Gandhi Heritage Sites - Writeups

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Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki’s Dargah, Mehrauli

Connection with Gandhiji 
Gandhiji visited the Dargah on January 27, 1948—just three days before his assassination.

Gandhiji reached Delhi on September 9, 1947, and stayed at Birla House. Delhi was in the grip of communal violence. Gandhiji started daily evening prayer meetings. He also went to meet the refugees at several places. Gandhiji visited the Urs (fair) organized at Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki’s Dargah in Mehrauli on January 27, 1948. Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki was a 12th-century Sufi saint and disciple of Hazrat Moinuddin Chishti.

The Visit 
• Gandhiji and his aides visited the Dargah in the morning at 10. They returned at 12.
• Manubehn Gandhi, who accompanied Gandhiji, wrote, ‘The marble panels of lattice-work in Moti Masjid have been destroyed. We read the verse from the Koran which is inscribed near the tomb.’
• Gandhiji delivered a short speech saying ‘I never knew that I shall be called upon to speak here.’ He requested all the Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims who have come there in a spirit of friendship’… ‘to resolve in this holy place not to fight among themselves….We may well live separately but all we are the leaves of the same tree.’
• Mentioning a massacre of Hindus at Frontier Province, Gandhiji said, ‘we should keep our hearts pure and remember that those who have been killed cannot come to life again. Therefore, when we send letters to our friends there, we should write to them that we will not take revenge for this by killing anyone but we will love you with pure hearts. India will be secure only when we realize this…’
• At the evening prayer meeting, Gandhiji talked about his visit to the Dargah. Calling it ‘ancient’ and ‘second only to Ajmer shrine’, Gandhiji criticized the damage done to the marble carving and inlay work of the structure. He called it ‘sheer vandalism’ and asked, ‘Have we fallen so low that we should violate and desecrate a tomb of a saint on which thousand of rupees had been spent?’
• ‘I cannot go into the account that says that what happened in Pakistan was ten times worse.’ said Gandhiji, ‘To me, it is a shameful thing. If the whole world indulges in shameful acts does it meant that we should do the same?’
• Gandhiji said the Dargah was ‘associated with the name of a saint in whose eyes Hindus and Muslims were all equal…We should have respect for such men of God and should not be guided by what happens in Pakistan.’


Site Address/Contact Details
Dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in Mehrauli, Delhi.
Qutub sahab dargah kasai wada Mehrauli,
Delhi - 110 030