To take care of Parsi fire temples across the country and fight for the preservation of their sanctity if need be, solicitor Berjis Desai has floated the idea of forming a body whose primary function would be to exclusively guard the interests and needs of agiaries.
No politics here
Desai, who is one of the petitioners praying to Bombay High Court to not allow Metro-III underground tunnels under the sacred Atash Behrams, suggested formation of the body in an article he wrote on Sunday for a community newspaper.
This body, which will be completely devoid of any kind of politics, would be known as the Parsi Zoroastrian Guards of the Holy Fire (PZGHF). Desai believes instead of having a knee-jerk or ‘often-delayed response to a crisis situation facing a consecrated holy fire, it is prudent to have a dedicated body, keeping a constant vigil.’
Speaking to mid-day, Desai says contributions would be sought to get the ball rolling for PZGHF, “Initially, I think some of us will contribute to create a corpus of Rs 2 crore after which we will get donations from NRI Parsis. The money will be used if an agiary is in a state of disrepair or if it requires the services of a part-time mobed [who will be paid by PZGHF] to tend to the fire. The idea is to have a body that will ensure fire temples are not facing problems.”
Desai makes it clear that PZGHF will steer completely clear of politics. “It will be pure service and those want to join and offer their services, will be welcome to do so.”
Sukhadwalla on board?
Structural engineer Jamshed Sukhadwalla, who single-handedly fought the battle against the Metro-III tunnelling in its early stages, has been requested by Desai to be one of the seven trustees on the PZGHF board. Sukhadwalla says that forming such a body is the need of the hour, but it will take some time to crystallise, “The idea (to form PZGHF) is Berjis’s but we have not yet had a detailed discussion on the matter. It will be taken up at an appropriate time. Fact is, such things should have happened over three 3 years ago, but better late than never.”
Desai said, “By the time PZGHF is up and running, it will be at least another six to nine months. It should be properly funded by the beginning of the next financial year.”