Bohra Reformist group in Udaipur, popularly known as Bohra Youth, today mourns the death of their most courageous and charismatic leader, Gulam Hussain Faizee.
Born on 30 June 1930, Gulam, Hussain (or Sahab, as he was lovingly called) was amongst the rare Bohras who completed graduate level academic education in that era. He began his career as Manager of the only cinema hall, Picture Palace, in Udaipur in 1950s. Motion pictures those days used to be the only source of entertainment and also a glamorous one. To be the Manager of an exhibition hall of movies made Gulam Hussian a known figure in the city and to some extent influential also.
His devotion to his job and loyalty to the owners of Picture Palace made him an indispensable colleague with the result that as the population of the city increased and more movie halls were added by the owners, their management too was given to Gulam Husain and at one stage he was group General manager. In recognition of his dedication to his profession he was awarded Dada Saheb Phalke Award for Exhibition in year 2012. He was popularly called Sahab, and remained so till he breathed his last today morning at 10.
It was this charismatic leadership, which resulted in a mass uprising against the exploitation of gullible people in the name of religion in the Dawoodi Bohra community of Udaipur. This mass uprising was the Bohra Youth Reform Movement. This is not the place or occasion to go in details about this, but suffices to say that residents of Udaipur, particulary those who in the 1970s and 80s witnessed frequent bloody clashes in Bohra localities. It was the reformists who were always on the receiving end. Residents of Udaipur in those times are witness to the fact that the reformists have paid a very heavy price for their emancipation from the clutches of exploitation.
It is pertinent to mention here that efforts for reforms in Bohra community had been going on from time to time for more than a century but they were suppressed. The one started by late Gulam Husain Faizee Sahib celebrated its Golden Jubilee in February this year and is still going strong.
In his chequered career, Gulam Hussain Sahib had been a member of Najami committee - Bohras local Jama'at managing committee, for many years during which he observed many drawbacks in administration and raised his voice for course correction. This resulted in the Bohra Reform Movement. In recognition of his community service, the then Bohra religious head late Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb (A.Q.) awarded him title of a Mulla.
He was also a Municipal Councilor at Udaipur, held the post of General Secretary of Dawoodi Bohra Jamat, Udaipur for more than two decades and was also Chairman of Central Board Of Dawoodi Bohra Community, Mumbai, the umbrella organization of reformist Bohras world wide. He was honoured for his contribution to cause of reforms in the 15th All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference in March 2017.
Credit goes to the departed leader for establishment of two public schools, one medical dispensary and medical relief society and also The Udaipur Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, Udaipur, which is a jewel on the crown of the Bohra Youth movement.
The Reformist Bohras Salute the departed soul in gratitude. May his Soul Rest in Peace!