The Institute of General Semantics
New York Society for General Semantics
are Proud to Present a Screening of
The Frontier Gandhi:
Badshah Khan, A Torch for Peace
A Film by TC McLuhan
Tuesday, April 25th, 2023
The screening will be free and open to the public, but registration is required.
Filmmaker, author, and IGS Fellow TC (Teri) McLuhan will be present to introduce and answer questions about the documentary.
“a powerful work”—Time-Out magazine
“magnificent in all ways”—The Morning Paper, Reykjavik, Iceland
“As a sweeping narrative of a charismatic pilgrim’s progress, McLuhan’s film, The Frontier Gandhi, has both actual history and certain qualities in common with Richard Attenborough’s 1982 epic film Gandhi, in which Badshah Khan plays a role.”—Los Angeles Times
“a hugely inspiring film”—Toronto Sun
Twenty-one years in the making, THE FRONTIER GANDHI: BADSHAH KHAN, A TORCH FOR PEACE (an award-winning feature length documentary—92 minutes) launches into orbit the epic story of a remarkable Muslim peacemaker born into Pashtun warrior society of the strategic North-West Frontier Province of the Indian subcontinent—now Pakistan’s frontier region Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Pronounced “a miracle” by Mahatma Gandhi, Badshah Khan (1890-1988) raised a 100,000 strong nonviolent army of men, women, and young people—the Khudai Khidmatgars, or servants of God—drawn from the multi-ethnic traditions of Afghanistan and India. Muslims, as well as Hindus, Christians, Parsees, Sikhs, and Buddhists came together in the cause of peace, social justice, religious tolerance, and human dignity for all.
In partnership with Mahatma Gandhi, the 6’5” charismatic Khan (also known as Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan) led a nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in the first half of the 20th century. He openly championed women’s rights and spoke of the inherent compatibility of Islam with nonviolence. He challenged his own highly volatile culture to change its vengeful ways and to turn to the spiritual and moral strength of nonviolence. He opened schools, fought for the social improvement of the least fortunate, and was unceasing in his compassionate embrace of the poor.
Nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize, Badshah Khan’s improbable life and legacy remain little known. He died in 1988 at the age of 98 having spent nearly 35 years in solitary confinement for his efforts to humanize humanity.
Filmed in Afghanistan, Khyber Pass, Pakistan, India, United States, and Canada, the film includes rare historical footage, surprisingly candid interviews with world leaders, testimony from 63 of Badshah Khan’s nonviolent warriors—most beyond the age of 100 years—and a score by acclaimed world music pioneer David Amram. Legendary Indian actor, Om Puri, brings alive the thoughts and writings of Badshah Khan.
Badshah Khan’s example and legacy advance a greater, broader, and inspired understanding of what is currently perceived as Muslim, Pashtun, and Afghan. His heroic life offers a profound message of hope for these increasingly troubled times.
Registration is free. All attendees must be registered in order to gain admittance to the club. This includes any guests you might want to bring with you.
The program will take place in the Great Hall on the 1st floor of the club. Please note that, as an historic 19th century landmark, the site is not handicap accessible. Dress code is business casual and is strictly enforced, including no sneakers, shorts, ripped jeans, t-shirts).