After high drama including a hunger protest by two of its trustees, the turmoil in the over 300-year-old Bombay Parsi Punchayat (BPP) was resolved on Wednesday evening.
The BPP, the apex body representing Parsis and the city’s largest private landlord, has been wrecked due to continuous infighting among its trustees for over a decade now.
Article by Nauzer Bharucha | Times of India
On Wednesday evening, after a series of meetings, all the five trustees unanimously agreed to cut short their term and hold fresh elections on March 27, 2022. Solicitor Berjis Desai brokered the peace between the warring factions.
“The term of office of the present five trustees will be deemed to have expired on the day upon which the seven new trustees assume office,’’ said a statement released by the five trustees. The consent terms, which includes reducing the current seven-year term of a trustee to five years, will be filed in the Bombay high court.
The two trustees, Noshir Dadrawala and Kersi Randeria, undertook a hunger fast on Monday morning to protest their three colleagues — Viraf Mehta, Armaity Tirandaz and Xerxes Dastur — decision to postpone the elections till October 2022 for the two vacant seats.
It was only on Wednesday evening that the duo broke their fast. “Yes broke it with coconut water,’’ Dadrawala messaged TOI. “After three days, no hunger left, but exhausted with the rounds of discussion,’’ he said.
Another trustee from the rival camp, Viraf Mehta, too claimed he was on an `indefinite fast’’. “It’s the least I can do for my colleague whether he’s right or wrong,’’ he said.
The high drama at the BPP office at D N Road in south Mumbai, led to a lot of mirth within the miniscule community.
“Any reference to spring rolls and chicken is purely coincidental,’’ said one of the many messages forwarded on social media in reply to a fasting trustee who said he’s not a “spring chicken’’.
Another quipped, “If all the five trustees stand for re-election, that would be the most miserable outcome from all these farcical negotiations.’’
The rivalry between some of the BPP trustees over the years turned ugly at times with a slew of legal battles, allegations of rowdyism and even fisticuffs. Community newspapers and newsletters controlled by rival factions would hurl abuses and level wild charges against each other every week.