A news item up has been published in Hindustan Times of 16th January, 2019, under the heading, ‘Parsi Priest’s Suggestion To Sell Agiary Is Opposed.’ As is the practice, certain misguided elements, especially a father and son duo, have made it their business to create confusion and create acrimony and bitterness in the community by resorting to half-truths.
In this particular matter, the comments made by me have been given an unfair and unwarranted slant, by not reporting the full facts. It is a fact that I mentioned at the recent meeting of the Global Working Group that the Fire temple at Fort, known as Gamadia Agiary, being in dilapidated condition, would be better if the same would be sold and funds used for welfare of Mobeds. What has however, very conveniently been left out, is that I also suggested that Trustees of both Gamadia Agiary at Fort and Shapurjee Fakirji Jokhi Agiary at Napean Sea Road being the same, the fire of Gamadia Agiary should be shifted to the Jokhi Agiary and enthroned in a separate room on the same lines as has already been done at Lonavala.
This comment was made by me in view of the fact that BPP have publicly appealed for funds to be raised for the repairs and renovation of the Gamadia Agiary at Fort which has very limited footfall. Rather than spending funds on carrying out repairs and renovation to a structure that has limited footfall, wouldn’t it make more sense to dispose the property at market rates and utilize the amount for the welfare of our Mobeds, especially our young, full-time Mobeds who have been tending to the holy fires at various Agiaries, earning far less that their peers working in different organisations?
It is my considered view that it does not make any sense at all to spend on repairs and renovations on an Agiary having very limited patronage, and that too in a business locality, where there is a surfeit of Agiaries, where excepting one or two, the footfall in the others too is minimal.
What I made was a suggestion, keeping in mind that it is important to ensure that our Mobeds are well remunerated, the decision of what to do or not do is that of the Trustees of the two Agiyaries. I shall continue to advice and act on what I believe to be in the interests of our Mobeds, notwithstanding the misinformation that rabble rousers and others of the ilk of the father and son duo may resort to in the future.
Dasturji Khurshed Kekobad Dastoor,
High Priest – Iranshah,
Member (Zoroastrian), National Commission for Minorities