Board Lurching Towards Oblivion?

The one and only free public forum for Bohras. The focus of this forum is the reform movement, the Dawoodi Bohra faith and, of course, the corrupt priesthood. But the discussion is in no way restricted to the Bohras alone.
Biradar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

Board Lurching Towards Oblivion?

#1

Unread post by Biradar » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:01 pm

It is obvious to anyone visiting this board that there is very little activity here. Hardly 2-3 posts are made a day, and most are either flippant comments, Whatsup messages or old stories reposted by GM. I wonder if this board is lurching towards oblivion? I mean, the archives of the message board go back a long way and are very important, but nothing new is happening.

I have been a member of this board for a very long time, perviously under another ID. I was reading even before the board adopted this BBB format. We had a lot of active discussions, between people radically opposed to each other, but willing to argue, sometimes acrimoniously. For example, Humsafar, anajmi, Muslim First, Kalim, porous, AZ, GM, SBM, OZ, etc. and some Ismailis, a few atheists and agnostics would argue endlessly about various things, including bohra doctrine, current affairs, science, and even economic theory!

Yet, now none of the seasoned members participate (and perhaps don't even visit) and the newer members seem either uneducated or unable to carry out a sustained intelligent conversation. The quality of posters has significantly declined, as most old-timers will agree, and the only time people write is when they want to make fun or share social media messages. Perhaps social media has dumbed-down people to such an extent that besides jokes and quick posts one is unable to think carefully and in a sustained manner any longer.

However, the need for change is never more urgent. Under the raj of Muffadul Saiffudin there is nothing but regression, fanaticism, misogyny and anti-intellectualism. The FD movement has also brought forward a new alternative which did not exist a few years ago. Yet, the enthusiasm seems low. Perhaps this is a natural way a reform movement dies: out of boredom and lack of enthusiasm. Many events seem in the distant past and there are no dynamic reformists left. So perhaps the lack of participation here is natural.

Its also true that most educated bohras are feeling cynical, and do things because they think they need to, or their parents and family expects it. Hence, they neither are interested or have knowledge of doctrines, history or philosophy, even outside of their inherited culture, to be able to hold meaningful conversations.

What do others think? Is this a slow heat-death, a bleeding out of the forums? Or is there something we can do to revive the board and the old enthusiasm and passion? I mean, I had more fun even arguing acrimoniously with my arch-"buddy" anjami than I have reading the low-quality stuff most people post here now! How do we change this?



Michigan
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:42 am

#2

Unread post by Michigan » Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:14 pm

I think this has more to do with how people gather information these days than anything else. Nobody has the patience to check resources and read sticky posts, much less participate in prolonged discussions on a forum. Forums in general are waning, even some of the hobby forums I'm a part of have died out due to folks moving on to facebook as a medium to get quick answers, although it is a terrible option for knowledge management. How many 30-50 yo bohra folks are aware about forums, let alone participate in them. The survival of a discussion relies on evolving. People spend more time on their phones than anything else. Admins/moderators/senior participants should seriously consider adopting another form of media as a platform.Sure you will get a lot of noise to begin with, but it can be used effectively.



AgnosticIndian
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:10 am

#3

Unread post by AgnosticIndian » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:14 pm

Facebook, twitter and whatsapp groups have taken over. Bohras are not so much on twitter but on Facebook.

People are also moving to digital publications like The Quint, Scroll.in, The Wire etc. Aarefa Johari who is part of the group Sahiyo fighting against FGM, writes in Scroll.in.

What's @Admin can do is open up the front page to anyone who wants to write an op-Ed on various topics. Or may be invite submissions and post it himself after checking contents.

In general, forums across the world are seeing dip in posting. A board with focus on just Bohras obviously will see a dip.



Biradar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#4

Unread post by Biradar » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:41 pm

The issue with Facebook and Whatsapp is that they do not encourage any sort of carefully thinking. These are platforms which essentially ensure conformity by reshares and likes. Very few people on FB, for example, try to rock the boat as it can lead to un-friending and fewer likes. Its a strange thing, but a platform which allows one to express oneself freely and from anywhere actually promotes a type of homogeneity and conformity of thought that is unthinkable otherwise. For bohras in particular, openly saying something negative about the kothar on FB could be pretty dangerous.

So, the bottom line seems to be that there is a general dumbing-down of society and to get the next "high" from being "liked" one seeks to conform with the majority view in one's friend circle. Further, these social platforms encourage short-form posts, which means no need to think carefully, only platitudes are enough.

In any case, perhaps its time to wrap up this board and move on. As I have said many times before, even the reform movement (not just this board) is probably in its last legs and it seems that the movement for liberalization of bohris is pretty much defeated.



ghulam muhammed
Posts: 11653
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:34 pm

#5

Unread post by ghulam muhammed » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:54 pm

I totally agree with Biradar that this board is slowly lurching towards oblivion as there are negligible meaningful debates and discussions which were there in the past. The visitors and members on this site are mostly looking for Bohra issues although there are many interesting topics in 'Islam Today' and 'Here and Now' columns which are very relevant in the present times. There are no responses/comments on burning issues like Uniform civil code, Triple Talaq and the atrocities committed in the Muslim world although this should take center stage considering the fact that we as Bohras are also a part of the Ummah and this could also effect us directly or indirectly. I have tried my best to post some interesting articles on various subjects some of which are eyeopeners but Bohras are way too busy in their own world of mikaats, majlis darees, sitabis and qadambosis and don't have the incilination to study the same and give opinions. Even healthy criticism is welcome but that too is missing.

The Bohra world at present is divided between two factions and majority of members are anti-Muffy (rightly so) due to which there remains no scope for debate as pro-Muffy members have almost vanished as they are unable to defend their master, hence, there is no 'Debate' or counter arguments. Visitors on this site are mostly looking for scoops in the Bohra world and are hardly interested in any other subjects.

We need active participants like before such as Porus, Insaf, Humsafar, AZ, Hussain_ksa, anajmi, fayyaz, Adam, Progticide who kept the board alive and ticking.



juzer esmail
Posts: 46
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:24 am

#6

Unread post by juzer esmail » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:00 am

The simple reason is that all of the discussion has been shifted to WhatsApp groups namely Bohras for Change and Malumaat. These both groups have very diverse, professional and dedicated members. Also they conduct group meetings so they can't be termed just WhatsApp groups.



DisillusionedDB
Posts: 379
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:20 am

#7

Unread post by DisillusionedDB » Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:59 am

ghulam muhammed wrote:I totally agree with Biradar that this board is slowly lurching towards oblivion as there are negligible meaningful debates and discussions
Another valid reason could be that whenever an intelligent discussion is initiated, it, very quickly, degenerates into a mud-slinging verbal duel. And eventually the topic veers off so much that people just lose interest.



Biradar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#8

Unread post by Biradar » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:50 pm

juzer esmail wrote:The simple reason is that all of the discussion has been shifted to WhatsApp groups namely Bohras for Change and Malumaat. These both groups have very diverse, professional and dedicated members. Also they conduct group meetings so they can't be termed just WhatsApp groups.
Perhaps you are correct. However, I personally do not think Whatsapp is the correct place for reasoned debate. Its hard to write a 200 word, leave alone a 1000 word post or article, and reason carefully. Basically, its what I said: the dumbing down due to social media has caused significant loss of mental capacity to hold a sustained and reasoned conversation. Sad, really.

Incidentally, there is a very interesting recent book called "The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains" which describes this phenomena. In essence, the nature of social media, i.e. short-form posts, instant gratification and "likes", lead to a change in brain structure, reducing our capacity to think in a sustained and careful manner. Homogenization of ideas, reduction of long-form reading and writing are some of the negative effects. Yes, there is more information available at our fingertips, but it almost never leads to better understanding or deeper comprehension of the world. Quite the opposite: people addicted to social media tend to even think in 140 characters, having lost the ability to digest difficult arguments. This is a serious problem.

Interestingly, H. G. Wells had predicted that a general degeneration would occur when things were available in abundance. In his book "The Time Machine" he describes a far future in which humans have become indolent, even loosing the ability of language because life has become too easy for them. There are museums which gather dust and no one ever goes there, and even physical stature has diminished. Its pretty clear that with increasing abundance and the pressure of social media, we are heading into a situation in which our brains are unable to process complex and sustained arguments.

Anyway, it saddens me that this forum is dying a slow heat death. Perhaps its inevitable that something like this would occur, but, still, its a sad situation.



Humsafar
Posts: 2497
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

#9

Unread post by Humsafar » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:40 pm

Thanks Biradar for bringing up this subject. I'm guilty of not participating as much as I would like to, but not because I'm bogged down into social media :-). Have been really busy, but I do pop in every day and am occasionally provoked to give my two cents. But surely I do miss the old days when we used to discuss things at length.

Is this Forum lurching toward oblivion? I hope not. But for reasons you and others have indicated, long-form reading and serious, sustained discussion is definitely falling out of favour. The examples you gave of the books are so true. Not only has life generally become easy for everyone but particularly so for abdes. It seems to me that with the advent of Mufaddal they have become more fanatical and wild (perhaps as a reaction to the Qutbi challenge). The defenders of the corrupt Dawat like Adam, Profastian and others have also disappeared, either because they are too embarrassed to defend their master or are concentrating their energies on Qutbis.

Among all the culprits I think it's WhatsApp is the worst, it has consumed people's attention and time with useless jokes and cliched wisdom. It's true that forums as a medium of engagement is of little relevance now with the onslaught of instant messaging. But the beauty of this Forum is that it offers anonymity which no other social media channel offers, except perhaps Twitter but with its 140-character limit it is pretty useless for our purpose.

Over the years I've noticed the ebb and flow of participation here, it peaks when Bohras are in the news or when some scandal happens. Maybe it is one of the down phases. Or maybe not. In any case, I would like this Forum to perk up a little bit. It surely still has a role to play, and is still the only open and public forum to discuss Bohra issues. For nearly 20 years it has kept the flag of protest and reform flying, has helped many people see the light, has been a thorn on the side of mafia clergy. It would be sad to see it go down like this, and it must come as such sweet music to the mafia clergy. We shouldn't allow that to happen. If anyone has ideas how we can revive and re-energize things here please share them.

Thanks Biradar once again for waking us up.



anajmi
Posts: 13402
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

#10

Unread post by anajmi » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:54 pm

Thank you Biradar for opening this thread. The reason I haven't been participating is far more mundane. Been replying to idiotic posts by someone who calls himself "Greatest I am" cause he probably knows just 3 other people.

But more recently, I have been using my phone to post. And for some reason, I cannot login to this website from the phone anymore. I am allowed to read, but after I put in my login id and password, nothing happens. It keeps asking me for the same. So I just gave up. Also, I used to work from home for the past 5 years but since last year, I have to go to office. So I do not get as much time as I used to before.

And I am not a fan of facebook or twitter. Have been on either for a total of probably 2 hours in the last one year, if that. But whatsapp is a different story. I love reading the wife jokes on whatsapp. There's like 3 jokes that keep coming over and over again and I laugh everytime. Man, whatsapp is so much fun.



asad
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:54 am

#11

Unread post by asad » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:54 am

A lot of old timers have stopped posting as they dont find it worth the effort anymore. The way Mufaddalis are going this community is already doomed so why waste energy. And few Old timers are really old in literal sense so they are not that active anymore.

Number of people who have stopped going to Majlises or have reduced their attendance is increasing due to behavior of Mufaddal saheb and his cohorts. So if MS is doing our job not much remains for us to do.



humanbeing
Posts: 2195
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:30 am

#12

Unread post by humanbeing » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:15 am

many members who came to this site as abdes and left as free thinkers have distanced themselves from the circus emotionally and physically, so now they may not have much news and disgust to share.

Few kothari agents who resided on this site to fight a valiant defense in service of their corrupt master realized their master is not only corrupt but incredibly stupid to be defended.

Old timers have exhausted points of debate and new readers refer to old threads for entertaining read. mostly kothar is now a butt of joke or source of entertainment in watsapp, FB circles.



Mkenya
Posts: 357
Joined: Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:16 am

#13

Unread post by Mkenya » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:32 pm

Thanks Biradar and others. This Board is in ICU and no amount of intervention will revive its past glory when posts generated meaningful debates and provoked the status quo. One may blame cyber overload, but the fact remains that the Board is on its death bed.



Admin
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 5:01 am

#14

Unread post by Admin » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:01 pm

Thank you for bringing up this topic. No doubt the participation on the Forum is declining and as Admin it is a cause of concern for us. We feel that all those who are still committed to reform and are still enraged by the corrupt clergy would find this Forum useful and of value. Maybe all the pessimism sounded above is apparently true but we feel it might be a little premature. The traffic to the Forum in the past two years has actually increased, although the engagement in terms of posts might have declined. Please see attached Google Analytics comparison.

We have spent almost two decades nurturing this Forum and website, and it did break a new path and has been playing a crucial role bringing knowledge and awareness to a countless number of people. Many have found light here, and many others new friends (and virtual foes). It is the only place where Bohras can bare their hearts and speak their minds. Surely, the glory days of old may have gone forever, that is the nature of things, but we feel the Forum still has a place in the Bohra universe. Although it has little to offer in competition with the Social Media but the need for debate and discussion will always be there. People will soon tire of WhatsApp and the like, these tool are incapable of sustaining an intelligent thought. For thoughtful debate they would need platforms where they can talk freely. As pointed out above, it offers anonymity and freedom which is absent in Social Media.

We do not want to be delusional or want to hold out false hope. We realize that times are achanging but not all is lost. We feel that the Forum still has its relevance. The old glory cannot be revived but singing its swan song already is also unwarranted. We would appeal to regular members and old timers to make the time and effort to participate here more frequently. Your ideas/suggestions on how we can together liven up things would be most welcome. The negative sentiment -- and dramatic metaphors like the ICU etc. -- is not very helpful. Negative thoughts leads to negative action. Please let us not get sucked into this negative feedback loop. Looking at the state of our community, things have only worsened and we need to do more rather than less. We should be more active than before. Please pause for a moment and think about it. Thank you for your continued participation and support.
Attachments
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trvoice
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:11 pm

#15

Unread post by trvoice » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:44 am

Being a long time lurker, honestly instead of meaningful conversation. All I see is mudslinging, name calling, berating each other, or eventually coming down to shai, sunnhi, wahabi BS.

What I would like to see and look forward to is meaningful conversations. Bring forward intellectual conversation, tell me how this community has progressed and helped each other out or held hands and brought each member/family to a better standard of living.

Do not tell me what SMS/kothar/dawat has done cause its clearly not a single penny out of their pocket and they totally steal the credit for individuals achievement depriving them of their deserved recognition, its all people funded and prove me wrong otherwise.



think
Posts: 1800
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:15 am

#16

Unread post by think » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:15 pm

Regardless of not so popular participation , this forum through its members achieved a lightening for the not so educated. It has aroused in them the guts to question the "why". This questioning means that the ordinary bohra has started thinking instead of just swallowing what ever the big mullaji feeds them. Creating this thinking environment is in itself a milestone. If this achievement took 20 years then thumbs up . It took the Rasool 45 years and Moosa nabi more than that to clear the brainwashed minds of idol worshipers that there was only one and one Allah.



SBM
Posts: 6179
Joined: Sun May 09, 2004 4:01 am

#17

Unread post by SBM » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:26 pm

Salaam

Yes this forum is not as active as before, We miss postings from people like K Hussain, Porus, Zinger and many others specially from the female participants like MMH, Saminaben and many others. Br Oz and AZ had created a cult like environment for a while with FGM and Deep throat sensation while Biradar and Anajmi providing very in-depth dialogue (sometimes name calling) but intresting.
Lately there is no perk on this forum.
I have been in touch with many on this forum through their private emails and get to know many of them thru this forum but lately I have
diverted my attention from Bohras to Ummah in general and many who know me are aware of my activities. I think I am making better use of my time helping others rather then changing minds of people who are now brain dead.
I hope some interesting topic will revive the enthusiasm back



Ozdundee
Posts: 837
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:57 am

#18

Unread post by Ozdundee » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:25 am

I see that this board . done it's role and should be congratulated. It's history produced great disruptors like GM with his photo scandals, AZ , SBM , SI,, hunting exposes, challenging all rituals and Bohra ideology, FGM , giving the grassroots a platform to vent their frustration.

This forum exposed the dirty corrupt practises, I myself was influenced by what i read here to be resolute in my mission . Though now I no longer consider myself Dawoodi.And hence my rare visits.It is because of this forum as pioneer in allowing people to doubt Kothar. Authorities around the world from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran , UK, USA, Australia, Malaysia, India , Jordan, Canada, Sweden , Norway, UN, Guardian media , NGO have recorded incidents from this site. It may seem we may have not overthrown the Kothar but Kothar are no longer powerful.

This site as a powerful tool of reform have not revolutionised the community but has managed to fracture and weaken the foundation.

It is only that technology has made blogging generally irrelevant across the world with advent of Facebook, What's app, and kids have smartchat. The problem with Facebook is one cannot remain anonymous, because of the intolerance of Kothar and ortho mentality, yet rest of world has courage to discuss more serious issues openly on Facebook.

it's low viewership is because no scandal is any longer a surprise.or shocking. The enlightened have left the ortdoxy and are only socially Bohra. The minority ortdoxy that you see following sms around the world are not more than 20% are willfully fanatic proves critual mas for milking. Majority don't care who is sayedna or what he says, they ate happy to pay a small price to be in association , they are not devout just superficial. the minority far left like us don't matter and don't care,

In saying that STF or reformists failed to create a strategy to cause a mass revolution, they did not offer much to differentiate, they will only grow organically , should have learnt from Modi and trump or Obama . have a message that is so audacious and different that people get curious, not just a small change or minor change. But I believe that with window of opportunity has passed.

There is an option for Admin to change the editorial principle and be more contravertial, more shocking as print media have decided to attract readership. By the way 2016 peak coincidentally was the same time FGM case was in progress ! The decline also was when ITS locked down and photos of SMS on his loots became rare.

So overall the glass is half full or half empty.

In parting we can say it will go into oblivion with pride and has served the audience well. It is dying it's natural technology life.I am concerned when the day comes to switch the site what will happen to the valuable content ?



seeker110
Posts: 1719
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:01 am

#19

Unread post by seeker110 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:09 am

I have learnred so much more about our clergy, religion and followers. This site can bring people together. It has opened a chapter of internet I have enjoyed and still enjoying. I would like for it to go further.

"Abhi na jaow chore kar, abhi dil bhara nahi".

Say it aint so.



Biradar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#20

Unread post by Biradar » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:28 pm

Its sad that a post talking about why this board has so few posts, has so few replies! Worse, there are days when no posts, here or on any thread, made at all. Sad.

I should clarify: I do not wish this board to shut down. Just the opposite. My question was meant to provoke ideas on how we can help improve the quality of posting, attract more people to post and participate in debate, and also increase the level of the debate. Its absolutely clear that the happenings on this board have had much broader impact on the community than evident from the few regulars here. We have all learned and shared here, and often our words have been copied and circulated widely. How to keep that going, or even build on that, that is my question.

BTW: the analytics chart above does not prove anything. It simply means that more people have access to internet now than before. Thats all. Not that this board is more popular. In fact, given the proliferation of network access in the general population, its surprising the hits are not larger.



Admin
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 5:01 am

#21

Unread post by Admin » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:53 am

Biradar,
True that more people have access to the Internet and the traffic on the board could be larger but by the same token, as you and others have mentioned, there are also other distractions. People are being pulled away by social media. In any case, we appreciate the concerns to revive this Forum. Content they say is king. Good, quality posts and discussion will draw people. And also people's thirst for information. One reason for inactivity could be that nothing much is happening in the Bohra world. When the Kothar is quiet, it is reflected here. In one way, this Forum is the victim of its owns success. Because of the exposure here of ziyafats and other extravaganza all the Kothari sites have shut their doors, depriving us of the juicy news and the discussion it provoked. But of course, there has always been more to the Forum than just that. And the question is, how to bring that mojo back.
Ideas, suggestions welcome.



think
Posts: 1800
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:15 am

#22

Unread post by think » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:18 pm

yes, this is very true. The kothar has become very secretive, but I wonder for how long. With this exodus of bohris some where somebody will spill the beans. People like malik ul ashtar who grabbed from Texas jamaat is no longer heard of. He is probably on a long vacation enjoying his loot. Modern technology will find ways to find their whereabouts and give the juicy news about kothar atrocities
While reading imam jaffar us Sadiq .the imam states that nass for the next imam comes from Allah and the person
is pure and is already circumsized. I wonder if mulla Mufadal was circumcised already or did he have to be circumcised on earth.



Kaka Akela
Posts: 389
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 4:01 am

#23

Unread post by Kaka Akela » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:54 pm

One of the main reasons for me to not come here or post any thing is the ridicule people dole out not having knowledge of anything but they just want to see their moniker on this forum. Just for example look at the msg above by Bro Think. He is making statements that he is not knowledgeable about.
1) "With this exodus of bohris some where somebody will spill the beans" ---- What Exodus ?? People are falling over each other to attend majalis in moharram, there were 37,000 people in Dar es salaam
2) "malik ul ashtar who grabbed from Texas jamaat is no longer heard of." ------ What does he mean by grabbed from Texas? by who?
He is not on a long vacation. he was seriously and close to death due to blood infection.
3) " imam jaffar us Sadiq .the imam states that nass for the next imam comes from Allah and the person is pure and is already circumsized. I wonder if mulla Mufadal was circumcised already or did he have to be circumcised on earth." ------ what Imam said was about the next imam, and he is comparing those Imam's words to a Dai and wondering if he came circumcised? he is not making the mockery of the dai but of Imam which he indisputably believes in.

I f we stop this type of mockery, then may be people will be encourage to come and post.
May be moderators are not doing a criticl job of moderating and discarding such inputs.



accountability
Posts: 1640
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:01 am

#24

Unread post by accountability » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:09 am

Biradar Humsafar GM and friends. it is true that activity on board is getting less and less. I myself have not participated much in last year.
But I think that reasons are more than wahts app or other social forums. To tell you the truth, I have almost abondoned the reformist agenda, not because i have become a fanatic abde or got frightened. it is more of frustration than abondonment. we have been trying for so long, some of us have gone, some have become old and exhausted. Above all since last 50 years, despite valiant resistance by people like Zehra cycle wala, Asghar ali engineer, saifuddin insaf and others, there is no change.
bohras are becoming socially regressive and mentally bonded. Most of the bohras do what they are asked, robotically. They dont believe or disbelieve in any thing. Look at the scientology church, it is almost the same, people like Tom Cruise and other celebrities find it difficult to break away from the cult.
it is historical that bohra cult is lasting as long, cults usually last not more than a decade. This is personality cult, but it is run like a business, and corporation.

I dont know if this board will outlast the cult, but heck, this board has stirred lot of ripples. The only way to bring it to life and sustain its liveliness is, to attract young people and let them start the discussion anew. like we did 20 or 30 years ago.



dal-chaval-palidu
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:46 am

#25

Unread post by dal-chaval-palidu » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:25 am

Reading this thread reminded me of Mark Twain's famous quote:

"The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated".

I believe that this board is very useful as a record of things, and whatsapp or other social media are no comparison for the same. Postings will ebb and flow, we should not worry too much. For example, when the Gujarat High Court judgement happened, this is where the links are available.

Events in future will happen in the community like in the past (what a banal statement on my part :D ), and it will provoke a discussion and then people will go back to their own life. That is fine

In my mind, the value of this forum is still there and it is quite relevant.



Biradar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:13 pm

#26

Unread post by Biradar » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:38 pm

I have a suggestion for the Admin. Why not publish statistics on number of posts per day (or week) say over the last few years? I am not sure if that is possible to extract that information from the forum database, but I believe it can be done. I believe this is more interesting than looking at hits per day. Hits simply mean more people have access to internet, but not that people are actually interested in participating.

To anyone who has been here for a while, it is obvious that the vigor and frequency of posting has declined significantly. Perhaps it is true that all action has moved to Whatsapp or other media, but it is more likely that people are simply not interested in the idea of reform any more. I am pretty sure no one discusses reform on Whatsapp. First, it is not conducive for such discussions, and second, it does not allow free expression due to fear of repercussions. So, the only possibility is the slow heat death of the board, and, in fact, of the reform movement itself.

Now, death is not a bad thing! As we all know, it is natural and happens to everyone and everything. However, the issue is one of unfulfilled promises and demoralization of the spirit. What is mean is: clearly, the reform fight is over and lost. Instead of the outcome of being more free, having jamaat autonomy, reduced control by clergy, secularization, etc. the exact opposite has happened. The Kothari and Iblisi Mafia now control more of the ordinary Bohri's life, have greater wealth and power, deeper control over jamaat affairs and increased fanaticism.

The secular half of the reform movement is defeated and demoralized, and the religious half, the insane followers of Ahmed Ali Raj etc have become a bunch of backwards facing clowns, stuck in 150 year old historical disputes. One only needs to look at thebohras.com website to see how stale and boring these people have become. Even the pictures look like they are from a museum! And, their deewta (i.e. Ahmed Ali Raj), in his writings and speeches, seems uninspiring and boring and also unorganized and haphazard. Of course, given he (and his followers) are fanatics does not help either.

Hence, my feeling is that perhaps we are now in a post-reform era. In this, organized reform of the sort see in Udaipur, for example, is no longer possible. Perhaps, all that one can hope for is to give a platform to individuals in which they can think for themselves and eventually break free of the clutches of the Kothari and Iblisi Mafia. A slow attrition. Of course, I am not sure that this forum serves even that any longer: witness the lack of participation here.

I am not sure what the solution is. Perhaps there is no solution. Perhaps this is just the natural long heath death of a movement which has lost its momentum due to passage of time, death of early charismatic leaders and lack of clear direction. Or perhaps there is a hope and chance of renewal. I do not know. Certainly, it will not happen with stony silence we hear here.



Admin
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2000 5:01 am

#27

Unread post by Admin » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:05 pm

Biradar wrote:I have a suggestion for the Admin. Why not publish statistics on number of posts per day (or week) say over the last few years? I am not sure if that is possible to extract that information from the forum database, but I believe it can be done. I believe this is more interesting than looking at hits per day. Hits simply mean more people have access to internet, but not that people are actually interested in participating.
Here is a quick overall statistics since the inception of this new version of the board in 2008. It does not take into account the previous 10 years or so.

The averages would be much higher if you discount the inactivity of recent months.

Maybe it is possible to extract information on monthly to yearly basis. We will see what we can do.

The reform movement is certainly sidelined, especially after the succession dispute, but the issues and causes it upheld are still relevant. The "success" of the orthodox shows that maybe Bohras are not ready for change, yet.

The forum and the website we feel are still relevant. Maybe we can diversity a little bit away from reform and the clergy and look at Bohras and their lives in a more holistic sense. We're toying with idea of starting an Arts and Culture section where we can talk/report about things relating to Bohras (and Muslims, for there is bound to be an overlap), their society, arts, literature, food, history etc. For there is certainly a life outside of the grasp of clergy. Let us know what you think.

Thanks everyone for your comments and support.
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kimanumanu
Posts: 607
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:16 pm

#28

Unread post by kimanumanu » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:52 pm

I will offer my random 2 cents and apologies in advance if what follows comes across as ramblings. This is a personal perspective and for me this board is serving a very useful and at times helpful purpose despite the doom and gloom being predicted in this thread.

I am one of those "newbies" to this forum who only joined and started posting after the split. I was a lurker prior to that and used to read posts but was not registered and my general attitude towards this forum was one of irrelevance mainly because it used to be very anti-kothar and at times anti-Syedna and the language used in some posts was not the best. So much so that even after the split it took me a while to even muster the courage to register let alone start posting. For that I am grateful that this forum existed and continues to exist. You have to realise that post the split, this forum is the only place where I can come and post my thoughts without an immediate fear of repercussion.

Now, coming to some of the points raised by the stalwarts or old-timers in this thread, yes the forum has transformed since the split. Whereas prior to the split it was a clear reformists v. kothar battle, now there is a third player - all the disenfranchised people like myself who are either sided with one of the camps or undecided but staying with the majority for various reasons. I count myself in the undecided camp although definitely not convinced by the SMS side. I still have doubts about the SKQ side which means I am not able to commit myself to the FD movement either. It is a personally frustrating time and this is why I mention above that this forum provides some respite because I find like-minded individuals I can relate to.

What am I getting at you may ask? That the forum is perhaps evolving to serve the beginnings of a new struggle from within the majority pro-kothar camp. Whereas the reformists decided to leave the camp and fight from outside, I think the post-split battle is one that will be fought from within. I will admit openly that at this time I have no interest in leaving the main fold to fight my battle - call it cowardice or whatever you want but what is at stake at personal level and from what I have seen happen to reformists does not give me the courage to take that step. Which is why, as those who read my posts may have noticed, I keep pleading for moderation of the language being used and more importantly a realisation on the part of the old-timers that the newbies are unlikely to go down the reformist path but yet need the support and encouragement that this forum is capable of providing.

So my request once again is to stop being insulting or looking down on us newbies for not having the courage that you had to leave the fold. I don't believe that is the only way. I may be wrong but rest assured that I am doing all I can to limit any direct support to kothar whilst still staying in the fold. Think of it as fighting both a spiritual and a political battle. This forum in that sense is still an important part of the struggle. A good example is the whole zahir-batin stuff from pre-2000 that now appears to be only archived on this forum. Even the internet archive has been purged. It is such an important historical artifact that even if there are no more posts on this forum for the next 10 years, that alone is testament to what this forum is capable of.

In conclusion, for now, please don't think just because the reform movement appears to have done its time that the battle/struggle has come to an end. Rather the struggle has evolved and the fight carries on. This forum will have a part to play in that is my sincere hope.



Humsafar
Posts: 2497
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2000 5:01 am

#29

Unread post by Humsafar » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:14 am

Kimanumanu,
Thank you, that is a very thoughtful post. I'm glad that you finally opted to participate in this forum. Yes, this Forum is still very relevant for those who care about self-dignity, freedom of conscience and are opposed to the cult of the Dai. It's only that people's priorities seem to have changed, or they have given up any shred of hope they may have had. The rise of Mufaddal -- the Trump of Bohra world -- has dumbed down Bohras even more, has robbed them of any hope that things can change for the better. Mufaddal stands for all that can be vulgar and cheap and despicable about a leader, and a religious leader at that. His being a Dai is the lowest point in Bohra history and seeing him people have concluded that nothing good after all can come out of this community. And that I think is the reason of disillusionment. Most of the active and sensible members here have also given up, and who could blame them.

But I have hope. Human spirit cannot be put down for long. The urge for freedom and dignity and justice is ancient, woven in our DNA, and people will continue to challenge unjust system. There are times when we are just few of us and there are times when many more join us. Let us not lose hope when we are few of us. I would request people not to harp too much on doom and gloom scenario, and rather help pick out the silver lining in these dark clouds. Once again thank you. I'm sure there are others like you, and would request them to come forward and share their thoughts.



anajmi
Posts: 13402
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:01 am

#30

Unread post by anajmi » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:32 am

If there are a few like kimanumnaumanunanu, maybe this is the best place for you guys to plan your next steps. Allah says in the quran that he doesn't change the state of a people who don't work to change it themselves. Of course that is the non Taawili version. Don't know what it means in taawil. So start working towards changing your condition and if it is done with the right intention of seeking a better path towards Allah, then his help will follow. If not for you than maybe for your children or grandchildren.