On Friday the community was graced by a visit from India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modiji.
With the express intention of meeting with His Holiness and partaking in the Ashara Mubaraka sermons being conducted in Indore, the Prime Ministers visit was a historic milestone for the community. Both the PM and the Honourable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr Shivraj singh Chauhan praised the various humanitarian efforts of Syedna and the community. These include the FMB initiative to ensure no one sleeps hungry, Project Rise to dispel malnutrition in children, the community’s attempts to provide housing for all that has so far seen 11,000 apartments handed over, cleanliness initiatives and even the Save Our Sparrow scheme that was launched to celebrate Syedna Burhanuddin’s hundredth birthday.
Shri Modiji highlighted this last one remarking that even on his birthday Syedna chose to celebrate with an initiative to preserve this endangered city bird.
“Wherever I go around the world I am likely to have someone somewhere ask me, ‘Kem cho?’ (how are you?),” the PM said indicating the ubiquitousness of Bohras around the globe and their goodwill towards him. It was no surprise then that he addressed the gathered Bohras as his ‘family’.
The Prime Minister referred to Imam Husain AS the Prophet Mohammed’s SAW grandson and said that he laid down his life for peace and justice and that his sacrifice has relevance even for today’s generation.
He further stated that the community was to be lauded for its role in keeping the peace throughout the country. Coming from the senior most Minister of the land, these were not to be taken as mere words but a genuine recognition of how the community’s outlook has been adopted into nationwide efforts.
Referring to the community’s identity as predominantly business oriented, the Prime Minister highlighted the GST (Goods and Services Tax) roll-out and other economic reforms carried out by his Government and said members of the Bohra community took maximum advantage of these steps as they are known to carry out their trade and business world over with honesty.
‘They have set an example for other people (with their honest trade dealings),’ he said.
Shri Modiji recalled the support of Syedna Taher Saifuddin for Mahatma Gandhi, the Dandi Salt March, the efforts to achieve independence and how Syedna Taher Saifuddin dedicated Saifee villa to the nation after independence in a true show of patriotism and selflessness. He also remembered Syedna Burhanuddin’s contributions to his efforts as CM in Gujarat. After just a simple conversation Syedna helped kick-start a water distribution effort the then CM went on to implement successfully in the state.
The CM was also generous in his praise of the community. Thanking Syedna for accepting the invitation to bless the land of MP with his visits the CM went on to say, “Truly, looking at this scene, if there is a well-disciplined, devoted, with love for all, love for the country, helpful to others community then it is the Bohra community!”