Research & Review: “History of Khaksar Movement in India”

Thoroughly research and written by Prof. Amalendu De


Inayatullah Khan, the founder of the Khaksar Movement in India, was born in an aristocratic Pathan family at Amritsar on 25 August, 1888. For several generations, this family was well known for its wealth and position. His forefathers held high posts under the Mughals and the Sikhs His grandfather was Diwan Kamal-ud-Din, while his father Khan Ata Muhammad Khan was a petition-writer of Amritsar. Khan Sahib was a pious and erudite theologian, keen on establishing harmonious relationships among different Islamic sects.
Imbibing this spirit in his childhood Inayatullah continued to show great devotion to Islam throughout his life. Starting his education in a highly disciplined family environment, he showed keenness in his studies. He had a brilliant academic career. He fared very creditably in different examinations in his student life and also showed skill in sport and games. In 1906 he stood first in the M.A. Examination in Mathematics with record marks in the Punjab University
In 1907 he went to England for higher studies and joined Christ College, Cambridge in October of the same year. From 1907 to 1912 he pursued his studies in England and qualified himself for the following: Foundation Scholar and First Class Prizeman (May, 1908). Mathematical Tripose (First Class Honors, May, 1909), A Wrangler (1909), Bachelor Scholar of Christ’s College and Prizeman (October, 1909) Natural Sciences Tripos (Physics and Geology, May, I911) oriental Languages Tripose (Arabic and Persian—First Class Hon May, 1911), Syed Mahmood Prizeman (October, 1911), Mechanical Sciences Tripos (Second Class Honors, May, 1912). He failed n the I.C.S. Examination owing to ill-health. His attainments were highly spoken of in the Westminster Gazette, Star, Yorkshire Post and other newspapers. A keen student of Politics and Literature, his contributions in these subjects were published in the columns of different papers in England. He also became a correspondent of the Empire Review. Further he was elected a member of International Congress of Orientalists.

After his return to his motherland in 1912 he received the offer of the post of a Minister from a Native State on a fat salary. But he did not accept it. He had a greater fascination for the teaching line. He spent most of his time from 1912 onwards in the N.W.F.P.
In April 1913 he was appointed Vice-Principal at Peshawar Islamia College, and officiated as Principal for several months in 1916, 1917 and 1921. For two years during 1917 to 1919 he was Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education, Health and Lands in the Government of India.
On 17 October, 1919 he was admitted to the Indian Educational Service and he remained a member of that service till his resignation on 16 October, 1932. For some time he also held the office of Director of Public Instruction in the N.W.F.P. While enjoying the membership of I.E.S. he served as Principal, Professor or Headmaster in such institutions as Peshawar Training College, Islamia College and Government High School, Peshawar. During this period he introduced the study of the Quran among the Muslim students of the Schools N.W.F.P. This enhanced his name and fame in the Muslim community.
Nevertheless his relation with the Government gradually became very strained. He was demoted to the post of Headmaster. The British Government charged him with addressing insubordinate communication in connection with certain supposed grievances relating to service matters addressed both to his immediate superior, the Director of Public Instruction, N.W.F.P. and Hon. Sir Fazl-i-Hussain, one of the prominent Ministers of the Punjab. For this impertinence the question of taking official action against him was contemplated.’ But this was not pursued because Government found Inayatullah in “unbalanced condition of mind”. He was, therefore, allowed “to take all the leave admissible to him under the rules” and was ultimately invalidated from the service. In 1930 he went on long leave preparatory to retirement with full pay. He was then holding the post of Headmaster, Government High School, Peshawar. Then finally he resigned from the post in October, 1932.
It was reported that at Peshawar he often met and, according to a modern scholar, “listened with attention to ardent Mawlawi Muhammad Muhsin Faruqi, Professor of Arabic in Islamiyah College and one of Jamal-al-Din al-Afghani’s few disciples in India.

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