Gujarat high court dismisses Parsi woman’s plea to worship in fire temple

The Gujarat high court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by a Parsi (Zoroastrian) woman, married to a non-Parsi, seeking permission to enter and worship in the Agiyari ( Zoroastrian fire temple) and attend, in future, the last rites of her aging parents as per the community customs.

By Saeed Khan | Times of India

A three-judge bench refused to direct the trustees of the Agiyari in Valsad district in south Gujarat to permit her entry and to perform rituals. The petitioner’s father is also a trustee of the Agiyari.

The judgment argued that there was no declaration before a competent court that she had continued to follow Zoroastrian religion after her marriage to a non-Parsi. The HC, however, allowed her to obtain such a declaration from a civil court before she could be treated equally by the religious denomination.

A resident of Valsad, Goolrokh Contractor, now, Goolrokh Gupta had married a non-Parsi in 1991. Following her marriage, she was denied entry to religious temple as well as participation in Parsi rituals.

After raising the issue in the community, she approached the high court in 2010 seeking direction to the authorities of the fire temple situated at Mota Pariwad in Valsad as well as to other religious leaders and members of the community to allow her at the Agiyari. As per the community tradition, women who marry non-Parsis are barred from entering Parsi religious places and prohibited from performing certain religious rituals.

When the petition came up for hearing before a single judge, the point was raised that this was in public interest. The judge referred the case to division bench, which referred it further to full bench.

The Three judges – Jayant Patel, Akil Kureshi and Rashmin Chhaya heard the case and dismissed the petition on Friday.

  • Ervard Athornan

    Similar restrictions to entry of Parsee women and men who have married  to non Parsee non Zoroastrians need to be implemented in all Fire Temples across the country.No gender based  discrimination.

  • Ervard Athornan

    Similar restrictions to entry of Parsee women and men who have married  to non Parsee non Zoroastrians need to be implemented in all Fire Temples across the country.No gender based  discrimination.

  • Piloomani

     

    I very much regret the attitude of the learned trustees in dis-allowing
    Ms.Goolrukh Gupta in attending the religious ceremonies of her parents.  However, I wish to state that there are
    umpteen number of Parsis ladies who for money or for some other reason have
    married outside the Parsi Community and married according to the traditions of
    Hindus, Christains, Sikhs, Muslims  religions etc and continue to attend religious
    ceremonies of their Parsi friends and relatives and are never barred.  Mrs.Goolrukh Gupta as I understand has even
    changed her first name to a Hindu name  and converted as is normally done in the Hindu
    community where as per the Hindu marriage traditions, the woman lose her maiden
    first name and the husband decides the first name.  When a person whether male or female marries
    according to the traditions of Hindu or Muslim or  Christain or Sikh he / she automatically belongs
    to that religion.

    The learned trustees have deliberately played into the hands
    of Ms.Goolrukh Gupta  who in order to
    create a bad name  and disrepute for the
    Zoroastrian religion and Parsis in general has gone to the High Court spending
    enormous sums of money.

    There many cases of Parsi women married outside who even
    after marrying outside and converting want to encash on the funds of the
    society.  This is because ours is a very
    helpless and submissive community.  Would
    these Parsi women dared to challenge the traditions of their husbands religion.  The answer is no.  As they would be given a much needed
    spanking or probably burnt.

  • Piloomani

     

    I very much regret the attitude of the learned trustees in dis-allowing
    Ms.Goolrukh Gupta in attending the religious ceremonies of her parents.  However, I wish to state that there are
    umpteen number of Parsis ladies who for money or for some other reason have
    married outside the Parsi Community and married according to the traditions of
    Hindus, Christains, Sikhs, Muslims  religions etc and continue to attend religious
    ceremonies of their Parsi friends and relatives and are never barred.  Mrs.Goolrukh Gupta as I understand has even
    changed her first name to a Hindu name  and converted as is normally done in the Hindu
    community where as per the Hindu marriage traditions, the woman lose her maiden
    first name and the husband decides the first name.  When a person whether male or female marries
    according to the traditions of Hindu or Muslim or  Christain or Sikh he / she automatically belongs
    to that religion.

    The learned trustees have deliberately played into the hands
    of Ms.Goolrukh Gupta  who in order to
    create a bad name  and disrepute for the
    Zoroastrian religion and Parsis in general has gone to the High Court spending
    enormous sums of money.

    There many cases of Parsi women married outside who even
    after marrying outside and converting want to encash on the funds of the
    society.  This is because ours is a very
    helpless and submissive community.  Would
    these Parsi women dared to challenge the traditions of their husbands religion.  The answer is no.  As they would be given a much needed
    spanking or probably burnt.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Leaving the issue of this particular case aside, the main gravamen of the community is that while Parsee male, married to a non Zoroastrian can enter any place of worship, women are subjected to a different treatment.If we are so concerned about BOONAK PAASBANI then the same restrictions should be placed on all , viz men as well as women and a strict enforcement must be made. Will Mumbai and Surat take a cue from this victory of conservatives and follow the example of Valsad?

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Leaving the issue of this particular case aside, the main gravamen of the community is that while Parsee male, married to a non Zoroastrian can enter any place of worship, women are subjected to a different treatment.If we are so concerned about BOONAK PAASBANI then the same restrictions should be placed on all , viz men as well as women and a strict enforcement must be made. Will Mumbai and Surat take a cue from this victory of conservatives and follow the example of Valsad?

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Leaving the issue of this particular case aside, the main gravamen of the community is that while Parsee male, married to a non Zoroastrian can enter any place of worship, women are subjected to a different treatment.If we are so concerned about BOONAK PAASBANI then the same restrictions should be placed on all , viz men as well as women and a strict enforcement must be made. Will Mumbai and Surat take a cue from this victory of conservatives and follow the example of Valsad?

  • Sarosh

    Raze all Fire temples to the ground and send all parsees back to iran or to the gas chambers. Lets hurry the elimination process.

  • Sarosh

    Raze all Fire temples to the ground and send all parsees back to iran or to the gas chambers. Lets hurry the elimination process.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Shame, shame, shame.  A Parsi woman is not considered Parsi because of the fascists in power in the BPP. Deekras, we have a choice.  We are dying out.  Either we reform and it will be PARSEES ON PARADE, or we remain the way we are it it will be PARSEE POOP!  

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Shame, shame, shame.  A Parsi woman is not considered Parsi because of the fascists in power in the BPP. Deekras, we have a choice.  We are dying out.  Either we reform and it will be PARSEES ON PARADE, or we remain the way we are it it will be PARSEE POOP!  

  • phiroze

    The lady is Neha Gupta now and cannot claim to be a Parsi anymore.

  • Darius Khambatta

    Ervard “Retard” Athornan, whoever you are, you nameless gutless fellow hiding behind a mask , there is no need to “implement” anything across the country.Im glad to say i voluntarily stopped going to that boring smoky joint more than two and a half decades back as it was full of braindead retards like you.The only reason i might pass by that smoky joint (the Agiary..i mean) is because the macchi market’s nearby.Im sure you cant stop ppl like me from eating tasty macchi…in fact i’ll tell Gulrookh to go to the macchi market too…its better than the Agiary…know why? it stinks…but it stinks less, as there are no Dasturs present in the macchi market. Dasturs like you STINK. Also the the effort put in to go to the macchi market is worth it, as i can enjoy a tasty meal after that.SO, Ervad Retard Brainless Buffoon whoever you are, to make a long story short…in my expert well informed opinion the status of an parsee agiary is the same as that of a macchi market.Shocking, isnt it ?

  • Darius Khambatta

    Content Deleted by Moderator

  • Darius Khambatta

    Pilooomani , your brain seems to be as pea sized as your name suggests it is.

  • Darius Khambatta

    Pilooomani , your brain seems to be as pea sized as your name suggests it is.

  • I LOVE BONAK PASBANI

    bov than than  kari rayla…barbar mona par parya…..

  • I LOVE BONAK PASBANI

    bov than than  kari rayla…barbar mona par parya…..

  • xyz

    Just because 7 trustees of BPP past or present who fought in the valsad high court case, why should you talk of destroying fire-temples and gas chambers ?? I don’t understand the logic. Parsee religion will always shine and we will come out of this mess also successfully. God will only show us the way.

  • xyz

    Just because 7 trustees of BPP past or present who fought in the valsad high court case, why should you talk of destroying fire-temples and gas chambers ?? I don’t understand the logic. Parsee religion will always shine and we will come out of this mess also successfully. God will only show us the way.

  • xyz

    Please respect Zoroastrian Religion in which you are born and in which your navjote is performed. thanks.

  • xyz

    Please respect Zoroastrian Religion in which you are born and in which your navjote is performed. thanks.

  • Sharifkhanpathan

    I agree with Goolrokh that anyone in this country can profess the religion of her choice at anytime.

  • Sharifkhanpathan

    I agree with Goolrokh that anyone in this country can profess the religion of her choice at anytime.

  • Burzin

    Darius Khambatta, before passing comments / judgements on others please look inwards. Your comments are very rude and obnoxious.

    ALSO, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK IN THAT TONE ABOUT OUR SACRED AGIYARIS. THEY ARE SPIRITUAL POWERHOUSES THAT HAVE SUSTAINED US THROUGH THE AGES.

    If you do not have good things to say, please avoid logging your views on this forum – they do not reflect well on you.

    Your comments above have hurt every true zarthushti.

  • Burzin

    Darius Khambatta, before passing comments / judgements on others please look inwards. Your comments are very rude and obnoxious.

    ALSO, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEAK IN THAT TONE ABOUT OUR SACRED AGIYARIS. THEY ARE SPIRITUAL POWERHOUSES THAT HAVE SUSTAINED US THROUGH THE AGES.

    If you do not have good things to say, please avoid logging your views on this forum – they do not reflect well on you.

    Your comments above have hurt every true zarthushti.

  • Burzin

    Are these comments actually being moderated? I doubt.

    If so the above one should have definitely not gone through.

    Moderator – Can you respond please, why this comment was allowed to appear on this page.

  • Burzin

    Are these comments actually being moderated? I doubt.

    If so the above one should have definitely not gone through.

    Moderator – Can you respond please, why this comment was allowed to appear on this page.

  •  Hi Burzin.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    The comment should not have been let through. We are sorry for the same.

  •  Hi Burzin.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    The comment should not have been let through. We are sorry for the same.

  • Er. Tehmool.

    My comment herebelow is not in reference to what this Parsee lady did. In fact the short cut for her, in my opinion would have been to visit any other Fire Temple provided she was still a practising Jarthostee instead of squandering money on Court case. Better, she could have started a Dadgah at Valsad from the same finances. But I leave that to her choice. What causes anxiety to me and many conservatives, is the observation of the Court that a female is supposed to profess the religion of her spouse, upon marriage. By implication, there will be many non Parsee ladies married to Parsee males and this assertion can open a pandora’s box with many non Parsee wives of Parsee males calling themselves as having acquired religion of their husbands.What do true orthodox intend to do about this ?

  • Er. Tehmool.

    My comment herebelow is not in reference to what this Parsee lady did. In fact the short cut for her, in my opinion would have been to visit any other Fire Temple provided she was still a practising Jarthostee instead of squandering money on Court case. Better, she could have started a Dadgah at Valsad from the same finances. But I leave that to her choice. What causes anxiety to me and many conservatives, is the observation of the Court that a female is supposed to profess the religion of her spouse, upon marriage. By implication, there will be many non Parsee ladies married to Parsee males and this assertion can open a pandora’s box with many non Parsee wives of Parsee males calling themselves as having acquired religion of their husbands.What do true orthodox intend to do about this ?

  • Contradhongi

    Er. Tehmool.,
    The dhongees  wearing the label themselves as “orthodox’ and ‘traditional’ have only one agenda item, to usurp the ancestral properties. Their ‘concern’ for religious causes is just a ruse to fool the common Parsees. Learn that now. It is too late any way. 

  • Contradhongi

    Er. Tehmool.,
    The dhongees  wearing the label themselves as “orthodox’ and ‘traditional’ have only one agenda item, to usurp the ancestral properties. Their ‘concern’ for religious causes is just a ruse to fool the common Parsees. Learn that now. It is too late any way. 

  • Shyamak

    Yeah…..serves the ARZ (ASSOCIATION OF REVIVAL OF ZOROASTRIANISM) right. They a bunch of rich and famous capitalists mostly from the USA want to bring about changes not for the sake of benefitting the religion and its people to have a share in the large corpus of the BPP. Hope these bunch of idiots are made to shut up. On one side they castigate the BPP on the other side their own representative is sitting and doing nothing about the issue of dokhmenashni or anything. Good slap on the face of the ARZ…HIPHIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY

  • Shyamak

    Yeah…..serves the ARZ (ASSOCIATION OF REVIVAL OF ZOROASTRIANISM) right. They a bunch of rich and famous capitalists mostly from the USA want to bring about changes not for the sake of benefitting the religion and its people to have a share in the large corpus of the BPP. Hope these bunch of idiots are made to shut up. On one side they castigate the BPP on the other side their own representative is sitting and doing nothing about the issue of dokhmenashni or anything. Good slap on the face of the ARZ…HIPHIP HOORAY, HIP HIP HOORAY

  • gb

    They have already constructed an agyari in Pune for Non Parsis to enter. They are now going to construct an Agyari in Malad mumbai for non-parsis to enter. Please be extra careful if you pay them Rs 10/- and become a member. They are definetely anti-parsis.

  • gb

    They have already constructed an agyari in Pune for Non Parsis to enter. They are now going to construct an Agyari in Malad mumbai for non-parsis to enter. Please be extra careful if you pay them Rs 10/- and become a member. They are definetely anti-parsis.

  • Darius khambatta

    Well,well its good to check out a thread once in a while.Burzin …whoever you are, seems to have taken on the mantle of head priest(ess). Who gives a damn to your sentiments on whether i have a right or not to speak my mind. We live in a democracy where we all have a right to air our views so if im not censoring your big fat mouth i suggest you do the same. Get off your high moral hobbyhorse. Try and be a good human being first and then get on to cheap religeous jingoism. The only thing emanating from the residents of your “spiritual powerhouses” is discrimination,greed & selfishness.Keep your moral policing in your pocket and your unwanted advice as well. Btw..no need to proclaim your religiosity by typing in caps lock.

  • Darius khambatta

    Well,well its good to check out a thread once in a while.Burzin …whoever you are, seems to have taken on the mantle of head priest(ess). Who gives a damn to your sentiments on whether i have a right or not to speak my mind. We live in a democracy where we all have a right to air our views so if im not censoring your big fat mouth i suggest you do the same. Get off your high moral hobbyhorse. Try and be a good human being first and then get on to cheap religeous jingoism. The only thing emanating from the residents of your “spiritual powerhouses” is discrimination,greed & selfishness.Keep your moral policing in your pocket and your unwanted advice as well. Btw..no need to proclaim your religiosity by typing in caps lock.

  • Darius Khambatta

    What are you , moral police.Go shift to Afghanistan or Iran .Pathetic fellow.

  • Darius Khambatta

    What are you , moral police.Go shift to Afghanistan or Iran .Pathetic fellow.

  • Contradhongi.

    Who is their ‘representative’ in B.P.P. ???
    Did this association file this Court case ?.
    Learn to write facts.
    @gb.If as you say they charge only Rs. 10/ and yet could build an Agyari in Pune, then thats certainly an achievement, considering the value of Rs. 10/.
    As for non Parsees entering Fire Temples, what do you call many if not all labourers working in such places?

  • Contradhongi.

    Who is their ‘representative’ in B.P.P. ???
    Did this association file this Court case ?.
    Learn to write facts.
    @gb.If as you say they charge only Rs. 10/ and yet could build an Agyari in Pune, then thats certainly an achievement, considering the value of Rs. 10/.
    As for non Parsees entering Fire Temples, what do you call many if not all labourers working in such places?

  • gb

    They do not have any representative in BPP. This association has not filed any case. This case what you are talking is entirely different. I have mentioned FACTS only. You can try it out. You can go and meet both these brothers in their office in fort and pay rs 10/- and you can become a member. They have received substantial funds from abroad from reformists who encourage children of non-parsi spouse to enter such an agiary. You can check this agiary in pune and very shortly you can visit in malad at mumbai also. I once again repeat these are facts and nothing but facts only.

  • gb

    They do not have any representative in BPP. This association has not filed any case. This case what you are talking is entirely different. I have mentioned FACTS only. You can try it out. You can go and meet both these brothers in their office in fort and pay rs 10/- and you can become a member. They have received substantial funds from abroad from reformists who encourage children of non-parsi spouse to enter such an agiary. You can check this agiary in pune and very shortly you can visit in malad at mumbai also. I once again repeat these are facts and nothing but facts only.

  • Chinky Nanda.

    The conservatives are doing a good job of making sure that we are extinct much before our time.
    I have a Parsi mother and a non-Parsi father. Naturally, since I was raised by my mother I can speak, read and write Gujarati fluently. The same does not apply to my father’s mother tongue. The same applies to all other things that are tied to

    Zoroastrianism; including the prayers, the history, the philosophy and to follow the path of ‘Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni.’ All this was inculcated into me by my mother since my father barely had much of a say in raising me, what with his busy schedule.
    The next time you use the words ‘mother tongue’ please pause and read it again. We imbibe more from our mothers than our fathers. It makes no sense to me that children of male Parsis’ are accepted into the faith when if you look closely (without any blinkers) you will find that it should be the other way around if not the same for both; which I think is the only way for our religion to thrive for many more thousands of years.

    The world needs us and we need the world to look upon us as a progressive and not regressive religion that gave the world it’s first glimpse of a early “Human Rights Charter” by Cyrus the Great.
    Yes, the path chosen by the orthodoxy could well turn out into a Human Rights issue, specially by not allowing Parsi women into our fire temples and dokhmas.

  • Chinky Nanda.

    The conservatives are doing a good job of making sure that we are extinct much before our time.
    I have a Parsi mother and a non-Parsi father. Naturally, since I was raised by my mother I can speak, read and write Gujarati fluently. The same does not apply to my father’s mother tongue. The same applies to all other things that are tied to

    Zoroastrianism; including the prayers, the history, the philosophy and to follow the path of ‘Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni.’ All this was inculcated into me by my mother since my father barely had much of a say in raising me, what with his busy schedule.
    The next time you use the words ‘mother tongue’ please pause and read it again. We imbibe more from our mothers than our fathers. It makes no sense to me that children of male Parsis’ are accepted into the faith when if you look closely (without any blinkers) you will find that it should be the other way around if not the same for both; which I think is the only way for our religion to thrive for many more thousands of years.

    The world needs us and we need the world to look upon us as a progressive and not regressive religion that gave the world it’s first glimpse of a early “Human Rights Charter” by Cyrus the Great.
    Yes, the path chosen by the orthodoxy could well turn out into a Human Rights issue, specially by not allowing Parsi women into our fire temples and dokhmas.

  • Chinky Nanda.

    The conservatives are doing a good job of making sure that we are extinct much before our time.
    I have a Parsi mother and a non-Parsi father. Naturally, since I was raised by my mother I can speak, read and write Gujarati fluently. The same does not apply to my father’s mother tongue. The same applies to all other things that are tied to

    Zoroastrianism; including the prayers, the history, the philosophy and to follow the path of ‘Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni.’ All this was inculcated into me by my mother since my father barely had much of a say in raising me, what with his busy schedule.
    The next time you use the words ‘mother tongue’ please pause and read it again. We imbibe more from our mothers than our fathers. It makes no sense to me that children of male Parsis’ are accepted into the faith when if you look closely (without any blinkers) you will find that it should be the other way around if not the same for both; which I think is the only way for our religion to thrive for many more thousands of years. The world needs us and we need the world to look upon us as a progressive and not regressive religion that gave the world it’s first glimpse of a early “Human Rights Charter” by Cyrus the Great.
    Yes, the path chosen by the orthodoxy could well turn out into a Human Rights issue, specially by not allowing Parsi women into our fire temples and dokhmas.

  • Chinky Nanda.

    The conservatives are doing a good job of making sure that we are extinct much before our time.
    I have a Parsi mother and a non-Parsi father. Naturally, since I was raised by my mother I can speak, read and write Gujarati fluently. The same does not apply to my father’s mother tongue. The same applies to all other things that are tied to

    Zoroastrianism; including the prayers, the history, the philosophy and to follow the path of ‘Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni.’ All this was inculcated into me by my mother since my father barely had much of a say in raising me, what with his busy schedule.
    The next time you use the words ‘mother tongue’ please pause and read it again. We imbibe more from our mothers than our fathers. It makes no sense to me that children of male Parsis’ are accepted into the faith when if you look closely (without any blinkers) you will find that it should be the other way around if not the same for both; which I think is the only way for our religion to thrive for many more thousands of years. The world needs us and we need the world to look upon us as a progressive and not regressive religion that gave the world it’s first glimpse of a early “Human Rights Charter” by Cyrus the Great.
    Yes, the path chosen by the orthodoxy could well turn out into a Human Rights issue, specially by not allowing Parsi women into our fire temples and dokhmas.