Dasturji Jamshedji Unvulla, who took over priestly duties at the city’s only Parsi temple, the Zoarastrian Anjuman, after his brother passed away last month, reveals an interesting aspect about the community. “More Parsis have been migrating to Bangalore to work in IT companies and accountancy firms. The work culture here has attracted young Parsis from across the country, especially from Ahmedabad and Mumbai, where Parsis have settled in large numbers,” Unvulla told TOI.
Anahita Pagdiwalla, visiting faculty in MBA colleges, came to Bangalore in 2006, and finds the work culture very comfortable. “Bangalore has the reputation of an easy city, with a great climate, so working here is very pleasant,” says Anahita.
There are about 700 Parsis in the city, up from around 550 in 2006. The community members struck roots in the early 1900s when retired bankers, accountants and businessmen moved here. “Bangalore was a retirement paradise for Parsis once, but now I see more younger people,” says Unvulla.
The early migrants built the the fire temple on Queen’s Road in 1926 with the help of Dinshaw Cawasji, a contractor from Mumbai. Dasturji Pestonji Unvulla was the chief priest and his eldest son Dasturji Nadirshah Pestonji Unvulla succeeded him. After his demise at the age of 90 on Nov. 25, 2008, his younger brother Jamshedji, a retired banker with the Central Bank of India took over.
Unvulla, 86, says young Parsis take a keen interest in religious matters and come to the temple: “The majority want to preserves the culture.”
“Parsis migrated to India from Iran around 1,200 years ago and settled down in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Most emerged as successful businessmen, lawyers, doctors and worked largely in the service sector with little interest in politics,” he added.
The decreasing number of Parsis across the country due to inter-faith marriages and high mortality rate is a matter of concern for the community. “With the city attracting more Parsis, there’s a ray of hope that the community here will grow in the future,” said Unvalla.
Original article published in the TOI