Campaign frenzy at its peak for Parsi punchayet by-polls

With the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) by-elections set to begin next week, the four candidates vying for the vacant seat on the board of trustees are aggressively wooing the community. In the past two weeks, some candidates have organised regular public meetings with free dinner in Parsi colonies wh ile others are deliberately keeping a low profile to make a statement against what they term as “extravagant” campaigning.

“Since a rival candidate did not agree on having a mutual code of conduct for the election campaigns, the process is now getting intense,” said Anahita Desai, one of the candidates. Desai represents the World Alliance of Parsi Irani Zarthoshtis, an orthodox community organisation.

Desai has been organising more than four campaign meetings a week, which end with distributing dinner boxes containing sandwiches and chocolates  among attendees.

“This is not as elaborate as the sit-down dinners being hosted elsewhere,” said Desai, candidly confessing that mudslinging is an inevitable part of their speeches.

Both Desai and rival candidate Muncherji Cama did not disclose their campaign budgets.

“My campaign manager has been told not to do anything ostentatious such as handing out branded hampers,” said Cama, chairman and managing director of Gujarati daily Bombay Samachar, who hosted a formal dinner at Napean Sea Road’s Godrej Baug last week besides handing out dinner boxes at meetings every day.

Candidates Noshir Gotla and Adi Govadia, on the other hand, are asserting themselves through deliberate low-key campaigns.

“I represent the poor Parsis so I am not spending much money on the elections,” said Govadia, whose campaign involves door-to-door visits to Parsi homes and distributing pamphlets.

The BPP will spend Rs 20 lakh to organise the by-election.

“We are expecting 8,000 out of our 28,000 voters to turn up on the voting days, and most of them would be senior citizens,” said BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehta.

  • Anonymous

    What most of the community members cannot understand is that the Chairman of BPP who occupies a presitgious position and is supposed to be above politics, totally fair and impartial in all matters more so on an important matter like the election of a new Trustee, is getting fiercely involved in the canvassing and mud slinging of opposing candidates and his co-Trustees. Is he not lowering the prestige of the chair he occupies? How can he ever sit in the Board room facing other Trustees whom he has severely cricitised wrongly or rightly and expect cooperation from them? After one Dadrawalla gone the Chairman has created several Dadrawallas. A sad state of affairs. Dinshawji you should stayed far far away from all this jhamela and maintained your reputation as an independent and impartial Chairman. I am afraid the remaining tenure of your Chairmanship which unfortunately is the last with the BPP is going to be an uphill task. Alas, what a way to go!!!!!!!!

  • burjor

    What most of the community members cannot understand is that the Chairman of BPP who occupies a presitgious position and is supposed to be above politics, totally fair and impartial in all matters more so on an important matter like the election of a new Trustee, is getting fiercely involved in the canvassing and mud slinging of opposing candidates and his co-Trustees. Is he not lowering the prestige of the chair he occupies? How can he ever sit in the Board room facing other Trustees whom he has severely cricitised wrongly or rightly and expect cooperation from them? After one Dadrawalla gone the Chairman has created several Dadrawallas. A sad state of affairs. Dinshawji you should stayed far far away from all this jhamela and maintained your reputation as an independent and impartial Chairman. I am afraid the remaining tenure of your Chairmanship which unfortunately is the last with the BPP is going to be an uphill task. Alas, what a way to go!!!!!!!!

  • Zerxes Dordi.

    Burjor.
    It is a case of matter of survival.My feeling is that the current Election will not be the last one for 2011 -2012. Otherwise expect more litigation. People should have applied their minds in 2008 before electing the seven and their ulterior objective to occupy the seat of Trusteeship after squandering money running into lacs. That was spent as an investment as someone has pointed out and now these TRUSTEES want  their pound of flesh. Elect WAPIZ lady or Mumbai Samachar  fellow, more fun is going to come.

  • Zerxes Dordi.

    Burjor.
    It is a case of matter of survival.My feeling is that the current Election will not be the last one for 2011 -2012. Otherwise expect more litigation. People should have applied their minds in 2008 before electing the seven and their ulterior objective to occupy the seat of Trusteeship after squandering money running into lacs. That was spent as an investment as someone has pointed out and now these TRUSTEES want  their pound of flesh. Elect WAPIZ lady or Mumbai Samachar  fellow, more fun is going to come.

  • Zerxes Dordi.

    Burjor.
    It is a case of matter of survival.My feeling is that the current Election will not be the last one for 2011 -2012. Otherwise expect more litigation. People should have applied their minds in 2008 before electing the seven and their ulterior objective to occupy the seat of Trusteeship after squandering money running into lacs. That was spent as an investment as someone has pointed out and now these TRUSTEES want  their pound of flesh. Elect WAPIZ lady or Mumbai Samachar  fellow, more fun is going to come.

  • Zerxes Dordi.

    Burjor.
    It is a case of matter of survival.My feeling is that the current Election will not be the last one for 2011 -2012. Otherwise expect more litigation. People should have applied their minds in 2008 before electing the seven and their ulterior objective to occupy the seat of Trusteeship after squandering money running into lacs. That was spent as an investment as someone has pointed out and now these TRUSTEES want  their pound of flesh. Elect WAPIZ lady or Mumbai Samachar  fellow, more fun is going to come.

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    Xerxes, It is not Munchi Cama’s illustrious family bloodlines or his affluent background, but his reliability, knowledge and expertise in governance of charity trust affairs, that makes him the better candidate in this election for 7th BPP Trustee. And it is precisely to bring some semblance of order and ethos back into the BPP that it is imperative to vote for the better qualified candidate and save the BPP from being taken to launderers and flattened dry. 

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    Xerxes, It is not Munchi Cama’s illustrious family bloodlines or his affluent background, but his reliability, knowledge and expertise in governance of charity trust affairs, that makes him the better candidate in this election for 7th BPP Trustee. And it is precisely to bring some semblance of order and ethos back into the BPP that it is imperative to vote for the better qualified candidate and save the BPP from being taken to launderers and flattened dry. 

  • Paul1221

    Feeling aghast, by the promises made by candidates housing, free food, education, medical, none are mentioning on reservations in colleges for the young Turks who are in line & who would like to progress in the field of education. We should have min 1 seat reserved for us in every field of advance studies as in Medicine, Engineering, etc. Today many parsi youth have discontinued their post graduations because they have no contacts or no god fathers to push them further in life. Today besides housing we need reservation in the field of education.

  • Paul1221

    Feeling aghast, by the promises made by candidates housing, free food, education, medical, none are mentioning on reservations in colleges for the young Turks who are in line & who would like to progress in the field of education. We should have min 1 seat reserved for us in every field of advance studies as in Medicine, Engineering, etc. Today many parsi youth have discontinued their post graduations because they have no contacts or no god fathers to push them further in life. Today besides housing we need reservation in the field of education.

  • Paul1221

    All the prvachan these so called candidates / trustees give we should have a yearly review as in a debate in an open forum on what they promised achieved failed. Instead of leading the way to the future / current generation to be self sustained, Many Parsi youth are unemployed. We need to focus more on education n multi skilled talent Parsi & groom the in the field of education & work. Who can be an example to a JRD, Homi Baba, Wadia’s. as of today we find very few parsi who are in leading position.  Of which maximum are in mid 50 – 60. The current generation besides dancing, treasure hunts. Fast dates look dull as next leaders. Esp the work they do in the name of social service supported by the trustees.  
     

  • Paul1221

    All the prvachan these so called candidates / trustees give we should have a yearly review as in a debate in an open forum on what they promised achieved failed. Instead of leading the way to the future / current generation to be self sustained, Many Parsi youth are unemployed. We need to focus more on education n multi skilled talent Parsi & groom the in the field of education & work. Who can be an example to a JRD, Homi Baba, Wadia’s. as of today we find very few parsi who are in leading position.  Of which maximum are in mid 50 – 60. The current generation besides dancing, treasure hunts. Fast dates look dull as next leaders. Esp the work they do in the name of social service supported by the trustees.  
     

  • Masco

    I wish somebody from ZYNG would stand in as a candidate,

  • Masco

    I wish somebody from ZYNG would stand in as a candidate,

  • Ronny

    Dear Mickie and Everyone,
    Candidates speak a lot and also promise a lot during Elections. That’s part of any Elections.Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that the BPP needs a Trustee, who has also faced the problems in life as a normal middle class Parsi individual generally faces. That kind of person will understand our problems better.A person ( whoever it maybe ) who has had golden spoon since birth and have not seen tough days in life will never be able to understand our problems.The Trustees earlier than 2008 were all big shots but nothing material happened in BPP all these years as we all know and so the community elected the middle class individuals in both the Elections after 2008, who are on Board.As far as managing the Trust, BPP already has good Trustees on Board and better Staff.Regards to Everyone

  • Ronny

    Dear Mickie and Everyone,
    Candidates speak a lot and also promise a lot during Elections. That’s part of any Elections.Whatever the case may be, the bottom line is that the BPP needs a Trustee, who has also faced the problems in life as a normal middle class Parsi individual generally faces. That kind of person will understand our problems better.A person ( whoever it maybe ) who has had golden spoon since birth and have not seen tough days in life will never be able to understand our problems.The Trustees earlier than 2008 were all big shots but nothing material happened in BPP all these years as we all know and so the community elected the middle class individuals in both the Elections after 2008, who are on Board.As far as managing the Trust, BPP already has good Trustees on Board and better Staff.Regards to Everyone

  • Byram Sidhwa.

    Ronny,
    Can you enlighten us about the achievements of current set of BPP Trustees holding office since 2008 except creating trivial issues which end up in litigation. If you know of any constructive activity performed by these power greedy individuals, do let us know.

  • Byram Sidhwa.

    Ronny,
    Can you enlighten us about the achievements of current set of BPP Trustees holding office since 2008 except creating trivial issues which end up in litigation. If you know of any constructive activity performed by these power greedy individuals, do let us know.

  • Zerxes Dordi.

     Going by logic of Ronny, all the donors (Sethias) are unfit to be Trustees. What problems the aristocrats face is known to them alone and it is easy for persons like Ronny to feel that all those who are wealthy have not come up the hard way.
    One can understand that persons like Ronny would usurp any platform that is available to propagate support for a candidate from their organisation. I owe allegiance no oprganisation and I greatly admire the  idea floated by some that another option is needed in the Ballot Paper disapproving of all the candidates. The Moderator should exercise greater scrutiny to see that this portal is not misused by some interested elements to serve their hidden ends.

  • Firobati

    Masco, do have anyone in mind from ZYNG? It would be great to see some youth more involved.

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    Good poser Mr. Byram Sidhwa.
    Mr Ronny, your pathetic logic is akin to suggestion that we should not opt for stellar consultants/surgeons from affluent backgrounds as they would not qualify to diagnose our illness as well as a middle-class doctor. We would do better to put our trust only in hands of a practitioner/specialist from a humble environ who would be better placed to remedy our ailment.
    By your own reasoning, next time we may as well in muddled judgement, foist one of our less fortunate community brethren who are regrettably forced to eke out a living on doles, because they would have experienced the worst hardships and meet your criteria to understand plight of others and therefore make the grade as a BPP Trustee in your opinion. Trustworthiness, experience, knowledge of governance in trust affairs, are all irrelevant credentials for election to such high responsible office in our BPP according to your comment.
    Sorry Mr. Ronny, but your thinking is warped. In this case your bias against the haves is apparent. The rich may appear indifferent and aloof, but they are principled and can be depended upon not to sponge into charities meant for beneficiaries. Whereas the upstarts, once they assume BPP trusteeship and sniff power with all the money making avenues, they remain mere glib talkers while retracting on campaign promises exactly like elected politicians

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    Good poser Mr. Byram Sidhwa.
    Mr Ronny, your pathetic logic is akin to suggestion that we should not opt for stellar consultants/surgeons from affluent backgrounds as they would not qualify to diagnose our illness as well as a middle-class doctor. We would do better to put our trust only in hands of a practitioner/specialist from a humble environ who would be better placed to remedy our ailment.
    By your own reasoning, next time we may as well in muddled judgement, foist one of our less fortunate community brethren who are regrettably forced to eke out a living on doles, because they would have experienced the worst hardships and meet your criteria to understand plight of others and therefore make the grade as a BPP Trustee in your opinion. Trustworthiness, experience, knowledge of governance in trust affairs, are all irrelevant credentials for election to such high responsible office in our BPP according to your comment.
    Sorry Mr. Ronny, but your thinking is warped. In this case your bias against the haves is apparent. The rich may appear indifferent and aloof, but they are principled and can be depended upon not to sponge into charities meant for beneficiaries. Whereas the upstarts, once they assume BPP trusteeship and sniff power with all the money making avenues, they remain mere glib talkers while retracting on campaign promises exactly like elected politicians

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    Good poser Mr. Byram Sidhwa.
    Mr Ronny, your pathetic logic is akin to suggestion that we should not opt for stellar consultants/surgeons from affluent backgrounds as they would not qualify to diagnose our illness as well as a middle-class doctor. We would do better to put our trust only in hands of a practitioner/specialist from a humble environ who would be better placed to remedy our ailment.
    By your own reasoning, next time we may as well in muddled judgement, foist one of our less fortunate community brethren who are regrettably forced to eke out a living on doles, because they would have experienced the worst hardships and meet your criteria to understand plight of others and therefore make the grade as a BPP Trustee in your opinion. Trustworthiness, experience, knowledge of governance in trust affairs, are all irrelevant credentials for election to such high responsible office in our BPP according to your comment.
    Sorry Mr. Ronny, but your thinking is warped. In this case your bias against the haves is apparent. The rich may appear indifferent and aloof, but they are principled and can be depended upon not to sponge into charities meant for beneficiaries. Whereas the upstarts, once they assume BPP trusteeship and sniff power with all the money making avenues, they remain mere glib talkers while retracting on campaign promises exactly like elected politicians

  • Barak Aga

    Those who ask for and receive charity are the ones born with a golden spoon in their mouths.
    They are taken care of from cradle to grave.
    Parsee General Hospital where they are born stands because of charity done by the hard-working and industrious section of the community.
    They receive free, or heavily subsidised education in schools and colleges set up by philanthropic Zoroastrians of yore.
    They need not appear for interviews and have ready jobs waiting for them in Tata, Godrej and Wadia group of companies.

    Mr. Ronny claims the community elected “middle class individuals” in the 2008 elections. Far from the truth. Many were third class individuals who were elected. Khojestee Mistree drives a Toyota costing Rs. 25,00,000/- and lives in an apartment valued at close to Rs. 30,000,000. Which middle class individuals can afford such luxury?

    Stop taking pot shots at the big shots, you are enjoying their charity.
    If you have the courage stop living in colonies constructed by the Tatas, the Godrejs the Wadias, do not approach them for jobs.

  • Ronny

    byram can you enlighten me about the achievements of the set of Trustees before 2008 ?
    They claim that they increased the Corpus to big levels but the % of doles let out to poor remained same.
    Although Corpus was high, they did not build new buildings.
    Besides, the litigations ( famous 104 ) were inherited by the present Trustees. The litigations were filed against old Trustees.
    saaheb get your facts right and please don’t go by what people say.
    The Court Orders can be found on Web Site also

  • Ronny

    byram can you enlighten me about the achievements of the set of Trustees before 2008 ?
    They claim that they increased the Corpus to big levels but the % of doles let out to poor remained same.
    Although Corpus was high, they did not build new buildings.
    Besides, the litigations ( famous 104 ) were inherited by the present Trustees. The litigations were filed against old Trustees.
    saaheb get your facts right and please don’t go by what people say.
    The Court Orders can be found on Web Site also

  • Ronny

    Too RIGHTLY said Burjorji.
    He has entered this jhamela unnecessarily.
    I have known him for 10 years.
    He has worked hard for BPP
    I wish things fall in right place for him and he retires with DIGNITY

  • Ronny

    Too RIGHTLY said Burjorji.
    He has entered this jhamela unnecessarily.
    I have known him for 10 years.
    He has worked hard for BPP
    I wish things fall in right place for him and he retires with DIGNITY