement and they carried the red badge on their shoulders.”.

The veteran journalist Syed Shabbir Hussain wrote in his book titledKashmir Aur Allama Mashriqi:

“In the span of 17 years, four million people were actively participating in the movement”.

On 4 October 1939 after the commencement of the Second World War, Mashriqui, who was then in Lucknow jail, offered to increase the size of the organization to help with the war effort. He offered a force of 30,000 well drilled soldiers for the internal defense of India, 10,000 for the police, and 10,000 to provide help for Turkey or to fight on European soil. His offer was not accepted.

Mashraqi was released from Vellore Jail on January 19, 1942, but his movements were restricted to Madras Presidency. He remained interned until December 28, 1942. Mashraqi arrived in New Delhi on January 2, 1942.

Allama Mashriqi disbanded the Khaksar Tehrik on July 4, 1947. He was referred as one of the two legends of Pakistan.

Khaksar Tehrik was revived after the death of Allama Mashriqi. It operates in different parts of Pakistan.

After the creation of Pakistan, Allama Mashriqi founded the Islam League.
This organization was started in October 1947.

Symbols of the Khaksar movement


The symbols of the Khaksar movement; The Belcha, the Uniform, and the Flag served to remove the barrier between the rich and the poor create a sense of equality among all members of the Khaksars regardless of their economic or social background.

Belcha


The Khaksars all carried a Belcha (spade) as a sign of unity and strength and in imitation of the Prophet Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

. In addition the spade represents humility, in the same way that a spade is used to level the ground, the Khaksars used it as a symbol of the "leveling" of society.

Khaksar Flag



The flag of the Khaksars is a modified Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 symbol; a crescent moon and star on a red background.

Khaksar Uniform


All members, regardless of rank, wore the same uniform; a Khaki shirt with Khaki pyjama secured with a belt with military boots. As previously stated Khaksars carried a Belcha over their left shoulder. In addition a red-badge (Akhuwat) was worn on the right arm as a symbol of brotherhood. Khaki was chosen because it was "simple and unpresuming" and "cheap and available for all"; although it should be noted that uniforms were paid for by the Khaksar organization. On their heads Khaksars wore the white handkerchief of the Arabs and Hajis, consisting of a white cloth the length and width of one and one-half yards which was secured around the head with a cotton string.

External links

  • http://www.allamamashraqi.com
  • http://www.allamamashriqi.info
  • http://www.allama-mashriqi.8m.com/books.html
  • http://www.allama-mashriqi.8m.com/khaksar.html#resolution
  • http://www.nasimyousaf.info
  • http://www.nasimyousaf.8m.com
  • Slide show on Allama Mashriqi and Khaksar Tehrik at New York conference
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Khaksar-Movement-in-British-India/163150720406479
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Allama-Mashriqi-the-Great-A-Hero-of-All-Times/177539648924618
  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Allama-Mashriqi/51811380968