The curious case of vanishing Parsis in Hubli-Dharwad

A greatly civilised clan, which has made valuable contributions to the socio-economic growth of the twin cities, has seen such a sharp drop in its population that demographic experts fear the culturally rich heritage of the community would be wiped out if the decline is not arrested.

By Raju S Vijapur | Deccan Herald

parsisThere were more than 150 Parsi families in Hubli-Dharwad, comprising 500 people in Hubli alone, at the time of Independence. But from then on, it has been a gradual downhill climb in their numbers.

By 1985, there were only 20 families left in the two cities. And in 2000, it shrunk to 10 families with just 28 members, a shocking 94.4 per cent decline, compared to their population in the early 1950s.

But more shocking is the fact that only five families live in Hubli-Dharwad today, consisting of mostly aged people.

No inter-caste marriages

One of the reasons for the drastic decline in the Parsi population is that youngsters prefer bachelorhood to marriage because of their “not-so-strong” economic conditions and their penchant for financial independence (self-respect preventing them from depending on their parents for support).

Another reason is the Parsi couple going for a compact family, with not more than two children. This apart, a ban on intercaste marriage has proved to be a bane. Those who dare to go for intercaste marriages are treated as outcastes.

“This is the reason why a majority of the Parsi youths remain unmarried, leading to a drastic decline in the population,” says Hoshang Dalal, the chief priest of Dar-e-Merior, a Parsi temple in Hubli.

“If the decline continues at this rate, probably no one will remain to celebrate the centenary of Dar-e-Merior, which celebrated its platinum jubilee three years ago,” he says.

Dalal underlines the need for a change in the mindset of the youngsters of his community. “They must give a serious thought to the alarming decline in our population. They should think of having more children, and that’s the only way to stabilise our population growth,” he says.

Significant contribution

Parsis migrated from the Persian region when suppression of other religions by Muslim rulers reached its peak. They landed in Gujarat, and from there moved to other cities, including Hubli, in the early 19th Century. A majority of the Parsis worked for Bharat Cotton Mill in Hubli, and some others served as guards in the Railways.

Parsis have made a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the twin cities in their own way. It was Doshibayi Nadirsha Belgaumwala who donated four acres of prime land and constructed the Hubli Co-operative Hospital in the heart of the city.

The only Parsi temple (Dar-e-Merior), also called Holy Dadga, was built by Doshibayi’s wife. The Wadiya family started a veterinary hospital on PB Road in the city way back in 1940. But it’s unfortunate that the community, which gave the nation great personalities like Dadabhai Naoroji, Jamshedji Tata, Homi Jehangir Bhabha, and Major General Manekshaw, is gradually vanishing from the twin cities.

[Article sent via email by regular reader Cyrus Bulsara]
  • Byram the Outspoken.

    Parsees  will get wiped off in another Century in this country. Zoroastrianism will flourish throughout the world.There was a time when there were six Sandawood shops  near two Atash Behrams at Dhobhi Talao. There were five large sandalwood shops at Grant Road.
    How many are there now?
    This is because of the ostrich like behaviour  of Parsees and  also attributable to their high priests who are puppets on string of a handful of self seekers who have made selling their concept of religion a profitable occupation.
    Vendidad has stated that a family person is blessed more. A married person is less blessed and discourages celibacy. Then how come there are bachelor Priests. Marriages are a religious affair  named Aashirwad  meaning blessings invoked by Priests. Then how come there are rampant divorcees?
    What the Parsee Punchayets and Anjumans ought to have done is to nurse the education of Parsee child from the beginning. Gone are the days when the community relied on favours from the British. The current scenario of Reservations for supposed Backward classes leaves our youngsters lagging behind despite merit. Merit has taken a back seat in this country and so migration to west is the end result. The Punchayets  arrange for felicitating some industrialists. May one ask how many  Parsee youngsters  were employed by such ‘famous and renowned’ Parsees? Our community needs to learn from Tamilians who extend open favouritism to their community members. Do we have those feelings for our fellow Parsees.? 

  • Arnavaz havewala

    im not surprised.
    this is the story of all small towns in india.
    i have been visiting bhavnagar as a professor in a new dental college since 2010, and have made it a point to visit the dadgah there.
    it is only thanks to the efforts of dr pesi  sinor, and his wife khurshid, that it still survivies in a good condition.
    there is a small dharamshalla there which is not used by any visitors and the place is in bad shape.
    i visited rajkot, which is close by.the dean of the college is from rajkot and he took me to the “agiary” there.
    its in better condition, thanks to the one man who slaves after it.
    i have been to kozhikode, where only one family, that of mr. darius marshall, lives.there is a dadgah, and a sad dharamshalla there too.
    our youngsters all want to stay in bombay and those who are in small towns dont get any girls to marry.,
    we all know the sad state of parsee populations and dadgahs all over india.
    we have to change the mindset of our youngsters..they have to marry before the age of 30, learn to stay with their parents even after marriage, to have at least two kids and to learn to live happily on simple things.
    look around you, and see how other communities flourish and grow.

  • Hombil

    A very poorly written article! Raju has not written anything new and he should have gone deeper into the problems faced by Parsi community in Hubli-Dharwad. Besides ban on inter-caste marriage and compact families, main reason for decline in Parsi community in Hubli-Dharwar and other similar cities in Gujarat is the migration of Parsi youth to metropolitan cities in India or migrating abroad for better prospects and to improve the quality of life.

    Decline in the Parsi population can be arrested only by change of heart and mind of the community elders/leaders. Unless they change their thinking and move forward with the times, there will be endless debates on this subject with no solution!

  • Awobelal

    One Parsi lady was asked why she had not got married and she  replied that among Parsi community it was a custom in which the lady has to pay to the husband something like “dowry”. If it is true that may alspbe one of the reasons, like that is done in one of the memon communities in which it is paid according to the education and profession of the husband. Abdul Wahid Osman Belal

  • Awobelal

    One Parsi lady was asked why she had not got married and she  replied that among Parsi community it was a custom in which the lady has to pay to the husband something like “dowry”. If it is true that may alspbe one of the reasons, like that is done in one of the memon communities in which it is paid according to the education and profession of the husband. Abdul Wahid Osman Belal

  • K Press

    Another example of what happens to our community when we follow customs that never existed in Iran……and have no basis in the original religion.

  • K Press

    Another example of what happens to our community when we follow customs that never existed in Iran……and have no basis in the original religion.

  • Behram.Adarbahman.

    Two decades down the line the same type of  write up will appear titled “Curious case of Vanishing Parsis  (but the names of towns will be different and in all likelihood will be) PUNE. SURAT & NAVSARI.’

  • Behram.Adarbahman.

    Two decades down the line the same type of  write up will appear titled “Curious case of Vanishing Parsis  (but the names of towns will be different and in all likelihood will be) PUNE. SURAT & NAVSARI.’

  • Jeannieantiawimmer

    As long as there are followers of Prophet Zarathustra in this world, who really cares if there still are few or many Parsis in Hubli-Dharwad? Wonder why this article should be of any importancy!

  • Jeannieantiawimmer

    As long as there are followers of Prophet Zarathustra in this world, who really cares if there still are few or many Parsis in Hubli-Dharwad? Wonder why this article should be of any importancy!

  • Baria_law

    very good replies….it seems to me that all the above provide valid reasons for the decline….some which i had not realized living in canada like the move to bombay from small towns….however this like some of the other reasons is a world wide phenomenon…..i find the most valid……
    how about the anjoman rewarding parsi families per child with a substantial bonus or stipend…..they can certainly do that to the 2 parsi parent families with their current stance on intermarried…..
    how about the anjoman panchayat taking on a strong educational/promotional stance on insisting those who marry a parsi, must take on religious/historical study and conversion, and be prepared to have their children brought up only as zoroastrians….. new blood cant hurt…..the jews are stronger and more successful after 19 centuries of their diaspora, with german/russian/spanish/near eastern blood they maintain a stronger identity than ever………just a thought to prevent extinction…

  • Baria_law

    very good replies….it seems to me that all the above provide valid reasons for the decline….some which i had not realized living in canada like the move to bombay from small towns….however this like some of the other reasons is a world wide phenomenon…..i find the most valid……
    how about the anjoman rewarding parsi families per child with a substantial bonus or stipend…..they can certainly do that to the 2 parsi parent families with their current stance on intermarried…..
    how about the anjoman panchayat taking on a strong educational/promotional stance on insisting those who marry a parsi, must take on religious/historical study and conversion, and be prepared to have their children brought up only as zoroastrians….. new blood cant hurt…..the jews are stronger and more successful after 19 centuries of their diaspora, with german/russian/spanish/near eastern blood they maintain a stronger identity than ever………just a thought to prevent extinction…

  • Baria_law

    very good replies….it seems to me that all the above provide valid reasons for the decline….some which i had not realized living in canada like the move to bombay from small towns….however this like some of the other reasons is a world wide phenomenon…..i find the most valid……
    how about the anjoman rewarding parsi families per child with a substantial bonus or stipend…..they can certainly do that to the 2 parsi parent families with their current stance on intermarried…..
    how about the anjoman panchayat taking on a strong educational/promotional stance on insisting those who marry a parsi, must take on religious/historical study and conversion, and be prepared to have their children brought up only as zoroastrians….. new blood cant hurt…..the jews are stronger and more successful after 19 centuries of their diaspora, with german/russian/spanish/near eastern blood they maintain a stronger identity than ever………just a thought to prevent extinction…

  • TULASIDAS TILVE

    THIS IS AN SERIOUS MATTER HOW SLOWLY INDIANS ONE OF THE RICH COMUNITY IS STARTED VANISHING TOMARROW IT MAY HAPPEN TO NET COMUNITY TO STOP THIS WHAT TO DO?
    NOW PARSIS MUST GATHER AND COME TO THE CANCLUSION  TO GO FOR ANY HINDU TO GET MARRY SO THAT IT CAN SUSTAIN THE DEGROWTH OR THE COMUNITY WILL SLOW VANISH ITS IDENTITY.

  • TULASIDAS TILVE

    THIS IS AN SERIOUS MATTER HOW SLOWLY INDIANS ONE OF THE RICH COMUNITY IS STARTED VANISHING TOMARROW IT MAY HAPPEN TO NET COMUNITY TO STOP THIS WHAT TO DO?
    NOW PARSIS MUST GATHER AND COME TO THE CANCLUSION  TO GO FOR ANY HINDU TO GET MARRY SO THAT IT CAN SUSTAIN THE DEGROWTH OR THE COMUNITY WILL SLOW VANISH ITS IDENTITY.

  • TULASIDAS TILVE

    PARSI METRIMONY MAY BE HELPFULL AS SUCH THERE WAS AFAMILY NEAR TO MY HOUSE AT K.M.C GATE TWO BROTHERS AND THEIR CHILDRANS  WITH VERY BIG PROPERTY TODAY WORTHS IN CRORES BUT I SAW THAT SOMMEBODY WAS TALKING THAT PARSIS WILL NOT MARRY ONLY TO PARSIS LIKE ISRELIS.SO THEIR DOUGHTERS WERE PARATING ZAHEER CIRCULATING LIBRARY BUT TODAY I HAVE NOT OBSERVED.

  • TULASIDAS TILVE

    PARSI METRIMONY MAY BE HELPFULL AS SUCH THERE WAS AFAMILY NEAR TO MY HOUSE AT K.M.C GATE TWO BROTHERS AND THEIR CHILDRANS  WITH VERY BIG PROPERTY TODAY WORTHS IN CRORES BUT I SAW THAT SOMMEBODY WAS TALKING THAT PARSIS WILL NOT MARRY ONLY TO PARSIS LIKE ISRELIS.SO THEIR DOUGHTERS WERE PARATING ZAHEER CIRCULATING LIBRARY BUT TODAY I HAVE NOT OBSERVED.

  • Magin Freek

    At least two kids??

    Really…????

  • Magin Freek

    At least two kids??

    Really…????

  • Magin Freek

    Having more children is not the solution. You have a life of your own to live. Its not 100% about the community. Half of our country’s problems are because of the unrestrained population. 

    Treating people as outcasts if they marry outside the community is a reason for the decline. To add to it, the patriarchal life the society is leading. Children of male parsis from intercast marriages are included in the society claiming that they have the Parsi seed. What about the life force that sustained that seed for 9 months? If the male seed has so much power then please start making test tube parsi babies, without the help of parsi females. Pasri number should be counted across the country if not the world. Dividing the census across the cities is foolish. What if the youngsters are moving out? Don’t they deserve a chance to flourish in a better and more exposed environment? Crying foul about the decreasing numbers in one or two cities is not helping. It only creates a sense of dissatisfaction. 

    Bigotry is what’s killing the society. Change the age old ways followed. If you can use mobile phones instead of using telegrams and writing letters to communicate, you should change the way you operate the society.Stop ostracizing people. They are your flesh and blood. Give love instead of despair. Let people be happy, let them love whoever they want to without fearing being termed an outcast. You’ll see the numbers rising once again.

  • Magin Freek

    Having more children is not the solution. You have a life of your own to live. Its not 100% about the community. Half of our country’s problems are because of the unrestrained population. 

    Treating people as outcasts if they marry outside the community is a reason for the decline. To add to it, the patriarchal life the society is leading. Children of male parsis from intercast marriages are included in the society claiming that they have the Parsi seed. What about the life force that sustained that seed for 9 months? If the male seed has so much power then please start making test tube parsi babies, without the help of parsi females. Pasri number should be counted across the country if not the world. Dividing the census across the cities is foolish. What if the youngsters are moving out? Don’t they deserve a chance to flourish in a better and more exposed environment? Crying foul about the decreasing numbers in one or two cities is not helping. It only creates a sense of dissatisfaction. 

    Bigotry is what’s killing the society. Change the age old ways followed. If you can use mobile phones instead of using telegrams and writing letters to communicate, you should change the way you operate the society.Stop ostracizing people. They are your flesh and blood. Give love instead of despair. Let people be happy, let them love whoever they want to without fearing being termed an outcast. You’ll see the numbers rising once again.

  • Aban aka Anu

    Well said Hombil.  The so called ‘religious policemen’ are responsible for the decline in a major way for having “assumed” some kind of a power over the community.  Moderation is the best policy.

  • Aban aka Anu

    Well said Hombil.  The so called ‘religious policemen’ are responsible for the decline in a major way for having “assumed” some kind of a power over the community.  Moderation is the best policy.

  • Phiroz.

    I would seriously like to know the number of Parsees living in Sholapur, Panchgani, Khergam etc. The Community should be apprised of  steps taken by the local Anjumans to stop the decline in population. What would be more interesting  to learn is the work put in  by Representatives of such places in FEZPAI with regard to safeguarding  Parsee properties in those towns.

  • Phiroz.

    I would seriously like to know the number of Parsees living in Sholapur, Panchgani, Khergam etc. The Community should be apprised of  steps taken by the local Anjumans to stop the decline in population. What would be more interesting  to learn is the work put in  by Representatives of such places in FEZPAI with regard to safeguarding  Parsee properties in those towns.

  • Rashna.

    To day’s issue of Jame mentions such remote places like Bhagwa. Bhesan Godhra,Karanj, Kutch Mandvi Mangrol etc and I concur with Phiroz,  is that we need to know the population of such places
    .It is not my intent to say that our ancestral properties at such places should not be got protected. By all means the Federation should take steps  to prevent encroachment and third party  claims. 
    My aim is to know the following.a) Whether the  person representing such remote places, in the Federation has been duly elected by the local Parsi population?b) Have  the representative on Federation ever visited  the places/towns they claim to be representatives of?c)  Have such representatives identified/conversant of  the problems and issues faced by local Parsis and what steps they have taken to solve them?d) In all likelihood the total Parsi population of such places would be less than that of Parsi population of Vimadalal Road or Jame Jamshed Road.A day will not be far off when even Parsis of Balaram Street and Kashinath Street will demand a representative on the Federation.The word Federation has democratic connotation and the way our Parsi Anjuman Federation conducts its meetings leaves a feeling that it is being converted into a screaming match and would  even relegate  fish mongrels to second runners up.
    Federation meetings should have a sense of decorum and be conducted with decorum. Let the community not be a silent spectator to debasing the meaning and objects of the Federation by allowing any Tom, Dick , Harry and Jacks to treat it as an avenue for cheap publicity gimmicks.

  • Rashna.

    To day’s issue of Jame mentions such remote places like Bhagwa. Bhesan Godhra,Karanj, Kutch Mandvi Mangrol etc and I concur with Phiroz,  is that we need to know the population of such places
    .It is not my intent to say that our ancestral properties at such places should not be got protected. By all means the Federation should take steps  to prevent encroachment and third party  claims. 
    My aim is to know the following.a) Whether the  person representing such remote places, in the Federation has been duly elected by the local Parsi population?b) Have  the representative on Federation ever visited  the places/towns they claim to be representatives of?c)  Have such representatives identified/conversant of  the problems and issues faced by local Parsis and what steps they have taken to solve them?d) In all likelihood the total Parsi population of such places would be less than that of Parsi population of Vimadalal Road or Jame Jamshed Road.A day will not be far off when even Parsis of Balaram Street and Kashinath Street will demand a representative on the Federation.The word Federation has democratic connotation and the way our Parsi Anjuman Federation conducts its meetings leaves a feeling that it is being converted into a screaming match and would  even relegate  fish mongrels to second runners up.
    Federation meetings should have a sense of decorum and be conducted with decorum. Let the community not be a silent spectator to debasing the meaning and objects of the Federation by allowing any Tom, Dick , Harry and Jacks to treat it as an avenue for cheap publicity gimmicks.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    This is a silly article.  What is so “curious” about this dying community?  When the young people do not want to marry, and when they do want to marry they are forbidden to marry into other religions, naturally the community is doomed. 
     
    This comment:
    “Dalal underlines the need for a change in the mindset of the youngsters of his community. “They must give a serious thought to the alarming decline in our population. They should think of having more children, and that’s the only way to stabilise our population growth,” he says.”  

    Bilkul gora-nu-ca-ca!  Toba dhurr ne matee!  Having more children is only ONE WAY to stabilize the community. Another way would be to allow converts and also to allow intermarriage.  But NEI-RE-NEI, we can’t allow that. We can’t allow progress. We must cling to those false preominations that we are racially pure and Aryan and Persian.  And not just that, but in some mystical way Anglo Saxon!!!  Never mind the fact that we have been intermarrying with India/Asian races for over a thousand years.   

    Let the fate of this community be a warning to Parsi communities everywhere!  What you see here will be the case all over India in a very short time.  This is exactly what happened in Karachi.  Immigration coupled with a firm stance against intermarriage and the result is empty house after empty house in the Parsi colony there.   No different.  I see no stampede to the bedroom to pound the mattress for Parsi couples as far as making more children is concerned.  Once again, the lesson is CHANGE OR BECOME EXTINCT.  Khaals theigeiyou vat!

  • Siloo Kapadia

    This is a silly article.  What is so “curious” about this dying community?  When the young people do not want to marry, and when they do want to marry they are forbidden to marry into other religions, naturally the community is doomed. 
     
    This comment:
    “Dalal underlines the need for a change in the mindset of the youngsters of his community. “They must give a serious thought to the alarming decline in our population. They should think of having more children, and that’s the only way to stabilise our population growth,” he says.”  

    Bilkul gora-nu-ca-ca!  Toba dhurr ne matee!  Having more children is only ONE WAY to stabilize the community. Another way would be to allow converts and also to allow intermarriage.  But NEI-RE-NEI, we can’t allow that. We can’t allow progress. We must cling to those false preominations that we are racially pure and Aryan and Persian.  And not just that, but in some mystical way Anglo Saxon!!!  Never mind the fact that we have been intermarrying with India/Asian races for over a thousand years.   

    Let the fate of this community be a warning to Parsi communities everywhere!  What you see here will be the case all over India in a very short time.  This is exactly what happened in Karachi.  Immigration coupled with a firm stance against intermarriage and the result is empty house after empty house in the Parsi colony there.   No different.  I see no stampede to the bedroom to pound the mattress for Parsi couples as far as making more children is concerned.  Once again, the lesson is CHANGE OR BECOME EXTINCT.  Khaals theigeiyou vat!

  • Siloo Kapdia

    Ber-a-ber che!  Everything you have said is correct!  Too bad that the dinosaurs that guide the commmunity and have a grip on the money do not think like you.  In a very short time we can safely say that most of the Parsi community in South Asia will be gone.  The Arab invasion of Persia did a lot to get rid of the community. The BPP, it seems, thanks to their racist policies, is determined to finish the job!

  • Siloo Kapdia

    Ber-a-ber che!  Everything you have said is correct!  Too bad that the dinosaurs that guide the commmunity and have a grip on the money do not think like you.  In a very short time we can safely say that most of the Parsi community in South Asia will be gone.  The Arab invasion of Persia did a lot to get rid of the community. The BPP, it seems, thanks to their racist policies, is determined to finish the job!

  • Siloo Kapadia

    But the community in Mumbai is also in decline.  It is not a matter of a small town vs. a large city.  It is a matter of changing with the times. 

  • Siloo Kapadia

    But the community in Mumbai is also in decline.  It is not a matter of a small town vs. a large city.  It is a matter of changing with the times. 

  • Larasati

    Dear Madam Magin Freek, I hope you are doing just fine. I am a total stranger, South East Asian all the way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who has great interest in Parsee community and Zoroastrian/ancient Iran religion. I must drop a line to you and let you know how your third paragraph in your comment make me all teary and touched deeply:  “They are your flesh and blood. Give love instead of despair. Let people be happy, let them love whoever they want to without fearing being termed an outcast.” …. World would be a perfect place to be if people have such kind thought just like yours Madam…..God bless you and family always………Sincerely, Larasati.

  • Larasati

    Dear Madam Magin Freek, I hope you are doing just fine. I am a total stranger, South East Asian all the way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia who has great interest in Parsee community and Zoroastrian/ancient Iran religion. I must drop a line to you and let you know how your third paragraph in your comment make me all teary and touched deeply:  “They are your flesh and blood. Give love instead of despair. Let people be happy, let them love whoever they want to without fearing being termed an outcast.” …. World would be a perfect place to be if people have such kind thought just like yours Madam…..God bless you and family always………Sincerely, Larasati.

  • Kapadia

    Our religion has failed us for the past 1450 years and our community (Parsis) have failed miserably as a community for the past 100 years.

    The main reasons for the failure of our community are:-
    No community sense.
    So called foolish secular belief since independence.
    The South Indians, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Punjabis and Maharashtrians have protected the interest of their community very well.  Even in the recently concluded BMC elections in the so called cosmopolitan city of Mumbai the Shiv Sena and MNC has made spectacular gains and seats only due to massive voting by the Maharasthtrian Communityh enmasse in their favour.  This is the secular state of affairs in our most cosmpolitan city after 64 years of independence.  Even in other parts this is the state of affairs and it prevails even in sports.
    Industrialists felicitated by BPP are the most anti-Parsi.  They believe by their anti-Parsi stance, they can prove their secular identities.  In their companies Parsis are deliberately demeaned and insulted and their normal promotions denied.
    The so called misplaced belief in superiority of our religion whereby children of women married outside can be converted to Zoroastrianism, when their own mothers have married either in a Hindu Temple/Church/Masjid or Gurudwara and in other words have converted to the religions of their husbands.  Why do they now insist in their children following Zoroastrianism.  Is it in order to get economic benefits, grants, loans, flats, educational grants, medical benefits etc.
    Most of the so called convertionists/reformists are encouraging conversion on the basis of economic benefits to the converts.  Can this microscopic community afford to confront the huge Hindu/Muslim/Christain communities in this respect.  It will lead to an immediate destruction of this community.  Also, the Govt. of India does not allow conversion on the basis of so called sops offered by the converting community.  If it was so easy then Saudi Arabia and Christians would have pumped billions of dollars for conversion activity in this country.  Also, this would create mistrust of our community by other communities. 
    We have been tolerated in this country only due to the fact that we do not convert. 
    Also, the so called reformists should take note of the fanatical religious riots which have taken place in this country.  Do we have the power to stand up to such riots. 
    Many of the so called reformists are encouraged by people of other communities as they are against our community members for not converting to their religions,  They want to finish our community within the next 5 years instead of the period of 50 years as they want to see the total destruction of our community in their life time.
    Even to this day, children whose both parents are Zarathustri cannot become mobeds if their parents are Behdins as mobedi is hereditary profession.. This is so  even if the spouse of a dastur is a non-Parsi.
    The selfishness of our community goes to the extreme in destroying a Parsis life as they dare not do so with members of other communities as they will get a sound beating and are afraid of doing so with members of other communities.
    Mrs.Indira Gandhi rightly did not carry out navjote ceremony for her two sons because she was aware that the political future of here sons would be doomed due to the fanatical nature of the people of the country.
    Demise of our community is inevitable even if we convert because converts want massive sops/benefits as given by Arabs to Mawalis (converted Iranians) or by Portuguese to Tribals in Goa.
    I have stated plain facts which our so called Akbars and billionares are not ready to admit.

     

  • Kapadia

    Our religion has failed us for the past 1450 years and our community (Parsis) have failed miserably as a community for the past 100 years.

    The main reasons for the failure of our community are:-
    No community sense.
    So called foolish secular belief since independence.
    The South Indians, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Punjabis and Maharashtrians have protected the interest of their community very well.  Even in the recently concluded BMC elections in the so called cosmopolitan city of Mumbai the Shiv Sena and MNC has made spectacular gains and seats only due to massive voting by the Maharasthtrian Communityh enmasse in their favour.  This is the secular state of affairs in our most cosmpolitan city after 64 years of independence.  Even in other parts this is the state of affairs and it prevails even in sports.
    Industrialists felicitated by BPP are the most anti-Parsi.  They believe by their anti-Parsi stance, they can prove their secular identities.  In their companies Parsis are deliberately demeaned and insulted and their normal promotions denied.
    The so called misplaced belief in superiority of our religion whereby children of women married outside can be converted to Zoroastrianism, when their own mothers have married either in a Hindu Temple/Church/Masjid or Gurudwara and in other words have converted to the religions of their husbands.  Why do they now insist in their children following Zoroastrianism.  Is it in order to get economic benefits, grants, loans, flats, educational grants, medical benefits etc.
    Most of the so called convertionists/reformists are encouraging conversion on the basis of economic benefits to the converts.  Can this microscopic community afford to confront the huge Hindu/Muslim/Christain communities in this respect.  It will lead to an immediate destruction of this community.  Also, the Govt. of India does not allow conversion on the basis of so called sops offered by the converting community.  If it was so easy then Saudi Arabia and Christians would have pumped billions of dollars for conversion activity in this country.  Also, this would create mistrust of our community by other communities. 
    We have been tolerated in this country only due to the fact that we do not convert. 
    Also, the so called reformists should take note of the fanatical religious riots which have taken place in this country.  Do we have the power to stand up to such riots. 
    Many of the so called reformists are encouraged by people of other communities as they are against our community members for not converting to their religions,  They want to finish our community within the next 5 years instead of the period of 50 years as they want to see the total destruction of our community in their life time.
    Even to this day, children whose both parents are Zarathustri cannot become mobeds if their parents are Behdins as mobedi is hereditary profession.. This is so  even if the spouse of a dastur is a non-Parsi.
    The selfishness of our community goes to the extreme in destroying a Parsis life as they dare not do so with members of other communities as they will get a sound beating and are afraid of doing so with members of other communities.
    Mrs.Indira Gandhi rightly did not carry out navjote ceremony for her two sons because she was aware that the political future of here sons would be doomed due to the fanatical nature of the people of the country.
    Demise of our community is inevitable even if we convert because converts want massive sops/benefits as given by Arabs to Mawalis (converted Iranians) or by Portuguese to Tribals in Goa.
    I have stated plain facts which our so called Akbars and billionares are not ready to admit.

     

  • Kapadia

    Our religion has failed us for the past 1450 years and our community (Parsis) have failed miserably as a community for the past 100 years.

    The main reasons for the failure of our community are:-
    No community sense.
    So called foolish secular belief since independence.
    The South Indians, Marwaris, Gujaratis, Punjabis and Maharashtrians have protected the interest of their community very well.  Even in the recently concluded BMC elections in the so called cosmopolitan city of Mumbai the Shiv Sena and MNC has made spectacular gains and seats only due to massive voting by the Maharasthtrian Communityh enmasse in their favour.  This is the secular state of affairs in our most cosmpolitan city after 64 years of independence.  Even in other parts this is the state of affairs and it prevails even in sports.
    Industrialists felicitated by BPP are the most anti-Parsi.  They believe by their anti-Parsi stance, they can prove their secular identities.  In their companies Parsis are deliberately demeaned and insulted and their normal promotions denied.
    The so called misplaced belief in superiority of our religion whereby children of women married outside can be converted to Zoroastrianism, when their own mothers have married either in a Hindu Temple/Church/Masjid or Gurudwara and in other words have converted to the religions of their husbands.  Why do they now insist in their children following Zoroastrianism.  Is it in order to get economic benefits, grants, loans, flats, educational grants, medical benefits etc.
    Most of the so called convertionists/reformists are encouraging conversion on the basis of economic benefits to the converts.  Can this microscopic community afford to confront the huge Hindu/Muslim/Christain communities in this respect.  It will lead to an immediate destruction of this community.  Also, the Govt. of India does not allow conversion on the basis of so called sops offered by the converting community.  If it was so easy then Saudi Arabia and Christians would have pumped billions of dollars for conversion activity in this country.  Also, this would create mistrust of our community by other communities. 
    We have been tolerated in this country only due to the fact that we do not convert. 
    Also, the so called reformists should take note of the fanatical religious riots which have taken place in this country.  Do we have the power to stand up to such riots. 
    Many of the so called reformists are encouraged by people of other communities as they are against our community members for not converting to their religions,  They want to finish our community within the next 5 years instead of the period of 50 years as they want to see the total destruction of our community in their life time.
    Even to this day, children whose both parents are Zarathustri cannot become mobeds if their parents are Behdins as mobedi is hereditary profession.. This is so  even if the spouse of a dastur is a non-Parsi.
    The selfishness of our community goes to the extreme in destroying a Parsis life as they dare not do so with members of other communities as they will get a sound beating and are afraid of doing so with members of other communities.
    Mrs.Indira Gandhi rightly did not carry out navjote ceremony for her two sons because she was aware that the political future of here sons would be doomed due to the fanatical nature of the people of the country.
    Demise of our community is inevitable even if we convert because converts want massive sops/benefits as given by Arabs to Mawalis (converted Iranians) or by Portuguese to Tribals in Goa.
    I have stated plain facts which our so called Akbars and billionares are not ready to admit.

     

  • Phiroze

    And we were told that Karachi, Hong Kong, UK, US were forward thinking and all accepting. But still no numbers? Why?????

  • Phiroze

    And we were told that Karachi, Hong Kong, UK, US were forward thinking and all accepting. But still no numbers? Why?????

  • Phiroze

    And we were told that Karachi, Hong Kong, UK, US were forward thinking and all accepting. But still no numbers? Why?????

  • xyz

    I am sorry but I do not agree with you. I am sure there must be ways and means of increasing parsee community census figures in India. We can seriously think it over. Akabars of BPP – 7 trustees are trying to find time from their busy court cases schedule and then after waiting for another 3 and half years their term will end and they will just stand again for re-elections with false promises. They had promised tenancy to all new allotments but they have failed. They continue selling ownership flats of panthaki baug at andheri mumbai after collecting Rs 25 lacs and then making leave and licence agreements for ten years. Isn’t it cheating the gullible parsee community ??? They pay Rs 1,000/- for third child assistance which is peanuts – again another way of fooling people.Trustees of salsette assn andheri, mumbai gives one flat of one single room mhada type of 180 square feet carpet area for four persons in a family. Do you think they will produce more children ?? where is the privacy ?? There are only 40,000 parsees in mumbai and majority of 5,000 flats of BPP are lying vaccant or they are in litigation. There is no TRANSPARENCY at-all from BPP. It’s all Hogwash. Just false promises at the time of election. I really do not know the reason why Indira Gandhi decided not to do navjote of her two children namely rajiv and sanjay. The father was a parsi – Mr. Feroze Gandhi and according to our religious customs and traditions both these children are born parsees and navjote must be performed but still both parents decided against it and they followed hinduism. This is their personal choice.

  • xyz

    I am sorry but I do not agree with you. I am sure there must be ways and means of increasing parsee community census figures in India. We can seriously think it over. Akabars of BPP – 7 trustees are trying to find time from their busy court cases schedule and then after waiting for another 3 and half years their term will end and they will just stand again for re-elections with false promises. They had promised tenancy to all new allotments but they have failed. They continue selling ownership flats of panthaki baug at andheri mumbai after collecting Rs 25 lacs and then making leave and licence agreements for ten years. Isn’t it cheating the gullible parsee community ??? They pay Rs 1,000/- for third child assistance which is peanuts – again another way of fooling people.Trustees of salsette assn andheri, mumbai gives one flat of one single room mhada type of 180 square feet carpet area for four persons in a family. Do you think they will produce more children ?? where is the privacy ?? There are only 40,000 parsees in mumbai and majority of 5,000 flats of BPP are lying vaccant or they are in litigation. There is no TRANSPARENCY at-all from BPP. It’s all Hogwash. Just false promises at the time of election. I really do not know the reason why Indira Gandhi decided not to do navjote of her two children namely rajiv and sanjay. The father was a parsi – Mr. Feroze Gandhi and according to our religious customs and traditions both these children are born parsees and navjote must be performed but still both parents decided against it and they followed hinduism. This is their personal choice.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Who said no numbers?  In fact when I was last in USA in 2011 the ZAGNY dinners had over 200 people!  And if the place had been more easily acessible to mass transportation, the number would be over 300 I am sure.   The community in North America is thriving.  Phiroze, you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Who said no numbers?  In fact when I was last in USA in 2011 the ZAGNY dinners had over 200 people!  And if the place had been more easily acessible to mass transportation, the number would be over 300 I am sure.   The community in North America is thriving.  Phiroze, you don’t know what you are talking about.

  • Phiroze

    Siloo, those fleeing arab invasion  of Persia who settled in China and Europe were not racists and inter married the locals. How come they became extinct earlier then us Parsis. It is only the Parsis because of their racists policies still survive as a distinct community. Ask not what the Parsi Panchayat can do for you but what you can do for the PArsi Community for a change.

  • Phiroze

    Siloo, those fleeing arab invasion  of Persia who settled in China and Europe were not racists and inter married the locals. How come they became extinct earlier then us Parsis. It is only the Parsis because of their racists policies still survive as a distinct community. Ask not what the Parsi Panchayat can do for you but what you can do for the PArsi Community for a change.

  • Phiroze

    Larasati, would you have the guts to preach the same openly to your muslim brethren in KL, Malaysia ??? Your lines are more important in your own country. Get your house in order before lecturing us Parsis. Practice before you preach.

  • Phiroze

    Larasati, would you have the guts to preach the same openly to your muslim brethren in KL, Malaysia ??? Your lines are more important in your own country. Get your house in order before lecturing us Parsis. Practice before you preach.

  • RATHESTAR.

    O.K. assuming though not conceding your argument, how do you justify depletion of Parsees in Mumbai despite their observing all Traditions (read fads) and being Orthodox. Many a orthodox are unmarried or married but no kids.Let us put a lid to such silly questions by asking a counter question.

  • RATHESTAR.

    O.K. assuming though not conceding your argument, how do you justify depletion of Parsees in Mumbai despite their observing all Traditions (read fads) and being Orthodox. Many a orthodox are unmarried or married but no kids.Let us put a lid to such silly questions by asking a counter question.

  • Contradhongi

    @RATHESTAR. Some persons  have the desire to post their ‘thinking’ for the sake of reading their name, even if that would entail public ridicule.This happens to be one such case.

  • Contradhongi

    @RATHESTAR. Some persons  have the desire to post their ‘thinking’ for the sake of reading their name, even if that would entail public ridicule.This happens to be one such case.

  • Contradhongi

    @RATHESTAR. Some persons  have the desire to post their ‘thinking’ for the sake of reading their name, even if that would entail public ridicule.This happens to be one such case.

  • Barak Aga

    The article mentions :”………. prefer bachelorhood to marriage because of their “not-so-strong” economic conditions …….”Is Mr. Ratan Tata’s economic condition, “not-so-strong”?Mr Cyrus Mistry, the son of Mr. Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry is married to a Mohmedan, Miss Rohiqa Chagla the daughter of famed lawyer Mr. Iqbal Chagla.Mr. J. R. D. Tata’s mother was a French lady,  Suzanne Brière.Zoroastrian youth of India should draw inspiration from these highly accomplished gentlemen.
    How many “Pure Parsis” have attained the heights that Mr. J. R. D. Tata, and Mr. Cyrus Mistry have attained?

  • Barak Aga

    The article mentions :”………. prefer bachelorhood to marriage because of their “not-so-strong” economic conditions …….”Is Mr. Ratan Tata’s economic condition, “not-so-strong”?Mr Cyrus Mistry, the son of Mr. Shapoorji Pallonji Mistry is married to a Mohmedan, Miss Rohiqa Chagla the daughter of famed lawyer Mr. Iqbal Chagla.Mr. J. R. D. Tata’s mother was a French lady,  Suzanne Brière.Zoroastrian youth of India should draw inspiration from these highly accomplished gentlemen.
    How many “Pure Parsis” have attained the heights that Mr. J. R. D. Tata, and Mr. Cyrus Mistry have attained?

  • Phiroze

    Rathestar, the question is “if “and a very big “if” acceptance is the answer to the numbers problem. Let the remedy be not more dangerous then the malady. Let the lessons of Karachi, HK, UK, US not be lost to us. All questions including silly ones need to addressed before taking any step that could spell an ireversible end to the community.  

  • Phiroze

    Rathestar, the question is “if “and a very big “if” acceptance is the answer to the numbers problem. Let the remedy be not more dangerous then the malady. Let the lessons of Karachi, HK, UK, US not be lost to us. All questions including silly ones need to addressed before taking any step that could spell an ireversible end to the community.  

  • Phiroze

    Dhongi when it comes to Parsis and Parsipanu I fear no ridicule of paper tigers with psuedonyms.

  • Phiroze

    Dhongi when it comes to Parsis and Parsipanu I fear no ridicule of paper tigers with psuedonyms.

  • Phiroze

    The question is out of 200 how many were PARSIS? How many were wearing the sudreh/Kusti? What does it matter if there would be 300 people but only 30 PARSIS. I know what I am talking about because I have a large part of my family in North America.

  • Phiroze

    The question is out of 200 how many were PARSIS? How many were wearing the sudreh/Kusti? What does it matter if there would be 300 people but only 30 PARSIS. I know what I am talking about because I have a large part of my family in North America.

  • Firdaus

    Dear Mr Raju Vijapur,
    Sam Manekshaw retired and died a “Field Marshal” and not a ‘Major General’ which is three ranks lower. Just for your and other readers information in case you are not Aware.

  • Firdaus

    Dear Mr Raju Vijapur,
    Sam Manekshaw retired and died a “Field Marshal” and not a ‘Major General’ which is three ranks lower. Just for your and other readers information in case you are not Aware.

  • Contradhongi

    Mr. Phiroze., if I am a dhongee and you are upright, can you can answer another ‘silly’ question i.e. whether the decline in Parsee population in ABSOLUTE TERMS IS REVERSIBLE AND IF SO HOW?
    In fact the Priestly class should set an example and debar all priests from practising unless they are married. I assume that is as per tenets of Vandidad or even that is ‘silly’ according to your scholarship? 

  • Contradhongi

    Mr. Phiroze., if I am a dhongee and you are upright, can you can answer another ‘silly’ question i.e. whether the decline in Parsee population in ABSOLUTE TERMS IS REVERSIBLE AND IF SO HOW?
    In fact the Priestly class should set an example and debar all priests from practising unless they are married. I assume that is as per tenets of Vandidad or even that is ‘silly’ according to your scholarship? 

  • Contradhongi

    Mr. Phiroze., if I am a dhongee and you are upright, can you can answer another ‘silly’ question i.e. whether the decline in Parsee population in ABSOLUTE TERMS IS REVERSIBLE AND IF SO HOW?
    In fact the Priestly class should set an example and debar all priests from practising unless they are married. I assume that is as per tenets of Vandidad or even that is ‘silly’ according to your scholarship? 

  • Phiroze

    What can else can we expect from stooge reporters !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Phiroze

    What can else can we expect from stooge reporters !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Guest

    In case this is of any interest to anyone…my father (we are Hindus) came from a prominent family in Hubli that knew the Belgaumwallas very well. My father says that, in all probability, the four acres of land that the journalist claims were donated by the Belgaumwallas, actually may have belonged to the Tata family (or a charitable organization set up by the Tatas). This is pure conjecture, no doubt, but coming from someone who knew the Belgaumwallas, maybe this factoid merits some more investigation (if anyone is that keen to know). My father also says that a lot of Parsis primarily came from Bombay as liaisons/agents of some of the prominent cotton mills of Bombay. Parts of N. Karnataka (like Gadag) are cotton growing (or, at least, were, at that time) and Hubli was the central area wherein growers met traders. Also, do not forget that Hubli was a part of Bombay Presidency till reorganization of states (1956?). My father also seconds Mr. Vijapur’s assertions that a lot of Parsis in Hubli were associated with the Railways (Madras & Southern Maratha…they were a metre-gauge and not broad-gauge network). If anyone who is interested in getting a flavor of this, please check out PL Deshpande’s Pestan Kaka (it is in Marathi). It gives me chills every time he refers to places like Pachapur, Dharwad, etc. in this piece.

    Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccgxQqGwZdg

    Audio link : http://www.esnips.com/displayimage.php?pid=11127488

    Peace to all.

  • Guest

    In case this is of any interest to anyone…my father (we are Hindus) came from a prominent family in Hubli that knew the Belgaumwallas very well. My father says that, in all probability, the four acres of land that the journalist claims were donated by the Belgaumwallas, actually may have belonged to the Tata family (or a charitable organization set up by the Tatas). This is pure conjecture, no doubt, but coming from someone who knew the Belgaumwallas, maybe this factoid merits some more investigation (if anyone is that keen to know). My father also says that a lot of Parsis primarily came from Bombay as liaisons/agents of some of the prominent cotton mills of Bombay. Parts of N. Karnataka (like Gadag) are cotton growing (or, at least, were, at that time) and Hubli was the central area wherein growers met traders. Also, do not forget that Hubli was a part of Bombay Presidency till reorganization of states (1956?). My father also seconds Mr. Vijapur’s assertions that a lot of Parsis in Hubli were associated with the Railways (Madras & Southern Maratha…they were a metre-gauge and not broad-gauge network). If anyone who is interested in getting a flavor of this, please check out PL Deshpande’s Pestan Kaka (it is in Marathi). It gives me chills every time he refers to places like Pachapur, Dharwad, etc. in this piece.

    Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccgxQqGwZdg

    Audio link : http://www.esnips.com/displayimage.php?pid=11127488

    Peace to all.

  • Mohamedali Savanur

    Read the article with interest. Please note that Sam Manekshaw was not a Major General but the first Field Marshal of the Armed Forces of India and the hero of the 1971 war, and of course he was a parsee. Just for information a Major General is way below that of a Field Marshal of the Indian Armed Forces as far as rank is concerned.

  • Mohamedali Savanur

    Read the article with interest. Please note that Sam Manekshaw was not a Major General but the first Field Marshal of the Armed Forces of India and the hero of the 1971 war, and of course he was a parsee. Just for information a Major General is way below that of a Field Marshal of the Indian Armed Forces as far as rank is concerned.

  • gb

    Bpp and parsi salsette assn are fighting lot of legal battles in various courts because trustees of salsette are self elected, self appointed, illegal entities. A writ petition is pending in the hon high court for elections under universal adult franchise. wait and watch because they are also running a shop selling alcohol inside holy fire temple compound at andheri west. Ultimately, God is there to give justice to the community. God bless you.

  • gb

    Bpp and parsi salsette assn are fighting lot of legal battles in various courts because trustees of salsette are self elected, self appointed, illegal entities. A writ petition is pending in the hon high court for elections under universal adult franchise. wait and watch because they are also running a shop selling alcohol inside holy fire temple compound at andheri west. Ultimately, God is there to give justice to the community. God bless you.