Those Russians call it double – 10 from 10th October, when the Tsars were overthrown. We, Parsis, will call it the October Revolution. When a frustrated, fed up, angry, exasperated, irate, end of patience but determined community will vote, in thousands, to see the last of the Mandarins and Mandrakes and usher in seven new trustees. Our young men and women, just enjoying adulthood at 18, will join our Senior Citizens in a unique exercise of universal adult franchise, from October 4 to October 19.
The community eagerly awaits the unveiling of the Adult Franchise for Progress (AFP) Panel, next Sunday. WAPIZ has atlast given up litigating to avoid these elections and is ready with its own candidates. So is young Jimmy Mistry, who will be the first to file his candidature on 28th July on the stroke of eleven. So is the old warhorse, Rustom Tirandaz, never afraid of losing an election. And, of course, our friend, Dinshaw Rusi Mehta, hero or villain – depending on your perspective. Like Jesus Christ, you can love him or hate him but you cannot ignore him. Will our enfant terrible extraordinaire pull off a sensational third-term victory and be called The Comeback Kid or will the anti – incumbency factor (seen so often in our national elections) make him third-time-not-so-lucky? Arnavaz Mistry, the social worker of great compassion will join Dr. Homi Dhalla, the erudite scholar and the Solar Panel Man; and Pheroze Amroliwalla, honest experienced committed community activist, always ready to serve if commanded. A jocker in the pack will emerge from these three candidates (remember, you heard this first in PTA!). The rest are those who will provide humour, colour and Rs.5000 deposit money to the BPP. Our favourite fruitcakes. What a show, ladies and gentlemen, what a show!
We expect a turnout of 15,000 to 16,000 on those six days (three week-ends). Hopefully, apart from an occasional burst of frayed nerves, it will be peaceful. Remember, the national media (including TV) will be closely watching our jamboree. So avoid the temptation to feed methipaak to your opponents, however odious they may be. We know that the elections will be free and fair. The community has full faith in BPPs young CEO, Mehli Colah, who is poised to take this institution to new heights. The strict and just, Rustom Hormuzdiyar, will preside, as usual, as the Chairman. He cares for none, but the truth. He is in a different class of what they call great human material. We already see a new spring-in-the-step in the BPP administration under Colah. Truly, Ahuramazda desires a change for our tiny community.
Of course, vote you must but also participate in public meetings and debates. Our mate, Rusi Dhondy, tells us that the Jame will be so hot in the coming weeks that it will be delivered in dry ice. The ever objective Jehangir Patel and Parsiana will spare none, in its analysis and comment. Let the candidates take the media comments in a sporting fashion. When you are in the thick of public life, some abuse is inevitable, even enjoyable! Ask Dinshaw Mehta, if you dont believe us, though these last few months, even he has lost his sense of humour, after fourteen long years at 209, Dr. D.N. Road. How we wish Dinshaw Tamboly was also recontesting. The battle of the Dinshaws would have regaled Parsis every Sunday morning.
So, our fellow Parsis, as we move into, what they call in chess, the end game, expect many surprises. A beleaguered king will battle, a brand new army. Will a young horse upset everyones apple cart? Will the orthodox bishops salvage some honour? Await October. It will be check-and-mate time. One thing is certain that our little, precious, laughing, rare, eccentric and honest community will emerge victorious out of this exercise and flourish, as always. In the name of Zarthushtra, give our community, the leaders it deserves.
THE OCTOBER REVOLUTION
PTA, THE BOMBAY SAMACHAR
Edition Date 20/07/2008