BPP Compromised, Community Victimised
The BPP today is at the mercy of these three trustees who are in majority and have blatantly gone against the High Court order. The court had ordered the board of trustees to hold elections for the 2 vacant seats but instead of upholding the court’s verdict, the majority trustees have already announced that no elections will take place before October 2022!!!
First, the reason was Covid, then they waited for majority of our community to get vaccinated; now the issue is they suddenly find themselves in a situation where they just cannot afford elections and they continue to rule according to their whims and fancies. The Chairperson is just a puppet and not able to take or make any decisions, whatsoever.
For the knowledge of all once a seat is vacant the board is bound to hold elections for the same within 3 months. Here the trustees have conveniently fooled the community by not holding elections when ideally by now the same should have taken place.
Mr Zarir Bhathena passed away in June 2020 and Mr Yazdi Desai due to his ill health had given his resignation in December 2020. Today after 10 months the two seats of candidature are still vacant. This is blatant misuse of power to safeguard the majority that these trio trustees enjoy. It is also depriving the beneficiaries of their right to vote for the right candidate as the trio fear that the vacancy getting filled will hamper them and the power that they enjoy now will be subdued by new candidates joining the board. They have gone against the election scheme and the court order which binds the board to hold elections. The court had clearly stated even in case of a pandemic the elections should take place unless and until we are in total lockdown.
These are the people whom we have voted to power who today hold us at ransom, who have brought the BPP down to this level. Dear community members request you to please vote judiciously so that we don’t have to go through the same suffering for another several years. Hope better sense prevails and these trustees actually start behaving like trustees and not politicians. The Zoroastrian community is going through a new low and so is the BPP under this leadership. Hope we have a better board in the next elections and a chairperson who will lead by example and carry the community out of the major mess we are in.
– Shahrukh Z. Bilimoria
PERFORM OR PERISH
As we all know by now, the burning issue at hand is the long overdue BPP Elections. A few Community members, including me, approached BPP Chairperson Armaity Tirandaz on Oct 5, 2021 to discuss the reasons for the delay in holding Elections. A letter was submitted to the Chairperson and Trustees asking for answers regarding this delay. At this meeting, whenever a question was asked to the Chairperson, she would look at Trustee Viraf Mehta – her teleprompter – to bail her out with an answer. Teleprompter Trustee conveniently sits beside Chairperson Tirandaz. (This is clearly evident in the video recording which is with BPP & even the staff joke about it). The only answer we got from the Chairperson Armaity Tirandaz in the over-one-hour meeting to all queries addressed to her, was ‘I need time to PONDER over it’.
Since the past 9 months, the trio (Armaity Tirandaz, Viraf Mehta and Xerxes Dastur) have been PONDERING and PLOTTING on how to delay the Elections to keep the strong Candidates out who pose a threat to their majority and still the Chairperson wanted time to PONDER. We were asked to meet the Board again on Oct 12, 2021 when we would be given a response to our queries. So scared was Chairperson Tirandaz that she refused to reply to our letter and kept looking at her Teleprompter Co-Trustee Viraf Mehta to bail her out of the embarrassment.
Now they had 7 days to respond to the queries posed by us and for her to PONDER. On 12th October, 2021, when we had been given an appointment with the Board, very cleverly, a group consisting of 2 prospective contenders and supporters sprung up and submitted a letter and a notice to the Chairperson before we met the Board!! Perfectly ok, not an issue as everyone has a right.
Finally, we were called in. We walked in along with the 4 probable Candidates (Hoshi Jal, Anahita Desai, Tehmatan Dumasia & Kiakhushru Irani) who were in favor of Elections. The Chairperson along with her teleprompter Trustee sitting beside her were quite pleased and relaxed that they finally had an excuse and a Tool to delay the Elections even further. The first excuse they cited was of going in for amendment to the Election Scheme on only one point – reducing the term of office from 7 years to 5 years before Elections; and the second excuse cited by the Board was that BPP had no funds for Elections and hence they have now voted 2:2 in favor of postponement till October 2022.
Two Trustees – Armaity Tirandaz and Viraf Mehta voted to postpone the Elections till October 2022, while Noshir Dadrawalla and Kersi Randeria voted to have the Elections as soon as possible as they wanted a fully functional Board of 7 Trustees. Armaity Tirandaz then finally and loyally put her casting vote in favor of delaying Elections to October 22, thus driving the final nail into the coffin.
Fact is Xerxes, Kersi and Noshir are in a majority to hold Elections when Govt allows. Only Viraf and Armaity are for postponing the Elections as per the Minutes of Meeting, dated Sept 21, 2021 and I quote from the minutes of meeting:
Quote: ‘Mr. Randeria further asked Mr. Dastur whether he wanted to postpone the election scheduled to be held in October or November for any reason. Mr. Dastur replied that he doesn’t want to postpone the election but wants to do what is to be done simultaneously and close the Chapter.’
Quote: ‘Further, KR inquired with Mr. Dastur that I am not sure as to what you said. Did you say that if the Government allows us to hold the election, we should hold the election and move on? Mr. Dastur agreed and said at the earliest.’
As can be evidenced above prima facie even Mr. Xerxes Dastur is in favor of holding elections as soon as the Govt allows it.
As we all know since months the Chairperson and her prompter Trustee have been misleading the Community and to the Courts that the reason for not holding the Election was Covid and protecting our senior citizens. Now when Covid restrictions are finally relaxed and things are returning to normalcy, they have run out of excuses to delay and thus cleverly manipulated the situation and created another excuse by using a letter received by a group of people to delay. Amendment to Rule 25 of the Scheme of Elections could have been carried out after the 2 vacant seats are filled. There was no urgency on this matter but holding Elections was a matter of urgency as per the Scheme of Elections as we needed to collectively pull BPP out of the mess.
It surprises me that a few months back all 5 Trustees ganged up and decided to unanimously throw a probable candidate and Partner in progress out of the list of probable candidates on flimsy grounds to accommodate a common candidate – Bergis Desai. The Board played every dirty game in the book to keep the Partner in progress candidate out but the probable Candidate took the BPP Chairperson and Trustees to Court and Chairperson Rustom Tirandaz had to take a rotten egg on her face when the Court ruled in favor of the Probable Candidate. Such is leadership of our chairperson that BPP is shamed even by the Courts. This happens when we hibernate our brains and take decisions based on borrowed brains and dance to the tune of a charge sheeted alleged Criminal. It is ironical that today the very same probable candidate partner in progress has joined hands with the very same people who unitedly ganged up and wanted the partner in progress to withdraw her candidature.
Some people will go to any extent and compromise their self-respect to desperately occupy the chair. Think of the motive behind the step. Think wisely about this before you cast your vote for such candidates.
It is important to note that the Chairperson also cited that they also had no funds and to save 40 lakhs they had to postpone the elections to Oct 22. I totally agreed with her concern but suggested she was thinking short term while I was planning of saving the BPP from long term losses.
Oct 2021 Election to fill in 2 seats (Zarir and Yazdi) expenditure 40 lakhs
Oct 2022 Election to fill in 3 seats (Viraf, Noshir, Kercy) expenditure another 40 lakhs.
Jun 2023 Elections to fill 1 seat (Armaity Tirandaz) expenditure another 40 lakhs
July 2025 Elections to fill 1 seat (Xerxes) expenditure another 40 lakhs
A TOTAL OF ONE CRORE SIXTY LAKHS THE BPP WILL SPEND ON ACCOUNT OF THE SPLINTER TERM OF DIFFERENT TRUSTEES. THIS IN TURN WILL HAVE A CASCADING EFFECT OVER A PERIOD OF YEARS AND THE BPP WILL CONTINUE SPENDING ONE CRORE SIXTY LAKHS EVERY FEW YEARS (INFLATION FIGURE NOT INCLUDED).
I SUGGESTED TO THE BOARD THAT ALL 5 TRUSTEES RESIGN NOW AND HOLD ONE ELECTION FOR A TOTAL SUM OF 40 LAKHS. THIS WOULD SAVE THE BPP ONE CRORE TWENTY LAKHS WHICH IS A HUGE SUM.
THE CHAIRPERSON WENT IN TO SILENT MODE UNDER HER MASK AND FRANTICALLY KEPT LOOKING AT HER CO TRUSTEE AND TELEPROMPTER WHO TOO WAS AT LOSS OF WORDS. TRUSTEES NOSHIR AND KERSI IMMEDIATELY AGREED THAT THEY WOULD STEP DOWN IF ALL ARE READY. THIS CLEARLY SHOWS HOW THE OTHER TRUSTEES WANT TO HOLD ON TO THEIR POWER AND POSITION AND LET THE TRUST SUFFER BUT THEY WILL NOT LEAVE THEIR CHAIR. SO CONFIDENT ARE THEY OF LOSING THAT THEY DON’T WANT TO TAKE THE RISK.
In the History of BPP we have never witnessed a chairperson in hibernation at every Board meeting during her tenure. A total misfit for the Chair, she hijacked on grounds of seniority. Simple questions on Trust matters draws a blank from her. She has no clue on any Trust matters and I can prove it if anyone thinks otherwise. She won Elections on sympathy votes and now is Chairperson only on seniority and not on merits. All you can manage out of her is the word ‘PONDER’ to every concern raised. I pity the Chairperson as she is merely occupying the Chair with no contribution or inputs which voters have now realized that they were taken for a royal ride.
I have no intentions as on date to stand for Elections nor have I taken any favors from any Trustee past or present. I have lived in sanitoriums for 11 years and I know the pain of the people who queue up outside the BPP to meet Trustees only to be told there are no flats available while those having Crores just walk in and pay/ Auction security deposits in Crores and occupy flats and the same Crores does not go in building flats for the poor. The security deposits are used for BPP expenses. The Community should know how funds are spent at BPP and stop them. This is my way of giving back to BPP for providing me a roof over my head. If each and every beneficiary starts thinking on these lines, I can assure you we can bring back BPP to stand on its own 2 feet and not go to Wadia’s with a begging bowl for a loan.
Finally, now let’s look at the candidates who have used crutches to win elections. Viraf, Armaity, Xerxes. They won because they were provided support / Crutches by a person who is criminally charge sheeted and out on bail. Their Performance is – 0.
The BPP is in huge losses today because the Community trusted the words of Viraf, Armaity and Xerxes while back door they were actually speaking a scripted speech of a criminally charge sheeter out on bail person. I have said this before and I say it again that candidates who are weak and insecure and not confident of winning elections have to rely on support to make them win. Keep them out by all means. How can the Community vote for a Candidate who is not confident enough to walk on his /her own two feet and have to take the support of crutches to walk for support? What support can he /she give the community when they themselves need support.
The joke is the man offering crutches to such candidates himself walks on crutches. That my dear readers is the bitter truth. Delivering food packets in the pandemic is not a qualification required for a Trustee. This time please do not vote for weak candidates with no self-confidence. Please vote for performance driven confident candidates and who are independent with self-confidence and has knowledge on Trust matters. Don’t depend on Criminal Charge sheeted and out on bail people to tell you whom to vote.
– Arzan J Ghadially (email@example.com)