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14th All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference held at Udaipur from 11 to 13 Feb. 2011

Conference 2011: Important resolutions

Important resolutions were passed at the 14th All World Conference. The three important resolutions were about the communal situation in Rajasthan, Haj quota for reformist Bohras and the establishment of a separate Shia Wakf Board.

Resolution - 1
Communal situation in Rajasthan

Communal situation in the country as a whole is far from satisfactory but it is certainly worse in the State of Rajasthan. Rajasthan is one of the most sensitive states today in India. The two riots in Sarada and in Jhalawad are proof of this, if any proof is required. What was worse is that the police and district officials were complicit in the looting and burning of Muslim houses. In Sarada 70 houses of Muslims were burnt in the very presence of district magistrate and superintendent of police. And the worst thing was that Chief Minister did not take any action against these guilty officers dispute repeated representations and Public hearing organized in Jaipur in which the victims from  the places presented thei5r woes.

And all this is happening in the Congress regime. How is it then different from BJP Government which tried to convert Rajasthan into Gujarat. During two terms of BJP in Rajasthan Sangh Parivar supporters have been recruited into police and bureaucracy who actively connive with rioters.

This 14th All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference deplores these communal incidents strongly and calls upon the Government of Rajasthan to take strongest possible action against the D.M. and S.P. in whose presence minority houses were burnt and an attempt was made to burn some women and children alive in one of the houses. Failing this, this conference is of the view that Rajasthan will indeed become another Gujarat and that too under a Congress regime.

Resolution - 2
Haj Quota for the Reformist Bohras

The Reformist Bohras go to perform hajj at least 40-50 of them every year regularly and though they are very much part of Dawoodi Bohra Community they have no share in the community quota which is highly regrettable. The Bohra priestly establishment is quite influential and wields its influence in keeping the reformists out of the hajj quota.

This is quite unfair as the reformist Bohras have to face great deal of inconveniences for performing hajj and have to spend much more which they can hardly afford. The 14th All World Dawoodi Bohra conference, therefore urges upon the Government of India and the Haj Committee to kindly consider allotting separate quota for the reformist Bohras which should not be less than 50 persons per year. The delegates of this conference hope that immediate action would be taken on this request.

Resolution - 3
Establishment of a separate Shia Wakf Board in Rajasthan

Object: The object of this resolution is to project the requirement of a separate Shia Wakf Board in the state of Rajasthan for an effective superintendence of all Shia wakf properties in terms of the Wakf Act 1995.

Background: In the year 1970 Sayyedina Dr Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb 52nd dai-ul-Mutlaq of Dawoodi Bohra Community projected the requirement of forming a separate Wakf Board for the effective superintendence of all Shia Wakf properties (Shia Auqaf) in the State of Rajasthan in terms of the Wakf Act 1954. This was a legitimate demand and such a separate Board does exist in other state like Utter Pradesh. However, the then Wakf Minister of Rajasthan, late Bakatullah Khan, emphasized upon Sayyedina Saheb to drop this demand in favour of a unified Board. The later accepted this on the condition that he is recognized as a sole trustee of all Dawoodi Bohra Auqaf in Rajasthan. Accordingly an agreement was signed between the Sayyedina's representative and the Board of Muslim Wakf Rajasthan. As per this agreement Sayyedina Saheb was made sole trustee of all Bohra auqaf in rajasthan by paying a paltry sum of Rs 5000/- (Rupees five thousand) per year and was absolved of other obligations under the provisions of the Wakf Act. Taking this development as a precedent the sayyedina's establishment succeeded in making him sole trustee in other states also.

One is not sure whether Sayyedina sahib had taken the other Shia Sects like Shia Ithna Asha'ries into confidence before raising the demand for a separate Shia Board. Even if one considered of him doing this he left them high and dry the moment he was made sole trustee of the Bohra Auqaf. In the hindsight it seems that the main object of Sayyedina Sahib was not the concern for all Shia Auqaf but his own interest to become sole trustee and that too with unlimited exemptions. The fact remains that even the Bohras were not aware of his moves even though they are the main beneficiaries of their Auqaf in Rajasthan.

The reformist Bohras of Udaipur when came to know of this, they vigorously raised objections to this action on the part of government of Rajasthan. The matter was taken up with all concerned at all levels. Prima face the agreement was totally against both the letter and the spirit of the Wakf Act. That was also accepted later on by a Wakf Minister of Rajasthan and the Board by a resolution cancelled this agreement in 1978.

Subsequent events were just mind boggling. The cancelled agreement was revised in 1986 by raising the annual payment to Rs 25,000/-  and in 2001 to Rs 250,000/-. with an increment of 5% every year. The Wakf Board's function thus reduced to that of a money collecting agency.

All these together with the concomitant repercussions have been taken up with relevant authorities on regular basis. On the eve of 13th All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference held at Udaipur in February 2008 an unanimous resolution was adopted and the governments of Rajasthan and Madhya Paradesh as also the respective Wakf Boards were requested to cancel revised agreements which are totally illegal and save the beneficiaries from the harassments imposed by the functionaries of Sayyedina Sahib's establishment.

When no relief could be obtained from any authority the reformist Bohra jamaa't of Udaipur  had to go for a judicial scrutiny of these agreements by filing a suit in the Wakf Tribunal at Jaipur. The law courts will now decide the validity of these agreements and the jama't is determined to take this to its logical conclusion.

Resolution: In view of the fore going this conference unanimously feels that the main purpose of Bohra religious head Sayyedina Dr Mohmed Burhanuddin Sahib behind his initial demand was only to serve his own interests and in no way was he concerned for the effective superintendence of all Shia Auqaf in Rajasthan.

This Coference, therefore, unanimously demands that a separate Board of Shia Auqaf be formed as per the stipulations of Wakf Act 1995 and further demands that due considerations be given to the fact that there are dissenting voices within the Dawoodi Bohra Community as far as the functioning of their religious establishment is concerned and this be taken note of when forming a separate Shia Wakf Board.

Accordingly this conference unanimously adopt following resolution

"Resolved that the issue of forming a separate Shia Wakf Board for the effective superintendence of all Shia Auqaf in the State of Rajasthan in terms of Wakf Act 1995 be taken up with the Governemnt of Rajasthan at the earliest."

" Resolved further that the formation of such a board being a legitimate demand use of all available democratic avenues shall be explored for its acceptance."