27 May 2012
Yes, this phenomenon has always intrigued me. Even Sunni Voras of Gujarat fare far better than the other so-called mainstream Muslims. Operating as they do, in the same milieu, and flaunting their religion openly [I mean not hiding their Muslimness] how is it that they do better, is a matter for scrutiny.
At least in the case of Khojas and Dawoodi Bohras one factor that stands apart is their organization. They are networked around their Imam / Da'yee [respectively].
I had some exposure to Aga Khan's development network which is organized very professionally. An average Ismaili child is tracked from his first vaccination to his advanced studies by the community network. Theirs is a beautiful amalgam of spiritual and temporal. Consider this: they have local Jamat Khanas, local committees, regional councils, national council and an international board, each led by a nominee of their Imam. Each committee has separate focus groups for education, health, economics, tarequa etc.
I know of no Ismaili child whose studies suffer for want of money. They own the only large 'Muslim promoted' bank of India [DCB] and one of the best hospitals of Mumbai. No small Ismaili businessman has to languish for credit for his economic enterprise.
I often wonder if it is this organization and network that helps them grow