Sunday, 25 December 2016

The Pathan courage

It was the Satyagraha movement on the North-West frontier when Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, called as the Frontier Gandhi, was leading it. On the previous night of Satyagraha, he was arrested. Next day, one thousand Pathans stood to offer Satyagraha.

Since Pathans belonging to the 'militant race' were to offer Satyagraha, the British did not send the Police to control the situation arising out of Satyagraha. They sent the Garhwal regiment of the Army. And when that regiment reached the spot of Satyagraha, the Captain of the regiment, an Englishman, gave orders to the Pathans to disperse within 10 minutes. No Pathan dispersed. Again he said: "I give you 15 minutes more." They did not disperse. And then he said: "Within 5 minutes I will open fire." The Pathans bared their chests and said: "Captain, we are prepared to be fired upon. Open fire. Fire as many bullets as you want. Let us see whether our chest with the urge for freedom is powerful or your bullets." 

After 10 minutes, the Captain ordered: "Fire" However, men from the Garhwal regiment did not fire bullets on Satyagrahis. They threw down their rifles. Captain said: "You will be court-martialled. You may be hanged. You might be sentenced to life imprisonment." They told the Captain: "Whether you kill us or imprison us, we have seen the sublime courage of these Pathans. Those who gave us military training, taught us how to fire at those who had guns and rifles in their hands. They have not taught us to fire at unarmed patriots."

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