The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) is the talking point once again in the community after its board of trustees cut ties with its youth wing Zoroastrian Youth for Next Generation (ZYNG).
Article by Ashutosh Shukla | DNA India
ZYNG was formed in December 2009 by former board of trustees of the BPP. Back then, ZYNG was presented as a body that would provide a common platform for Parsi youth and would look to check their falling numbers. However, as soon as it was formed, some members of the community alleged that it was a body made to promote children of the trustees. The current board of trustees of BPP include persons who had opposed the formation of ZYNG before becoming trustees subsequently, as well as those who were on the board when the body was floated.
On November 29, the BPP in a board meeting decided to cut their ties with ZYNG stating that the youth wing had “attitude, defiance and made a mockery of the trustees”. “We let them go on their own because they are big boys. They were identified as youth wing of BPP and we have taken away that tag line. We would ask them to come and see us, but they would not. They had attitude and a certain sense of defiance and they were mocking and not taking us seriously. If they have good programmes, we will support them,” said Noshir Dadrawalla, trustee of the BPP who moved the resolution to sever ties.
In the last seven years, the BPP has spent nearly Rs 1 crore on activities by ZYNG. The activities included arranging couple meets, going on trips, having camps and activities related to keeping youths educated about Parsi customs and practices. It had once come under fire for having photographs of girls on their religious calendar that some in the community found to be “skimpily clad”.
Viraf Mehta, son of former Chairperson of BPP, Dinshaw Mehta and present trustee of BPP and member of ZYNG said that the decision was taken due to politics and ego. “The committee had met and they were not at all disrespectful. In fact the chairman even spoke of having a way in which things will go forward,” he claimed.
Yazdi Desai, Chairperson of the BPP, said, “We should have cut off ZYNG during my last term itself. BPP spent over one crore on ZYNG. Provided them a separate office. It has basically only funded Viraf Mehta’s Parsi political ambitions. ZYNG was very elitist and never made middle class Parsi youth comfortable. ZYNG were ashamed of associating with BPP as even their printed stationery had no mention of BPP. There was no accountability, and there was no benefit to BPP’s objectives. The dissociation was inevitable.”