The President of the United States of America
Mr. Barack Hussein Obama II
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Mr. President Sir,
I am compelled to write to you after having just re read Chris Hedges “War is a force that gives us meaning”…ironically on October 02, 2010, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Apparently you will be visiting India in November, a country that is your ally in Afghanistan. Maybe this is the opportune time to delve into the history of Afghanistan to recount the life and works of the great Afghan leader, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,
founder of the Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) who is also known as Sarhaddi Gandhi (Frontier Gandhi) for his emphasis on non-violence as the sole means to an end. He was a close friend and supporter of Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. Khan Sahib was against the partition of India and when the Congress accepted the division of India he told them, “You have thrown us to the wolves.”
The Frontier Gandhi always believed in his non-violent methods and never doubted its compatibility with Islam. He viewed his struggle as a jihad with only the enemy holding Arms! When upheavals occurred within his country he said, “O Pathans! Your house has fallen into ruin. Arise and rebuild it, and remember to what race you belong”.
Unfortunately we misuse history to perpetuate hatred through selective recall of facts. From kindergarten through our adult life we are taught a distorted version of history often written with an agenda which has been to subvert the truth/society. The State of Afghanistan is a classic example and in particular the works of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan – overlooked, forgotten or deliberately mislaid by hostile parties engaged in never ending religious genocide.
On your visit to India remind the world, particularly the violent elements in Afghanistan of the friendship between two great leaders of non violence – Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Mahatma Gandhi – and its relevance in this highly polarized world of religious fanaticism.
I leave you with these words from Khan Sahib, the Frontier Gandhi, devout Muslim and highly respected Afghan leader –
“Today’s world is traveling in some strange direction. You see that the world is going forward toward destruction and violence. And the specialty of violence is to create hatred among people and to create fear. I am a believer in non violence and I say that no peace or tranquility will descend upon the people of the world until non violence is practiced, because non violence is love and it stirs courage in people”.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om