Letters To The Editor

Kudos And Suggestions For PT

Dear Editor, your presentation of any subject in the Parsi Times is wonderful, simple, clear and smooth-flowing from point to point. I am sure all the readers of our Parsi Times are as impressed as I am at your Editorial ability; to convey any message methodically and effectively. As soon as Parsi Times arrives, I read your column first and enjoy it very much. Keep up the good work! I wish you many years of success to make our Parsi Times grow in strength, popularity and size.

I have a small suggestion to make for the good of our very young growing children. Spare some space where small stories teaching values like honesty, kindness hard work, bravery, etc. are published. These stories could come from readers or collected from Aesop’s fables, Pancha tantra, Mahabharata, etc. Some personal incidents, examples. This will add variety and children could be encouraged to write their experiences. I suggest cut down the space given to recipes. This knowledge could be got from any cookery book – sorry!

My good wishes to your team workers, too.

-Jeroo A. Gheewala



PT’s New Project ‘Youth Speak’ By Rayan

I am glad that the youth is gathering momentum to speak up and my beat wishes to Rayan. My first request to you is do not say that Parsi community will become extinct. We have always been a small community…we need to revive and stop our youth from marrying outside the community. Encourage them to have more than two children and support them with basic necessities, free education, so that they are not burdened with debts. One need not visit offices of Trusts for getting monthly fees they can get it wired into their bank accounts. We need community cooking facility where poor and rich get nutritious food at reasonable cost. This way both the parents can earn and overcome today’s cost of living. We can form an association of youth and demand BPP and other Trusts to give houses free of cost for those starting a wedded life in all colonies, and not favour the rich by asking them to pay crores for flats in premium colonies. The rich should be encouraged to find their accommodation outside Baugs as these were made for the lesser privileged of our community.

So many people from our community choose to live with their aging uncles and aunties to end up getting the premises on their passing instead of returning these to the Trust – such premises should be forcefully vacated by the youth and given to a newly-weds of the community. Our youth should be fruitfully employed and community members should be encouraged to choose a profession, and counselling sessions should be given regularly. Our youth should have a share in sports as well. This way we can easily secure government jobs. Lastly, we as the Community’s youth should take on schedule tribe status and forget about egos of our sethias who have kept us away from this privileges which Government of India offers. This will help a lot of our youth to shine as doctors, lawyers, engineers as they easily score above 70% to secure their dream job.

Most importantly, every Sunday we should all gather at nearby Agiaries with parents and children and pray together. Priest can educate the community members on the power of prayers. Let us take this step. I am willing to contribute time on Sunday mornings for this worthy cause. Whosoever replies to you, let us meet and chart out a plan. I’m an HR professional. Let’s do something instead of having to cry over the spilt milk.

Gev Dalal (gevdalal@gmail.com)



Dharwad Parsi Cemetery

BPP Trustee Noshir Dadrawala has stated neither the BPP nor the FZPAI of India should interfere in the Calcutta case. As trustees they have to only discharge their duties concerning funds, assets and properties of BPP. Religious matters are to be left to our learned High Priests and scholars. Our Vada Dasturji Khurshed Dastur has opined “Ours is not a religion of force or violence. We cannot force, threaten or arm-twist people into choosing who they wish to marry, or the method they choose to dispose their dear departed ones.”
Due to myopic policies of some of our leaders, we have created bitterness and enmity in our community, which is threatening the very core of our existence. Earlier it was the issue of renegade priests, where over three crores of our Trust money was flittered away tarnishing the image of the community. Now it is the issue regarding the entry of Navjoted children of intermarried Parsi ladies to the Calcutta fire temple. Goolrukh Gupta is fighting for her rights in Gujarat High Court. What a colossal meaningless waste of community wealth!
About a hundred years back on a petition filed in the Bombay High Court, a ruling was given, which allowed the children of intermarried Parsi males to be initiated in Zoroastrian faith performing their Navjotes. Since then, these children born of non-Parsi mothers have entered in our fold, making a mockery of our religion, not wearing our religious outfits, nor observing the tenets of our religion, and enjoying the rights of Parsi Zoroastrians, without having any loyalty to their faith.

A Parsi mother brought up in the Zoroastrian cult will teach her children about the Parsi way of life, our culture, traditions, our ethics, morality and values, the hallmarks of a Parsi Zoroastrian. We all, who claim to believe in gender equality, cannot deny the claims of Parsi intermarried women asking for the same rights that men enjoy. Like ruthless Khaps or fanatic Muslims we don’t persecute our women.  We should however, in every possible way, encourage our children to marry within our community, not only on religious grounds, but for their own happiness, with better adjustment and understanding for a successful marriage, and more so for the respect, safety and security of their children.
There are best legal luminaries in our community. We can, with their advice settle our internal problems without going to the courts, wasting our time and resources. Our community members settled abroad, live in peace and harmony not interfering in others personal or religious matters. The Delhi Parsi Anjuman, taking a lesson from them, are united in peace. When shall we follow in their footsteps?
The primary duty of the trustees is to make judicial use of the trust funds for the welfare of the community. Trustees are not the owners, but custodians of funds and are bound to account for every rupee received and spent as per the wishes of the donors. No donor will give donations to waste their money on litigations against the priests who safeguard the religion! The Dharwad cemetery land, was bought by people who prospered and owed their allegiance to the city of Dharwad. The sale proceeds cannot be drained away on dubious litigation that brings no benefit to the community. In future, when no one will remain to monitor, what will happen to the property? So it is best to gift the property to the Dharwad municipality to be converted into a beautiful park, with trees, plants, fountain, benches and other amenities for senior citizens to relax and children to play. It will be a lasting memorial from the Parsi community who lived and prospered in Dharwad. Another option is to give the land to establish a hospital or a school. The trustees and others concerned should decide the best way to make use of this place, and get the blessings from the dear departed resting there in peace. In no way the sale of this holy place be utilised to encourage and fund the unholy fighting in the community.

Piroja Jokhi (piroja.jokhi@yahoo.com)


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