Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

No identity crisis

There was a time when Parsi businessmen and industrialists from Mumbai preferred to employ the ‘Marathi manoos’ in their offices, for he was hard-working, sincere and honest. He had respect for scholarship, was kind to subordinates and obedient to employers.

His work ethics earned him esteem from those around him. To be Marathi was like an additional qualification in Mumbai and white collar jobs were waiting for migrants from the hinterland of Maharashtra.

Then Mumbai became the dreamland for all Indians and its commercial success created a wide gap between the success and failure, wealth and poverty. Politicians
always have a field day in such situations and so was the case in Mumbai. Extreme successes bred disrespect for law; extreme failures gave birth to discontent. This combined to increase social tensions.

The reaction of the diehard Marathi Mumbaikars to all what was thus happening in the city was one of anger and dissatisfaction, for they had not anticipated a challenge to their future. They had shed blood for the inclusion of Mumbai in Maharashtra as the state capital after the reorganisation of the bilingual state of Bombay in 1960.

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