All is not well with our community
We are Ismaili Fatimid Mustalian Tayyebi Dawoodi Bohras, a sect of Shia Islam. We accept the succession of Imams up to Imam Tayyeb and his progeny, and the line of Tayyebi Dais starting from Syedna Zoeb bin Moosa to the rightful successor to the 52nd Dai Sayedna Mohammed Burhanuddin.
We are Dawoodi Bohras, and are referred to as reformists or progressives because of our struggle to bring social reforms in the community. We accept the religious authority and status of the Dai. What we challenge is the elaborate system of control and coercion that has developed in the institution of Dawat. In common parlance this bureaucracy of the priestly class is called the Kothar. Over the years the Kothar has assumed draconian powers, taxing and controlling Bohras from womb to tomb.
We challenge the illegitimate and un-Islamic conduct of the Kothar which supposedly rules in the name of the Dai. Our struggle is rooted in the Islamic ideals of justice and accountability, and it is our conviction that there's more to being a Dawoodi Bohra than most of us have been led to believe. Our aim is not merely to lay bare the corruption of the priesthood but also to remind ourselves of what our true heritage is and how it is being destroyed.
However, it's not just our history, our religion and our way of life that's under attack. Common people and common resources everywhere are daily being laid waste by big corporations, self-centered ruling classes and obscurantist despots.
Our world is beset with problems, problems that are as intractable as they are complex and overwhelming. But then, where there's cruelty and unreason there's also compassion and intellect. And, not to forget that the human spirit, untamed by centuries of oppression, is always our steadfast ally. It's not for nothing that people continue to fight for their rights in the face of tremendous odds and at the cost of unimaginable personal sacrifice.
We are of the belief that though our struggle in the Bohra context is unique in many ways, it is yet intertwined with other peoples' struggle for peace, justice and dignity. Only by relating to larger struggles around us and by renewing our commitment to our shared ideals we can hope to bring justice and equity in our community and in the world at large.