Parsis and National Politics of India

We Parsis have had a long tradition with politics at the national, state and city level.

Dadabhoy Navroji was one of the founding fathers of the Indian National Congress in the late 19th Century. He was also one of the few Indian MPs in the British Parliament. [wikipedia]

Sir Pherozshaw Mehta was involved in politics at all levels and his statue adorns the Bombay Municipal Corporation Building at VT. He is considered the father of the Bombay Municipality. [wikipedia]

This brings me to the point about Parsis in politics in present day India.

There are no sitting MP’s either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha today. In a preliminary search, I have come up with very few names of Parsi MP’s. Piloo Mody and Minoo Masani are the two MP’s I have heard of the most when it comes to Parsis in elected offices.

Feroze Gandhi, husband of Indira and grandfather of India’s current political dynasty was an Indian MP too.

Parsis have also predominantly been followers of the Congres party. Most parsis I know vote for the Congress. However that trend may be changing in recent years.

As the next Lok Sabha elections come up in the near future, how do you see the Parsi community voting. Sadly because of our miniscule numbers we are a non-existent voting block even at a constituency level.

Also, if you know of past Parsi MP’s, MLA’s, MLC’s and corporators in your area, please let us know in the comments section. We will take that information and make it into a coherent list.

  • danish

    Today Parsees are not of any consequence to political parties because of our insignificant numbers. Barring garlanding statues of our past leaders on their anniverseries, no body remembers their contribution.The current generation of Parsees are more interested in safe careers than the uncertainties of Political career. Moreover, if one sees, there are dynasties even among politicians. Parsee youth do not have the benefit of parents being in politics. We are best or shall we say worst contesting BPP elections with contestants being financed by non Bombayite.It is called community mobocracy.

  • Phiroze Amroliwalla

    Hi,
    Some prominent Parsis that immediately come to my mind are:
    LateMr.Homi Talyarkhan Ex Governor.
    ” Mr. Marzban Patrawalla, Minister in the Congress led Maharashtra State Government, late Mrs. Alloo Chibber, MLA in Congress Govt. in Maharashtra,
    late M/s. Russi Mehta,Sohrab Khan, Rustom Sheriar Tirandaz, and currently Anahita Mehta,all Municipal Corporators, MCGM Mumbai.
    Ms.Roda Patel, Ex Minister in the Andhra Pradesh government, Mr. Dinsha Patel sitting MP from Kaira,Gujarat. Industrialist Mr. Naval Tata once contested the South Mumbai Parliamentary seat against either Mr. George Fernandes or Late S. K. Patil and lost. Will post more info if available.

  • Jamshed Ghadiali

    Dear Arzan,
    There are definitely many more Parsees in the Parliament. There was a lady from Hyderabad, whose grand-daughter is, I believe, Laila Alphonse in Boston. There was a Contractor MP from Ratlam or Jawra in Madhya Pradesh. Homi Taylakhan was somewhere?? We have had parsee Mayors of Mumbai. A lot more research needs to be done. I am just using my memory. Jamshed.

  • Suneel Durve

    Dear Brothers, I have read sometime before that, since Provicial Governments in the time of British rule, two seats in the parliament were/are reserved for such minorities, one for Parsi community and another for Anglo-Indian christchan community, to be elected by these communities either by election or by unanimous decision. I also remember having read something like, Feroz Gandhi was Member Representative for Parsi community on the seat reserved like above. I wish to know if this is was so . However , I am not able to find any reference on web as of now. May be you will inform me more about it . Pls email to me on suneeldurve @ gmail.com