In Tihar, Kobad Ghandy traces his Parsi roots

As a communist ideologue, Kobad Ghandy rarely showed any interest in Parsi community issues. But in Delhi’s Tihar jail, where he has been imprisoned for nearly two years, Ghandy is reading about the origins of Zoroastrianism.

By Manoj Nair | DNA India

In a recent letter to the community magazine, Parsiana, Ghandy said he has been reading articles tracing the history of Zoroastrianism. Ghandy said he has been following community issues highlighted by the magazine, like the ban on priests accused of unorthodox views on marriages and funerals, the Russian convert who wants to train as a Zoroastrian priest and the controversy over Rohinton Mistry’s book.

Ghandy’s new-found interest in his community’s affairs started when Parsiana wrote an article about him when he was arrested in September 2009 for his alleged involvement in the Maoist insurgency. “Ghandy read it and wrote to us. We sent him a complementary copy of the magazine,” said Parsiana’s editor Jehangir Patel.

Since then, Ghandy has been getting issues of the magazine. After reading them, Ghandy passes them on the library at the jail which has a large centre of the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

In his letter, which was published in the magazine, Ghandy described the response to Anna Hazare’s anti-graft campaign, activist Binayak Sen’s release and the Supreme Court’s stand, led by Chief Justice S H Kapadia, against “the powers-that-be” as developments that his late wife and co-activist Anuradha would have been happy about.

“It is sad Anuradha is not around to witness the cry for justice from so many varied quarters, as in her times there was much indifference, where even the judiciary bowed before money and power. In those days, the cry for justice was a voice in the wilderness; today it is a rising crescendo. Anyhow, every year, the Anuradha Memorial Lecture (held this year on January 14) adds its small contribution in this rising wave of justice,” he wrote.

“But injustice too continues for the bulk of our people, 80% of whom live on a mere Rs20 per day, and the likes of us who voice their agony,” he added.

  • Homeedalal

    I was disturbed to read the letter from
    Kobad Ghandy  in Parsiana issue of the 7th June 2011. While I
    personally do not know  Ghandy nor have I met him, what disturbs me was
    that he is in prison since over a year and a half and even the Charges have not
    been framed till date. India
    boasts of democracy and freedom but ironically here is an instance where a
    person’s liberty and freedom have been taken away and is made to languish
    behind bars without being proved guilty. This tantamount to punishment even
    before the Court pronounces its   verdict. One cannot object to a
    criminal being punished for his acts and no mercy be shown but in this case the
    person is subjected to imprisonment without even charges being framed. 

    Now it is said that Tihar Jail is like a
    living hell on Earth and I cannot imagine a Zoroastrian brother locked up
    inside since last 18 months and that too without any charges being
    framed. 

    Our Community has a galaxy of legal
    minds practicing in the apex Court. As a Zoroastrian concerned with the plight
    of another fellow religionist, I appeal and plead  to them to do consider pleading on behalf
    of Mr. Kobad Ghandy so that he does not await a fair trial till the end of his
    life. Is there no time limit in Criminal Procedure Code where in the Police are
    required to file the charges? We are living in a democratic civilized society
    and yet to put a man behind bars for an indefinite time without a trial is
    breach of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.  

    May I appeal to BPP, Zoroastrians in the
    field of Law to do something so that a Zoroastrian does not suffer
    unnecessarily without any charges due to loopholes in the law.

     I am really pleased to know
    that Mr. Jehangir Patel sends the publication FREE OF COST.

    I once again request those in Legal
    fraternity to at least read the Case papers of Kobad Ghandy to know the facts
    and then act on the matter.

     

  • Homeedalal

    I was disturbed to read the letter from
    Kobad Ghandy  in Parsiana issue of the 7th June 2011. While I
    personally do not know  Ghandy nor have I met him, what disturbs me was
    that he is in prison since over a year and a half and even the Charges have not
    been framed till date. India
    boasts of democracy and freedom but ironically here is an instance where a
    person’s liberty and freedom have been taken away and is made to languish
    behind bars without being proved guilty. This tantamount to punishment even
    before the Court pronounces its   verdict. One cannot object to a
    criminal being punished for his acts and no mercy be shown but in this case the
    person is subjected to imprisonment without even charges being framed. 

    Now it is said that Tihar Jail is like a
    living hell on Earth and I cannot imagine a Zoroastrian brother locked up
    inside since last 18 months and that too without any charges being
    framed. 

    Our Community has a galaxy of legal
    minds practicing in the apex Court. As a Zoroastrian concerned with the plight
    of another fellow religionist, I appeal and plead  to them to do consider pleading on behalf
    of Mr. Kobad Ghandy so that he does not await a fair trial till the end of his
    life. Is there no time limit in Criminal Procedure Code where in the Police are
    required to file the charges? We are living in a democratic civilized society
    and yet to put a man behind bars for an indefinite time without a trial is
    breach of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution.  

    May I appeal to BPP, Zoroastrians in the
    field of Law to do something so that a Zoroastrian does not suffer
    unnecessarily without any charges due to loopholes in the law.

     I am really pleased to know
    that Mr. Jehangir Patel sends the publication FREE OF COST.

    I once again request those in Legal
    fraternity to at least read the Case papers of Kobad Ghandy to know the facts
    and then act on the matter.

     

  • Masco

    Kobad went for a cause, stood againts injustice before his time. wish the maoist issues get resolved

  • Masco

    Kobad went for a cause, stood againts injustice before his time. wish the maoist issues get resolved

  • Yazdypalia

    It is ironic that people who do not believe in the constitution of India, should be looking for support under the constitution of India. Kobad Gandhi is one of those who have supported Maoist theory of capturing power in India without taking part in elections but by the power of the gun. If they are so much convinced that  they are right, they should fight the system with the use of logic. Educate the people as to the deficiencies. Start a movement and appear for elections and change the system. You do not demand the state to bow down to your demands by keeping a gun on the temple and ask the government to follow your wishes.

  • Yazdypalia

    It is ironic that people who do not believe in the constitution of India, should be looking for support under the constitution of India. Kobad Gandhi is one of those who have supported Maoist theory of capturing power in India without taking part in elections but by the power of the gun. If they are so much convinced that  they are right, they should fight the system with the use of logic. Educate the people as to the deficiencies. Start a movement and appear for elections and change the system. You do not demand the state to bow down to your demands by keeping a gun on the temple and ask the government to follow your wishes.

  • Porus

    Homee Dalal makes very good points. Understandable given our tiny minority status, but our community can be too timid sometimes in the face of authority. A person who is accused of anything deserves a quick and fair day in court.

  • Porus

    Homee Dalal makes very good points. Understandable given our tiny minority status, but our community can be too timid sometimes in the face of authority. A person who is accused of anything deserves a quick and fair day in court.

  • Zareer K’Maneck

    The issues of the maoist are very real and I do believe the government does not do enough for the tribals in our country. In fact resolving the tribal issues can also in a large way help in resolving some other very serious issues like wildlife conservancy. However, I cannot stand by violence of any sort against the government that we chose and no one can seriously deny the harm the naxals are doing to their chances of having a dialogue with the government, by their lack of willingness to give up arms

  • Zareer K’Maneck

    The issues of the maoist are very real and I do believe the government does not do enough for the tribals in our country. In fact resolving the tribal issues can also in a large way help in resolving some other very serious issues like wildlife conservancy. However, I cannot stand by violence of any sort against the government that we chose and no one can seriously deny the harm the naxals are doing to their chances of having a dialogue with the government, by their lack of willingness to give up arms

  • arzan mullaphiroze

    I really wish His Excellency Sarosh Kapadia and Anna Hazare do something for the Parsi Community and remove Corruption from the Community.

  • arzan mullaphiroze

    I really wish His Excellency Sarosh Kapadia and Anna Hazare do something for the Parsi Community and remove Corruption from the Community.