MLA seeks sop from Indian Prime Minister for Parsis to visit Iran

Member of legislative assembly, Mangal Prabhat Lodha has written a letter to prime minister, Narendra Modi asking for subsidy for Parsi community to help them visit their “place of origin”.

Lodha has asked Modi to set aside around Rs5 crore so that the Parsis can visit Iran. Lodha in his letter states: “Government of India subsidies other minority communities like Muslims for their yearly visit to Mecca. Similarly, Parsis hope to visit their religious places in Iran, but restrict their travel due to excessive costs associated with their visits. Even if government of India allows 1,000 Parsis to travel on a subsidized trip to Iran, it would cost a mere Rs5 crore per year.”

However, the letter was criticised by community members. Viraf Kapadia, resident of Napean Sea Road called it a political stunt and divisive politics. “We have been asking for reservations in colleges and jobs. They should do something about that. Instead, they want to stop people from other community to go out which is why they are bringing us into this. Will they start sending Christians and Jews too? This step is dividing people in the name of religion. No doubt Iran was the motherland of the religion but we were driven out. India is our motherland and no one wants to go back there. Will Parsis even like that they are not allowed to wear the clothes they want to? The move will only bring in corruption in the community when selection process begins.”

Lodha, however, justified the move. “I do not think there is any other religion that has its origin outside India. Efforts can be made for other things (reservation) too, but, if some people want to look at it as a negative thing, I do not have any comment. I felt it was needed. Arun Jaitely has appreciated my move.”

  • Sohrab Kamdin

    Sir, I do not think that it’s a good idea to ask the Govt. to give us subsidies to go & see our place of origin. Those Parsees who wish to see them should go under “their own steam”. Just because many can’t, because of financial restraints, one should not ask the Govt. for subsidies because we have no religious compulsions to travel there, Historical books, pictures & our religious books should be enough including our priests & religious scholars. Travelling there would be more like a sentimental journey & those who wish to go & see their origins can certainly go but not with Govt. help. We do not want to open up a Pandora’s Box ! .