A Review
by Md. Jafar Ellias B.A.,
General Secretary
CMJ, A.P., Secunderabad

The origin of the Cutchi Memon Jamat Andhr Pradesh, Secunderabad, can be traced back to almost the same period in the Nineteenth century when our ancestors migrated from Cutch, with a desire to expand their business and settle down in different parts of the country. The group of the Cutchi Memons who came down to the erstwhile princely states of Hyderabad, preferred to settle down at Secunderabad, a cantonment area, inhabited mostly by the British civilians and soldiers and a place suitable for their business activity.

With firmness in faith, simplicity, hardwork, a good character and truthfulness as a basic principle of life, the Cutchi Memons also imbibed in them the desire to live in an organised society - this led to the formation of the association which in other words was called the "Jamat". In fact the introduction of this institution viz., the Jamat at almost all the places wherever the Cutchi Memons settled down was one of the greatest contribution of our ancestors to the Cutchi Memon community. It laid down the foundation of the organisation based on the principles of unity and brotherhood amongst the members of the community, the ideals so very essential for the social, cultural and economic progress and prosperity of any group of society.

Just as for any organisation, a leader to manage the affairs of the community was felt necessary and this the Jamat discovered in the office of the "Sait".

The office of the Sait, the head of the Jamat was suppose to be the most dignified office for which a prominent and influential person with an impressive personality was selected. The Sait so selected commanded the love, honour and respect of the community and was held in high esteem by all members of the Jamat. The word of the Sait was the law. His duties were to attend and guide the members in all the social and cultural activities. The decision of the Sait were accepted by one and all without questioning. Altho' there were no written rules and regulations nor was there any committee to assist or guide the Sait, he never misused his powers. As a matter of fact the Sait was responsible in fostering the unity and promoting the social and cultural welfare of the community. In course of time however, the office of Sait became heriditary.

The Jamat at Secunderabad was no exception. The affairs of the Secunderabad Jamat were similarly managed by Saits, one after the other for several years and the members of the community lived like a well-knit society.

The affairs of the Jamat deteriorating and things got into a disarray in the late 30s.

At last it was in the year 1936, the few prominent persons of the Jamat met for deliberations and felt the need for re-organising the Jamat to confirm to the changing times. A committee was formed to frame the rules and regulations for the Jamat to work in democratic manner.

In the history of Cutchi Memon Jamat, Secunderabad, the year 1936 will be rememberred as an eventful year because it was for the first time in the annals of the Jamat that a written constitution was introduced and managing committee with the folllowing office bearers and members was formed on 29 Sept., 1939:

President: Janab Shaik Adam Haji Mohamed Essack Sait

Vice-President: Janab Shaik Ahmed Mohamed Ebrahim Sait Patel

Secretary: Janab Mohd. Elias Haji Esmail Sait

Jt-Secretary: Janab Abdul Sattar Abdul Khader Sait

Treasurer: Janab Joosab Abdul Karim Sait

Jt-Treaserer: Janab Mohd. Ayyub Mohd. Yunus Sait

Members: Janab Haji Dawood Sait; Janab Haji Mohamed Haji Abdul Kareem Sait; Janab Joosab Moosa Deena Sait; Saleh Mohamed Ahmed Sait; Janab Haji Adam Mouladina Sait.

From this time onwards the Jamat started working under various Presidents and Managing Committee Members.

During the re-organisation of the Jamat however, the need for a Jamat Khana was felt very badly. The old Jamat Khana building situated in Kazigalli was demolished under the Cantonment's improvement plan. There was no building for either the elders to meet and discuss or for the brothren to meet for social gatherings, etc. It was to the credit of late Janab Abdul Sattar Abdul Khader Sait, the then President of the Jamat who helped to purchase a plot near the Masjid-e-Nallaguta and got the present Shadi Kahna constructed for the benefit of the Cutchi Memon brothren of Secunderabad. The community owes this and many other noble deeds and philanthropic works to his memory. May his soul rest in peace.

In the year 1965 a decision was taken by the then Managing Committee to have the Jamat's Constitution re-written. Accordingly the Constitution, was re-drafted and a Revised Constitution introduced in the year 1966. It was further amended in 1970.

The income from the Jamat's property has been showing steady improvement. The property of the Jamat consists of Shadi Khana, one house and Ten Mulgies.

(Source: Cutchi Memon Jamat of Andhra Pradesh: Directory. Secunderabad, 1986)