1. Printing And Publishing History ‘FIRSTS’:
Parsis are known to make history with their many ‘Firsts’, doing both, the Community and the Country very proud. On our seventh anniversary, Parsi Times is proud to share a tribute dedicated to some of our glorious Parsis of yore, across Seven different fields, who individually and collectively consolidated the pride of being Parsi, by being the FIRST Indians to achieve greatness!
India’s very first printing press was established in 1778 by Rustomji Cursetji. In 1780, he printed the first book in English titled ‘Bombay Calendar’.
In fact, the first printing press to receive global acclaim was the Union Press, founded Nanabhai Rustomji Ranina, who was also the first to print English to Gujarati and Gujarati to English Dictionary.
2. Nationalist/Patriotic History ‘FIRSTS’:
Madam Bhikaji Cama (l86l – 1936) was the first Indian to have conceived the idea of a National Flag for India, which she herself designed and unfurled at the Socialist Congress in Germany in 1907.
The Parsi Community is the only community to have produced Chiefs of all three armed forces – Air Marshall Aspi Engineer, Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw and Admiral Jal Cursetjee.
The first Indian to be made a Field Marshall was Gen. Sam H. F. J. Manekshaw in 1972.
India’s very first and singularly successful, Time Urgent Response, International Intervention Operation, involving all the three services, was led by Brig. Bulsara in the Republic of Maldives, in November 1988.
3. Academic History ‘FIRSTS’:
The first Indian Chartered Accountant was Ardeshir Edulji Cama A.C.A. (1879 – 1948), and the first Indian Member of the Institute of Chartered Accounts in England and Wales (1908).
The first Indian to pass the examination of Doctors of Law from the London University in 1913 was Pherozshah Nasarvanji Daroowalla
Shirin Jal Virjee was the first Indian lady to receive the Diploma in Sculpture in 1941 from the Royal College of Arts, London.
The first Indian to obtain a Doctorate in Geography in India was Dr. Manek Bejanji Pithawalla
Cursetjee Maneckshah Cursetjee (1847 – 1935) was the first Indian to be admitted as an under-graduate at Oxford in 1864.
4. Sports History ‘FIRSTS’:
The first three men to circumvent the earth on bicycles were all Parsees – Adi Hakim, Rustom Bhumgara and Jal Bapasola, in 1928.
The first Indian Cricket Team to visit England in 1886 was composed entirely of Parsees, and was captained by Dr. Dhunjishaw Hirjibhai Patel, the First Indian Cricket Captain.
5. Industrial & Institutional History ‘FIRSTS’:
The first Iron and Steel Works in India, the Tata Iron and Steel Company was established by Jamshedji N. Tata in Jamshedpur in 1907.
The first Indian to start a heavy chemical industry in India was Behramji Sorabji Lalkaka (1880 – 1957), with Pioneer Magnesia Works Ltd. in 1915.
The first Cotton Mill in India, The Bombay Spinning and Weaving Co., was started in Bombay by Kavasji Nanabhoy Davar in 1854.
The first Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission was Dr. Homi Bhabha, our eminent Nuclear Scientist.
Dr. Bharucha was the first Indian Director of The Royal Institute of Science
6. Bureaucratic History ‘FIRSTS’:
Amy B H J Rustomji, MA (Cantab) was the first and only Asiatic lady to hold the office of Vice President of the International Federation for University for Women (1956-1959).
The first Indian to be made a Baronet was Sir Dinshaw Petit in 1890, with the title conferred on him by Queen Victoria.
The first three Indians to have sat in the British House of Commons were Dr. Dadabhoy Naoroji, Sir Muncherji Bhawnargree and Sir Shapurji Saklatwalla.
Jamshedji Sorabji Sethna was the first and only Indian Vice Consul for France (1905).
7. Medicine History ‘FIRSTS’:
Dr. Muncherji Jamasjee Mistry L.M. & S, was the first Indian to become a Civil Surgeon in 1887 at Godra (Gujarat).
Col. Dhunjishah Naoroji Parakh was the first Indian to be appointed Professor of Midwifery in the Grant Medical College, Bombay in 1888. He was also the second Indian to pass the I.M.S. Examination, the first being his uncle, Surgeon Major Rustomji Behramji who to ok his commission in 1875 direct fromthe hands of Queen Victoria. Capt. Dr. Pheroza S. Davar, M.B.B.S., I.M.S., was the first Indian Army Lady Doctor commissioned in 1942.