Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Parsi lady seeks cop cover for Navjot of kids

Wants protection for the initiation ceremony of her children born of a Catholic father after threats from disapproving community elders

By Manoj Nair / Mumbai Mirror

A Parsi woman and her non-Zoroastrian husband, who planned the Navjot or initiation ceremony of their two children – a seven-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl – into the Zoroastrian faith have approached police for security during the event. They fear community members opposing the initiation of children from mixed parentage into the faith could disrupt it.

The couple told the Bandra police on Monday about a relative receiving phone threats, as the children’s father was Catholic and not Zoroastrian.

The couple, who live on Grant Road, said the decision to initiate their children into the Zoroastrian faith was a joint one. “However, after we sent out invites, a close relative received a call from the chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, who wanted to know whether the children had been baptised into the Catholic faith before. They have not been baptised. Nobody can stop us from conducting the ceremony. I have approached the police for help, as I do not want any untoward incident at a function where there will be children,” said the wife, who runs a travel agency.

Dinshaw Mehta, chairman of BPP, the community’s apex representative body said he received a letter from four high priests of the community asking them to stop the Navjots, specifically mentioning the Navjot in Bandra. “We will meet tomorrow (April 13) to decide whether to intervene. The ceremony is against our religious beliefs,” added Mehta.

Dastor Khusroo Madon, the priest who is conducting the ceremony, was recently barred from conducting rituals at the Towers of Silence and fire temples run by the BPP for his unorthodox views. He said that on an average, he presided over a dozen Navjot of children, who have one of their parents as non-Parsi. “Navjot is a personal matter and nobody, including community trusts, can interfere,” he said.

Prakash George, Senior PI, Bandra said, “I cannot provide security unless they register a complaint. They have only given an application saying that they were not threatened directly.”

[hat tip: Mickie Sorabjee]