Udaipur to celebrate 50th Year of India's Biggest Social Revolution | More about Bohra Youth Reform


Udaipur to celebrate 50th Year of India's Biggest Social Revolution | More about Bohra Youth Reform

In the early 1970’s a group of young conscious members of the Dawoodi Bohra Community raised their voice against the social, economic and political exploitation under the guise of religion.  This reform agitation took the form of a revolution that began from Udaipur.
 
Udaipur to celebrate 50th Year of India's Biggest Social Revolution | More about Bohra Youth Reform
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Mass Rally at 1:30PM on 14 February to mark the beginning of the Celebrations

Launching the "Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award"

Book  and Calendar Launch - Dawoodi Bohra Reform Movement

 Bohra Youth Reform Movement is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this weekend.  The celebrations will be marked by the 16th All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference that is being held from 14-16 February.  The Bohra Youth Reform Movement is the biggest social revolution in the country and this is the 50th year of this movement, which began with the altercations between the Syedna’s administration and the members of Bohra Youth.  This altercation was an expression of freedom of expression by Bohra Youth while it was considered as defiance by the Syedna’s administration, which led to the social boycott of the members of Bohra Youth.

All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference is being organised under the joint auspices of Mumbai based Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community (CBDBC), Reformist Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat, Udaipur and Bohra Youth Association, Udaipur.  This All World Conference will be attended by members of the Reformist Dawoodi Bohra community from across India and will also have members representing the community platform across the globe, from United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Kenya, United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Oman (Muscat) and Qatar.

Mansoor Ali Orawala, the chief spokesperson of the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat, Udaipur informed media persons at the Press Conference today that this event marks the 50th anniversary of India's biggest social reform revolution.  Accordingly, the first day of the three day program, which will be held at Sukhadia Rangmanch (Townhall), Udaipur will have leading social and reform architects and activist from across India participating. Professor Apoorvanand will be Chief Guest on the first day of the event. Political commentator Professor Ram Puniyani will be the Special Guest at the event. Professor Ram Puniyani, is also a well known reform writer, activist and Director of Center for Study of Society and Secularism.

To ensure mass level preparations for this huge event, a team of 25 literrateurs, writers, educationists and human rights activists has been bought together as  part of the Welcome Committee.

Launching the "Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award"

Chief Coordinator of the All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference, Anees Miyaji said that the inaugural session of the 3 day event on 14 February will be held at Sukhadia Rangmanch (Townhall) and will begin at 3pm with the announcement of the first Dr Asghar Ali Engineer Lifetime Achievement Award.  The maiden recipient of the award will be well known litterateur KP Ramanunni.  Ramanunni is a well known novelist and short-story teller from Kerala. His first novel Sufi Paranja Katha won him the 1995 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. His work, Jeevithathinte Pusthakam won him the Vayalar Award in 2017 followed by Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 2017 for his book Daivathinte Pusthakam.

What is the Bohra Youth Reform Movement

  • In the early 1970’s a group of young conscious members of the Dawoodi Bohra Community raised their voice against the social economic and political exploitation under the guise of religion.  This reform agitation took the form of a revolution that began from Udaipur.
  • The intent of this revolution was not to touch upon the aspects of religion or culture, but to obtain freedom for members of the community from the social, economic and political exploitation they were facing from the administration of the Syedna.
  • The forced collection of money from members of the community in the name of religion (Sabeel, Fitra, Zakaat), non accountability of the funds collected, mandatory permission (RAZA) from the Syedna for taking up any task, be it naming a child, having a celebration or burying the dead and such other issues were raised by members of the Bohra Youth reform movement.  The intent was to remove the above restrictions and justify and account for the money collected.
  • The Kothar, which is the administrative body under the Syedna’s reign, declared a social boycott against members of the Bohra Youth Reform movement. Social Boycott was an evil weapon. Those under social boycott were not allowed to conduct or attend social and religious events, visit holy shrines, etc. Dawoodi Bohras were not allowed to marry into those who were socially boycotted, not allowed to have food with them, not allowed to talk to them.
  • At the time of death of any member of the Bohra Youth Reform movement, permission was not granted to bury the dead in the designated space.  With such social boycott, relations were torn apart, friendship was torn apart.  All this inhuman treatment is being borne by the members of the Bohra Youth movement to a large extent even today.
  • Bohra Youth Reform movement, over the last 50 years, has been striving to get justice. To get back their respect, their rightful democratic standing.  Efforts are nevertheless being made to crush this movement with use of brute force and money… however the movement is still standing strong.
  • Similar revolutions within the Dawoodi Bohra Society have sprung up many a time since the 19th century, but were crushed.  This movement, which began in 1970 is still holding its head high and on its right path with the support of its people and more soever, support from eminent people and organizations external to the society.

Book  and Calendar Launch - Dawoodi Bohra Reform Movement

Anees Miyaji also informed that two books on the Bohra Youth Reformist Revolution will be launched at the inaugural session.  One is penned by reformist writer and journalist Shauqat Ajmeri from Canada and the other written by Dr Zenab Banu from Udaipur.  A 50 year event calendar depicting the Bohra Youth Reform Movement in chronological order will also be launched on the occasion.

A short rally from Ashwani Bazaar to Sukhadiya Rangmanch at 1:30PM will mark the launch of the 50th year celebration.

Mushayra

The evening session post 7PM will host a Mushayra. Poets from across Udaipur and Rajasthan will be participating in the evening event, which will mark the closing of the first days session.

Day 2 and 3

On the second day, i.e. 15 February, a unique exhibition will be inaugurated at the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaatkhana in Bohrawadi. This exhibition will be depicting events across the 50 years of the reform movement, through pictures and photographs of the yesteryears.  This compilation has been a 4 month effort to consolidate and caption each photograph in whatever form it was available - crisp or soiled or torn.

The evening session on the second day will witness a dialogue between the members of the reform movement from across India and those who have come in to represent their respective groups from across the globe.  This dialogue will be held to allow each member to express the work accomplished across the last few decades in their respective regions.  Further, mutual coordination will be discussed along with strategizing the way forward for the reform movement.

A referendum will be presented on the final day of the All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference, in which the ongoing work along with the future plan of action and strategies for development of the Reform Movement will be discussed.  Along with issues at the society level, matters related to social, regional, communal problems across the city, state and nation will be discussed and resolutions will be passed.

The three day 50th year celebration will culminate on 16 February with the elections of the new executive of the Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community.

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