Ervad Mody: Show the strong will to survive


March 30, 2010

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About 100 Parsis were on Sunday reminded again of the need to show the will for survival. The message was communicated to them by one of the most learned members of the community, Ervad Navad Modi.

By Ashutosh Shukla / DNA India

Modi was talking on the subject ‘How to increase numbers without decreasing quality’ during the celebration of Ava Yazad Day at the Radio Club.

“When the Census officials met us, they said the question is whether the community has the will to survive,” Modi said, pointing to the dwindling numbers of Parsis.

Among other people present on the occasion was Vada Dasturji Khursheed Dastur Kaikobad Dastur, the high priest of Udwada, the most important fire temple of Parsis.


  1. Siloo Kapadia

    I hope that Ervad Navad Modi was not referring to conversion when referring to ‘How to increase numbers without decreasing quality.’

    There is nothing wrong with accepting newcomers and it does not mean that the ‘quality’ of the community will go down.

    I am shocked at all these “pure bloodists” who are as stupid as the “birthers” in the US. No South Asian Parsee is pure blooded. Just look in the mirror. Few if any of us look Persian. We look Asian Indian. As well we should, with all the intermarrying our forefathers did when they first arrived on Indian shores.

    In fact, with such geniuses it is surprising that the community has survived the way it did. Now we are dying out, and the pure bloodists don’t care. Their doctrine is just a hair’s breadth away from Nazism. Shame on them.

  2. piloo

    Though not strictly relevant to your post but nevertheless germane to the issues encountered by Parsis, I am pained to state following lines.
    On Parsi Khabar, it seems a new low was ‘achieved’ by some sick mind. Someone thinking himself/herself to be highly religious minded and God fearing apparently posted identical posts but under two Different names. So it seems, from reading a posts of Mr.Rustomjee.
    That has demonstrated who is an actual DEFORMIST. I have always maintained that genuine Orthodox never posts messages posing as Scholars or resort to such devious tricks. Such bogus Orthodox mar the image of real Religious minded, by their inborn hypocritical nature. For such ‘spiritual display of ‘devotion, I would never blame their parents but the debased company such hypocrites frequent.What is the use of reciting Prayers, if one’s conscience is filled with nefarious motives?
    Their actual cause is to make others ‘toe’ their hallucinatory beliefs, How such persons can claim to be Parsis and Zoroastrians, leave alone ‘pure’ and ‘traditionalists’ if their minds are a full of malicious motives and avid desire to be ‘revered’ as highly Scholastic with ‘deep’ knowledge of Eschatology.

  3. Kersee Kabraji

    There are any number of ‘meetings’ to discuss as to how to save the community.
    No one seems to talk about how to revive our great religion of Asho Zarathushtra, saving which was the original cause or the reason of our fore-fathers ccoming to India.
    There is no doubt that the Parsis will become extinc if they continue to follow the ‘fatwas’ of our so-called high priests.But cannot some of us take up How to Revive our Religion ?

  4. Jk Wilson-Synar

    From the wilderness of Oklahoma, I am the Parsis loudest cheerleader. The history of the community is more than just a story of a people; it contains the Mystery of the Avesta, the Prophecies of the Ancients and the Hope of the Faravahar; these issues affect not only Parsis but the entire world, in my opinion. I read every thing I can find, talk to every one who has knowledge to share, and hope with each Parsis for the Fruits of the Persian Mission to enlighten mankind in a productive and constructive way. It is such a small remnant remaining; I’m not giving up on it; there is much Power in the tiny atom, in the even smaller quark; so dont second guess the Power of the Persian Remnant.

  5. ANTI - Dhongidox.

    Piloo, such blunders of the Great Dhongi Orthodox Circus as you have mentioned, if true, only means that my pen name Anti Dhongidox is most befitting.
    Kersee & Piloo;
    With due aplogies and acknowledgment to Karl Marx my tribute to disciples of devils:
    “Dhongi Bawas of the World Unite,
    You have Nothing to Lose – But your Face”.
    “Haath ma Khordeh Avasta ne dil ma Ahriman”

  6. Rohinton


    Very well said !

    Let’s all put our heads together and try to inject a deep and real love and passion for our religion, Zoroastrianism !

    And let us stop the attacks so that our energies are focused solely on this task !

    And as Jk Wilson-Synar says above ‘ there is much Power in the tiny atom….so don’t second guess the Power of the Persian Remnant ” !!

  7. Farrokh Umrigar

    In fact Silloo Kapadia, Shame on you. You talk of “Accepting New Comers” So what do you think? Is this some kind of a club? Hip Hip Hooray – Admissions are open. Go ahead and be a member. I dont know about you but I for one dont have to look in the mirror. When I walk on the streets of Bombay the non parsees recognize a parsi bawaji from miles away and always greet me with respect. Maybe you should scold your own forefathers if they were upto no good. I dont claim to be a religious scholar but I certainly would not like to mess around with the tenets of my religion. If at all the parsi community has to come to an end then let it be known that all good thing must come to an end. Half litre of Milk and half litre of water when mixed is not going to give you either one litre of Milk or Water. Each as you should know is an entity of its own. Ushta te.

    And to you Mr. Kabraji. I dont think you know the meaning of the word Fatwa. Just ask Salman Rushdie and he will explain to you the real meaning. It has become a fad now a days among the likes of you to take pot shots at our priests just because they are very civilized and mature even to give you the benifit of an answer. Anyway you have your opinion but the majority of us has proved without any doubt that we will stick by our High Priests who I repeat are our High Priests and not those so called scholars who write any rubbish, just to satisfy their own convenience. If our community dwindles so be it. We can certainly do well without the likes of “So Called” reformists

  8. Boman

    There seems to be a trend in messages posted on this board. The trend is to bring in respected High Priests into such discussions. Where is the need to discuss them?Both those for changes like Kabrajee and those for continuing the system are at fault.
    Second thing I see is ‘blaming forefathers’.as Umrigar has said.
    Everybody has forefathers. How they are at fault?
    It is easy to blame forefathers and priests for everything.
    Our High Priests are very practical and flexible. Appreciate that and not just criticise them.Forget Wadia navjotes. Our High Priests very tolerant even if their own children marrying outside. Don’t criticise them every time.


    “Half litre of Milk and half litre of water when mixed is not going to give you either one litre of Milk or Water” Umrigar, remember,when Parsis bawas came to shores of India as per ur own version, they came as REFUGEES and that time it was mixing sugar into Milk and now ungrateful like u talk of u being Milk and other community which offered ur forefathers shelter, as WATER. SHAME ON U. You may have ur internal differences within ur own group but u can NOT insult a community which helped ur forefathers in the hour of crisis and u have forgotten. Had ur forefathers not got shelter ur name would have been Farroq and u would have been wearing skull cap with ur women behind veils.

  10. Maharukh Billimoria

    Farrokh Umrigal, I fully agree with you.

  11. Jehangir Sarosh

    The question was “has the community the will to survive”.
    A community is that which has a common-unity.
    Our problem is we have two communities, one finds its unity in the selected ethnicity the other finds its unity in the teachings of Zarathushtra.
    I say “selected ethnicity” because the Muslims of Iran are ethnically the same as us but we are selective in our use of ethnically “pure”.
    Purity is in the mind, not in the body. That is Vahu Manna! At least that is what I believe.

  12. Farrokh Umrigar

    Nemesis – You have not even taken the trouble to understand what I have said. I have clearly mentioned that Water and Milk, each is an entity of its own. I have neither referred to Milk or Water to any one community. So please listen to every word of mine carefully b4 posting any rubbish. Also dont forget that our forefathers had taken an oath not to convert anyone to our religion. Please also understand the meaning of the word blending and mixing. There is a very big difference.

  13. Jamshed H. Bastani

    Though this story might belong to the realm of unrecorded myth, like all good myths, somewhere embedded in it is the ‘ring’ of truth. Orthodox Parsis believe that it was actually a gold ring that was dropped into the milk, not a spoonful of sugar. “You see sugar dissolves and we have always maintained our own identity. But the gold ring showed Jadhav Rana that we will not assimilate, at the same time we will not make the milk overflow and yet we will also enhance it.”

  14. Roda

    I am amused and amazed at the erudition of the parsee bawaji whether justified or not he has his own point of view.
    To all my only comment is ….what you believe in good faith shall come to pass. No nay sayer can will the community into extinction …we are few in number but those few can continue to matter if they turned their focus on themselves. Whatever is rare is always few in number. Who would give the parsi bawaji so much importance if his numbers suddenly began to increase in such quanitities that he was just one more human on this earth. Mull over this, chew on it and digest the fact that about the only reason the world talks of us is because we are so few in number. Let that not be the only reason for our glory.

  15. Delnavaz

    Hi Farrokh,
    I agree. People have always recognized me as a Parsi in Bombay. Even when I am travelling whether within India or abroad, very often people have come up to me recognizing that I am a Parsi. Sometimes when I spot a Parsi in a foreign land I have approached that person.

  16. Delnavaz

    HI Jamshed & Roda,

    I too have heard about the story that it was actually not sugar but a gold ring or a gem that was dropped into the bowl of milk. The Parsis will never be extinct, not even if all of us will it to be extinct. We have come to this wonderful country called India to preserve our religion. These are testing times, however, I believe our religion which is thousands of years old has passed through many such turbulent times. This too shall pass.

  17. Rashna_B.

    Gold Ring Ha, Did we have jewelers as well then.
    And STORY IT IS.
    And BPP Should instantly disband Fertility clinic because of exuberant Optimism that Parsis will never be extinct, not even if all of us will it to be extinct. Now thats what I call Sugar in Mouth.