The Khaksar Tehrik (Urdu: تحریکِ خاکسار ) was a social movement based in Lahore, British India, established by Allama Mashriqi in 1930 to free India from foreign rule, to uplift the masses, and to revive the Muslims, who had previously ruled parts of India at different times during a period spanning nearly a thousand years. Although Mashriqi firmly believed that the right to rule India belonged to the Muslims, at the same time, he wanted to create an environment of fairness, justice, and equal rights for non-Muslims as well. For this reason, non-Muslims were allowed to join the Tahrik keeping it free from prejudice against any person, regardless of his/her caste, color, creed. The word "Khaksar" is derived from the Persian language, Khak means dust, and Sar means life, roughly translated as "a humble person."
The Khaksar Tehrik worked under a charter that everyone was required to follow, with no exceptions. The charter was created to ensure all were treated fairly; even Allama Mashriqi, founder and leader of the Tehrik, was held accountable for his actions. The Tehrik was also kept free of any membership fee. All Khaksars were required to bear their own expenses and donate their time. The purpose was to develop the spirit of self-reliance and encourag the Khaksars to spend their own money and time for the national cause.
Attire and Spade
The Khaksars all wore the same khaki attire with the word "Ukhuwwat" (brotherhood) written on the sleeve of their shirts. In their hands, they carried a belcha (spade). The attire was chosen specifically, the Khaki color of their clothing was chosen because it is closest to the color of the Earth. 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. Most importantly, the Khaki attire and spade was designed to remove the barrier between the rich and the poor. This dress code was created to bring equality among all members of the Khaskars regardless of their economic or social background.
Goals and Functions
- Reform the nation by laying emphasis on character building.
- Remove sectarianism and prejudices and bring brotherhood and unity to the people.
- Impart the spirit of sacrifice for the national cause.
- Make community service an integral part of every Khaksar. Every Khaksar was required to perform community service for Muslims as well as non-Muslims. The community service included helping the poor, elderly, sick, needy, etc. Khaksars were also required to help keep their respective neighborhoods clean. In the event of a national calamity or disaster, Khaksars were required to render all services to help the affected people. Social service created brotherhood and a spirit of nation building among the Khaksars and set an example for others to follow. The gathering of Khaksars every evening brought them together and gave them a sense of achievement and pride because they were performing a collective duty towards the national cause.
- Remove distinction between the rich and the poor. Every Khaksar was required to wear Khaki clothes in order to bring equality and a sense of belonging to the Tehrik.
- Impart discipline in every Khaksar.
- Impart soldierly and disciplined training in order to ensure the physical and mental health.
- Produce leaders. To achieve this, a system of ranks was introduced to the Tehrik.
- Achieve freedom.
- Finally, bring peace and unite humanity by creating love among the people.
Mashriqi worked to achieve the goals that he had set forth for the Khaksar Tehrik. The ideals of the Tehrik combined with Mashriqi’s speeches and writings soon attracted a following, predominantly Muslims. These people came from all walks of life and from every part of the Indian sub-continent. By the late 1930s, the Movement was at its peak and had not only through-out India, but had established offices in other countries as well. Mashriqi’s followers, supporters, and sympathizers were now well into the millions.
The membership of the Khaksar Tehreek was over 4 million. In 1942, The Eastern Times
“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 showed their inclination towards this 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 02, 1942.
Allama Mashriqi disbanded the Khaksar Tehrik on July 4th, 1947.
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.
His grandson, Mr.Nasim Yousaf, has authored several books. His works include:
- Allama Mashriqi & Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan: Two Legends of Pakistan ISBN 1-4010-9097-4
- Pakistan's Freedom and Allama Mashriqi: Statements, Letters, Chronology of Khaksar Tehrik (Movement), Period: Mashriqi's Birth to 1947 ISBN 0-9760333-4-8
- Pakistan's Birth & Allama Mashraqi: Chronology & Statements, Period: 1947- 1963 ISBN 0-9760333-0-5
The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C.
In 1945, Allama Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi, founder of the Khaksar Tehreek, published "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C." Also known as the Mashriqi Constitution or Khaksar Constitution, the document was created in order to prevent the partition of India.
- "The Constitution of Free India, 1946 A.C
- Paper at New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS),October 26-27, 2007:"Freedom of British India through the Lens of the Khaskar Movement"
- Slide show presented at New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS),October 26-27, 2007: "Khaksar Movement in Pictures" (powerpoint)
- "Behind the 1940-41 Ban on the Khaksar Tehrik"
- "The Khaksar Martyrs of March 19,1940"
- "Pakistan Resolution and the Massacre of the Khaksars
- "The Khaksar Tehrik
Books by other authors include:
- Syed Shabbir Hussain, Al-Mashriqi: The Disowned Genius.
- Khaksar Sher Zaman, Khaksar Tehrik Ki Jiddo Juhad Vols 1-3.
- Muhammad Azmatullah Bhatti, Al-Mashraqi
- Rasheed Nisar, Al-Mashriqi
- Muhammad Ali Faraq, Angrez Sir Sikandar aur Khaksar Tehreek