The ordeal at the end of a beautiful trip

Recently during the Urs Mubarak of al-Hayy al-Muqaddas Dr. Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, spiritual leader of the Dawoodi Bohras, hundreds of thousands of Mumineen visited Mumbai to receive blessings and benedictions of the mansoos and heir of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA, the 53rd Dai al-Mutlaq al-Fatemi Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS and do the ziyarat of their beloved Maula on the occasion of the 1st Urs Mubarak.

While the Indian authorities all over the world were gracious in giving visa to foreigners including Pakistani nationals and so was the Indian Home Ministry for processing the approvals there was a mishap of corruption as always by those on the ground. The CM of Maharashtra, the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai, the Police department and almost all government and non-government bodies seemed to bend backwards in making such a grand event successful. No casualties recorded, the cleanliness and organized public flow management were remarkable. The accommodation, transit, transport and food facilities for a non-official count of 300,000 visitors to Mumbai was excellent and no less in perfection. The Nazafat team with a moto of “Cleanliness being a part of Iman” and keeping at pace with the “Clean India – Swachh Bharat” campaign were their best at all times of day and night. The khidmat guzaars of Mumbai and from all over the world worked 24/7 to make this event and experience for each Mumin flawless. I must personally acknowledge that in the past years of attending the Urs mubarak of Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, when the crowd was much less, the chances of ziyarat on urs day were close to none. However, this was not the case here. Many Mumineen who had the grief of not being able to attend the Janaza Mubarakah quenched their thirst by attending the first Urs Mubarak. Words fall far less in describing the gracious act of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS in inviting all Mumineen from more than 50 countries to attain this barakat. A few days earlier to the Urs Mubarak, Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, called upon the Prime Minister Narendra Modiji who extended his well wishes for the community. Indeed the pro-development government of Modiji has shown its whole-hearted support to the Dawoodi Bohras who are not only Business Minded but have played an important role in the development and growth of the community in every sphere of life.

The trip described by my relatives and friends from Pakistan as a memorable one which they would cherish throughout their lives. They hailed the efforts of the government and thanked the authorities for all their support in their religious pilgrimage. The trip was flawless for everyone from the start to the end except for a mishap at the very end. Flaws and hardships are a normal part of any trip and its also a part that one should experience and cherish as I always think of it but not if its a result of some corrupt officer or an unjust person sitting on the seat of law.

A few of my relatives and friends who had visited us during the trip and carried souvenirs and gifts back home when called back to return the courtesy showed to them narrated a worst experience of corruption at the Border of Monabao border by customs officers that would make Indians feel ashamed. There were hundreds of travelers on the 10th of January, many Dawoodi Bohras, from Pakistan, heading back home after attending the urs mubarak of al-Hayy al-Muqaddas Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA in Mumbai. Any economy in the world would crave for tourism and encourage travelers to spend as it boosts the economy and brings in foreign exchange. Except certain items categorically listed no traveler to any country would be deprived of the pleasure to shop in its market. The travelers heading to Pakistan from the Monabao border were searched by the custom officers manually, each piece of baggage over turned, just to be told that they were not allowed to shop in India, nor could they take away gifts like a set of clothing or some sweets. Almost each passenger was harassed to have a bite of whatever they could offer to have them peacefully exit and their shopping not confiscated. Naturally, people on a foreign soil, especially if its an IndoPak issue would try of simply offer a few hundreds and have their way through the ordeal. The relatives of mine had merely 2 or 3 suits with them and were asked for a penalty being told that they were not allowed to carry gifts from India to Pakistan. They denied to pay the bribe and instead offered the officers to confiscate the suits. More than an hour of arguments and harassment they were allowed to leave. India has awakened to a bright future. Our youth have taken leadership positions in the nation and we are no longer in the position to allow corruption of do harm to our self respect and our country’s image in anyway. The authorities would surely look into the matter and let the guilty taste the law. There is no place and zero tolerance for public servants who want to loot the nation in our country that is advancing at a racing pace into the future.

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