Heritage Times

Exploring lesser known History


Khuda Bakhsh, Hindu Muslim unity & cow protection movement

The biggest achievement of Khuda Baksh was creating a public library from the precious collections of his father and making his own valuable collection of books, which was later named as “Oriental Public Library”.

He started constructing a separate special building for the library, which was completed in two years. The library was inaugurated by the Lieutenant Governor of Bangal Sir Charles Elliot in 1891. At that time it was having around 4000 hand written books in the library.

Religion, Khuda Bakhsh thought, was a matter between man and his God, and a thing too sacred and too holy to be dragged into the details of life.

On more than one occasion he allayed passions and smoothed difficulties between Hindus and Mohammedans, and in 1893 he took a prominent part in bringing that hateful cow-killing question—the fruitful sources of so many disturbances in India—to a happy and peaceful settlement.

It was on that occasion that Sir Antony Macdonell, the then Lieutenant-Governor, addressed to him a letter, a copy of which I give below :—

August 7th, 1893

I thank you for your letter of the 3rd instant, and for the valued and loyal promise of your assistance in removing the feelings of irritation which here and there have arisen between Mohammedans and Hindus in connection with the slaughter of Cows.

I think that there has been some misappropriation of the meaning of the Maharajah of Durbhanga. His wishes and object, he assures me, was not to make any imputations, which, in the circumstances in which he spoke, would be altogether out of place, but to indicate the points on which friction might possibly occur between Hindus and Mohammedans, and so, by anticipation, to gaurd against its occurrence.

This explanation will, I am sure, be accepted by Mohammedans and others in the conciliatory spirit in which it has been offered to me. Please convey to your many Mohammedan friends my best thanks for the marked courtesy and friendliness with which they received me at Patna, and believe me to be.

Yours sincerely,

Share this Post on :