Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

WZO : London Divorces India

With deep regret, the World Zoroastrian Organisation (WZO) wishes to announce that it can no longer be associated with WZO (India).

By Darayus S. Motivala / The Bombay Samachar

This decision was taken after very careful consideration of the actions of the committee of WZO (India) which has taken such a divergent path that they no longer share the same aims and objectives, membership criteria, activities or ethos of WZO. In fact we are now two very different organizations with contrasting views because of the choices made by WZO (India). WZO is an inclusive and forward looking organization, committed to promoting and safeguarding the Zoroastrian faith and looking after the interests of Zoroastrians world-wide; in contrast, WZO (India) has chosen to remain inward-looking with its focus on social activities.

WZO (India) was set up by WZO to represent and further its interests in India. It had a similar constitution, the same membership criteria as WZO and was engaged in parallel charitable activities. This arrangement worked well and was beneficial to both organizations. However, since the late nineties, the committee of WZO (India) chose to take a divergent path, contrary to the original objectives.

From around 1997, the WZO (India) committee decided not to keep WZO informed about their activities, their annual accounts and their membership. This is despite WZO continuing to send all information to WZO (India).

Last year, we found that WZO (India), without any prior discussions, had altered its membership application forms in 2002 so that only those Zoroastrians born of both Zoroastrian parents could qualify as members – which is contrary to the membership criteria of WZO. It is also very clear that WZO (India)’s emphasis now is more on social activities rather than charitable ones, which is again a change of priorities and inconsistent with the ethos of WZO.

Since the middle of last year, some of the WZO (India) committee members have shared information confidential to WZO with others not connected with WZO or with WZO (India). They have also chosen to renege on previously agreed proposals to move WZO forward, in order to meet the needs of Zoroastrian worldwide, despite securing the safeguards they sought. Whilst WZO has sought to accommodate them in their beliefs, WZO (India) have chosen to force their beliefs on Zoroastrian worldwide.

WZO wishes to state unequivocally that WZO (India) is no longer permitted to use our registered address and UK charity number in any of its correspondence and publicity materials. Any period wishing to join WZO from India can do so by contacting us through our website, www.w-z-o.org or by post at our headquarters in UK. In time, we will set up new local contact addresses in India.

We are disappointed that all our overtures for reconciliation with the committee of WZO (India) have fallen on deaf ears and may have been misinterpreted by them as a sign of weakness on our part.

We are very appreciative of the support given by WZO (India)’s President, Mr. Dadi Engineer, through the years and of his efforts to convince his committee to seek a path of reconciliation. He will continue to enjoy our full confidence along with the other members (Mr. Dady Mistry, Delhi; Mrs. Mani Clubwala, Chennai; Mrs. Meher Amersey, Mumbai and Mr. Homi Khusrokhan, Mumbai) of WZO’s Managing Committee.

WZO wishes to make it clear that the WZO Trusts in India, managed by Dinshaw and Bachi Tamboly, are not connected with WZO (India). They have and will continue to have our admiration and support.

Darayus S. Motivala

Chairman WZO