Bombay Parsi Punchayet Trustees’ kin line up for elections

In the run up to the polls, which are likely to be held on October, names of some trustees’ kin have started doing the rounds.

Article by Kamlesh Pednekar | DNA

344186-bmbay-parsi-panchayat-rna-cropElections to the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, one of the richest trusts in the city, is turning out to be a family affair, with children and relatives of trustees looking to enter the seat of power of the Zoroastrian community.

In the run up to the polls, which are likely to be held on October, names of some trustees’ kin have started doing the rounds. One of the them is Viraf Mehta, son of existing chairman of Punchayet, Dinshaw Mehta. As per rules, Dinshaw won’t be able to contest the elections because he has completed 21 years.

“I am not 100% sure but I am giving it a serious thought. I may come up with a decision soon enough,” said Viraf, who is into capital markets and a founding member of ZYNG – the youth arm of Bombay Parsi Punchayet.

Launch of ZYNG had been mired in accusations of nepotism. When it started ZYNG had children of three trustees Dinshaw Mehta, Khojeste Mistree and Armaity Tirandaz – as part of it. The initiative then was labelled as one by trustees who wanted to promote their children.

While ZYNG did not have any elections, this is not the first time a family member will be contesting elections. Over two years ago, Anahita Desai, wife of existing trustee, Yazdi Desai stood for elections. She had lost in a bitterly fought election that was marred by inside politics. Before that there was another election where in Armaity Tirandaz was elected. She was put up after then trustee Rustom Tirandaz passed away.

Tirandaz’s daughter-in-law Pearl, who is part of ZYNG, is also said to be toying with the idea of contesting elections, according a website dedicated to the Parsi community. However, Pearl, who is a choreographer by profession, said, “I have not decided. My mother-in-law does not need to step down in October because her results were affected later. She is already in her seat.”