NEWS: Statehood demand for Kutch gains momentum - The Indian Express

Cutchi Memon Jamath, Mysore, Karnataka, India

The origins of Cutchi Memons of Mysore City are not entirely known.  It is believed that a century or so ago some Cutchi Memon families migrated to Mysore city from Bangalore, and started involving themselves in business and agriculture. They cultivated paddy fields, which they acquired on lease.  There were twelve families initially; five more followed from Bangalore, Nilgiris, Cochin and Bombay.  Division among these families has resulted in forty sub-families.

Most Cutchi Memons speak Urdu at home; only a few families have retained Cutchi as their mother tongue.  They are well educated.  "Purdah" was observed strictly in some families.

As Cutchi Memons are generally known to have business acumen, most Cutchi Memons in Mysore City are found to be in business:  furniture hire and sale, optical goods, real estate, electrical appliances, carets and furnishings, textiles, etc.  Education has ensured Cutchi Memons becoming engineers, computer professionals, etc.  Some have migrated to distant lands.

Prominent Cutchi Memons of Mysore City loved and respected by their fellow Cutchi Memons for their business prosperity and social work and who departed this earth during the last 40 years, were Saleh Mohammed Ismail, Jan Mohammed Ebrahim, Fakir Mohammed, Elyas Ebrahim, Ebrahim Abdulla, Hassan Abdul Rahman, Mohammed Abba Sait, Aboobakar Ismail, Sattar Abba Sait and Mohammed Khasim Abdulla Sait. 

Mention must also be made of two important Cutchi Memons: Janab Mohammed Abba Sait and Janab Abdul Sattar Abba Sait.  They were great social workers who rendered yeoman service to the community, specially the poor and needy.  Janab Mohammed Abba Sait was a Municipal Councillor, and obtained a big plot of land in the busy are of Ashoka Road (Mysore-Bangalore highway) for Muslims of Mysore City to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet of Islam (PBUH).  This is called Meelad Bagh where a huge congregation gathers every year on the occasion of Meelad-e-Nabi.  An important road is also named after Janab Mohammed Abba Sait. He expired in 1967 at the age of 85 years after a life full of social service to the community. 

Janab Sattar Abba Sait was responsible for founding orphanages for Muslim boys and girls, and was the President of the institutions for several years.  He was also the President of several masjids in the city.  He expired in 1981 at the age of 90 years.  We are proud that Janab Azeez Sait, a leading member of the Abba family, has followed in his father's footsteps, and has built an image of his own in the minds of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  He started as a labor leader of beedi workers, and struggled for their benefit. His popularity took into politics, and ultimately he became a cabinet minister in teh Karnataka government.  He had held several important portfolios such as Transport and Tourism, Wakfs, Industries and Commerce under several Chief Ministers.  He was a Member of the Indian Parliament for a full term. A new extension in the City has been named "Azeez Sait Nagar", where the needy and deserving as well as member of the laboring sections of society live.    We hope Mr.Azeez Sait will continue to serve the cause of Muslims in years to come. 

Mrs. Saira Mohammed, daughter of late Mohammed Abba Sait who conducts a craft institute for Muslims women has now become a Municipal Councilor, and we are proud of her achievements.

We would like to place on record the names of the following Cutchi Memons who were long time residents of Mysore city but left it to migrate to other places in India:

Janab Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait, MP, to Ernakulam in Kerala

Malik Sait, son of late Sattar Abba Sait to Karachi, Pakistan

Mohammed Ishaq, son of Abubaker Khasim, to Cochin in Kerala

Mohammed Saleem, son of late Saleh Mohammed Ismail to Bangalore

Mohammed Younus, son of Aboobakar Khasim to Bangalore

Khalid Hassan, son of Hassan Abdul Rahman, to Bangalore


About 20 Cutchi Memon families have moderate source of income, and their standard of living is fair.  Others can be said to be in the middle class, and live a happy and contented life. No family is dependent on charity.  So far, 26 families including women have performed Hajj.


Until 1972, there was no regular body or Managing Committee to look after the interests of the Jamath members.  In 1972, the need to organize the Jamath was felt as the All India Cutchi Memon Federation, which was being formed, needed a Jamath for affiliation.  Janab Azeez Sait took the initiative, and convened some prominent persons.  A committee of eleven members was formed, and a set of rules and regulations was formulated in 1972.  The first elected President was Janab Sattar Abba Sait with Mohammed Khasim as the Hon. Secretary.  After the President's demise in 1981, Janab Mohammed Abid Saleh Mohammed was elected Presdient.  When the Hon. Secretary expired in October 1982, Janab Hajee Yousuf Elyas was elected in his place but he held office for a brief period of time. 

Unfortunately, our Jamath has no building, no Jamath Khana, trusts ort any other asset; consequently, there is no source of income.  Our only activity during 1972-1982 was to raise funds to undertake construction of a shopping complex for the Cutchi Memon Masjid.  The dilapidated shops fetched low rents.  Funds were collected from Cutchi Memons in Bangalore, Nilgiris. Bombay, etc., for the shopping complex.  This complex was completed in 1980 at a cost of Rs. Three Lakhs.  This is a valuable asset for the Masjid, and is the main source of meeting all of its expenses.

The Cutchi Memons of Mysore are proud of the following contributions:

1. Out patient dispensary attached to the Government K.R. Hospital, Mysore.  It was built in 1927 by late Hajee Sir Ismail Sait of Bangalore to commemorate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the then Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Krishnaraja Wodiyar.

2. Cutchi Memon Masjid. Hajee Sir Ismail Sait of Bangalore in the Hijri built this year 1239.  At his demise, he was buried in the open space adjoining the masjid's main prayer hall.  His family does not exist now.  Hajee Sir Ismail Sait of Bangalore also gifted two buildings and a vacant site to the Masjid.  This Masjid located in the heart of the city at Ashoka Road can accommodate about 650 worshippers.  Many improvements have been made but the main hall has been left untouched.  This Masjid is being managed by a Board comprising of five Cutchi Memons under a scheme framed by the District Judge in 1942.  Many prominent Cutchi Memons of Mysore have been nominated to the Board from time to time; notable among them were Hajee Saleh Mohammed Ismail, Elyas Ebrahim, Ibrahim Sulaiman Sait, MP, Mohammed Saleem Hajee Saleh Mohammed, Hassan Abdul Rahman, Aboobakar Ismail, Sattar Abba Sait, Yousuf Elyas, Ali Mohammed Ismail, and Khasim Abdulla.  The present Board members are:

1. Hajee Mohsin Abdul Kareem (President)

2. Mohammed Azam (Hon. Secretary)

3. Mahmood Hassan

4. Abdul Khader, and

5. Sulaiman Gul Mohammed.

The Masjid's expenses are met from the rents of its properties.  The total value of the buildings exceeds Rs. 35 Lakhs.

3. Khasim Sarai.  This is located at Ashoka Road, and was built 75 years ago by one Late Rasoo Bai, wife of late Elyas Haji Khasim Sait.  She dedicated it to the memory of her father-in-law, Ladda Khasim Sait.  It was used as a lodge, and marriages of Jamath members were held there until 1955.  After that year, it has not been used, and remains locked.  It is under the control of Janab Hajee Abdulla Sait of Bangalore, who is the donor's successor.

- Mohammed Abid Saleh Mohammed
Acting President

{The above article was published in the 1993 Souvenir of the World Conference of the All India Cutchi Memon Federation.  I am seeking updated news from Mysore.  - Arif G. Kadwani}

Information courtesy: Arif G. Kadwani, Cutchi Memon Jamat of North America

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  • Hajee Sir Ismail Sait, a Mysorean in news again, Deccan Herald, Meera Iyer, May 14, 2013
    Hajee Sir Ismail Sait’s first commercial venture was a shop called the English Warehouse. He later diversified into a variety of businesses. By the early 1900s, Ismail Sait was one of the richest merchants, not just in Bangalore, but in all of south India.What distinguished this businessman from others like him was his contribution to the growth of Bangalore.

    A large hospital, a mosque and a road in Bangalore bear the name of Hajee Sir Ismail Sait, one of a breed of successful yet large-hearted businessmen who helped build Bangalore with their generous contributions early in the last century.

    Hajee Sir Ismail Sait was born on March 7, 1859 in Mysore. In 1870, his family moved to Bangalore. Four years later, when his father passed away, Ismail Sait, all of about 15 at the time, plunged into the business of buying and selling goods.

    It was obviously something he had a flair for. His first commercial venture seems to have been an extremely successful shop called the English Warehouse, strategically located on St Mark’s Road, close to where his (mainly English) customers were. The shop sold all manner of goods from milk powder to machinery, everything imported from England. The shop flourished and soon, there were branches of English Warehouse in Chennai and Secunderabad too. Continue reading
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