38% Parsi marriages in city were interfaith in 2010

One of the biggest worries of the Parsi community has now been spelt out in numbers. In 2010, 38% of Parsi marriages registered in the city were interfaith marriages, a figure that has shot up by seven percentage points in just one year.

By Aarefa Johari, Hindustan Times

According to a report by community magazine Parsiana, this is the second highest number of interfaith marriages recorded in Mumbai in the past 21 years. In 2008, which was a leap year, 44% Parsi marriages were with spouses outside the community.

Parsiana has been publishing records of Parsi marriages obtained from the Bombay high court and the Registrar of Marriages at Bandra and Fort since 1989. In 2010, 81 out of 213 marriages were interfaith.

“Despite efforts made through matrimonial websites, speed dating, youth picnics and get-togethers, the trend of interfaith marriages in getting stronger, as Parsis have limited options within a diminishing community,” said Jehangir Patel, editor of Parsiana.

Patel explained that 2008 saw a fall in Parsis marrying within the community because several Parsis consider it inauspicious to wed in a leap year.

The 2001 census counted 69,600 Parsis in India, of which Mumbai had around 40,000. "Today the youth is surrounded by non-Parsis, so they are likely to choose partners from outside," said Mehli Colah, chief executive officer, Bombay Parsi Punchayet, the community’s apex body. "We have to impress upon young children the importance of marrying within the community."

Arnawaz Sanjana, 27, who married a Parsi two weeks ago, agrees. "I was imbibed with religious values from the beginning and never wanted to marry outside the community."

While most Parsis are concerned about the dilution of racial purity caused by interfaith marriages, Patel believes it is time for the community to grow more accepting towards non-Parsi spouses. “We should look beyond race and accept new members socially, in our fire temples and funeral services.”

  • Contradhongi

    Out of 62% marriages from within the community, what is the percentage of Divorcees. We will have to reduce that figure from the total percentage of within the Community.

  • Homi Dalal

    Well Said–There was a time when Bawas used to believe that interfaith marriages are bound to fail. Now the scenario is completely changed . Nowadays there are several Divorced cases. Unfortunately BPP has failed to keep records or do not wish community to know. I am sure there may not be a single family in Mumbai where, any of the relatives are not married outside.Even the priests are marrying outside. Even both the sons of Wada Dastur of Navsari are married outside. The Dhongidox ,BPP, & WAPIZ ARE SHY TO ISSUE ANY FATWAS. They want to harass priests like Mirza & Madon who pray for cremation etc. but happy with the prayers said by interfaith married priests.

    Why Pagal parsi worth 500 crores has no comment for Wada Dasturji of Navsari?

    Ha Ha Ha

  • Worldemocracy

    Do you know what you want for your country ?
    If the answer is yes, join the thousands of people who express themselves freely and anonymously on http://www.worldemocracy.com. Express yourself, tell your friends (via a-mail, facebook, twitter, etc) to do so and create the online opinion democracy.

  • Farshak Ashli

    Who is Homi Dhalla advocating gender equality.? Poor editors of WAPIZ page have stated in FPJ Ad that for “the last several weeks, a secular newspaper has been serializing an article by ONE HOMI DHALLA”

  • Barak Aga

    When the ZYNG calendar was launched, Mr. Yezdi Desai stated, “The BPP has wholeheartedly endorsed the ZYNG calendar. I am sure there will be some of my dear orthodox friends who will disapprove. My request to them is to please allow our youth a little indulgence. THEN THEY WILL SURELY STAY WITH US.”

    Mr. Yezdi Desai, as per this news article, 44% of the “Youth” deserted you in the year 2008, and 38% of the “Youth” deserted you in the year 2010.

    Mr. Mehli Colah’s explanation that “”Today the youth is surrounded by non-Parsis, so they are likely to choose partners from outside,”, is not plausible.

    For more than a 1,000 years, in India, Zoroastrian youth have been surrounded by non-Zoroastrians.

    The writing is on the wall.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Homi Dalal deekra, you are absolutely right. There is nothing wrong with interfaith marriages. In fact, in the US where I currently reside, these perhaps form the fast majority of such marriages with Parsees. And why not? There is nothing wrong with these marriages except for the fact that the Bawaji Bullies have decided that such marriages are “against the faith.” Stupid people they are! More Parsees are living outside of South Asia than ever before. This is to be expected of them. But now this is even happening in India. Good! For those that are worried about our dwindling numbers, allow converts, especially the spouses of Parsees into the faith.

  • Zarathustra Zarthosti

    Following is from: “Vaetha Nask, An Apocryphal Text on Zoroastrian Problems –translated and …annotated by Helmut Humbach and Kaikhusrow M. JAMASPASA, 1969”

    VI Problem of Conversion
    (Chapter 6, Page 43 apud.)

    Avesta and Translation:
    Peresat zarathustro ahurem mazdam
    Zarathushtra asked Ahura Mazda

    Yezi ahe ainitakaesha naro druwato anghwaiti
    If there is man of alien faith, a Druvant

    Ahe naro vanghuhi daeni mazdayasnoish ishayata
    (and if) that man aspires to the good Mazdayasnian Religion

    Awahe vidawo ahrura.tkaesho gereptayanti va noit gereptayapti
    Shall (the Zarathushtrians) , the opponents of the Daevas, the followers of the Law of Ahura, admit him or shall they not admit him.

    Aat mrot ahuro mazdao
    Then Ahura Mazda said,

    Yezi ahe ainyatakaesha naro daruwato anghwati
    If there should be a man of alien faith a Druvant

    Ahe naro vanghhi daenya mazdayasnoia ishyaiti
    That man to whom the good Mazdayasnian Religion appears agreeable

    Awahe vidaewo ahura.tkaesho astaotaeibya gereptayaiti
    (Then the Zarathushtrians) the opponents of the Daevas, followers of the Law of Ahura, SHALL ADMIT HIM to those who have taken vow.

    Pl note: More benefits will be accrued by the man becoming Mazdayasni are given ending with:
    Atha narem vangheush daenyao bawaiti
    Thus that man becomes of Good Religion
    (Let me give you its Pahlavi translation: edon an mard veh deen bud he ku mazdeean= Thus that man becomes Behdin Mazdayasnian.

    For further reading consult Vaetha Nask, translated and annotated by Humbach and Dastur K.N. Jamaspasa, Wisebadem, 1969.

    Best wishes,
    Dr. Pallan Ichaporia

    Can read more on http://www.avesta.org/fragment/vneng.htm


  • Siloo Kapadia

    Dr. Ichaporia, deekra, the BPP and their gestapo are not interested in religion or sacred texts. They are only interested in their racist ideas (AS IF Parsees are pure-blooded Persians!) and keeping as much of the money for themselves. That is all.

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    People who have married to non parsees will disagree as they have lost a foothold in our community and hence encouraging others to marry out of religion so they could gather a majority of reformists to suppress the orthodox. My friend that is a distant dream.
    If you are married to a non parsee and are happy my best wishes are with you but do not encourage or influence this practice.
    Dhongi or whatever your name is – Are you insinuating that parsees marrying within the community are not compatible thus ending in divorce? In which case i presume your spouse is a non parsee? or if she is parsee than you are contradicting your statement.
    An individual has every right to choose his or her life partner be it within the community or outside.
    You people have a one point agenda and that is DM. DM is not BPP and BPP is not DM. Fight it out with him but stop corrupting young minds with such posts.

  • Contradhongi

    Mr. Ghadially,
    To the best of my knowledge close family members of four BPP Trustees are married inter faith. On my part, I have not even remotely suggested that inter faith marriages are more successful than those within the Community. So Mr. Ghadial stop attributing words not uttered by me. What I have suggested is that failed marriages (within the Community) reduce the population of those married, thus resulting in lower birth rate.
    The basic irony is that those whose sister/brother/ daughter are married out of the faith are carrying banner of orthodoxy oops Dhonidoxy and henchmen like you fall for such fib talk of Trustees.

  • Farshak. Ashli

    The fact remains that the Divorce rate in the community is extremely high. This in itself needs to be looked into.Earlier Jame in its daily form used to publish the details of Marraiges as well as Divorcees. Now besides homolies this paper does not provide any tangible feedback for the Community to realise the situation.
    Arzan, you are totally off mark.D.M. has nothing to do with how individuals lead their personal lives and nobody over hear has attributed the blame on D.M. So stop demonstating synthetic hyperventillation.

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    I have nothing to do with DM nor has he saArzan J Ghadiallynctioned me a house. But the BPP has and he was never around when i was allotted a flat.
    I feel from your post that you have issues with DM which i dont care less and you should not bring it out in this forum.
    Lets stick to issues and not get personal. We have nothing against each other but we are constantly fighting over someone who is least bothered about what you think. Why give so much publicity and importance.