Letters to the Editor

Clearing Fake Statements And Allegations

It was shocking to read Parsi Junction’s last four editions. Parsi Junction blamed me and Mr. Sam Chothia for everything in Rajkot Anjuman matter and tried to establish connection between me and Advocate Mr. Vyas. I would like to clarify that I have nothing to do with all that has been published in Parsi Junction. I did not sign Vakalat Nama of newly appointed advocate, Mr. Mehul Trivedi because BPP Chairman who had come to Navsari last year to settle the Bamji Building issue spoke rudely about me and even other trustees of BPP and some members of FPZAI talked about my previous work in a derogatory manner. So, I have stopped to intervene in any matter related to FPZAI.

From 2008 to 2015 I worked with FPZAI under instructions of Mr. Dinshaw Mehta and Mr. Sorabji Katpitia and in year 2016, for two months under the instruction of Mr. Sam Chothia. I had filed the Rajkot scheme under instruction of Mr. Dinshaw Mehta and Mr. Katpitia. After reading Parsi Junction, I felt that it is creating lots of misunderstanding among people and unnecessarily trying to spoil the name of Mr. Sam Chothia who is working honestly for FPZAI since last 4 years.

In Parsi Junction Mr. Dinshaw Mehta tried to establish connection between me and Advocate Vyas of Khambhatt and in the edition of Parsi Junction dated 04.10.2020 Mr. Dinshaw Mehta clearly stated that Mr. Jimmy Bachha’s credentials are in doubt. I would like to warn Dinshaw Mehta that I had worked under his instruction for almost 7 years and I know how you manage all Defunct Anjumans work more than anybody else!

I came to know that advocate Mr. Vyas of Khambhatt had met Mr. Katpitia at Surat on 03.10.2020 to interfere in the Rajkot matter and to plan how to harass Sam Chothia. Advocate Vyas had tried to contact me on mobile many times but I did not give him response.  They are trying to push two individuals to intervene in the Rajkot matter to fulfil their motive.

The document which is registered at Surat is mili-bhagat of Katpitia and advocate Vyas. Rajkot Agiary caretaker, Mr. Kersi Khansaheb, who is introducing himself as a Trustee of Rajkot, is in direct contact with Muslims who are trying to grab Aaramgrah land. Khushnam Tamboli is also introducing himself as a Trustee but doing nothing to protect properties. When I visited Rajkot, the encroachers at Aaramgrah land told me that Khushnam is taking rent from them and not giving receipts for the same. I have taken certified copy of the final accounts of Rajkot Anjuman which does not reflect any type of rent received.

I have visited Rajkot many times under instruction of Dinshaw Mehta and he is very well aware of fact that all properties are encroached. Dumri Baug was also sold without taking permission of Charity commissioner and on the basis of that I had filed the scheme. Now for his political interest, he has raised the question about filing the scheme.

As Parsee Junction continues to publish derogatory and false articles and raises question about my credentials I have decided to cooperate with Mr. Sam Chothia who is working honestly for FPZAI. There are questions and remarks only after the matter comes to settlement, everyone claims having all rights and wanting to be trustees, but not a single property is in order. It’s all because we have no soldiers left in our community – we have all generals.

 Once again I say I have nothing to do with FPZAI or any Parsee institutions. All interested parties and active on social media were informed by me of the scheme and all locals were informed to join as trustees but I think everyone is with his personal interest. It’s easy putting allegations and blames better work for the community not yourself interest or ego or else at present, we are a micro-minority and it shall take no time to be called a tribe.

 – Jimmy Bachha (Navsari)

How Can We Revive Faith In Religion? 

Here is a list of a few points that we should all genuinely ponder and consider:

While on one hand, behdins have grievances that mobeds are not performing prayers with devotion and dedication, on the other, mobeds complain that they do not get due respect and reverence from the community.

Like all other professions, priesthood is also a profession to be respected and to earn a living. For the service rendered, our priests deserve a decent income to live a comfortable life. At the same time, behdins should not be made to incur heavy expenses for prayer ceremonies and rituals. During the days of special prayers and at the time of Muktads, mobeds face a gruelling task and it requires super human efforts performing prayers for long hours, without a break.

We find chaos and confusion at Muktad Jashans and on special prayer days when all mobeds recite the prayers together. Instead, if one mobed prays for all, and takes the names individually in some order, there will be some peace and discipline. Also, it will be economical for the behdins and rewarding for the mobeds.

Certain Agiari halls face the roads. During the prayer ceremony, fans are switched off, doors and windows are closed, lest a glimpse be visible to the passer-by. This causes irritation in the eyes, coughing and feeling of suffocation to the mobeds and also to those attending the prayers. This inconvenience is easily avoided.

It is below the dignity of the priests to demand or accept Ashodads – it is more dignified and respectful if we pay the full amount, including the Ashodad, as the charges.

Us behdins have the tendency to judge the performance of Agiaries on the sweets and other food delicacies offered during the prayer ceremonies! These delicious food items are not distributed to the poor and hungry, to uplift the souls of the dead but to satisfy our palate. Instead, some flowers and a few seasonal fruits offered during prayers should suffice. It will curtail expenses and save the efforts of preparing or procuring special food items.

It is a custom to make a long list of near and distant relatives to be included in the prayers. If a charge is levied for additional names beyond a certain number, the list will be curtailed or will bring additional income to the priests.

Earlier, the priests guided the community on principles of righteousness and democracy, compassion and kindness to raise the faith in religion among the community. The community revered and respected their family priests and took their guidance on religious matters. Most of the present generation of Athornans are  averse to taking up priesthood as profession, and some have to work part-time to earn extra income. It has become difficult to get full time professional priests. There may be some, among Behdins who have a spiritual bent of mind and may be willing to serve as priests. They are Zoroastrians by birth, and will go through the Navar and Martab rituals. Should we not allow them to practice religious ceremonies? If the priests can take other professions, why can’t others become priests if they have a genuine aptitude for it?

– Piroja Homi Jokhi 


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