Note Of Appreciation From BPP Trustees
Very recently, a Parsi Zoroastrian family residing overseas, have graciously come forward and voluntarily surrendered their flat to the BPP, without expecting any kind of monetary compensation.
The entire Board of Trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), expresses their wholehearted gratitude to this family. At their request we are withholding their name. It is yet another Zoroastrian trait … silently doing what is right and what is good without seeking any name or publicity. The motive behind this act was to return with humility and gratitude what they themselves had once received when in need and now someone more needy and deserving can avail.
The Board also hopes that many more would follow in their footsteps, so as to benefit all those who are on the housing waiting list. The reasons for requirement of flats by the beneficiaries are wide and varied; congestion (i.e. many members residing in a small flat), newly married couples, people residing in dilapidated buildings, staying in Slums, Dharamshala or Sanatoriums, Husband and Wife staying in different cities, old parents from Villages / Towns to be housed with their children.
Instances are not wanting where the Community Members who have migrated abroad (including taking Foreign Citizenship), are treating BPP allotted flats as holiday homes. Many of the families are having two or more flats and, in a few cases, have larger flats, than necessary. People also cling to the flats for future use of their children.
This Parsi Zoroastrian family has set a good example and hope it will trigger off a trend within the community.
– Trustees of the Bombay Parsee Punchayet
Adopting Intelligent Conservatism To Minimize Differences In The Community
Mr. Berjis Desai, an eminent counsel, and Parsiana’s popular columnist, has advised the community to adopt a common middle ground – that is ‘Intelligent Conservatism To Minimize The Differences Within The Community’.
Us Parsis, as a racial group, are facing a threat of extinction, but there is no such threat to Zoroastrianism, as at many places like Iraq’s autonomous state of Kurdistan, Turkey and Syria, Zoroastrianism is widening its horizons and is practiced with great enthusiasm.
Because of Zarathustra’s great vision and foresight this very ancient religion has stood the test of time and has remained fresh, vibrant, logical and modern even to this day.
Us Parsi Zoroastrians settled in India, have created our own distinct identity, as scrupulously honest, hard-working, adventurous, resourceful, intelligent and above all, a gracious and magnanimous community. No matter what our internal differences may be, most of the community, in one voice, condemns outright conversion, that is converting outsiders in our faith. We want to protect our distinct identity, our Parsipanu that has been passed on to us from generation to generation and has become a hallmark of our community.
Since over hundred years ago, children of intermarried Parsi fathers are legally accepted in our faith, hence we cannot boast of having unadulterated Kayani blood in our veins. When we have accepted children of interfaith married Parsi males, in our faith, we should accept the children of intermarried Parsi females too.
Today when our demographic draft is on the decline we cannot afford to make such discrimination. On the contrary a Parsi Zoroastrian mother will bring up her children the Zoroastrian way better than the mother who is an outsider. We can protect our religious identity, if there is at least one parent, following the faith. Environment and upbringing play an important role in moulding the character of a child. It is important that we create an environment and bring up our children to be better human beings, kind and compassionate, following and respecting the Zoroastrian way of life. Once initiated, these children should receive all the benefits as members of the community.
The Intercaste spouses, naturally practice their own religion. In Zarathushtra’s teachings, conduct and its moral motives such as Vohumano, Yasha and Armaiti have received almost the sole attention. They guide us to the path of righteousness bringing peace, harmony and happiness in our lives, cleansing the hearts of evils, and makes us bold and fearless. Those who follow the right path, find light and happiness. Those who doubt and go astray meet with darkness and misery.
Our head priest of Udvada Dastur Khurshed quotes, “Ours is not a religion of force, threat or, arm-twisting people, into choosing who they want to marry, or the method they choose to dispose their dearly departed ones.”
If we just stop interfering with others, and accept the fundamental right to practice religion one’s own way, we shall experience much needed peace and harmony in the community.
– Piroja Homi Jokhi
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