Parsick Politics

Elderly patients from the Parsi ward of Sir J J Hospital were taken to Colaba on October 11 to vote for elections to the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) trust by a candidate without the permission of the hospital’s dean.

At least four patients were taken in a private vehicle to the voting centre at Cusrow Baug in Colaba for casting their ballots, according to members of staff at the ward. Meanwhile, eye-witnesses at the voting centre said that the patients were pushed in wheelchairs or made to walk with the help of volunteers to the special voting counter for the elderly and physically handicapped.

One 75-year old patient with diabetes and severe sores on one of his legs bore the mark of the indelible ink on the index finger of the left hand.

According to an attendant at the ward, the sores have deteriorated after he was made to walk to the voting booth from the vehicle. A woman in her eighties who could not speak coherently too bore the ink mark indicating that she too had voted. 


A poster put up by a candidate seeking votes hung just outside the entrance to the ward. There was another poster inside the men’s section of the two-storey ward where 45 odd patients, all elderly, are housed. A majority of inmates are bedridden and could not have been taken out of the ward.

Voting to elect seven trustees of the BPP are being held over three weekends this month. The last phase of the election is scheduled this weekend. Around 10,000 of the 28,000 registered voters have exercised their franchise so far.

Chief Executive Officer of BPP, Mehli Colah said that the patients had voters registration cards issued by the BPP. “I know that many patients had come to vote.
But I have no idea whether they had permission of hospital authorities to leave the hospital,” said Colah. Acting dean of Sir J J Group of Hospitals, Dr R S Inamdar said that he had no knowledge of patients being taken out of the Parsi ward. “No patient can be taken out without our knowledge. I have not given any permission,” Inamdar said.

Dean Dr B M Sabnis who is now on leave said that he had not given permission to take the patients out of the ward. “The doctor in charge of the ward can only discharge a patient.

But we do not grant permission for patients to be taken out for voting in elections. Permissions are given only for emergencies like a relatives funeral,” he said.
Meanwhile Dr Rushad Udwadia who is the in-charge of the Parsi ward expressed surprise that he was not informed about patients being taken out of the ward.
“I am sorry to hear that patients were taken to vote. I do not know who gave the permission. It is strange,” he said. “We normally do not allow patients to leave the hospital.

” The candidate Arnavaz Mistry who took the patients for voting said, “I had taken only two patients, one of whom is an uncle of mine, for voting. Everyone has a right to vote and for the record, I have taken all permissions necessary to take the patients out.
We have regularly taken the patients out on picnics. Those who are objecting to them being taken out can come and see the permissions.”

Mistry added that the posters put up in the hospital ward was meant for visitors and not the patients. “I have been doing social work at the hospital for many years.
The posters are for donors and relatives of patients,” she said.
But candidates said that it was a matter of concern that patients who could have been on medication were taken away to vote. The candidates are planning to file complaints with the BPP.

“Who will be held responsible if the health of the patient deteriorates during the travel or there is an accident involving the patient. This is an example of candidates taking advantage of poor and helpless people to garner votes,” said Dr Viraf Kapadia, a candidate.

Another candidate Dr Kuresh Zorabi said, “Old people who are not in a position to travel were brought from sanatoriums to vote. We have lodged complaints with the BPP’s election officer.” The Parsi ward for use of patients from the community was set up because the hospital was built with donations from philanthropist Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy.

The elections to BPP, one of the largest land owners in Mumbai has been marred by allegations that candidates have used unethical means to woo voters, including organising feasts and entertainment programmes for voters and even bringing voters from South Gujarat in buses.

•  I am sorry to hear that patients were taken to vote. I do not know who gave the permission. It is strange —Dr Rushad Udwadia, in-charge of the Parsi ward

  • Rohinton Patel

    I am the most happiest person in the whole universe.
    I am happy that the final countdown has already started for the Wolrd most Stupid & arrogance Parsees.
    I had been proved to be true that the so called Parsees are world’s one number Greedy they can even murder a person for the sake of the chairs of power, the so called Trustees of the panchyat should be stoned to Death in the Public in front of the whole Hindustan.
    The world most greedy,Hungry for power & how to stab others in the back & take away their properties & money are the so called parsees.
    I am happy that i am married outside the parsee community. I am happyly settled person just watching the fun & the downfall of the world’s one number stupid community called parsees.
    Ronnie P.

  • rustom

    Well ronnie, yes the polls were marred with problems and mud slinging, yet calling the whole community as foolish and greedy is out of order.
    Also the problem of the community started with those who couldnt shoulder the responsibility, yet took shelter of being a zoroastrian. And that includes some of the intermarrieds too.
    I think your poor sense of judgement , your sort of issuing fatwas as’ stoned to death’and your imagination that the comunity is stupid and watching the community going down, shows an aspect of sadistic pleasure derived just because you have intermarried and cant have the cake and eat it too!

    Also whilst you blame others , how have you contributed towards the comunity, the faith , preserving it and towards its continuation? Have you studied the or even read the books governing zioroastrianism..have you gone thru the bundeishn, denkard etc?
    Have you pondered how we survived for a millenia as a community?

    As far as downfall of the community..well we are going thru a bad patch…mainly arrising out of attitude like yours towards zoroastrianism..
    yet the youngsters of today will travel the extra mile, srudy what was neglected , find a zoroastrian partner, and pass on the rich heritage of zoroastrianism to their young ones..whilst you sit back and deride the comunity..just because you are intermaried.
    how magnanimous of you

  • ydv

    the parsi community needs to cultivate discipline

    in fighting shows utter lack of discipline

  • ydv

    its a pity that a small community is so obsessed with infighting

    they are not able to a mutual understanding on any issues even the most triavial one

    the articles published to malign each other seems more to be towards displaying the authors english literature skills .

    i think a narendra modi is required to discipline this lot

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Rohinton, deekra,

    No one more than I deplores the current state of things. But that is not to say that no other community has lust, greed, etc. This happens when you deal with human beings, as sad as that may seem.

    Our youth prayerfully will not follow that path. They will instead work hard, strive for the community, and push for change in the archaic rules that forbid us from excepting converts.

    I believe that a bright future is ahead if this happens!

  • m.v.gogate.

    I am not a Parsi or Zorashtrian. But due to my large social field Iam in touch with Parsi and Zorashtrians. Some points I agree in this bulletin.
    In actual I amnot suppose to enter this but my best culturalconsious made me to write mail.I amchited by one zorashtrian family|(Andhari(W|)
    If you are hurted sorry for same.
    For more details can contact me on cell 9420395477