Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) for Culture and Tourism inaugurated an exhibitionentitled ‘Frontier Gandhi and the Indian Freedom Movement’ on the occasion of commemoration of “125th Birth Anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan” organized by Ministry of Culture .He honoured the Descendants of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan viz his Great Grand daughters Ms. Yasmin Khan & Ms. Tanzeem Khan, and Great Grand son Mr. Danish Khan by presenting shawls to them on this occasion. Prof. Lokesh Chandra, Chairman NMML, Mr. Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Ambassador of Afghanistan in India and senior officers of the Ministry of Culture were present.
Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 125th Birth Anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan during 2015-16. As a part of activities under the commemoration and Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, New Delhi has organized this exhibition and programme.
Addressing on the occasion, Dr. Mahesh Sharma said that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a great person who was devoted to the Freedom of India and Hindu-Muslim unity. It is a great moment that today his family members are present here in this function. Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Gandhi ji were complementary to each other and we will keep his memories alive for the decades to come.
He said that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s 125th birth anniversary calls for a special exploration of his life of sacrifice, commitment and achievement. His life and message are an inspiration for India and humanity at large. He stood for the finest in the Pathan character as seen in his intense passion for freedom, implicit faith in God, indomitable courage, boldness and fearlessness.
Dr. Sharma said that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a staunch nationalist and a pluralist to the core. He never accepted the two nation theory and strongly opposed the partition of India. He advocated the unity among the Hindus and Muslims as one nation.
The Minister said Badshah Khan was of the opinion that when various constitutional formulas failed against the Partition Plan and a Referendum was recommended in the Frontier provinces to decide whether it should join the latter or the former, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was stunned at this decision. He said, “Mahatmaji, you have thrown us to the wolves”.
The Minister said that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, popularly known as Badshah Khan or the Frontier Gandhi, was among those truly distinguished leaders, who led the people in an epic struggle against British imperialism. He was a deeply religious man, committed social reformer, passionate advocator of Pashto language, believer in the unity of India and above all a staunch Gandhian. He was awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award in 1987.
He opined said that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, being a socio-religious reformer to the core, realized that the lack of proper education let the Pakhtuns go astray. He wanted to unite all the tribes of Pakhtuns, educate them and reform the Pakhtun society, and eventually he succeeded in his goal to a great extent.
Prof. Lokesh Chandra, Chairman, NMML, Ms. Yasmin Khan, Great Grand Daughter of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Shri K.K. Mittal, Addl. Secretary, M/o Culture and Ms. Sonia Sethi, Joint Secretary, M/o Culture also addressed on the occasion.