Planning Commission says No to boosting Parsi numbers

The government’s plan to boost the dwindling population of Parsi community received a severe jolt with the Planning Commission rejecting a scheme proposed by the minority affairs ministry to improve the fertility rate and address health issues of the minority group.

By Subodh Ghildiyal, TNN

The commission has objected to the scheme, telling the government it need not interfere in social issues. It also said making an intervention for Parsis could set a precedent for other social groups to make demands, sources said.

The blunt ‘no’ has scuppered attempts to address a key grievance of Parsis who are staring at extinction with an estimated population of 66,000. The Centre made budgetary announcement in 2010 for a scheme to tackle the falling population of religious minorities.

The rejection this month, the second and seen as final, has led to dejection in the ministry. Top sources said a fresh plea had still been made to the plan panel for review.
The arguments from the planning body, however, left the ministry puzzled. In the rejection, it rebuffed the principal argument behind the scheme — that fertility rate of Parsis is down. The plan panel wondered what was special about it as all religious groups faced it.

Sources said the panel was told that fertility rate of Parsis was alarmingly low and had fallen below ‘replacement level’ (below one). It said while the fertility rate of Hindus or Muslims may have fallen, it was still above ‘one’ and these communities would never face extinction. The argument seems to have been rebuffed again.

On the alarm of setting up a precedent for other social groups and thegovernment poking its nose in social issues, the ministry assured it was not the case.
The scheme was woven around addressing health issues of Parsi individuals in an attempt to boost their fertility rate. The Centre was to pick up the tab for it while selected individuals would be given the best treatment.

The ministry got a survey done on the community and its problems in Mumbai. While plan panel questioned limiting the study to the megapolis, the ministry said the choice of city was fine for a sample survey as 42,000 of the estimated 66,000 Parsis lived there.

A government initiative on Parsis can only be limited to addressing health issues even though there are other reasons for their falling numbers, like excommunication of a Parsi marrying a non-Parsi or the trend of late marriage.

Though some in the community have demanded that marriage outside be accepted, there are reservations from conservative Parsis and the government does not want to be seen as meddling in the sensitive issue.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    “The arguments from the planning body, however, left the ministry puzzled. In the rejection, it rebuffed the principal argument behind the scheme — that fertility rate of Parsis is down. The plan panel wondered what was special about it as all religious groups faced it. ”

    BRAVO!!! Bereberr che! They are absolutely CORRECT to reject this scheme. Fertiity rates down? What utter rubbish!!! The Parsee population is dying out not because we cannot reproduce. No deekras, we are dying out IN INDIA thanks to the stupid, backward, racist, xenephobic policies of the BPP (Mellah Mojah Clique) and their lackeys.

    It is interesting how the Parsee population everywhere else, be it in the USA, Canada, UK, Singapore, etc. is rising. Why is that? Is it because the air and food in these areas increases the sperm count in Parsee men? Is it because the television shows in these places are so boring that Parsee couples have nothing better to do at night than to reproduce? Is it because the water in such areas helps Parsee women ovulate more frequently? The answer to all these “scientific” questions is NO! Kappal! Bakee!

    The reason that the populations are growing everywhere else is that the local Parsee groups are more OPEN to intermarriage, and to the subsequent offspring of such marriages. At ZAGNY in New York/New Jersey we have all kinds of members attending, and we welcome them! We don’t throw them out and have guards at the doors to keep them out and other such nonsense that we see in India. I and other Parsee parents encourage our children to make friends with “mixed” children. We do not mistreat them or harass them or laugh at them or stay clear of their parents. We encourage them to take part and be valuable members in the community, which they are.

    Intermarriage is a part of any community adapting to their adopted society. It is a way of life. It is what happened to the original Zoroastrians who landed in India many centuries ago, despite what the BPP like to believe in their fantasy-derived history books. The community in India can do likewise, and I assure you, low sperm count or not, the Parsee population in India will explode. By not making RACE and ETHNIC considerations a requirement to pray at an Agiary, we will see more Parsees in India, low ovulation rate or not.

    But NO, the BPP will stick to their tired, out-dated, quasi-Nazi ideas of race and religion and therefore the community in India is fizzling out. Do not be fooled, IMMIGRATION IS NOT THE MAIN REASON THE PARSEE POPULATION IN INDIA IS DYING. Many, many Parsees have intermarried and have remained in India. Yet, they are virtually ostracized from the community. Many of their children at one time did want to join the religion, but after being rejected time and time again, many of them give up and join other faiths. Who is to gain from all of this?

    Once again, let’s split up the money into two parts. One part will go to the BPP and their henchmen. The other part will go to the open-minded Parsees. Fifty years from now, the former will be all but gone. The latter, I assure you, will be doing very, very well.

    India has its challenges, but it can be a very good country to live, especially in the future as the West wanes. The Parsee community in India can really thrive, especially as many Parsees lose their jobs in the US and want to return/or are returning. We must not lose this chance! Zoroastrianism/ Parsee is for the world. I am proud to be a Parsee, an Indian, and an Asian. I will do everything to support my community, country and continent, as, I can assure you all, the ways of the BPP do not.

  • Dorab.

    Speaks eloquently ‘volumes’ for the standing, capacity for liaisoning etc of “Elected” representatives of our community from BPP.who claim to represent the entire community all over the country.
    And yet we will find stupid persons with the tag of Orthodoxy, doggedly denying that fertility rate has fallen below replacement level. Such ‘pillars of religion’ never learnt statistics nor know how to read facts and figures.

  • kunwalla

    Yeah, why should taxpayers money be spent on select groups.

    now, the only choice is for the bpp to start a breeding program as they tried with the vultures and hope for the best.

    isn’t all this ironical. first we defile the nature with our deads without caring a hoot for the general population and then worry over the dwindling numbers. no other nation would turn the blind eye as the indian government is doing over doongerwadi and it’s just a bomb ticking away.

    really a great community.

  • Barak Aga

    The reason for the dwindling numbers :

    1) Migration to the West, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand. The “Parsi” colonies are slowly emptying out.

    It is cheaper to migrate and buy a home abroad, than to bribe and pay for one in a “Parsi” Colony.

    2) Zoroastrians put off by the corruption of the faith are turning to other belief systems. A study in Mumbai found, that 3% of the congregation at the Catholic Wednesday Novena service, comprised of Zoroastrians, a.k.a. Parsis.

    Mr. Soli Sorabji’s daughter is a follower of the Bahai faith.

    Many Zoroastrians now openly worship, Hindu dieties, Sai baba, etc.

    In short, this is a rejection of Zoroastrianism as practiced today, by a section of the Zoroastrians themselves.

    Definitely it would be extremely embarrassing for anyone to be associated with a belief system which at its outset sounds ludicrous, racist, and based on falsehoods, folklore and fables.

    Many “Parsis” are asked, “Have you re-written the Theory of Evolution?”

    “Have you re-written the biology text books, when you claim that you never converted?”

    “Did Zoroastrians exist from the time of the origin of the Universe?”

    This entire hogwash of a “Parsi” race is called in to question. This is because broadly there are only 3 races on the planet : 1) Caucasoid 2) Mongoloid and 3) Negroid.

    Race is determined by stature, the cephalic index, the nasal index, prognathism, skull capacity, texture of the hair, degree of pilosity, colour of the skin, and hair and eye colour.

    Even the present Pope, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, nicknamed the “Panzer Cardinal”, and reputed to be a doctrinal hardliner, had to mellow his stance and call for “religion and faith to be tempered by science.”

    Today many Christians are “de-baptising” themselves.
    In the UK there is a bus going round with a message “There Is No God”.

    Research found that many Christians do not believe that resurrection can take place.

    This only proves, that once you stretch things too far, the flock get nauseated, and they simply abandon the faith.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    @Barak Aga: You said “This entire hogwash of a “Parsi” race is called in to question. This is because broadly there are only 3 races on the planet : 1) Caucasoid 2) Mongoloid and 3) Negroid.”

    Actually this is not all true. Many are mixed within to form newer races. Most Indians have both Caucasion and Mongoloid blood and DNA.

  • Barak Aga

    Ma’m,
    The 3 broad races are 1) Caucasoid 2) Mongoloid and 3) Negroid.

    All other stock are sub-types of these 3 races, formed by intermingling

    Yes it is true that ethnically Indians are very diverse.

    Alexander and his men married 10,000 Sogdians after the conquest of Sogdiana.

    The inhabitants of Gilgit, Baltistan, etc., are all of mixed ethnicity.

    Our “Mughal” invaders were “Timurids” (Turkic).

  • Behram Aga

    So the Parsis got a punch in the nose, but are not bleeding. What did they expect? The buffoons at the helm of affairs the 6 Popes, and the 7 Samurai of the BPP boast all other communities respect us. Well why not if you let your daughters convert to their religion and feel elated about it. Who bothers about Parsis, you havae no votes and you don’t count in anyway except perhaps as good lawyers or doctors.
    Dadrawalla once wrote “When God wants to destroy someone he drives him crazy” it is most apt and the cap fits the Parsi community. They will be gone and they there will be epitaphs written about them like the fiction Kiss-e- Sanjan.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    @Barak Aga: Yes, deekra, the “conservative” Parsees will be gone, but not the more liberal minded ones. In other countries the community is thriving. But thanks to the BPP the conservative branch is dying out. So be it.