For the first time in all these years of greeting the community on Jamshedi Navroz, I feel the need to say a little more…
My term as a trustee started with great promise, as our trio – Late Zarir Bhathena, Noshir Dadrawala and I – with the active support of then BPP Chairman, Yazdi Desai, managed to do humongous amount of good work for our community. We were able to cater to the needs of our less-privileged beneficiaries and give houses to the deserving. Those who came to BPP with issues rarely returned without their problems being resolved.
Unfortunately, since the past three years, Trustees who believed that the only way forward was the sale of houses to the rich and powerful, managed to gain ground, especially after the passing of my dear friend and colleague, Zarir Bhathena. Two years ago, Yazdi Desai took ill and thereafter, resigned from BPP. The community and the BPP continues to pay the price for the sad loss of these two honourable Trustees.
While it would be easier to simply wish Jamshedi Navroz Mubarak to all community members, it is crucial at this time, to realise that we need to do much more than merely exchange greetings, in the face of the problems currently facing our community.
No Navroz is complete without there being happiness, peace and prosperity. Just wishing the community the best of health, wealth and happiness would be the clichéd way forward. This is the time we need to stand in unity and make a resolution which includes a strong intent, determination and will, to find the best way forward for the welfare and progress of our community.
As your elected community leader, despite my best efforts, community members have been denied the services and deliverables promised by this Board and me, due to circumstances, forces outside of the BPP and an unholy majority alliance.
Having said this, I wish to share my resolution on the auspicious occasion of Jamshedi Navroz: To find like-minded people (just like our Trio in 2015), who will work shoulder-to-shoulder in the interests and welfare of the community, without any politics, without any fear, without any favour.
It is time that the community also played a more active role, than simply blaming Trustees and holding them accountable for unfulfilled promises. Yes, the Board has had its share of problems, but the greater truth is that it’s the community members who decide and vote to power, the very people who do not have their best interests at heart, but who are good politicians – making tall claims and false promises.
The person you give your crucial vote to, needs to be deserving and ethically sound to be a Trustee. Ask yourself these questions:
- A Trustee is bound in ‘trust’ to follow the wishes of the donor. The question you need to ask is will this candidate follow the donor’s will or will he/she work in the interest of their family and friends, or in a manner in which they would not deal with the property, were it their own?
- Will the candidate, once he/she becomes a Trustee, take the right decisions to protect, sustain and improve our Trust properties, so that the next generation benefits from their efforts?
- Does the candidate have the vision, the foresight and the experience to look after our properties?
- Does the candidate have the vision and the passion to raise funds through donations, rather than the sale of our houses?
- Is this candidate beyond reproach, in terms of corruption and malpractices, vis-à-vis our Trust funds and Trust properties?
- Is the candidate capable of using his/her own mind and taking independent decisions, or is he/she just going to be a puppet and ponder over issues until someone else whispers decisions into their ears?
And once you’ve thought upon these aspects, ask yourself the most important question of all – is this candidate going to be a good Trustee or is he/she just a good politician?
In the answers to these questions, lies the future of our community. And in your decision, lies its progress and welfare.
Jamshedi Navroz Mubarak to all!
By Kersi Randeria,
BPP Trustee and Parsi Times, Founder