Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

MLA funds Doongerwadi repairs

Malabar Hill MLA Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who spent Rs10 lakh from his funds to repair three pavilions inside the Parsi Towers of Silence in Malabar Hill, seems to have hurt the sentiments of the community. The renovated halls were inaugurated by Lodha on August 22. A plaque with the MLA’s name has been displayed in the building.

By Manoj Nair | DNA India

The 300-year old Towers of Silence cemetery, also called Doongerwadi, is managed by the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), the community’s apex representative body. Dinshaw Mehta, BPP chairman, said, "The funds were a way of appreciating the contribution made by the community."

Lodha said, "Government funds belong to all communities, so why should there be an objection to the use of MLA funds for repairing buildings in the Towers of Silence?"

However, some Parsis feel that the BPP is breaking a 300-year-old tradition of not accepting help from outside the community. "The Bombay Parsi Punchayet which has a corpus of crores of rupees, has taken a small amount from the MLA to repair a pavilion. It has hurt our sentiments," said Viraf Kapadia, a resident of Godrej Baug.

But other community groups have stated there is nothing wrong in using public funds. Vispy Wadia of the Association for Revival of Zoroastrianism said, "The money was taxpayers’ money and not the MLA’s own funds. We are thankful for the help."