Udaipur: First Chairperson of the RTI Commission and the former Chairman of Minorities Commission of India Mr. Vajahat Habibullah said that the spirit of questioning authorities should not be given up in the face of the authority whether it is a religious leader or the state itself. The people must exercise their right to ask questions and ask for the accountability if they want to make a successful democracy. Mr. Vajahat was addressing the XV All World Dawoodi Bohra Conference in Udaipur on 11th March after inaugurating it. He stated that the right of citizenship of an individual cannot be usurped by a religious leader in the name of allegiance to a faith.
The conference which began with the slogans of "Freedom from Fear", Struggle for human dignity and the values of secularism and democracy was attended by hundreds of Bohra men and women from all over the country and also representation from abroad. Addressing the conference Prof. Faizan Mustafa , Vice Chancellor of NALSAR University, Hyderabad saidnthat we need not freedom of religion, we need freedom from religion. He pleaded for internal reforms in Islam and the question of giving equal treatment to minorities within minorities.
Padmashri Indira Jai Singh, senior lawyer, Supreme Court of India, said that there are several issues which are pending trial in the court of law. The question of excommunication of Bohra Youth has been pending with the Supreme Court of India for last ten years, the issue of demonetization and that of making Aadhar Card compulsory for all purposes are also pending in the court.
She said that in the recent times asking questions which are uncomfortable to the establishment has become difficult. Suddenly people start asking about your faith, questioning your patriotism and challenging your nationalism.
This is not what democracy stands for. Swami Agnivesh, an activist exhorted the Bohra Community to come out of the fold of religion and work for freedom in religion as well as freedom from religion. He said that all human beings were born as humans but later they got divided in religions and faiths. This has caused a lot of violence and suppression in the world. He called upon people of all faiths to realize the essential unity of mankind.
Former Chairperson of Rajasthan Sahitya Academy , activist and columnist Ved Vyas said that the threats of authoritarianism is increasing with right winged forces coming to power. They are all set to exercise their communal agenda. The Bohra community is fighting a just cause against their own Syedna but those powers who align with him and make him state guest are getting strength day by day.
He said that the people should understand the seriousness of both and contemplate how to neutralize such powers.The conference was also addressed by Saifuddin Insaf, general secretary of the central committee of Dawoodi Bohra community who said that Islam began as a revolution against forces of suppression but over the years people have become indifferent.
He called upon all people who support human rights to align with Bohra youth to support their cause. His song " Chup na rahna, chup na rahna " was sung by a chorus in the beginning of the conference.
President of the Central Board of Dawoodi Bohra Community revolutionary poet Abid Adeeb explained the circumstances in which the organization was formed to face the atrocities of Syedna. Haji Gulam Hussain and Haji Kamruddin Maliwala were felicitated on the occasion. Organizing secretary Hibtullah At tari offered a vote of thanks.