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75. Moledina Megji, Varas - page 298

Varas
Moledina Megji, also known as Varas Moloo or Moloo Kamadia, was born in Mundra,
Kutchh in 1854. His forefathers were the renowned merchants, conducting the
businesses of grains, ghee and wool in the name of Vali Parpiya, and extended
their mercantile influence as far as Karachi and Jamnagar. His father ran a
business with two brothers, then severed and started his own business in the
name of Megji Vali. When he died, his son Varas Moledina continued it. His
business involved collecting wool in Kutchh. For shearing the annual wool crop,
it was necessitated to confine the sheep flock in close quarters for clipping.
The accumulated wool packed in big bundles, which were transported to their
agent Allana Manji in Bombay for sale. The grains and foodstuffs were purchased
from the proceeds of wool to be sold in Kutchh. It was a hard work indeed,
because the whole wool was not collected in one place. He and his brothers had
to travel on camels in different villages with provisions to procure wool. When
his business extended, he sent his elder son and younger brother to Bombay and
opened an office. He had a mathematical mind and could perform surprising feats
of mental arithmetic. He had a thorough grasp of counting orally the rates of
wool for five to ten years old without referring to old books. He was the
biggest merchant of wool in Kutchh and none competed him.

Sind
lies in the north of Kutchh, Kathiawar in south, and there is a desert in the
east and the Arabian Sea in the west. Apart from the infertile area, the region
of Kutchh is spread in 6500 sq. miles. Kutchh is divided into eight divisions,
each consisting of different villages. During the period of Varas Moledina, the
State of Kutchh was governed by Maharao Desal (1836-1860), Maharao Pragmall II
(1860-1874) and Maharao Khengar III (1874-1942).

It
appears that his neck was hanging to his right side. It is said that once he
visited his godown with clients and they sat near the heap of sugar bags to
examine a specimen of wool. Suddenly, few weighty bags fell upon his neck,
causing the breakdown of his neck-bone. He remained unconscious for three days.
When he recovered, he found his neck hanging. The injury became so old that the
doctors in Bombay could not treat it.

Courage,
truthfulness, patience, religious spirit, and services emerged in his
personality since childhood. He had not taken high education, but could impress
the audience with his oratory fills. He mastered his mother tongue and could
present touching examples in his speeches. He delivered several speeches in
Bombay on different occasions.

He
formed a Panjibhai Group in 1868 at the age of 14 years and was its first
Kamadia. He continued to serve during the period of Imam Hasan Ali Shah through
the Panjibhai Group. In 1883, Imam Aga Ali Shah had taken a visit of Kutchh,
and Varas Moledina was consigned arrangement of the lodging the jamats coming from outside. He worked
hard day and night for the service he had been assigned. The tents were pitched
outside the village in the gardens in Mundra for the Imam and his family.
Suddenly, a terrible storm blew with heavy rain. The Imam and his family were
shifted quickly in the bungalow of Seth Lakhamidas Ladha, and the horses were
tied in the compound of the mausoleum of Hasan Pir. Varas Moledina and his
colleagues rendered yeoman services beyond measure.

Soon
after the departure of the Imam, he continued his services under Varas Harji
Fakirani and acquired much proficiency. When Varas Harji expired in 1900, Imam
Sultan Muhammad Shah enjoined upon him the charge of Mundra and some other
villages of Kutchh. It is to be noted that he erected the Khoja Panjibhai Club
in Jamnagar on August 16, 1904 with Kamadia Haji Nazar Ali as President and
Ghulam Hussain Alibhai as Hon. Secretary. This institution paved a virtual way
to the betterment of his service career.

Varas
Moledina visited Bombay on several occasions to submit the latest reports of
Kutchh. In 1903, the Imam launched a historical visit of Kutchh for 15 days. He
stayed in Mundra for six days between November 16, 1903 and November 22, 1903.
The Imam proceeded to Badresar on November 23, 1903, in Nagalpur between
November 25, 1903 and November 29, 1903, in Kera between December 1, 1903 and
December 2, 1903. The Imam also paid a visit to Sinugara, Anjar, Madavpur,
Bhuj, Bharapur, Baladia, etc. Varas Moledina remained with the Imam during
those 15 days and made excellent arrangements for the didar programme.

While
leaving for Jamnagar, the Imam told him, "Moloo
Kamadia, you have served me tremendously. I give you much blessings. You always
continue to serve the jamat and me. I
wish to make you my Wazir."
To this, he said, "Mawla, I do not
deserve for the high post. You may consign me some other petty post." The
Imam said, "Well, you form a
committee and I make you its Chairman."
Varas Moledina became the
Chairman of the 18 Council Committees in Kutchh on April 5, 1905. He appointed Muhammad Amarsi as his
Secretary, who had come from Kathiawar and served as a teacher in Kutchh.
According to the census report, the Ismailis mostly resided in 23 different
villages in Kutchh, having a registered population of 4245 persons. In Mundra,
there were 1317 Ismailis in the time of Mukhi Laljibhai Raisi and Kamadia
Alarakhia Murji.

Varas
occasionally held meetings, during the year, in different villages to eliminate
the rubbles and bubbles of problems. He also founded a Volunteer Corps in some
places in Kutchh.

The
average Ismailis in Kutchh earned their bread and butter by the sweats of their
brows, and were deplorably lagged behind in education. There was a lingering
prejudice against educating the women among most of the conservative people.
Education was said to contribute to the plea that led to materialism. Educating
the girls mainly became the target of attack and even an object of ridicule. He
was not well-educated, but promoted the notion of education in the jamat. It must be known that the first
official school in Kutchh started in 1850 in the time of Maharao Desal
(1836-1860) for the teaching of English and Gujrati. There were hardly 43
schools in Kutchh during the period of Maharao Pragmall II (1860-1874), and about
130 schools during the rule of Maharao Khengar III (1874-1942) in Kutchh. In
sum, in the 1000 villages of Kutchh, the rulers funded only 85 schools. Nay,
there were only seven small libraries in Kutchh. In the milieu, the Imam
emphasized to promote education among the Ismailis during his visit in 1903.
The Imam had told him, "Moloo
Kamadia, you establish schools in the villages of Kutchh wherever is required,
and also erect libraries wherever is possible. You write me for its expenses. I
will sanction its grant."

With this mandate, Varas
Moledina's services entered into another phase. He visited different villages
and established the first school in Mundra on April 5, 1905 with 150 boys and
50 girls. Badresar, Nagalpur and Sinugara followed it where the Ismailis
resided thickly. Later on, he also opened schools in other villages. In sum, he
established 17 schools and 13 libraries during his lifetime. It must be noted
that he gave the literary life to the pens of Missionary Alibhai Nanji and
Master Muhammad Amarsi. He, himself,
supervised the management and visited the schools from time to time.

In
1906, a case was under hearing in the Kutchh Court regarding the mausoleum of
Sayed Ghulam Ali Shah. It continued for six years and resulted in an uncertain
condition of the Ismailis in Kutchh. In 1912, the Imam visited Bombay, where
Varas Moledina submitted a report of the case. The Imam said, "And from today, I appoint you my Wazir for
Kutchh. You take over the whole affairs of Kutchh and prosecute the case."

This time he could not refuse, but said, "Mawla, I will continue to serve
your house till my last breath. And if a pride flares up in my heart because of
this high post, it will hitch in my earning for hereafter." The Imam
assured him and said, "Nothing will
happen. You choose one capable man, and I will make him Kul Kamadia for Kutchh. You also arrange one competent secretary
for you."
This farman was
officially announced next day in Darkhana Jamatkhana, Bombay.

The
news of his appointment as a Wazir spread
speedily through out Kutchh, where he was warmly hailed in Mundra. In his reply
to the jamat, he said, "I have
been granted this honor with the grace of the Imam, but all this is your honor
with your well sympathies. The burden of this duty is increased upon me, which
will be carried out with your cooperation."

After
assuming the office, Varas Moledina made a long journey in the villages of
Kutchh by bullock cart, and made minute inspection of the jamati activities. The community was cast down with ageworn customs
and habits. He realized that the old tendencies must be replaced by the latest
traditions. On those days, the Ismailis were spending massive amounts in the
fairs of the mausoleums of different saints. For instance, the village of Nigar
was famous for having the footprints of Hazrat Ali, where the Ismailis went to
pay homage. The Ismailis venerated the shrine of Sayed Ghulam Ali Shah in Kera,
the mausoleum of Hasan Shah in Mundra and the staying place (a’astana) of Pir Tajuddin in Barapur. In
replacement, Varas Moledina arranged the holding of annual majalis for the first time in Kutchh to divert the attention of
those who visited the shrines and practicing the old customs. The first majalis was reported to have been held
on March 10, 1907 in Nigar. It became discontinued for a year, but with the
efforts of Mukhi Laljibhai Devraj, it was re-started on April 4, 1909.

The
average condition of the Ismailis was economically crippled and socially
pitiable. They were petty shopkeepers, untrained servants, illiterate and
neglected group of persons destitute of any aim in life. Financially they were
worn out and socially no status worthy of any consideration. Cradled under the
shadows of new thinking, Varas Moledina necessitated to create donation in Kutchh
and Bombay for the lodging and fooding of the jamats. He also built a big hall for the majalis, and invited missionaries from Bombay on that occasion. He
however faced innumerable obstacles and hitches, but the Ismailis readily
responded to his every call.

On
February 20, 1910, the Imam visited Rajkot, where thousand of Ismailis from
Kutchh also arrived for didar. Varas
Moledina arranged the bungalow of Karim Jivan in Rajkot for lodging the Kutchh jamats. He hired a steamboat and brought
the Kutchh jamats in Mundra. The
travellers were more in numbers than expected, the ladies and children were
given priority in the steamboat and other boats were arranged for the gents.
They reached Jamanagar, where the Imam
graced them didar on the next day.

Meanwhile,
Varas Moledina received a message of the Imam on the evening to see him in the
next morning. When he arrived, he saw four to five persons of Kutchh sitting
out of the Imam’s bungalow, including those two persons from Bombay who had
misguided the jamat in Kera against
Varas during the Kera Case of 1906. They complained against Varas, and the Imam
summoned all of them for reconciliation. When he entered into the bungalow, the
Imam asked, “Wazir! Is there any enemy
in Kutchh?”
He answered, “Mawla! since the time you vested me the office of
Wazirate, I have been considering all young and old as my own children.” The
Imam pointing his hand towards those persons and said, “Do you have any enmity with them?” He said, “All the affairs are
being done with your blessings and the assistance of these persons.” The Imam
laughed and said, “Wazir, you have
conquered the whole Kutchh with your sweet tongue.”

It is
recounted that in 1906, some rich persons from Bombay, belonging to Kera,
Kutchh brought a gold kalsh (a water
pot put on the top of the minaret of the shrine) to place in the shrine of
Sayed Ghulam Ali Shah. The local Ismailis prevented them to perform the
ceremony. They returned to Bombay and complained before the Imam. The Imam
deputed two persons in Kutchh to make an investigation and report him. They
arrived in Mundra to hold a talk with Varas Moledina, who was not yet
designated as a Varas. Before their
arrival in Mundra, two persons contacted them at the distance of four miles
from Mundra. They misled the Imam's representatives and spoke against Varas
Moledina that he had nothing to do with this matter.

Trusting
on the report, these two persons changed their route and went to Kera instead
of Mundra. They held several meetings with the concerned people and
excommunicated 12 persons in the jamat.
It ensued after a short while that they had taken a hasty action, which
resulted two divisions in the jamat.
The oppression thickened and grievances multiplied very soon. The persons who
were outcast gained support of the local people on that night and took
possession of not only the shrine of Sayed Ghulam Ali Shah, but also the
Jamatkhana. The Ismailis divided into two rivals, i.e., the Agakhanis and the
Masjidia. The case was filed against the Masjidia in the court in Bhuj on the
next day. The court declared its verdict in favour of the Ismailis on November
9, 1909. The Masjidia however referred the case in Civil Court, which took
about six years. In the meantime, the Imam invested Varas Moledina the title of
Varas at Bombay in 1912 with the
charge of the affairs of Kutchh.

Equipped
with copious stamina and fresh vitality, Varas Moledina studied and prosecuted
the case. He confided his business to his younger brother, Bhanji and hired a
room in Bhuj for his office. He also took services of Kul Kamadia Ratansi Ibrahim of Madapur, and engaged himself with
the lawyers in the office, about 33 miles from his residence. In short, the
verdict of the court declared itself in favour of the Ismailis. The opponents
made an appeal in the ruler’s court, which processed under the Maharao of
Kutchh. Varas Moledina was not nerveless and continued his endeavours. The
final ruling in favour of the Ismailis however declared when Varas Moledina was
no longer alive.

In
1914, Varas Moledina went to Calcutta to raise donation for the first Boarding
in Kutchh. On that occasion, the Imam returned from Rangoon for Calcutta by sea
on February 20, 1914. The governor of Calcutta was also in the steamer. The jamat arranged a steamboat to bring the
Imam, the governor and his wife at the port from the steamer, therefore, three
chairs were placed in the steamboat. The Imam and the governor dismounted from
the steamer and got into the steamboat. The governor’s wife did not come for
some reasons. The Ismaili leaders stood before the Imam in a line, including
Varas Moledina who was standing at the end of the line. When the Imam saw him,
he called for him and asked the reason of his coming in Calcutta. He told all
about the scheme of the Boarding. The Imam said, “Well, this is a noble work.
You have grown old and tired. You sit on this chair.” Varas thought it
indecency to sit with the Imam in presence of the leaders, he tried to sit down
at the feet of the Imam. But, the Imam held his arm and offered him to sit on
the empty chair of the governor’s wife.

In
1918, a terrible famine in Kutchh caused heavy rack and ruin to the local
Ismailis. With generous and benevolent aids, he served the affected ones within limited resources.

Paying
a well-deserved tribute to Varas Moledina’s meritorious services, Missionary
Alibhai Nanji writes in “Ismaili Satpanth Prakash” (Bombay,
February 2, 1919, p. 183) that, “Varas Moledina holds complete authority to run
the schools in Kutchh as a Supervisor, and looks after the schools excellently.
He regularly visits the schools on a six month basis and makes necessary
changes. He is eager, all the times, to enhance their standard, which is
apparent from his commitment. It is his desire to improve the schools and bring
them on top levels during the visit of the Imam, and also to establish a
Boarding school on a firm foundation.”

The old
Jamatkhana in Nagalpur was too small to accommodate the Ismailis. He was
requested to build another new Jamatkhana. He started a campaign for funds.
Seth Kassim Lalji remitted Rs. 25000/- from Zanzibar through the Bombay
Council. The President of the Council asked for kind permission and the Imam
approved it through a telegraphic message from Europe on July 28, 1918. Soon
after the gracious approval, Seth Kassim Lalji also came in Nagalpur to lay the foundation stone. A dispute
arose among the local Ismailis to decide the location of the new Jamatkhana. In
the meantime, the Imam arrived in Bombay in March, 1920. A deputation from
Kutchh arrived as well in Bombay with Seth Kassim Lalji and humbly implored the
Imam to lay the foundation stone. The Imam blessed them and said, "It is
now the hot climate in Kutchh. I will not come this year. You get it performed
by Varas Moledina. You will consider it as if I have performed it."

Varas
Moledina came in Nagalpur and eliminated the local dispute at first and
selected another location for the new Jamatkhana. He started its construction
and when completed, he performed its opening ceremony on Monday, April 18, 1921
in presence of the Revenue Commissioner of Kutchh, the Justice of Anjar,
administrators and dignitaries. The Ismailis of Nagalpur, Sinugara and Anjar,
including the Muslims and Hindus of Nagalpur were repasted twice.

The
Jamatkhana of Mundra, which was about 150 years old, was also worn out. He was
also requested to be in charge of the
new one. He assured the jamat that it
would be built, but the first priority would be given to the Boarding in
Mundra. He raised a donation for Rs. 37000/- in which Seth Ibrahim of Bombay
shared for Rs. 20000/- and established the first Ismaili Boarding in Kutchh. It
must be known that Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1947) had taken a visit of this
Boarding and remarked, “Moloo! I like the Ismaili community too much. It has
made excellent progress with the mercy of the Aga Khan. Besides, the Ismailis
are the chain between the Hindus and the Muslims.”

It had
taken a long time to the Imam to visit Kutchh. Varas submitted humble requests
several times to the Imam in Bombay, but the Imam delayed his visit due to an
overload of work. The Imam visited the Bombay Jamatkhana on March 3, 1920 when
Varas submitted a fresh humble request for a didar programme. The Imam said, "Well, I will talk to you
later on." The Imam asked for the mehmani
on behalf of Kutchh. To this, he answered, “Mawla, we will present the mehmani when you order.” It was decided
to present the mehmani on Tuesday,
March 9, 1920 in the big hall of the bungalow of Mazgon.

On
March 9, 1920 during the mehmani ceremony,
the Imam blessed the ten individual jamati
members of Kutchh, and said to Varas Moledina, "You come to my
bungalow in Valkesar on Friday, March 12, 1920 with five to seven persons,
where I will talk to you in private."

Meanwhile, the Imam asked
Varas Moledina for the mehmanis of
the villages of Kutchh. He said, “Mawla, our foremost humble request is for you
to make a visit in Kutchh.” The Imam said that, “I will come soon after the
occasion of dewali. You know that it
is the hot climate now in Kutchh. My lodging is made out of a tent, not in a
bungalow. It is not advisable to visit Kutchh during the hot season.” Varas
said, “Mawla, you have to go Karachi, and it is possible to proceed to Karachi
from Kutchh. You make a junction only in one place for eight days, where the
people of all villages will gather to accomplish their desires.” The Imam said, “Making a gathering of all
villages in one place will cause hardships to them. I have to visit all the
villages to see the jamats. I will
visit Kutchh via Jamnagar after dewali,
and will stay for twenty days.” The Imam further said, “Is there a motorway in
Kutchh?” Varas said, “There is a road for cars, and there are the motors of
Maharao. When Patel Manji of Madhapur visited the court of Maharao, he also emphasized
to bring the Aga Khan in Kutchh.” The Imam said, “Maharao shares a good
friendship with me.” Then, the Imam
graciously accepted the mehmanis of
Nagalpur, Sinugara, Badresar, Mundra, Madhapur, etc.

When
Varas came to the bungalow on March 12, 1920, he said reverently that, “Mawla,
our Pirs have imparted in the ginans
that no salvation will be destined to the one who has not taken the bayt of the Imam. Most of the Ismailis
in Kutchh are so destitute that they cannot afford to visit Bombay for didar. What will happen to them if you
will not grace them your mercy?” The Imam became serious and said, “Varas, I am
too busy this year. I will come next year.”

Varas
arrived in Bombay on the following year with the jamat and went to the bungalow of the Imam during the evening. He
was informed that the Imam would go to Poona on the next morning for few days
to take rest. He returned and came back on that evening and found the Imam busy
with some persons. Later on, the Imam summoned the members of the Kutchh jamat in his room and heard the report.
The Imam said, “I do not want to bother the jamat.
You bring all of the mehmanis of the
Kutchh jamats tomorrow in early
morning at Wadi.”

Varas informed his jamat
to assemble at Wadi on the next morning. The jamat brought fruits and reached Wadi. It was a cool morning and
the Imam was in a pleasant mood. The Imam pointed with his finger at the south
of the lawn, where now exists the garden of the hospital and said, “Varas, you
bring all of your mehmanis over
there.” The chair for the Imam was placed under the tree and he accepted the mehmanis of the Kutchh jamats and blessed them. Varas Moledina
submissively reminded the Imam for a didar

in Kutchh. The Imam showed his inability once again and made a promise for
next year. Varas worried emotionally, but spoke nothing. The Imam looked at him
and said, “Varas, do you think that
there is a snag in my affection for you?”

The tears burst out of his eyes and could not speak a single word. The
Imam said, “Listen Varas, do you know
how much I love you? The father having one son will love him by taking him in
his lap. But, I have so many children and cannot take them in my lap,
otherwise, I will love to have them all in my lap.”
The Imam turned towards
Missionary Alibhai Nanji and said, “Tell
to all the missionaries and my followers to convey my farman to all the jamats
in Kutchh.”

The Imam again said after a short while, “Inshallah, I will come next year.” Varas
said this time, “Amen Mawla.”

In 1922, he built the new Jamatkhana in Badresar with Rs.
20,000/- from the Imam and Rs. 23,000/-, which he had collected through
donation. Seth Ladha Aloo Trikmani donated a piece of land adjacent to the
newly built Jamatkhana. During its opening ceremony, Missionary Hamir Lakha
recited his admirable gazal before
the jamat. The Recreation Club had
appointed him the President of the Provincial Committee of Mission for Kutchh
in 1922.

The Imam visited India and graced didar to the jamat in
Bombay on March 1, 1923. With a tendency to look upon this bright opportunity,
Varas Moledina rushed to Bombay and earnestly implored the Imam, “Mawla, you
have promised last year to come in Kutchh. Now you graciously accede to our
humble request.” The Imam said, “Varas,
I have some important affairs this year. I will come next year.”
The moment
was absolutely unbearable for him and said emotionally with tears moisting in
eyes that, “Whenever I make request,
you give me false promises!” The people around were astonished, but it was an
inner voice of his humble longing and love. The Imam laughed and put his hand
on his shoulder and said, “This time I
am making a true promise. You take a paper and pen, I will sign on the
undertaking.”

On next year in 1924, Varas came in Bombay and sat far
from Imam’s chair. The Imam at once called for him and said, “Varas, how many
days it will take you for the preparation of didar in Kutchh? I will come this time and make my stay at one
place.” The gravity of happiness, which gushed out in his face to the hearing
of the good tidings of the didar, was inexpressible. He sent telegrams from
Bombay to all the jamats in Kutchh,
inviting a fleet of energetic social workers to assemble in Bhuj before eight
days for making necessary preparations. The hill of Bhujia was a historical place
in Kutchh, having a British military camp. The lodging of the jamats was made on the foot of the hill.
There was also a residence of political agents at a little distance, where a
bungalow for the Imam was reserved. The weather was pleasant, therefore, most
of the Ismailis also came from Bombay. The bungalow was renovated and decorated
with latest items with the help of his Parsi friend, called Seth Fardhunji
Pestanji. Necessary items for the bungalow were imported urgently from Bombay.
In sum, the bungalow was transformed into a royal palace within few days.

Two special steamboats of the Jam Saheb of Kutchh were
reserved, and when the Imam arrived at the port of Tuna with the deputation
of Jamnagar, the Varas with other
leaders came with a special train to welcome the Imam in the presence of the
bands, scouts and volunteers at the Bhuj station. At length, the Imam graced
his didar to the jamats on the next day and said, “This is a beautiful place. Its
weather is akin to Europe.” The Imam stayed for six days and performed all the
works with the jamats. Varas came at
the bungalow with some leaders during the departure of the Imam and said,
“Mawla, the journey of Kutchh is very difficult due to the lack of facilities.
We seek apology for any snag in our hospitality.” The Imam said, “Varas, you
have served me too much. I am much happy and bless you and the jamat. Wherever I went, everyone served
me. But I have seen that you served my jamat

excellently, and I am much happy. Keep protecting the jamat all times in this very same manner.”

Varas Moledina is reported to have launched a scheme of
the Poor Fund in Mundra. During the marriages, he levied small amount on each
family and deposited in the Poor Fund. It was used for the welfare of the
destitute. It certainly played a vital role to reduce poverty in Kutchh.

He was regular in his nocturnal worship. He recited the ginans in the Jamatkhana with his sweet
voice. Sometimes he also delivered waez
with rich quotations of the verses of Shah Abdul Latif and other Sindhi Sufi
poets. Sayed Abdullah Shah was his close relative in Mundra, who was well
versed in the Sindhi literature. Varas invited him on several occasions and
organized the gatherings.

Varas Moledina was also a member of the Municipal
Corporation in Mundra and served it till death. There was hardly any
association where he had not served as a member. He had procured close relation
also with Maharao Khengar of Kutchh.

Missionary Abdul Hussain Bachal published his letter in
the weekly “Ismaili” on September 7,
1924 and wrote the latest progress of Kutchh he had seen under the able
leadership of Varas Moledina. He wrote that, “I give the latest reports
whatever noteworthy points attracted my attention during my visit to Kutchh.
Our religious schools exist everywhere in Kutchh. The Ismaili libraries exist
in Mundra, Baladia, Bharapur, etc. The religious activities are seen in all
villages. The girl’s school in Mundra runs on sound foundation, where
embroidery and knitting works are being taught in proper manner. Besides, the
Ibrahim Pradhan Ismaili Boarding runs excellently with 30 to 35 children under
well administration. I was emphatically satisfied to visit the graveyard in
Mundra, where the required arrangements are available. Its outlook and management
excelled with other graveyards. The services of Master Muhammad Amarshi, the
Inspector are admirable, who takes parts in the jamati services with enthusiasm. The services of Mukhi Manji,
Kamadia Kalyan Hasham and Noor Muhammad are laudable. The services of Varas
Saheb Moledina Megji are well known. The jamat
is united, the reforms are being implemented quickly.”

The
Imam started the didar on January 22,
1926 in Bombay. The jamats of Kutchh
also arrived in Bombay and returned after performing religious ceremonies.
Varas Moledina prolonged his stay for a few more days for business purposes.
The Imam also bequeathed him an errand in the morning. He discharged it and
went to the Imam’s bungalow at a late hour on an evening on February 6, 1926.
The Imam was busy with two leaders of Kathiawar that took some time. The Imam
then came out of his room to see Varas, who reported the Imam about the
progress of the work. The Imam said, “Well, you come to see me tomorrow in the
evening.”

He left
the bungalow and came to his office at 9.00 p.m. and discussed his business
with his sons, Muhammad and Ghulam Hussain. He returned to the house at 9.30
p.m. His daughter had also come from Calcutta and he talked with her and slept
at 10.30 p.m. His son Ghulam Hussain knocked the door at 11.00 p.m., he stood
up to open it and slept. It was his usual habit to wake up in early mornings,
but he didn’t this time. His son found him lying on the bed in the same posture
as he slept during the night. He also found his father’s cold body. The doctor
was called, who declared that he had passed away three to four hours ago due to
heart attack. It implies that he expired on February 7, 1926 in Bombay.

Someone
informed the death of Varas Moledina at Hasanabad. The Imam called for Wazir
Ghulam Ali Vakil and said, “I have just received a news of the death of Varas
Moloo, but there used to be any enemy of the great man. You probe narrowly and
let me know in the Jamatkhana.” Wazir Ghulam Ali investigated and reported the
Imam in the Jamatkhana. The Imam stopped the mehmani nimbly and asked the jamat
to sit down. The Imam told the jamat
that, “I have received today a sad news
and you will also become sad to hear it. My beloved Varas Moloo has expired
today. He has served me excellently during his whole life.”

When
the news of his death reached to Kutchh, the Ismailis closed their business for
three days. The other communities also followed and it appeared a sort of
strike in Mundra. The Ismailis poured down at his residence in multitude to
participate in the last ceremonies.

The family members presented
the Ruhani Mehmani on the third day.
The Imam asked Alidina, the younger brother of Varas Moledina that, “Is it the mehmani of the late Varas?” He replied
affirmatively with tears in eyes and said, “The head of our family has gone
away.” The Imam said, “Yes, the head of
your family has gone, but actually the head of my whole jamat of Kutchh has gone. You should not mourn for him. He has
returned to my presence. He has served me too much.”

In a mehmani at Khadak Jamatkhana in Bombay on January 3, 1934 presented
by Varas Ghulam Hussain Moledina, the Imam admired the services of his father,
Varas Moledina and emphasized him to continue the services in Kutchh like his
father.

During
a long span of 73 years, he had served the jamats
of Kutchh for 58 years. Upto the moment of his last breath, he placed his heart
and soul in the services of the Imam and the jamats. The credit goes to him to orient the Ismailis in Kutchh, in
whose hearts his name shall be ever dominated.

The one and the only way in which we have to record his towering
greatness, he had all along been a true leader and zealous servant of the Imam.
We are nonetheless, forced to conclude that without the unstinted services of
Varas Moledina, the Ismailis in Kutchh would have been like a rudderless ship
sadly at the mercy of mountainous waves threatening to engulf it from all
sides.

His son
Varas Ghulam Hussain continued his services on the footprints of his father. He
was appointed the Chairman of Council Committee for Kutchh after his father’s
death. On the occasion of the annual majalis
of Bharapur, Kutchh, Wazir Ghulam Hussain Moledina performed an opening
ceremony of the new Majalis Hall on October 20, 1926. Mukhi Alidina Bandali of
Jinja, Uganda, built it. He sent its report to the Imam, and received following
message:-


Vazir Ghulamhusein Moledina,

Mundra, Kutchh.

Warmest thanks and blessings for the entertainment and
the presentation of the Hall on such a good occasion.

He
encouraged religious education in Kutchh and arranged to publish textbooks for
religious schools in 1936 with the help of Master Mohammed Amarsi. He made a
business trip in East Africa in 1946, where he also continued his jamati services. He returned to India
and became the Hon. Treasurer of the Ismailia Association for India. He had
been again in East Africa, and the Imam specially invited him to attend the
Avian Conference in Paris in 1952. Later on, he came in Karachi and served as
the Vice-President of the Ismailia Association for Pakistan. He died on January
24, 1973.

person_place_reference: 
Moledina Megji, Varas

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