Literate But Not Educated?

Why do small-minded, God-men, claiming to have lived in caves with invisible magavs, and self-styled scholars/priests  with arbitrary blogs, do so well in our community?  Why are they able to command such a large following? We can’t really blame it on lack of education or poverty, as large numbers of their supporters/followers are literate and well off. Much of it is due to the fact that what passes off as education in our community is barely literacy in many cases… and in others, a preparation towards a career at best. Which means our ‘education’ does not really promote critical thinking or rationality and reason. If at all it does, such thinking is limited to being used purely in the workplace and not in personal areas of one’s life.

In addition, the natural propensity to superstition and the willingness to believe in every bit of nonsense, if it is spoken by someone in authority, creates a potent mix of qualities just waiting to be exploited. Parsi, as a community, has been steeped in what we call occult beliefs in esotericism for a century now. So much is the rot that these esoteric interpretations of Zoroastrian texts, by cults like Ilm E Khushnoom and Pundol, are passed off as orthodox Zoroastrianism! Orthodox means going by the book and occult esoteric beliefs have no place in our texts. Any questioning is resisted tooth and nail by its followers.

One ilm e Khushnoom blog says that organ donation is unzoroastrian, yoga is unzoroastrian, blood from a Parsi is to be stored separately from the rest, the karmic cycle of rebirths decides the religion, all ailments are  a retribution  from the maker, marriage with non-Parsis leads to corruption of personal aura, behdins are born lowly and unwise as they have lesser chakras than the Ervards

These are few of the issues wrongly propagated as traditional Zoroastrianism on such blogs propagating these cults. Most of this nonsense goes unchallenged by mainstream Parsis, who lack analytical and critical thinking. Recently, on one such close minded Facebook group, attacked the present May Queen 2016 for getting herself photographed without a sadra showing! His like-minded friends agreed with him and called the May Queen contest unZoroastrian, and one even demanded strict action against such events which encourages show of skin and glamour in our youth!

Are the majority of youngsters going to subscribe to this view? Are we not antagonizing our youngsters to drift away from genuine religious tenets? The ultimate demise of our community will come if we do not condemn such intolerance that allows Parsi talibans to question our way of life and freedom of choice!

By Farzana Cooper

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