Khan

Khan

[kahn, kan]
Khan, Abdul Qadeer (A. Q. Khan), 1936-, Pakistani metallurgical engineer, often called the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, b. Bhopal, India. He moved (1952) to Pakistan and studied at the D. J. Science College, Karachi (B.S., 1960), Delft Univ. of Technology, the Netherlands (M.S., 1967), and Catholic Univ., Leuven, Belgium (Ph.D., 1972). He worked (1970-75) on uranium enrichment at a Dutch plant, gaining a considerable knowledge of atomic physics, of engineering as it related to the creation of fissionable materials, and of the working of centrifuges, and honing his management skills. Two years after India exploded its first nuclear device (1974), Khan returned to Pakistan, where, with the support of President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he soon assumed leadership of the nation's nascent nuclear program, utilizing secret nuclear technology he had stolen and information and equipment smuggled from the West by Pakistani agents. In 1983 he was tried in absentia by a Dutch court for espionage and found guilty; the conviction was overturned on a technicality. An honored figure in Pakistan, Khan was appointed head of a research institute named for him at Kahuta, which became Pakistan's main nuclear-weapons and uranium-enrichment facility.

In 1998 Pakistan detonated several nuclear devices, and Khan's stature at home grew. In 2003, however, Pakistan launched an investigation into his international nuclear dealings since the 1980s, and a year later he confessed to providing information, for personal gain, on sensitive nuclear technology and nuclear devices to Iran, Libya, North Korea, and China. Dismissed from his post, Khan publicly apologized, but spoke in English so many of his countrymen were unable to understand his confession. He was placed (2004) under house arrest but also pardoned by President Musharraf; a Pakistani court ended his house arrest in 2009. Unrepentant despite his disgrace, Khan remains a national hero to many Pakistanis.

See G. Corera, Shopping for Bombs (2006).

Khan, Ali Akbar, 1922-2009, Indian musician, b. Shivpur, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). A master of the sarod, a lutelike 25-stringed N Indian instrument, Khan was born into a family whose roots in traditional Indian court music extend back to the 16th cent. Trained by his father, Alauddin Khan, a famous musician and teacher, the younger Khan began performing at 13, was appointed court musician to the maharaja of Jodhpur, and became a well-known virtuoso. The violinist Yehudi Menuhin heard Khan play in Delhi in 1955 and invited the young musician to the United States. There he performed classical Indian music in concert and on television and made his first recordings, helping to spur the genre's popularity in the West during the 1960s and thereafter. Khan produced nearly 100 albums and performed frequently, sometimes with his brother-in-law, sitarist Ravi Shankar. He composed numerous ragas and wrote the scores for several films, e.g., Satyajit Ray's Devi (1960) and Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1993). Khan founded colleges of classical Indian music in Kolkata (1956), San Rafael, Calif. (1967), and Basel, Switzerland (1985), and established (1994) a music foundation.

Historically, the ruler or monarch of a Mongol tribe. Early on a distinction was made between the h1 of khan and that of khākān, or “great khan.” Later the term khan was adopted by the Seljuq and Khwārezm-Shāh dynasties as a h1 for the highest nobility. Gradually it became an affix to the name of any Muslim property owner. Today it is often used as a surname.

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(born Oct. 17, 1817, Delhi—died March 27, 1898, Aligarh, India) Indian educator and jurist. Born into a family of officials in the Mughal dynasty, he worked for the British East India Co. and held various judicial posts. He supported the British in the 1857 Indian Mutiny but criticized their errors in his influential pamphlet Causes of the Indian Revolt. His other works include Essays on the Life of Mohammed (1870) and commentaries on the Bible and Qurhamzahān. He founded schools at Muradabad and Ghazipur, established the Scientific Society, sought to strengthen the Muslim community through the reform journal Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, and was active in founding a Muslim college, the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College, in 1877 at Aligarh.

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Kublai Khan; in the National Palace Museum, Taipei

(born 1215—died 1294) Grandson of Genghis Khan who conquered China and established the Yuan, or Mongol, dynasty. When Kublai was in his 30s, his brother, the emperor Möngke, gave him the task of conquering and administering Song-dynasty China. Recognizing the superiority of Chinese thought, he gathered around himself Confucian advisers who convinced him of the importance of clemency toward the conquered. In subduing China and establishing himself there, he alienated other Mongol princes; his claim to the h1 of khan was also disputed. Though he could no longer control the steppe aristocracy effectively, he succeeded in reunifying China, subduing first the north and then the south by 1279. To restore China's prestige, Kublai engaged in wars on its periphery with Myanmar, Java, Japan, and the nations of eastern Southeast Asia, suffering some disastrous defeats. At home, he set up a four-tiered society, with the Mongols and other Central Asian peoples forming the top two tiers, the inhabitants of northern China ranking next, and those of southern China on the bottom. Posts of importance were allotted to foreigners, including Marco Polo. Kublai repaired the Grand Canal and public granaries and made Buddhism the state religion. Although his reign was one of great prosperity, his politics were pursued less successfully by his followers.

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or Chinggis Khan orig. Temüjin

(born 1162, near Lake Baikal, Mongolia—died Aug. 18, 1227) Mongolian warrior-ruler who consolidated nomadic tribes into a unified Mongolia and whose troops fought from China's Pacific coast to Europe's Adriatic Sea, creating the basis for one of the greatest continental empires of all time. The leader of a destitute clan, Temüjin fought various rival clans and formed a Mongol confederacy, which in 1206 acknowledged him as Genghis Khan (“Universal Ruler”). By that year the united Mongols were ready to move out beyond the steppe. He adapted his method of warfare, moving from depending solely on cavalry to using sieges, catapults, ladders, and other equipment and techniques suitable for the capture and destruction of cities. In less than 10 years he took over most of Juchen-controlled China; he then destroyed the Muslim Khwārezm-Shah dynasty while his generals raided Iran and Russia. He is infamous for slaughtering the entire populations of cities and destroying fields and irrigation systems but admired for his military brilliance and ability to learn. He died on a military campaign, and the empire was divided among his sons and grandsons.

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(born Oct. 17, 1817, Delhi—died March 27, 1898, Aligarh, India) Indian educator and jurist. Born into a family of officials in the Mughal dynasty, he worked for the British East India Co. and held various judicial posts. He supported the British in the 1857 Indian Mutiny but criticized their errors in his influential pamphlet Causes of the Indian Revolt. His other works include Essays on the Life of Mohammed (1870) and commentaries on the Bible and Qurhamzahān. He founded schools at Muradabad and Ghazipur, established the Scientific Society, sought to strengthen the Muslim community through the reform journal Tahdhib al-Akhlaq, and was active in founding a Muslim college, the Anglo-Mohammedan Oriental College, in 1877 at Aligarh.

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Khan-Tuvan Dyggvi, according to Omeljan Pritsak, was the name of a Khazar khagan of the mid 830s. He led a rebellion (that of the Kabars) against the Khagan Bek. As this rebellion took place roughly contemporaneously with the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism, Pritsak and others have speculated that the rebellion had a religious aspect.

See also

Sources

  • Pritsak, Omeljan. The Origin of Rus'. Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991.

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