As the founder of Parsi Times, which completes 8 years this April, never before have I felt the pressing need to address the community through this publication, which was set up with the aim of hearing and representing the voice of the people and has been delivering on that promise since. As a BPP Trustee, I have always hesitated to share my thoughts, my views and my beliefs with the community through Parsi Times, thinking it would be misconstrued as using my own publication to reach my voice to the Community.
However, events that have been unfolding over the last few months have made me realize that there exists a growing misconception about the Trustees as well as about the work we have been doing. I therefore felt I owed it to the community, as your elected representative, that I must periodically share with you the other half of the story – the good that this BPP Board is doing, which is often overshadowed by the small and large issues that wrongly tend to paint all BPP trustees in a bad light.
This board comprises committed, passionate and dynamic Trustees with strong personalities and opinions, in keeping with which we often display streaks of individuality, that get wrongly portrayed as ‘ego’. It would be unreal to say that the Trustees do not have an ego – we all do. You do too. Everyone does. Though the differences that crop up in the Boardroom are issue-based, these can sometimes get tainted with egoistic responses from the Trustees.
But, let’s take a deep breath, take a step back and get our focus back on the Community issues. The last couple of months have witnessed the BPP Trustees and the Trust being dragged into the blinding limelight, across conventional media and social media platforms, for all the wrong reasons. Because unfortunately, it’s usually the negative and sensational news that the media thrive on. And more unfortunately, this biased attention paid to the ‘smaller wrongs’ completely eclipses the ‘greater rights’. In the eternally wise words of the great Shakespeare, “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” And so it is with the BPP Trust and the Trustees.
I firmly believe and I know that this Trust has done a lot more good work in its very first three years than the earlier boards did in their entire tenures. The trustees have been extremely active and positive about allotting houses to the needy and deserving. Most community members, who have approached the Trustees with numerous genuine problems, will bear testament that the trustees have always extended a hand of comfort and have effectively worked to resolve their issues.
I know for a fact that this is probably the only Board which has unconditionally thrown its doors wide open to meeting community members. In fact, initially, the trustees started their meetings at 6:00pm, but since these would go on up till midnight, we preponed the timing to 4:30pm, in an effort to try and wind up earlier. However, on most Tuesdays, we still end up working beyond 11:00pm.
Just recently, a very senior and respected member of the community asked me why the trustees are unable to see the harm caused to the reputation of the BPP, when we squabble on small and large issues. I concede that in the past two months the communication in the Boardroom seems to have gone south, but even though the Trustees have gotten over and even forgotten words said to each other, the community may also not remember the specific issues, but is convinced that all that’s happening in the Boardroom is infighting within the Trustees and that no work is getting done. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Yes we have strong opinions and these are bound to clash – but at no time, even during these skirmishes between Trustees, do we ever lose sight of our priority – the welfare of the Community. Even though you may have witnessed our internal issues flashed across social media platforms, pages and pages of paid advertisements and even national newspapers, please rest assured that we are consciously working towards getting past this, renewing our commitment to the community, and constantly working towards community welfare and delivering on fulfilling our promises to you, with each passing day.
You deserve to know both sides of the story, so that even though you feel disappointment when you read viral messages across media platforms, you know you can keep the faith in us. Miscommunications or disagreements between Trustees cannot and should not be used as the yardstick to measure our work, dedication or commitment to community welfare. That is ongoing, and will never subject to the temperature, the tempers or the occasional tantrums in the Boardroom.
So while I sign off for now, I will be back, as promised, periodically, to share with you both sides of the story to keep you well-informed, through this column in Parsi Times.