A note on the peace march in Ahmedabad organized by Khudai Khitmatdar, an organization founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan:
The Gujarat unit of Khudai Khuidmatgar organized a “love, peace, harmony and trust” march on the occasion of 127th birth anniversary of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in Ahmedabad on February 6. The peace march started from Sabarmati Ashram and completed at Shree Jagannath Mandir. In this peace march, different people of different places of the country participated. Senior Gandhian Amrut Modi started the march after a peace prayer at Sabramti Ashram.
Khudai khidmatgar national convener Faisal Khan said, “On the 127th birthday of the founder of Khudai Khidmatgar, there could be no better tribute than spreading his message of love and trust among people and convince them that the real purpose of religion is peace.” He added, “We decided to start the march from Sabarmati Ashram because from here Mahatma Gandhi gave the call for peace and brotherhood”.
The Khudai Khitmatdar volunteers marched for around 7 km to Shree Jagannath Mandir in Jamalpur, because, it was this Mandir from where Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan fought against the menace of communalism, when the town was on fire in 1969, and created the example of peace.
Faisal Khan said, “These days in the name of religion and community there is a lot of hate mongering, and this has created mistrust and distanced us from each other. Due to these activities, there is lack of vision, and the worst affected are those at the bottom of the pyramid. The very soul of religion is wounded.”
Gujarat Lok Samiti leader Neeta Mahadev said, “The purpose of religion to promote humanity and the ideals of morality, honesty, friendship, compassion and service among its followers. Khudai Khidmatgar is an organisation with the ideology of promoting humanity and peace in the society”.
Vijay Tripathi of Indian Institute of Technology, Ahmedabad, said, “The need of the hour is that the core idea of religion should be propagated among more and more people. Mahatma Gandhi believed that all religions are branches of the same tree.”
Those who participated in the march included Khudai Khidmatgars Vijay Deshpande from Maharashtra, Hasnian Beg from Delhi, Balwant Yadav from Haryana Shabbir Hussain from Jammu and Kashmir, PhD Scholar Vijay Tripathi, and Dheemant Badhia from Imam Manzil.
Khudai Khidmatgar Gujarat volunteers included Ila ben, Sarfarz Mansoori, Kaleem Khan, Kayyoom Khan, Ahmedbad Eid Meeladun Nabi committee’s president Shaikh Hussain, Gujarat Vidyapeeth student Hardik Rawal and hundreds of other youths, activists, and Gandhians. All of them participated with full of enthusiasm and distributed thousands pamphlets of peace and harmony at Kocharb Ashram and Shree Jagannath Mandir. A public meeting was held at the end of the peace march with the participation of people from all communities. More than 200 people had lunch at Shree Jagannath Mandir, where the peace march successfully ended.
Route of the march was – Vadan Circle, Income Tax, Kochrab Ashram, Sardar Bridge, Phool Mandir, Gaykwad Haveli, Vasantrav-Rajab Samrak-Jamalpur and Shree Jagnnath Mandir.
Khudai Khidmatgars as an organisation promotes the ideology of humanity and peace in society. There is an increasing need to work out activities which motivate individuals and socially committed groups to address the rising challenges arising out of effort to see everything, including policies and politics, in the context of identity. This leads the society to misconceptions, creating an atmosphere of hate.
Khudai Khidmatgars, ever since they began their activities, focused on countering the increasing number of challenging conditions through constructive and creative action plan. They believe, lack of understanding and acceptance lead to disturbances in society, due to we are not able to concentrate on any forms of developmental activities in society. Instead of finding temporary solutions as reactionaries, there is a need to work with clear understanding to address problems of the younger generation, who are misguided by false propaganda.
On way to Shree Jagannath Mardir, the marchers halted at the Basant-Rajab Smarak, where the two youths laid down their lives for the sake of pursuing the path of truth and communal harmony. During the march, the participants reminded people that religion is meant to pull down the walls of hate, and not build walls between different sections, and that there is a need to spread the message of love. There is a need to find resolutions not by resorting to cruelty but by creating an atmosphere of forgiveness.
The purpose of religion is to promote humanity and the ideals of morality, honesty, friendship, compassion and service among its followers. But the problem is that we start harming others in the name of religion with communal agenda, using religion as a tool to propagate hate. Unfortunately, they misuse religion. They divide to rule Hindus and Muslims, almost in the same way as Britishers did.
The need of the hour is that the core idea of religion should be propagated among more and more people. Mahatma Gandhi believed that “all religions are branches of the same tree”. Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan said that “extremism takes us apart like the north and the south-pole from spirituality”. Tulsidas said, “There is no religion better and bigger than helping others.” Prophet Mohammad said, “True human is the one who benefits his fellow beings the most”.
During the march Khudai Khitmatdars interacted with people, connecting with the youth, distributing literature, organising prayer meetings etc. They tried to make people understand that “if we hate, it will beget more hatred, and we will sow as we reap”. So, it’s better that we open our eyes to peace before it’s too late. Let’s preserve the spirit of diversity which helped us and guided us in our struggle for Independence. Our heritage of diversity and tolerance is exemplary and is respected worldwide. Let’s preserve it and cherish it.