In a letter to his fellow trustees, Mr. Muncherji Cama; one of the seven sitting trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet resigned from his position. Below is his letter of resignation circulated to the press and media.
Bombay Parsi Punchayet
The decision to contest the BPP elections was taken after much deliberation. Having successfully steered several community trusts, it was deeply felt that one could make a difference at the apex Parsi – Zoroastrian Trust It was therefore an eye opener for me to view the functioning of the BPP from within.
To begin with, the deliberations of the Trustees showed no sense of direction or vision. There appeared to be a hidden agenda behind just about every proposal brought to the board. Secondly, there was no sense of financial probity which should always be positioned to help the needy and less fortunate. Thirdly, there was a surprising willingness to fritter away the funds of the BPP on pointless litigation, undertaken to either prove a point or to suit the personal beliefs of certain Trustees. Finally, there was a total lack of compassion and empathy for the persons for whom the BPP was primarily formed to assist.
My vote at the BPP has always been in favour of those really needing our help; be they young people seeking scholastic aid, older persons in need of help to pay medical bills, deserving persons who need a leg up just to carry on with their lives, or the genuine housing needs of the community. While these issues should have been among the major items on the Trustees’ agenda and should have exercised the attention of all the Trustees, this never really happened. In the midst of all the petty quarrels and the pushing of pointless and expensive schemes to further the private agendas of a group of Trustees, the pressing needs of the community never received the serious consideration they warranted.
I firmly believe that raising bogeys and false alarms to sway the unsuspecting sections of the community was not at all the function of a BPP Trustee. Instead of discussing harebrained schemes and pointless plans, the Trustees should have been discussing ways of alleviating the suffering of our less fortunate brethren.
The shabby treatment meted out to the BPP staff is another issue which exercised me greatly. Good and decent members of the staff have been hounded out, again to settle personal scores. This has left the staff at all levels a demoralized lot with virtually no empathy for them on the part of at least some Trustees.
The BPP functions today on the basis of majority voting. Vision, empathy and a sense of fair-play fall by the wayside. All that seems to matter is whether one’s Adversary -Trustee is defeated in the voting, regardless of the merits of the subject at hand.
Being a Trustee of the BPP is not an achievement or a matter of pride. It is, in fact an onerous task one takes upon oneself to better the lot of the less fortunate. The BPP affords myriad ways of achieving this noble end. It is a matter of great regret that the single minded pursuit of private agendas, having little to do with the BPP, has resulted in a once flourishing and respected organization reaching new lows with personal animosities and private agendas coming to the fore. The organization today is in a sorry state with Trustees fighting each other and trying their best to promote their own view.
Personally speaking, the last four years have been a major disappointment. While I was ever willing to make time for the BPP which I did, it would appear that this was a pointless use of my time.
For some time now I have realized that sitting through endless meandering Tuesday meetings was achieving virtually nothing but the opportunity to view some Trustees brazenly inciting others to react to their unparliamentary barbs and accusations. Watching some of the BPP Trustees revert to what might be termed childish behavior, was unpleasant and pointless.
The BPP was taking up an inordinate amount of time; time that I was more than willing to devote to this hallowed organization if there were some positive results to be had. The net result was that I have been unable to devote my time to other great Institutions with which I am associated and where my fellow Trustees and I can, and do, make a difference. I shall cherish the moments I have spent in opposing the pointless and self-serving schemes foisted upon the BPP and which thankfully were never allowed to go beyond the tentative stage.
I am therefore resigning as a Trustee of the BPP with immediate effect. This letter may be treated as my letter of resignation.
On a personal note, I wish to place on record the co-operation and respect I have unstindedly received from all the staff of the BPP including those under the Wadia Committee of management.
The functioning of the BPP is beyond repair. Leadership is absent and there is no direction or value system in place which would allow this great institution to move forward. It would be in the fitness of things, if the Charity Commissioner suo moto immediately appoints an Administrator to oversee the functioning of the BPP, after superceding the present Trustees.
This letter is sent in duplicate to enable you to file one copy with the office of the Charity Commissioner.
Muncherji N M Cama