Datoo Meru

From Khoja Wiki

Alijah Datoo Meru
Datoo Meru.png
Town of birth
Country of birth
Date of Birth
  • 1868
Date of Death
  • 1939/08/31
Place of Death
Place of longest stay
Profession or occupation carriedout for the longest period in life
  • Trader - Fish & Cotton; Civil Contractor
Where-City or Country
Badrudin Meru 19171999
Ibrahim Datoo Meru 19011982
Samshuddin Meru 19151988

Born in 1868 Gwadar

Datoo, the son of Meru Thavar was of great talent and merit and had striking calibre.

He had little education at home but however he knew Kutchhi, Sindhi, Gujrati and some English. He could also speak Persian soon after his travels in Iran in 1923.

He was an ordinary fish and cotton merchant, and associated for a long time in the business of Varas Muhammad Remu as a partner. Soon after the death of Varas Muhammad Remu in 1924, his business remained to the extent of fish.

Alijah Datoo Meru was appointed the Kamadia of Gwadar jamat (1900-1910) at the age of 32 years.

In 1905, the first major project of the Gwadar Council was to establish the school. Alijah Datoo became the first President of the School Board. The name of the school was 'Imami Ismaili Khoja Jamat School', where English and Gujrati were taught.

In 1910, he was appointed Kamadia of Pasani Jamatkhana with Pir Sabzali as a Mukhi. On January 6, 1912, the Imam presented the shawls to the persons, who had donated large amounts to the construction of Gwadar Jamatkhana, viz. Kamadia Datoo Meru, Mukhi Tajar Mukhi Ahmed, Varas Muhammad Remu, Mukhi Muhammad Abdullah and Badruddin Hamirani.

With the consultation of the School Board, Alijah Datoo Meru cordially invited Col. A.B. Dew, an agent of the Governor General and Assistant Political Agent of the Vizir of Baluchistan on January 17, 1921, to make a visit of the Ismaili school. He inspected the mode of education and emphasized on the teaching of Persian. The students sang a song, 'God may save our gracious king.'

He became the Mukhi of Gwadar Jamatkhana (1920-1923), and played important role in the building of the Gwadar Jamatkhana.

On July 10, 1925, a son of the Kori in the village of Patadi in Gujrat disappeared. The rival group propagated that the Khoja Ismailis had killed him, and they damaged the premises of Jamatkhana and destroyed the religious books. The Ismailis in all parts of British Indiacondemned the incident, which affected the Gwadar jamat. Alijah Datoo Meru called a meeting of the Council on August 22, 1925 and condemned the event. He also raised funds for the Ismailis of Gujrat.

The incident is known as Patadi Murder Case, and in its verdict on December 7, 1925, the Court declared the Ismailis innocent. It may be noted that Muhammad Ali Jinnah pleaded for the Ismailis.

In 1932, the British Empire designed a master plan to build an airport at Gwadar, and Datoo Meru was given its contract.

He was certainly a silent social worker. Ever present, helpful and full of kindness were specific features in his life.

He died in Muscat on August 25, 1939, where he was buried.