Parsis seek apology from Arjun Rampal over ‘hurtful’ remark

Arjun Rampal should apologise to the Parsis. This is the demand from sections of the Parsi community who are scandalised with the actor for stating in a recent interview to a men’s magazine that he had visited a Parsi fire-temple or agiary. "I must be one of the few people who has gone into the agiary pretending to be a Parsi,” Rampal had said.

The Zoroastrian religion does not allow non-Parsis to enter the holy premises. "Everybody in Mumbai knows that non-Parsis are not allowed to enter the fire temple,” said Firoza Mistree, a researcher of Zoroastrian studies. Mistree says that the actor should apologise and identify the temple so that it can be purified.

In a letter to Rampal, Mistree states, "I am surprised that your wife, Mehr Jessia (a former Miss India), whom our community respects, has allowed you to publicly brag about your wrongdoing…Nobody is going to appreciate it.”

Khojeste Mistree, co-trustee of the Parsi Panchayat and religious scholar, said, "What Rampal has done is unethical. He could have been more sensitive.”

Rampal said he was deeply upset that an innocent remark by him had hurt the Parsis. "Let me bring it into context. It was when I was around eight years old and playing with my friends that I wandered into the compound (garden) of a fire temple. The caretaker mistook me for a Parsi and caught hold of me, and then let me go. I would never disrespect any community. I have always thought of the Parsis as respectable and enterprising people and would not change my opinion on this. If the actions of an eight-year-old boy have hurt the sentiments of anyone, I deeply apologise for it.”

Chairman of the Parsi Punchayet Dinshaw Mehta said, "Even if he says it happened when he was eight years old, why is he boasting about it now? We want an apology.”

Original article here.

  • Mehernaaz

    I wonder if an apology solves the problem. Tomorrow another may go into an agiary and nonchalantly apologise after.
    As stated by someone on the original Arjun post, this is a good opportunity to educate anyone who will listen, especially children, about why we don not allow non-zoroastrians to enter agiaries.

  • Eric Surkari

    Please let us not start our owm brand of Talibans,here is a man who has appologised as an adult for his mistake comitted at the age of eight.Lets lighten up,theres enough problems in the world as is ,we don’t need to add any more.

  • Kaiyan Mistree

    I am deeply saddened that an educated mature man as Arjun Rampal should boast that he broke a community’s religious law and entered a Parsi Fire Temple. While he has apologized his excuse of being 8 years old and was caught for merely entering a fire temple compound makes no logical sense. Anyone can enter the compound and no one is caught for doing so. Argun Rampal must have the courage to speak the truth when he is apologizing otherwise his apology is worth nothing.

    With regard to what Karan Kapoor and Zidane said about entering various places of worship they must realize that different communities have different rules and every communities rules must be respected. Would they like it if somebody desecrated a Hindu temple by carrying in meat inside. This is just not done and everyone respects and is aware of this rule.

    When you blatantly violate a community’s religious rule, the community has a right to protest against this religious insensitivity.

  • Kaiyan Mistree

    Sorry my comment above was copied from what i wrote somewhere else. Eric said the same statements that Karan Kapoor and Zidane said.

  • Eric Surkari

    Please lets understand that we are a very tolerant people following a very tolerant religion in a very religiously free and tolerant nation INDIA,Over the more then thousand years in India I cannot recall anyone ever knowingly desecrate our Temples, this in itself has to be of immense pride to us ZARTHUSHTI’s.I request all Parsi’s to lighten up and if anybody has ARJUN’s Email add ,I will personally on behalf of my community accept his apology.

  • Firoze Hirjikaka

    Chairman of the Parsi Punchayet Dinshaw Mehta said, “Even if he says it happened when he was eight years old, why is he boasting about it now? We want an apology.”

    Is it any wonder Bawajis have a reputation for being mad? Are these people listening to themselves? “Firoza Mistree, a researcher of Zoroastrian studies. Mistree says that the actor should apologise and identify the temple so that it can be purified.” The incident happened when Ramphal was 8 years old i.e. more than 30 years ago. Is Mistree implying that the faithful have been visiting an “impure” temple for 30 years and, by implication, their prayers have all been in vain? Can’t she see how ridiculous that sounds. And is our sacred fire so vulnerable that it can be defiled by a eight-year old boy?

    As if that wasn’t ludicruous enough, our honourable BPP trustees are talkig about ethics. An 8-year old boy briefly stepped into a temple, more as a prank or a dare than any intention to “attack” a religous dogma. I’m sure ethics was the last thing on his mind.Why are mature people, who should be credited with a little common sense, making such a big deal out of it – that too three decades after the event. Ramphal has already apologised. Did the earth move?

    If something as trivial as this becomes a major isue agitating our “respected leaders”, I despair for our community.

  • there was no need to BOAST about his childhood prank..knowing well that it would raise a storm in a teacup..