Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Cyrus Poonawalla Tries to Broker Peace: World Congess

Email from Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, sponsor, Tenth World Zoroastrian Congress to seven trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet

November 28, 2013

The Trustees
Bombay Parsi Punchayet
209, Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Road
Mumbai 400001

Dear Madams/Sirs,

Sub : Postponement/Cancellation of 10th World Zoroastrian Congress

I have given lot of thought and consideration to the arguments of all the Trustees who are divided on whether the Congress should be cancelled or continued, along with various flyers from all over the world, copies of which have been sent to me.

In my view, the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress which is so close, must be held and not deferred or cancelled.

I do recognize that the four Trustees have bona fide reasons to feel aggrieved against the Chairman. However, the Chairman’s contention is that the allegations have not been proven and therefore, obviously, he cannot step down [this isthe principle of natural justice which cannot be denied to him]. This issue is a matter pertaining to the financial management of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet and technically has nothing to do with the management and running of the conference. Therefore, all decisions on the conference should be made independently.

I strongly urge all seven Trustees to find some via-media wherein the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress could be supervised and run independently as a special case to save the day; otherwise the cancellation would involve great embarrassment and scandal worldwide. Therefore, I hope that the Trustees will come upon a mutual, amicable and workable solution.


Yours sincerely,

Dr. Cyrus S. Poonawalla

Email from four trustees to sponsor of the Tenth World Zoroastrian Congress Dr Cyrus Poonawalla

November 29, 2013

Dear Dr Poonawalla,

In response to your email dated 28th November, requesting us to re consider our discussion we have met and deliberated on this issue for many hours. As we are sure you will agree that our task as trustees, is to uphold and strengthen the fair name of the BPP which is over 300 yrs old.

However, as you know in recent weeks, we discovered serious irregularities perpetrated by our Chairman, Mr Dinshaw Mehta.

After much thought and concern to safe guard the well being of the trust, we trustees have filed a criminal complaint at the Economic Offences Wing – Crime Branch Mumbai against him.

In addition to the Police Complaint, we have also filed papers with the Charity Commissioner’s office in Mumbai to seek the removal of Mr Dinshaw Mehta , as a trustee of the BPP.

It’s because of these compelling and unexpected developments, that we thought it best to postpone the WZC, as the media attention both locally and internationally would tarnish the fair name of the BPP, if Mr Dinshaw Mehta was allowed to continue and importantly, host the forth coming Congress, as it’s chairman.

On the 27th of November 2013 , we received an email from Mr Maneck Davar, (a close friend of Mr Dinshaw Mehta) in which he suggested that Mr Dinshaw Mehta as well as 2 other trustees were willing to recuse themselves from the entire congress, but wished to be present as speakers/panellist.

We have deliberated further in the interests of the trust , community and the forth coming congress and have arrived at a decision which may meet your support.

We, as the majority trustees, are willing to host the Congress as scheduled, if Mr Dinshaw Mehta steps down as the chairman of the Congress and recuses himself totally from participating in all the activities of the congress, including its present decision making process.

If this is agreeable, the Congress can be put back on track without the image of the BPP being tarnished or sullied in anyway and likewise none of our foreign participants will be inconvenienced what so ever. We hope that you will see merit in what we have proposed.

We look forward to your goodwill and support for the smooth running of the Congress

With kind regards

Your sincerely

Yazdi Desia
Arnavaz Mistry
Khojeste P Mistree
Jimmy Mistry

28th November, 2013

The Trustees

Bombay Parsi Punchayet

209, Dr. Dadabhai Naoroji Road


Mumbai 400 001