Khaksars

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Khaksari Flag

The Khaksar movement (Urdu: تحریکِ خاکسار‎) was a social movement based in Lahore, British India, established by Allama Mashriqi in 1931 to free India from the rule of the British Empire and establish a Hindu-Muslim government in India.[1]

History of Khaksar movement[edit]

Khaksars in uniform

The Khaksar movement began at a time when the Indian economy was experiencing the effects of The Great Depression.[citation needed][clarification needed] This placed an unprecedented amount of stress on all classes of Indian society. After the second Round Table Conference on 5 March 1931 Mahatma Gandhi's civil disobedience movement was halted with the signing of the Gandhi–Irwin Pact.[citation needed]

Around this time,[note 1] Allama Mashriqi, a charismatic Muslim intellectual whom some considered to be of anarchist persuasion,[3] revisited the principles for self-reform and self-conduct that he had laid out in his 1924 treatise, entitled Tazkira. He incorporated them into a second treatise, Isharat, and this served as the foundation for the Khaksar movement,[2] which Roy Jackson has described as being "... essentially to free India from colonial rule and to revive Islam, although it also aimed to give justice and equal rights to all faiths."[3] They took their name from the Persian words khak and sar, respectively meaning dust and life and roughly combined to translate as "humble person".[3]

Adopting the language of revolution,[3] Mashriqi began recruiting followers to his cause in his village of Ichhra near Lahore. An early report said that the movement began with 90 followers. It quickly expanded, adding 300 young members within a few weeks.[2] By 1942 it was reported that the membership was four million and Jackson remarks that it was "phenomenal in its success."[3]

In 1934 Mashriqi had founded Al-Islah, a weekly newspaper for the Khaksar movement.[citation needed]

Khaksars in Hyderabad Deccan

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 organisation to help with the war effort. He offered a force of 30,000 well drilled soldiers for the internal defence 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.[citation needed]

Mashraqi was released from Vellore Jail on 19 January 1942, but his movements were restricted to Madras Presidency. He remained interned until 28 December 1942. Mashraqi arrived in New Delhi on 2 January 1942.[4][dubious ]

Allama Mashriqi disbanded the Khaksar Tehrik on 4 July 1947.[why?][citation needed]

In October 1947, after the creation of Pakistan, Mashriqi founded the Islam League.[citation needed] Khaksar Tehrik was revived after his death and now operates in different parts of Pakistan.[citation needed]

Ideology[edit]

"Al-Islah" (Khaksar Tehrik weekly)

Twenty-Four Principles[edit]

Mashriqi had said in 1931 that the Khaksar movement had three distinct objectives; "to emphasize the idea of superiority of God, unity of the nation and service to mankind"[5] In addition Mashriqi outlined twenty-four principles on 29 November 1936 in an address to a Khaksar camp at Sialkot.[6] This initial speech and subsequent set of principles[clarification needed] encouraged members of the movement to serve the people regardless of their caste or religion; and Khaksars were expected to convince others to join the movement through "love and affection".[6]

Fourteen Points; The Khaksar Creed[edit]

On 14 March 1937 Allama Mashriqi again addressed a camp of Khaksars at Lahore to deliver the fourteen points that became the foundation of the movement.[7][clarification needed] These points solidified the notion that the movement was both dictatorial and militaristic. At this point its aims were to establish rule in India, and then perhaps over the entire world. However the success of Muslim rule in India 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".[8]

Khaksar symbols[edit]

All members, regardless of rank, wore the same uniform; a khaki shirt with khaki pyjama secured with a belt, together with military boots. The khaki colour was chosen because it was "simple and unpresuming" and "cheap and available for all", although in practice the uniforms were paid for by the Khaksar organisation. They wore a red badge (akhuwat) on their right arm as a symbol of brotherhood. 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.[9] Some Khaksar's wore the Pashtun style turban on their head with the cloth flowing down and a fan shaped shamla peaking up.

All Khaksars carried a belcha (spade) as a sign of unity and strength and in imitation of Muhammad.[10] 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.[citation needed]

The flag of the Khaksars is a modified Muslim symbol; a crescent moon and star on a red background.[11]

Referecences[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Amalendu De says that the foundation was in 1931;[2] Roy Jackson believes that it was in 1930.[3]
Citations
  1. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 71–72
  2. ^ a b c De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 72-23
  3. ^ a b c d e f Jackson, Roy (2011). Mawlana Mawdudi and Political Islam: Authority and the Islamic State. Taylor & Francis. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-415-47411-5. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Syed Shabbir Hussain, Al-Mashriqi: The Disowned Genius, 1991, page 180, Publisher: Jang Publisher, Lahore, Pakistan.
  5. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 126
  6. ^ a b De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 127
  7. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 128
  8. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 130–131
  9. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 166–167
  10. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 151–154
  11. ^ De, Amalendu. History of the Khaksar Movement in India, 1931–1947. Kolkata: Parul Prakashani, 2009. Print. Pg 165