Do Parsis lack a proper sense of history?

Our good friend Dinyar Patel asks a very valid and pertinent question

Do Parsis lack a proper sense of history?

It is a question that I have often wondered while traveling and conducting research across India in the past fourteen months. Our history and culture is as rich as that of any other community in India, yet we have, at least for the past few decades, not been very good stewards of them. A number of our libraries and institutions are badly run. There are whole collections of valuable books and related items that are gathering dust in Godrej cabinets—or worse yet, in the open air. Many of the old Parsi wads in our ancestral towns and villages are deserted and decayed. Our holiest site, the Iranshah Atash Behram, lies amidst houses of great historical and architectural value, many of which are abandoned and garbage-strewn.

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  • Siloo Kapadia

    We lack a proper sense of who we are, that is for sure.  We are NOT Persians.  We are Asian Indians.  Yes, we have some root in Iran but it ends there.  The funny thing is that when we are outside of India, we tell everyone we are Indians, but when we are in India, we tell people we are Persians.   Funny, how we don’t want to “belong” anywhere. 

  • Siloo Kapadia

    We lack a proper sense of who we are, that is for sure.  We are NOT Persians.  We are Asian Indians.  Yes, we have some root in Iran but it ends there.  The funny thing is that when we are outside of India, we tell everyone we are Indians, but when we are in India, we tell people we are Persians.   Funny, how we don’t want to “belong” anywhere. 

  • Rustomjam

    The history that weakened the Persian empire is almost forgotten. About Vartaan Magmonian and the Byzantines treachery towards the Persians….so much that we might almost believe that Aderbad Marespand and Kartir and Sasanians were tyrants just because it was written by those who wanted to christianize Persia and Sasanians put to a stop to it. Just like Siloo delinks the Persian Empire and our roots therein, the history of holocausts faced by the Zoroastrians from Alexander to the Byzantines and lastly the Islamic caliphate and the setting up valiantly the institutions that enables generations of Zoroastrians to maintain their roots, we just might have a couple of few more who might fool themselves like siloo does by cutting the nose to spite the face.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Rustomjam, give it up for heaven’s sake.  Yes, we have SOME Persian roots, that is for sure. But to say we are “Persian” in this day and age is such utter rubbish.  We are Indian Asian, sure and simple.  If you don;’t like it, go to Iran, take up Iranian citizenship, and you can call yourself a Persian or Iranian or something like that.  But what you are stating is just another form of that old “we are ethnically pure” garbage that is killing the community off faster than anything the old Persians faced.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Rustomjam, give it up for heaven’s sake.  Yes, we have SOME Persian roots, that is for sure. But to say we are “Persian” in this day and age is such utter rubbish.  We are Indian Asian, sure and simple.  If you don;’t like it, go to Iran, take up Iranian citizenship, and you can call yourself a Persian or Iranian or something like that.  But what you are stating is just another form of that old “we are ethnically pure” garbage that is killing the community off faster than anything the old Persians faced.

  • Phiroze

    We are Indians by nationality and Parsi Zoroastrians by religious ethnic community as per the constitution of India. 

  • Phiroze

    We are Indians by nationality and Parsi Zoroastrians by religious ethnic community as per the constitution of India. 

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Please quote the Article of the Constitution  which says so.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Please quote the Article of the Constitution  which says so.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Please quote the Article of the Constitution  which says so.

  • Phiroze

    The same article which gaurantees freedom to practice ones religion without hurting the sentiments of others.

  • Phiroze

    The same article which gaurantees freedom to practice ones religion without hurting the sentiments of others.

  • Contradhongi

    Zerxes., Did you expect a reply to the point from this Phiroze. Thats expecting too much. I know your ploy because there is no such article referring to our Community specifically. In the end this ‘intellectual’ ended up showing his ‘knowledge’! 

  • Contradhongi

    Zerxes., Did you expect a reply to the point from this Phiroze. Thats expecting too much. I know your ploy because there is no such article referring to our Community specifically. In the end this ‘intellectual’ ended up showing his ‘knowledge’! 

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Phiroze: Do not take it as an insult but curiosity prompts me ask one simple question. Did you have a subject called CIVICS in your school and I assume you must have attended a School up to Higher Secondary level.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Phiroze: Do not take it as an insult but curiosity prompts me ask one simple question. Did you have a subject called CIVICS in your school and I assume you must have attended a School up to Higher Secondary level.