A question of trust, a matter of faith

The Bombay High Court’s recent verdict in the Parsi Priests’ case is historic. It recognises the generosity of the Parsi community and condemns a narrow, sectarian religious perspective

Civilization’s future, EM Forster wrote in his July 1941 essay, originally broadcast on BBC, demands something less dramatic and emotional than prattle about love. “Tolerance,” he said, “is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things.”

By Gautam Patel | Bangalore Mirror

The Bombay High Court’s judgement will now be taken to the Supreme Court, where it will hopefully be left untouched because this is a judgement that India both needs and deserves

Seventy years have passed since, and it seems clear that in that time we have grown more intolerant not less. Whether it is books, writing, art, religion, complexion, dress, headgear, worship or diet we seem now only to be defined by hate.

The Bombay High Court’s decision of 11 March 2011 in what I will call, for want of a better phrase, the Parsi Priests’ case has been described as ‘historic’ and ‘landmark’. It is both, and not only because it is so exceptionally well-written by Justice Chandrachud, but because of its profound impact that reaches far beyond the litigation itself. Jamshyd Kanga, a former IAS officer, and Homi Khusrokhan, a highly regarded professional who served as the MD of various companies (Glaxo, Tata Tea, Tata Chemicals), both Parsis, sought the court’s interpretation of the 1884 Parsi Panchayat Trust Deed.

The immediate cause for the case was the trustees’ ban on two priests from performing religious ceremonies at the Towers of Silences and at two agiaries. These priests had, it was alleged, conducted ‘irreligious’ ceremonies: funeral rites for Parsis who were cremated; navjots for children of mixed parentage; and marriages of Parsis marrying non-Parsis. The petitioners claimed that management of Panchayat properties — including the Towers of Silence and agiaries — is a secular function, and the trustees cannot ban priests from performing religious ceremonies there. The defence argued that the court was really being asked to determine what is or is not an acceptable Zoroastrian religious ceremony; essentially, that the ‘purity’ of the religion demanded the ban.

The context is an ancient religion, 3,500 years old, one whose vast influences are found in unlikely places. Paul Kriwaczek’s excellent book In Search of Zarathustra tells of a journey through Central Asia to discover the roots of a faith which speaks of a single universal god and the tension between good and evil; teachings that presaged the teachings of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. In modern writing, the most immediate example of the religion’s influence is, of course, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, in which, following an epiphany, he attempted to reinterpret the religion.

Nietzsche’s book itself had many influences: from Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler to Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey. After pulling off a two-paragraph summary of Nietzsche’s book, Kriwaczek gives us this astonishing passage:

“On a damp and gloomy morning … on the other side of the square, in front of the imposing National Library [in Turin], a carter was savagely beating his horse. The horse fell to its knees. The austere philosopher, who had uncompromisingly condemned pity as a debilitating weakness, sped across the road and flung his arms about the horse’s neck — a gesture of sympathy and solidarity with another living being. It was his last sane and human act. He would never return to his senses again. He had finally passed beyond good and evil.”

Good and evil, sanity, what it means to be human, to be humane; it is but a short hop from Nietzche to Forster, for there are precepts in Zoroastrianism, as in all other religions, which are universal and not bound to dogma. Yet, doctrinaire views — inflexible attachments to practice or theory without regard to practicality — are the favoured weapons of fundamentalists everywhere. In their hands even the most moderate views can be deformed. As Forster also said, “it’s very easy to see fanaticism in other people, but difficult to spot in oneself.”

The Parsi community is unique, and uniquely Indian. It has many great qualities, perhaps the greatest of which is its remarkable generosity of spirit. It is this spirit that the judgement recognizes when it condemns a narrow, sectarian religious perspective: “At least the Court cannot be a party to encouraging religious obscurantism.”

This judgement of the Bombay High Court will now be taken to the Supreme Court. There, hopefully, it will be left untouched, for this is a judgement that India both needs and deserves. In a country which claims to be truly secular by law but which displays every indication to the contrary, this judgement is a reaffirmation of one of our most cardinal Constitutional principles. In it, we hear the distinct echo of Forster’s recommendation for temperance. And we hear, too, the equally distinct voice of Nietzsche calling from the past: “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

  • Shapur Kakroo

    Let the BPP appeal to the Honorable Supreme Court.

    Let us get a final Judgement.

    As Mr.Kerssie Wadia has aptly stated on 15 March 2011 on a related topic on Parsi Khabar, let us “hammer a final nail into the proverbial coffin”.

    Let us finally tell the trustees of the BPP that they cannot act like dictators.

  • Fred Driver

    I disagree with the BHC decision. The reason is although the BPP cannot ban renegade priests for performing religious z. ceremonies in their private capacity at private locations, but Towers of Silence and agiaries belong to private (not public) Trusts owned by BPP or other Institutions. Therefore Bombay HC does not have any jurisdiction over the rules and regulations of private clubs, like Rotary Club in USA. A private club has all the rights to either admit or bar any members. This is done here for example, where Jews and blacks are not allowed to join private country clubs in the south USA. This is also already done in case of Atash behrams and agyaries, where non-Zoroastrians are not allowed to admit there. BHC cannot dictate BPP to change their rules and regulations. Also according to liberties given in the Indian Constitution, Government can not interfere in various religions, for Muslims are allowed to have 4 wives and parsis have their own divorce courts.

    The question is can a State interfere with the regulations of a Church? Are not State and Church separate entities? I am not against human rights but each Church has its own rights and “human rights” does not mean they should super-seed long established traditions and customs practiced by private religious institutions. Additionally, no human rights are compromised in restricting the said Dasturs to allow religious ceremonies to be performed at the venues (Dakhma or Agiyari) owned by the BPP. They are perfectly free to do so at their own place. If they wish to perform religious rights at privately owned places of worship (Dakhma or Agiyari) then they have to follow the rules of the club.

    I am certain that BHC ruling will be challenged and overturned.

  • Dr. Adi Adins

    Type your comment here…
    What was the judgement?

  • Siloo Kapadia

    “The Parsi community is unique, and uniquely Indian.”

    Yes, we are. But things are changing. We are unique but with the refusal of the BPP to allow newcomers into the faith, we are bound for extinction the way we are right now.

    Yes, we are uniquely Indian as well. We are Indian Asian. We are NOT Persian, we are NOT Britishers, we are NOT any other kind of gora-walla. Yet, to too many in the community, the West is the desired goal. Why I will never understand.

    I applaud the court decision. The BPP’s closed-mindedness is on the way down. Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope left.

  • Shapur Kakroo

    Fred Driver :

    I do not think you have read and/or understood the Judgement of the Bombay High Court.

    You have stated, “The BHC cannot dictate BPP to change their rules and regulations”.

    The fact is that the BHC does not want the rules and regulations of the BPP to be changed/violated.

    It has ruled that by banning the two priests, the trustees of the BPP have acted beyond the rules and regulations of the BPP.

    You will agree that the High Court cannot be silent spectator to the violations of these rules by the trustees themselves.

    All law abiding citizens must applaud this verdict.

  • Barak Aga

    Mr. Fred Driver, seems to have erred on the legal status of Trusts.

    “Trusts are not legal entities, and are governed by the trust deed and applicable local laws.Depending on the corpus, a trust may be formed as a company or society. In case of companies, Section 25 of the Companies Act applies to non-profit making companies while institutions established for promoting religion, science etc. may also be registered as limited companies.”

    Reference : http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=309868

    “Under common law, a trust is an arrangement under which the settlor entrusts his property to certain persons or trustees, who become the legal owners of the trust property but hold it for the benefit of third parties, i.e. the beneficiaries. The basic constituents of a trust are transmutation of trust property, declaration of the purpose and the beneficiary.

    In a conflict between State and Church, the State is supreme. The Church cannot be allowed to be a state within a state. The BPP may frame its own rules and regulations, but only so far as those rules and regulations are within the Constitution of India. Any rules and regulations which are ultra vires the Constitution of India, are illegal and invalid. You have stated that Muslims are allowed to practice polygamy. But are Muslims allowed by the Indian Constitution to wage jehad against non-Muslims in an effort to convert them? Does the Constitution of India allow Muslims to levy “jizya” tax on non-Muslims?

    Mr. Fred Driver should also note that the Bombay Parsi Punchayet is not a religious trust. Had it been a religious trust, it would have been the Bombay Zoroastrian Punchayet. “Parsi” may imply an ethnicity. But “Parsi” is not a religion. Further Mr. Driver states “….according to liberties given in the Indian Constitution, Government can not interfere in various religions, for Muslims are allowed to have 4 wives and parsis have their own divorce courts”. The very fact that these liberties flow from the Constitution, buttresses the fact that religious laws are subordinate to the Constitution of India, are religious liberties flow from, and are restrained by the Constitution of India. The practice of “Sati” where a widow immolates herself on her husband’s funeral pyre is banned by Indian law, even though it was a long practiced custom / tradition. Under the Indian Constitution there is no bar to a boy and a girl from the same “Gotra” tying the knot, even though it is a centuries old tradition in North India not to do so, and even though in Haryana the notorious “Khap” punchayets have banned “same gotra” marriages, and have even pronounced death penalties on transgressors.

  • Phiroze

    Siloo, you say “Yet too many in the community west is the desired goal and I do not understand why?” But you have said in your other posts that in NY/NJ where you live ie the west, non Parsi spouses are readily welcomed and you advocate inter cast marriages and conversion. Are you not contradicting yourself here?

  • Dorab Unwalla

    To day’s Mumbai Mirror, page 11, carries a news item about Temples being asked to comply with Shops & Establishment Act by local Municipality.
    This is a warning sign to Trustees of our Fire Temples who are allowing Water Tanker Operators to tap well water from Fire Temple Wells.

  • Phiroze

    barak, “in the conflict between church and state state is supreme.” Looks good on paper. If you know about the Stiene case, an Australian missionary and his two boys were burnt to death in west bengal for conversion of the locals to Christanity. The local and the high court had passed the death sentence on the alleged killer citing the rarest of the rare case. Recently the Supreme court of India overturned the verdict to life sentence saying that since the victim was involved in conversion of the locals the case could not fall in the rarest of rare category. The practice of Sati still takes place in the North and couples from the same Gothra are still hunted and killled inspite of the ban. It all depends on how the judge views it.

  • Hormuz

    I have a very simple question to ask which I seek a YES or NO answer. Nothing more.

    Are most of the above individuals stating that the Parsi Irani Zoroastrian community be opened up to convert anyone who wishes to enter the faith and thus be given all the priviliges (such as housing and donations) as are given to the current Parsi Irani Zoroastrians in India.

    Thank you.

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    Phiroze – I agree with your views .
    Hormuz – You wont get any answers because you have hit them where it hurts.
    Reformists will never succeed. No matter what they say.

    Time will tell. Wait an Watch. Till then enjoy these posts.

  • Farsak Ashli.

    According to me what is important is the faith in our Religion and there is nothing to be proud of by showing label of Reformists or Orthodox. The Reformist of yesteryears is the Orthodox of 21st Century. The word Orthodoxy has been hijacked by dhongees and unabashed hypocrites to subjugate the gullible as if it were synonymous with piety and God fearingness.
    By crying orthodoxy, people think it is a road to gain power of Office.
    For that reason Orthodoxy is often referred to as a Hat that has lost its shape because many dongees and hypocrites with skeletons in their own cupboards have worn it and made it shapeless.

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    You are entitled to your opinion and i respect it but nevertheless it is important that people buy your theory. If they do you would not be writing on this post.

  • Farsak Ashli

    Arzan Ghadially pompously proclaims.:”You are entitled to your opinion and i respect it but nevertheless it is important that people buy your theory. If they do you would not be writing on this post”
    So Ghadially, are you writing many posts because persons are not ‘buying your theories’. Apparently, I am not the only one with whom you have diffrent perspective.

  • Shapur Kakroo

    Farsak : “The word Orthodoxy has been hijacked by dhongees and unabashed hypocrites to subjugate the gullible as if it were synonymous with piety and God fearingness. By crying orthodoxy, people think it is a road to gain power of Office.”
    You are so very right Farsak.
    As you can see in Hormuz’s question, he is more concerned about the ‘Privileges’ of Parsis. He is just not worried that this noble religion of Asho Zarthushtra is most likely to be wiped out from the face of India.
    Hormuz’s question is really what the power hungry orthodox are worried about.
    Hormuz’s question clearly shows that the objection of the orthodox is for economic reasons and not for religious reasons. These orthodox are fully aware that no where do our sacred religious scriptures state that this noble religion of Zarathushtra is not for all mankind.

  • Hormuz

    This issue is not one of orthodoxy or reformism. The fact that the Trustees are doing something in this ‘sub chalega’ sort of envirnment is a great thing.

    Dont know if any one has read the main reasons why the Vada Dasturs de-frocked these priests and why the BPP obeyed the instructions of the Vada Dasturs.

    How many of you are aware that these two priests were doing conversions of FULL NON PARSIs in to the faith. Not only that – in a recent case, one of these priests was caught doing a NAVAR MARTAB ceremony on a non-parsi Russian.

    Is this what is acceptable to us. Do we want the parsi community opened up to one and all. Please consider that this action only dilutes the community and full true parsis will die out within a matter of years.

    There is so much negative propoganda that is being spread but should one seek the true facts you will realise that what the BPP and Vada Dasturs are doing is only safeguarding the interests of our community, religion and youth.

  • Zerxes.

    Hormuz,
    Charity begins at home and example is better than precept -sayings that our ancestors taught. So those who changed their opinion in performing Navjote of a Christian at ripe old age, (though as per tenets Navjote has to be performed before attaining puberty) and those ‘Vada’ who made exception of Uthamna of an non Parsee industrialist ought to be defrocked simultaneously to have a level playing field.Two sons of a recently elevated “Vada” are inter faith married. How then such a “Vada” Dastur can safeguard “interests of our community, religion and youth.”?
    You expect him to do something for the community which he could NOT do within his family!
    Last, when a Parsee dies abroad and is cremated, are not sacraments performed in Mumbai Fire Temples.?
    And what about corpses of Parsee Zoroastrians who leave this world from places like Jhansi, Kanpur, etc?Are not sacraments performed.
    For long Parsees in west coast of India have endured two set of rules of these pendulum priests who believe in Heads I win & Tails you lose policy

  • Zerxes.

    As for B.P.P.Trustees themselves, four of them have near relatives, viz, brother, sister, daughter married out of the community and religion and yet Hormuz, you feel they are Orthodox’? Get your facts right,dear
    One sitting Trustee had the audacity to accompany her sister who converted to Judaism, in a Dadar Fire Temple.These facts are all chronicled. So stop crying wolf and stop characterize these Trustees as :Orthodox”. You will need a new Dictionary definition of Orthodoxy.

  • Farsak Ashli

    Mr. Hormuz, (who so ever)
    .Who are ‘pioneers’ of sab chalenga attitude?
    . A daughter of a sitting Trustee visits Fire Temple though married to a Muslim.Check up.
    A sister of another sitting Trustee was facilitated entry in the same Fire temple some years back by her self and her late husband (who was then a BPP Trustee) despite the fact that this sister had abandoned our Religion upon her marriage to a Jew.
    The sister and brother of another Trustee are married to non Parsees and of course how can one overlook the Messiah and his ‘phoren’ sister in law.
    You expect any person acquainted with these stark facts to be so naive as to assume these Trustees as genuine ORTHODOX? Even a Lower K,G, pupil will not believe you.
    How can your HIGH priests defrock M & M duo when two of them are ‘pioneers’ in similar acts like Wadia’s Navjote and JRD’s Uthamna at Doongerwadi.?
    Why did they not support a genuine Orthodox Dastur late Er. Peer at that time.? Do you have any cogent excuses.? Are not rules supposed to be same for all? .
    Did our Prophet suggest double standards?
    According to many like me M & M duo are only following the precedents set by Dastur Kotval and cureent Dastur Jamaspasa.Fact can not be obliterated nor distorted by sentimentals outpourings.Yes public memory is short but there are some who remember many past events.

  • hormuz

    People People – please this is not a tirade against the BPP or the vada dasturs.

    Please do not confuse the issue. If you have perosal grouses against the Trustees take that up in a separate forum – better still next time cast your votes in a way that make a difference instead of making accusations.

    The issue on hand which we need to unanimously take on is the stopping of the destruction of our community. My friends two wrongs do not make a right! If at this stage we can see that some dasturs are doing full fledged conversions of full non-parsis into parsis or navars – we need to step up and act against it.

    Please read the case set out against the renegade dasturs. They have done conversions of anyone who wishes to enter the faith. If this dilution of entire non-parsi into the faith is what we are seeking then the end of our faith is not far.

    Xerses and Farsak are you open to the idea of anyone entering our faith, our fire temples and our parsi community?

  • Phiroze

    Zerxes, once again there is no limit as such on when a navjote is to be performed. As such it is desirable to do the same once a person is capable of diffrentiating between good and evil. Wherever Doongerwadis exists the same should be used for disposal of dead body. Those who want to use any other method are free to do so BUT cannot demand partial use of such estates.

  • Phiroze

    Shahpur, contrary to what you say, it is only in India that the Parsis have managed to preserve the religion. It is already wiped out from the rest of the world. And for this preservation if the PArsis enjoy certain privileges, what is wrong in that? The Parsis have built these institutions for the use by Parsis only. What has the scriptures got to do with that?

  • Rémi

    Phiroze: “it is only in India that the Parsis have managed to preserve the religion. It is already wiped out from the rest of the world.”
    Zardoshtis from Iran will be pleased by your statement.

  • Zerxes.

    RIGHT AGE FOR NAVJOTE.
    =======================================

    One Phiroz in his post of to day appearing elsewhere (Resolve issue through mediation, court tells Parsis)
    has quoted Er. K.N. Dastur which I have copied and pasted here.:”Dini Avaz Vol 19 No 6. Author K.N. Dastur. “it (Navjote) is performed at the early morning of life and not at the late evening i.e.; at the age of 7 to 9 and not at 81!”
    This my reply to Religious intellectual(!) PhirozE.
    Learn not to display ignorance and if you want to appear pompous do so within confines of four walls of your house in D.P.C. preferably before children below grade IV.

  • Behroze

    Phiroze:
    What do you imply by saying that ‘there is no limit as such on when a navjote is to be performed.’
    Are you suggesting that Navjote of a female child can be performed even after she starts getting her monthly menstrual cycle? Is this your level of religious Tarikats? You seem to confuse persons like me. Priest of Fire Temples which I frequent have categorically said that the same should be performed before a girl child attains adulthood.

  • Shaimak.

    Wherever Doongerwadis exists the same should be used for disposal of dead body, so says erudite Phiroze. Never knew that some persons wanted the premises for merry making, frolic & partying.
    Of course no other method of disposal should be permitted but BPP itself has installed Solar Panels which char the corpses {method other than prescribed in the Deed of Trust} and further compound it by burial of remains.(Again not as per tenets).

  • Rukhshana

    Phiroze and Phiroze are two different persons. Its amusing how the dhongees are out to confuse the gullible. Isnt it any wonder that these dhongees won the HC case of defrocked priests by bluffing the two judges?

  • PHIROZ.

    Rukshana,
    My name is Phiroz since last six decades and will remain Phiroz. It is so on government records. I do not want to confuse anybodyas presumed by you fertlile imagination.Just because another person having more or less an identical name is also on the blog does not mean that I should not quote texts of earlier write up of a Dastoor and hold my views. Merely because my name is Phiroz does not disqualify me from expressing my views just as it does not prevent another person with more or less similar name to exprress his. In fact, if you are so curious, you may contact the Moderator of this portal here to know my E Mail address which is itself 4 years old. As to who is a dhongee is to be judged not by narrow minded mortals like you but by Ahura Mazda Himself.
    If you are so honest to the faith, you should have refuted what I have quoted rather than digressing from the subject.

  • Farsak Ashli

    Hormuz,
    Your question to me is if I am open to the idea of anyone entering our faith, our fire temples and our parsi community.
    Hormuz, pl understand no one can stop somebody becoming a Zoroastrian. That happens all over the world and you or other self appointed protectors of our Religion have no control.
    As for their entering our fire temples, no, I would not be comfortable if any one is allowed unless he is born Parsee. We have to respect the Trust Deeds of the Fire Temples. Here another problem crops up. Who is breaching the provisions of the Trust Deed. The Panthakies in order to get cheap labour engage workers without verifying their antecedents. That is for all, you and others to see. By adorning a sudreh one does not become a Parsee by birth.Ironically, I find stray dogs entering the Fire Temples. Do our self crowned High Priests have any cogent explanation for such abberations?. We have to live with times instead of becoming cantankerous. Listening blindly to such self crowned High Priests will only drown us in mire. deeper.Let us act as per our own conscience since such so called High Priests contradict each other and such contradictions are available for all to read. BTW, Parsee is not a religion, it is a race, Religion is Zoroastrianism. Amongst Hindus for instance, some are worsippers of Brahma, others of Vishnu, – can we not coexist peacefully in these trying times when our numbers are of no consequence to politicians? Just reflect.

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    Farsak – You and your band of 5 reformists are the only people who are on the post badmouthing the BPP and the community in general with your absurd reasoning. The modus operandi is quite simple. If farsak says anythings the 4 people jump up to attention and agree with whatever you say and the same is the case with the others and it keep coming in turns. The community has thrown out people with your kind of mindset in the past elections and no matter what you or your band of reformists write. It wont make a difference so you may continue with you post, It makes no difference to the community. They are least bothered with your views.

  • Phiroze

    Remi, Iranians are only kidding themselves if they think otherwise.

  • Phiroze

    Zerxes / Behroze, just because it is preferable to do the navjote by age 7 to 9 it does not mean it can’t be done later.

    Shaimak, Solar = Sun = Khurshednasini. Where are the mass burial graves? Let us have a joint inspection of the estate.

  • Phiroze

    Hormuz, ask ashli how to be not comfortable if a non PArsi is entering our fire temples but also live with the times instead of becoming cantankerous and co-exists. We already know that Zoroastrianism is the religion and Parsi are a race who own these private religious institutions.

  • Farsak.

    @Ghadially,
    Why do you take the trouble of replying my post or for that matter of persons whom you call band of 5 reformists if as you yourself state it makes no difference to you and the ‘community’ you claim to represent. Apparently, you and your ilk get disturbed owing to your inability to counter the logical reasoning. If according to you 1100 are bad mouthing BPP then all 1100 can not be wrong. I am aware that you have a soft corner for your benefactors and even I would not have acted differently had I been in your place.And lastly, I have every right to and I will tear all hypocrites whensoever they preach something that they have not practiced. Thats for sure. I will not miss that opportunity.
    @ Phiroze, though I am nobody to speak on behalf of Shaimak, all I can ask is why are there tombs of Oersian Kings in Iran.

  • Rathestar.

    ” It wont make a difference so you may continue with you post, It makes no difference to the community. They are least bothered with your views.”
    So speaks intellectual Ghadially. forgetting that persons airing their opinions here too are least bothered of what one Phiroze with his numerous posts,Ghadialy with his frustrated rancour and Rukshana/Raksh rant in the aspiration that their own ‘bakwas’ should go undisputed.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    Phiroze wrote “We already know that Zoroastrianism is the religion and Parsi are a race who own these private religious institutions.”

    What rubbish. What “race” are you talking about? What “race” are we anyway? Arayans? Mongolians? Caucasions? Others? Well, sorry to disappoint you but we have a little of all of these races in us. Most South Asians do. Many Parsees like to think they ae pure-blooded Arayans, but we are not. And thinking in these terms is racist anyway. It’s time to wake up, Phiroze, and smell the chicken kachuber. All this nonsense is just that, geloo gadoo gupsup. But knowing the lunatic fringe in the community, I am not surprised at reading all this ca-ca.

  • Rémi

    @Phiroze : Could you please elaborate on why you suggest that Zardoshtis in Iran are not Zoroastrians?

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    Ha Ha Ha Ha. It dosent cost to penny to dream. Dream away Dhongi, Farsak,Zerxes,Rathestar and dear Siloo. Time will tell. 10 years from now you people will be still be only writing such post and things wont change.God Bless you.
    Phiroze – Agree with your viewpoint Zardosthtis in iran are not Zaroastrians. Lets them prove why they should be called Zorastrians. They are merely trying to instigate you. Dont fall for their trap.

  • Rémi

    @Arzan J Ghadially : “Phiroze – Agree with your viewpoint Zardosthtis in iran are not Zaroastrians. Lets them prove why they should be called Zorastrians.”

    Just like Phiroze, could you please explain us why you think that Zardoshtis are not Zoroastrians?
    And if you question their “Zoroastrianity”, you have to expect to be asked the same : could you too please prove why Parsis should be called Zoroastrians?
    I’m really looking forward to reading from you.

  • Arzan J. Ghadially

    Remi – Certain issues require no explaination. They are facts of life. Arguments can go on but of no use.
    I am not like one who feels when in doubt refer the net to know more about our religion and read books. I suggest you go and speak to a priest who will guide you in the right direction. I dont beleive in net philosophy.

  • Meheryar Rivetna

    Arzan, I trust you will not mind my interjecting here, but should you object, in the spirit of civility that you have rightly called for, I offer my apologies.

    I am at a loss to understand why you would say “certain issues require no explanation.” Every issue demands an explanation, and must be given, particularly in sensitive matters such as religion. How can a misconception, if one exists, be rectified? Zarathustra did not expect people to follow him blindly. If he expected people to take his word without question, he would not have had a following and you and I would not be here debating. He had to prove ceaselessly that the message he promulgated was the divine teaching and the true message of Ahura Mazda. He offered profound reasons (emphasize profound reasons) why people should disavow the false beliefs and practices of the day. Something to which contemporary Zoroastrians who clamor for blind allegiance should give a serious thought.

    I agree the internet has a lot of misinformation, but there is also plenty of valid and valuable material. If you can sieve the wheat from the chaff, I think you will gain a lot. That ability comes through extensive reading; reading books by authors who are like-minded as you and more books by those who think unlike you. To get confirmation that you are right, you must objectively study the opposing point of view. The key word here is objective—with an open mind and allowing yourself the possibility you could be wrong. A good book has always been my best friend; it has taught me to use my intellect and know right from wrong; it has instructed me without labeling me; and above all never expected me to accept its words without an explanation.

    Please excuse me, I do not mean to be rude, but unfortunately your suggestion of speaking to priests for religious instruction is laughable. If our priests were well versed in religious matters, the community would not be divided as it is. Yes, there are priests who are knowledgeable, but I have a better chance of finding a needle in a haystack than running into a priest who can give me unadulterated, free of personal bias, religious instruction.

    I don’t know about you, but I do not get divine inspiration on subjects I have wanted to study; be it science, history or religion. Like most people, any knowledge I may have has come from reading and not blind adherence to irrational and illogical concepts. Our prophet wanted people to acquire knowledge, ask questions and make good choices. How can you make a good choice without an explanation or an understanding of the consequence of that choice? Lack of knowledge and the absence of a logical explanation is generally the culprit for inappropriate choices; we see that in the traditional branch of our community. If a “choice” is rammed down your throat without an explanation, and you are admonished for querying, it is not a choice. Zarathustra asked Ahura Mazda endless questions; he did not accept blindly anything from God. Yes, from God! Why should we, then, from our ill-informed clergy?

    It is not “a fact of life” to accept religious matters on blind faith. That is a fallacy.

  • Phiroze

    Siloo, Farshak Ashli is the right person to explain to you about race and religion.

    Dear Meheryar,

    Good to know that as per Arzan’s post you are ready to talk to a knowledgeable priest. I have been giving you a lot of unadulterated, free of personal bias religious instructions which you refuse to accept and laugh it off as it does not suit your agenda. It would be the same with others too. The question is are “you” open to the opposite viewpoint?.

  • Arzan J. Ghadially

    Dear Meheryar,
    That is your viewpoint and i respect your views. If some people wish to make mockery of our priests or show no respect there is nothing i can do to stop them. you may have had a bad experiance with a priest but that does not make all of them bad or not knowledgeable.
    If one beleives in God follow him blindly and if one dosent they should write post and abuse them.

  • Rémi

    @Arzan : Ohhhhhh, come on! Are you really sure that you can not give us the slightest hint about the non-Z’ity of Zardoshtis?
    Well, I’m going to try to walk in your shoes. Let’s see what we’ll come up with! So please read the following lines as a fictional piece of work, not as my actual, personal views.

    **********
    So Zardoshtis in Iran are not Zoroastrians. After all, their communities are such a tiny drop of water within the surrounding Muslim ocean. No wonder that their doctrine have got flawed after all those years. So let’s face it, Zoroastrianism in Iran has been long lost.
    He, wait a minute, Zoroastrianism has been lost for ages in Iran, so all those Iranis who came to India in late 1800s, early 1900s were actually not Zoroastrians! And if they ever claim otherwise, “Lets them prove why they should be called Zoroastrians”! The consequences are manifold:
    – Non-Z’ians Iranis have trepassed and defiled many, if not all Fire temples in India
    – Priests have performed countless navjotes of children born of Irani, ie non-Z’ian parents, resulting in the largest conversion movement in 1200 years!
    – Some of these Iranis were made priests, and even maybe high priests!
    – Parsis too have been a microscopic Zoroastrian drop in the Hindu ocean in India for 1300 years. Should same causes end up in different effects, against all laws of nature? It’s up to the Parsis to prove their religion can still be labelled as Zoroastrianism. In the meantime, Z’ism should be regarded as a dead religion, and Parsism an exotical spin-off of the original, pristine Z faith.
    These self-evident truths require of course no explanation. That’s the way they are.
    **********

    So, you have a right not to explain why Zardoshtis might not be Zoroastrians. But are you at least ready to support the logical consequences of this statement?

  • farzana

    //Are most of the above individuals stating that the Parsi Irani Zoroastrian community be opened up to convert anyone who wishes to enter the faith and thus be given all the priviliges (such as housing and donations) as are given to the current Parsi Irani Zoroastrians in India.//

    YES. You got my answer in simple ‘YES’

    Now tell us, why can’t Zarathosti religion be open to converts. Where does it says so. And now YOU WILL REPLY WITH SCRIPTURAL and CREDIBLE HISTORICAL EVIDENCES.

    ARZAN GHADIALLY has already run away with an egg on his face…http://parsikhabar.net/bombay-parsi-panchayat/parsi-punchayet-moves-supreme-court-for-ban-on-priests/3051/

    Now its your turn.

  • farzana

    [dear Moderator, plz delete my above post posted at 8:04 pm]

    Quoting Hormuz
    //Are most of the above individuals stating that the Parsi Irani Zoroastrian community be opened up to convert anyone who wishes to enter the faith and thus be given all the priviliges (such as housing and donations) as are given to the current Parsi Irani Zoroastrians in India.//

    YES. Hormuz , You got my answer in simple ‘YES’

    Now tell us, why can’t Zarathosti religion be open to converts? Where does it says so? And now YOU WILL REPLY TO THIS WITH SCRIPTURAL and CREDIBLE HISTORICAL EVIDENCES.

    ARZAN GHADIALLY has already run away with an egg on his face…http://parsikhabar.net/bombay-parsi-panchayat/parsi-punchayet-moves-supreme-court-for-ban-on-priests/3051/

    Now its your turn.

  • farzana

    Quoting Arzan //Phiroze – Agree with your viewpoint Zardosthtis in iran are not Zaroastrians. Lets them prove why they should be called Zorastrians.//

    On the contrary, the onus is on you and Phiroze to prove yourselves as a Zarathustis before you question Iranians. So first prove your credentials.

    For the rest, read the comment and enjoy the clip.

    http://www.sunniforum.com/forum/showthread.php?41378-Shiite-Youth-Are-Converting-To-Zoroastrianism

  • Meheryar Rivetna

    Dear Phiroze,

    You never cease to amaze me! I got a real good laugh with your post here. I enjoyed your joke about you giving me “unadulterated, free of personal bias religious instruction.” Yes, I remember you telling me that I should forget the “Gathas and Kathas.” I also remember you telling me about flying men and people being in nine different places at the same time. Please don’t play this Mahrukh Mistry game with me. You got caught with your pants down! You underestimated the vagaries of technology. I have proof. So, let’s leave it there.

    I do not believe you are in a position to instruct anyone, leave alone me, on matters of religion. Let me tell you why:

    “To the fanatic person (the work of giving religious instruction) is not to be entrusted”
    [Line from the Gathas: Ha 31.17]
    Ervad Kavasji Edalji Kanga translation

    Nothing complicated about the above from the scripture. Plain and simple.

    Yes, I have an open mind and always mindful of the possibility that there may be another way at looking at my beliefs. If by open mind you mean swallowing, without a logical explanation garbage you throw my way, no I do not have that kind of an open mind. If you can discuss intelligently, produce scholarly works, articulate using common sense and demonstrate scriptural evidence against my position, yes, I have an open mind. I do not want to repeat myself, but please refer to my post of Apr. 19 under “Parsi Punchayet moves Supreme Court…” It is all stated there.

  • Hormuz

    Dear Farzana

    To begin with let me first tell you that I am a Parsi Irani Zarthushti.

    Our ancestors came into India and promised not to convert. This is all well noted. For further info simply google it.

    Further more – the laws of the land (eg Parsi Matrimonial law) clearly states who a parsi is and who is not.

    Ultimately the Trust Deeds of all Agiarys, Dongerwadi and trust properties state in black and white who the beneficiaries are who can enjoy the trust properties.

    Farzana you are confusing two very simple issues. I believe that I am a Parsi first and then a Zoroastrian.

    By no means is anyone today saying that people wishin to become zoroastians cant. However, parsi priests who undertake the roles of conversion may carry on doing so wholeheartedly on properties that allow them to do it.

    The ARZ has come up with a plot for an agiary for everyone. Let Mr. Madon and Mr. Mirza carry out their acts over there at whatever price they charge.

    May i request you to understand that our properties and our agiaries are for Parsi Irani Zoroastrians. There is no inclusion or exclusion to that rule. Converting people into the faith of zoroastrian – doesnt give them the right to enter parsi agiary. Your trust deeds dont allow it and majority of the community wont allow it.

    Finally, Farzana, may i request you humbly to refrain from making personal insults. This entire saga is undoubtedly dividing the community at a time when we must stick together. A decision is forthcoming but regardless of the same we must all stick together. Your opinion is heard and taken into considersation and so are the other writers opinions. Let us all try to share thoughts and opinions without any personal attacks.

  • Arzan J Ghadially

    Farzana – I dont know what makes you say i have run away with a egg on my face ? I have not run away but very much there except maybe for somedelay as i have better things to do than to answer your crap however Hormuz has been polite enough to explain what we all have neen trying to do in our posts but you seem to be busy throwing eggs on people’s faces. I am sure you are in Poultry business.
    On a serious note May i request you and others to maintain a dignified and a cultured manner of conversation that is if you have ever had. We could also give you some tips on politness that is if you are openminded. Dont provoke people to react.

  • Rémi

    Arzan : I have never thrown any egg toward anyone’s face, and I guess my posts are written in a pretty polite manner, so I am confident that you won’t object answering to this simple question:
    Which statement hereunder is true?
    1) Zardoshtis are not Zoroastrians, and therefore you have to admit that Iranis aren’t neither (otherwise they must have been “transformed” by some kind of magic into Z’ians on their way toward India)
    2) Iranis are Zoroastrians, and then you have to admit that their grandparents, ie Zardoshtis, are Z’ians too

  • Meheryar Rivetna

    Hello Hormuz,

    It warms my heart to hear someone say, “we must all stick together.” There is too much acrimony in a community as small as ours. I really applaud your saying what you did. There is a lot to be gained from unity.
    But I do not understand your statement that you “are a Parsi first and then a Zoroastrian.” Isn’t that willfully causing a division? A Zoroastrian is anyone who follows the teachings of Zoroaster (Zarathustra, if you wish.) Do the Zoroastrians in India need a separate identity? Why the demarcation if we all must be united? There are many theories of how the moniker “Parsi” came into being. Regardless of the theory you believe in, why deliberately segregate yourself because you were born in India and/or have Indian origin? Why make these distinctions when none are warranted, if “we must all stick together?”

    You asked Farzana to google about our ancestors landing in India. Arzan says, “everyone wants to showoff knowledge from google.” Do you fall in that category? I don’t believe so, because “googling” does yield good information, more often than not.

    There are many who would challenge your declaration that our ancestors made a promise not to convert Indians to our faith as one condition for giving us safe haven in India. Let’s say such a promise was made. Historians, who side with that theory, tell us that the promise was not to “actively” proselytize citizens of the host country. There are no accounts of promises to discourage conversion of those making a conscious choice. In fact, the Rivayats tell us that when the Parsi priests consulted their Iranian counterparts if they should convert their Hindu servants who wished to enter the religion, they received the answer: “if servant boys and girls have faith in the Good Religion, then it is proper that they should tie the kusti, and when they become instructed, attentive to religion, and steadfast, the barashnom should be administered to them.” [Please see Dhabhar, B.N. (trans.), “The Persian Rivayats of Hormazyar Faramroze and Others, Bombay 1932, pg. 276]. Now I can see some readers debunking the Rivayats. Anytime a valid source that goes counter to the orthodox position is presented, that source becomes inconsequential. A very intelligent and mature reaction, indeed! It might interest my orthodox brethren to know that Dastur Firoze Kotwal liberally cites the Rivayats in his catechism “A Guide to the Zoroastrian Religion”, a book co-edited and translated with an American, James Boyd. If the Rivayats are not to be believed, it would be fair to say that Dastur Kotwal is not to be believed. Any challenges on that one?

    As I said, I appreciate your call for unity. But then you say do your own thing in your own agiaries. Should we be united or should we go our separate ways? I am confused about what you want. Why splinter the community when we can preserve our faith using good sense and judgment?
    Wouldn’t it make more sense for each side to carefully evaluate their respective positions and ask if we are following the religion that Zarathustra laid out for his followers?

    Do the deeds of trust, vague promises, and practices established by the clergy for political expediency take precedence over our prophet’s teachings?

    Let us practice our religion “as given to us” by our prophet and not “according” to any conservative or liberal branch of the community—Parsi or Zoroastrian!

    Arzan is right. When an elephant walks and a dog barks in the elephant’s path, the elephant, indifferent to the dog’s bark, flaps its ears to muffle the bark and keeps on walking. However, it may not be a bad idea for the elephant occasionally to hearken the dog’s bark. The elephant understandably does not like being called by the dog a big, fat tub of lard (although that’s what it is), but if the elephant could look past the offending remark, it might realize that, perhaps, the dog is barking to warn the elephant of the dangerous path the pachyderm is taking. The elephant would be well advised to listen to the dog’s howling lest the mammoth beast fall into a pit, with no chance of getting out, about which the dog was barking.

  • farzana

    [ Dear Moderator plz delete my above comments posted at 10:33 am and 10:45 am. Sorry for the trouble and thank you]

    You said- To begin with let me first tell you that I am a Parsi Irani Zarthushti.

    Well, good for you. Whatever that means.

    ——————————————————————

    “Our ancestors came into India and promised not to convert. This is all well noted. For further info simply google it. ”

    Noted where? Can we see it? Sorry, ive neither found a single chronological record nor any eyewitness account nor written evidence of any agreement that is believed to have taken place between some king and Parsi refugees… All i found is the map of Sassanian Empire that shows western part of Gujarat as a part of it .. that includes Sanjan.http://www.fouman.com/history/img/Map_Sassanid_Empire.jpg.

    Now, if Gujarat was a part of Persian Empire directly or Indirectly… that would mean Parsis were living in Guj prior to the said migration…and therefore the whole credibility of the story built up on basis of a FICTION book -QISSA e SANJAN written 500 years after the said migration is questionable.

    Who was Jadi Rana? There is no record , no seal, no royal chronology attesting the existence of any King by that name ruling any part of India in 8th century. Rather historical records of battles between Sassanian and various powers in the region shows that Sassanids went to wars with tribal in central Asia over the control of Silk route… and by 5th- 7th century Persian traders
    were in control of the silk route trade. So LOGICALLY there has to be presence of Parsi Traders along the trade route and therefore their concentration around Gujarat coastline can not be ruled out prior to Islamist invasion.

    Eulogy records of King Samudra Gupta and Vikramaditya (Chandra Gupta II) shows they had conflict with Persian rulers [ Parsikas/PARSI ] in Jat region in Northwest India-Saurashtra. Both these rulers had tried to subjugate the Persians in SAURASHTRA . This is around 5th century AD… that makes it at the time of Sassanian reign in Persia. So Parsis were in Saurashtra and Gujarat in 4th-6th century AD. FYI, the Jat surname Sessodia comes from Sassanian.

    Now here is some more to chew on.

    Down to this day, the very name of the region `Gujarat’ is derived from the name `Khazar’, whilst `Saurashtra’ denotes `Land of Sun-worshipper’. Indicates the Persian influence in west India.

    “Historians derive “Jat” fom “Gatae”, “Ahir” from “Avar”, “Saka” from “Scythii”, “Gujjar” from “Khazar”, “Thakur” from “Tukharian”, “Saurashtra” from “Saura Matii” or “Sarmatians”, “SESSODIA” (a Rajput clan) from “SASSANIAN”, “MADRA” from “Medes”, “Trigartta” from “Tyri Getae” and “Sulika” from “Seleucids”. “Massa” means “grand” or “big” in old Iranian – the language of the Scythians. The early Sakas or Scythians are remembered by Greek (e.g. Herodotus, Megatheses, Pliny, Ptolemy) and Persian historians of antiquity as tall, large framed and fierce warriors who were unrivalled on the horse.”

    “The Mauryas were themselves perhaps of Scythic origin. D.B. Spooner who evacuated Pataliputra was struck by his findings and writes in his article “The Zoroastrian Period of Indian History” as follows:
    “For Chandragupta’ s times, the evidences are more numerous and more detailed, and indicate a following of Persian customs all along the line – in public works, in ceremonial, in penal institutions, everything”.
    ——————————————————

    I don’t know if you can comprehend, but the story of Parsis coming to indian shore in boats is a BASELESS story based on a FICTION book -QISSA-E SANJAN written in 15th century. THEREFORE THE WHOLE ASSUMPTION THAT XYZ PROMISE WAS GIVEN TO A HINDU KING IS AN UTTER LIE. GET IT?

    A simple logical thinking will tell you that. if parsis migrated to India in little boats… pray , how come Arab navy didn’t detected them?
    After the fall of Sindh and Persia, Arab navy was in full control of Arabian seas…

    If Zoroastrians came to India to preserve their religion, how come they never thought of carrying their holy books and scriptures with them? Therefore the whole repeated rubbish that Parsis are here to preserve their religion has no legs to stand on.

    Rigmarole Parsis believes they were forced to leave Iran because Arabs wanted them to embrace Islam… another lie.
    Arabs, although cruel savages were not at all interested in converts… simply because they realized it would economically harm them if all conquered ppl converted to islam and did not pay Jazia tax which was core of their economy in order to fight more jihads and conquer new lands. Dhimmi rules laid down by Shariat required Persians to pay heavy Jazia Taxes to the crown and live as second class citizens in their own country…The Zoroastrian Persian nobility that was corrupt and oppressive saw no future for themselves as slaves of Arabs so they quickly converted to Islam to save their skin and ill gotten wealth …Obviously Chaliph Omar was not impressed and refused to accept them as fella Muslims … instead they were nicked named as MAVALIS… Until the end of 9th century only 10% of Persia was muslim…

    The Arabs were forced to flee by Persian rebels after 200 years of struggle …Iran was than ruled under Persian kings who were Zoroastrians converted to Islam…Even then ZOROASTRIANISM WAS THE RELIGION OF MAJORITY IN PERSIA.

    ONLY under the Safavids, IN 14th CENTURY AD, Persians were forced to accept Shia form of Islam.

    So you see, until the 14th century..ie until the time of Shah Abbas, Zoroastrianism was the religion of the majority in Iran… So for Parsis to believe they had to run away from their homes in 8th century out of love to preserve Z’ism is ridiculous.
    http://www.isfahan.org.uk/glossary/abbas/abbas1.html

    Only Iranis who landed in India in 19th century during the BRITISH RAJ, came here from Iran to escape religious persecution under Qajars , are here as refugees.

    ———————————————————————————————————

    “Further more – the laws of the land (eg Parsi Matrimonial law) clearly states who a parsi is and who is not.”

    ARE YOU SAYING PARSI MATRIMONIAL LAW SUPERSEDES RELIGIOUS Scriptures?

    I ASKED YOU TO SHOW US SCRIPTURAL EVIDENCE OF ZOROASTRIANISM THAT SAYS CONVERSION INTO IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. DO YOU HAVE IT OR NOT? YES OR NO.

    ———————————————————————————————

    “Ultimately the Trust Deeds of all Agiarys, Dongerwadi and trust properties state in black and white who the beneficiaries are who can enjoy the trust properties.”

    You have the trust deeds with you?
    Can we see them?
    And besides most of these trust properties as Charity are for poor Zoroastrians… i m quite sure most Parsis who take advantage of it don’t qualify for it. So by living off trust charity and doles, as a undeserving, most Parsis are anyway going against the trust deed.

    ————————————————————-

    “Farzana you are confusing two very simple issues. I believe that I am a Parsi first and then a Zoroastrian.”

    You are free to tag yourself as a Parsi first and last and follower of Sarbatwala Parsism.

    ————————————————————————–

    “By no means is anyone today saying that people wishin to become zoroastians cant. However, parsi priests who undertake the roles of conversion may carry on doing so wholeheartedly on properties that allow them to do it.”

    Than why was the college of Meher Master Moos attacked? Was it your family property?

    why is VADA DASTOOR KOTWAL allowed to function in agiaries and live in baugs that are under BPP after conducting a navote of a Christian?

    Why do Agiaries and homes of Dhongee Parsis have pictures of SANT KUKADAROO who is known to have initiated eleven children of mix parentage into Zoroastrianism in Kapaawala Agaiary.
    Proof- http://www.facebook.com/notes/zarathustra-zarthosti/sant-dasturji-kukadaru-saheb-performed-navjotes-of-persons-of-inter-married-pare/172460986127053

    And finally, have you or your ancestors contributed a single penny in the trust that you think YOU own?

    ———————————————————————————————————

    “The ARZ has come up with a plot for an agiary for everyone. Let Mr. Madon and Mr. Mirza carry out their acts over there at whatever price they charge.”

    Again i repeat, the trust property is not your family’s private property and you are nobody to decide who should conduct ceremony there and who shouldn’t.

    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    “May i request you to understand that our properties and our agiaries are for Parsi Irani Zoroastrians. There is no inclusion or exclusion to that rule. Converting people into the faith of zoroastrian – doesnt give them the right to enter parsi agiary. Your trust deeds dont allow it and majority of the community wont allow it.”

    hmmm first excommunicate Kotwal and Sant Kukadaru… burn Gathas and all Zoroastrianm scriptures that call to spread the religion… than finally go through a DNA test and prove you are genetically a pure of the purest Iranian. Only than you make little sense issuing Fatwas like these on blogs

    ————————————————————————————————————

    “Finally, Farzana, may i request you humbly to refrain from making personal insults. This entire saga is undoubtedly dividing the community at a time when we must stick together. A decision is forthcoming but regardless of the same we must all stick together. Your opinion is heard and taken into considersation and so are the other writers opinions. Let us all try to share thoughts and opinions without any personal attacks.”

    Sorry darling, im humbly telling you that i show no respect for nazis, racists and those who spread lie and misinformation to justify their wrong position. I will never stick together with a Druj because the religion i represent doesn’t allow me to do so.
    ————————————————————————–

  • farzana

    Yes Yes Dear Arzan, you have not run away, you suddenly discovered you have no time and may be no answer. 😀 😛

  • Arzan J. Ghadially

    One can keep arguing and keep asking questions again and again which have been answered on this page itself . No need for people to air their Google intelleigence and show off.
    All i can say is ‘ We do not convert ‘ and i fully endorse Hormuz’s views that i am a parsi first and than a Zorastrian.

  • Arzan J. Ghadially

    Dear Mehereyar,
    The fat lard does not need a dog to warn him of an imaginery pit.That fat lard represents power and strength. The dog knows it and keeps a distance when it barks and he barks to draw attention. One kick and the dog will be no where in sight.
    I reacted because Farzana was getting peronsa and hence the reaction which did not warrant your intervention as it added more fuel to the fiire.
    Keep your flock under check.

  • Phiroz.

    Hormuz,
    It is not by poractice to interfere in a discussion between two boarders, in this case yourself and Farzana. But i cannot help asking you a few clarifications.
    You have said that “Our ancestors came into India and promised not to convert. This is all well noted” Dear Hormus, to whom was this promise given? Where is it NOTED? The Jadi Rana folklore has no historical evidence. Just think if our forefathers entered Indian Shores 1300 years back, what is the era/ time/ year of Jadi Rana folklore.
    Surely, you would be aware of supposed promises to the then King about Paris wearing local dress and not performing marriages after sunset. Has any Parsi wedding performed in the morning been declare void. Do Atshbehrams debar Parsi females from entry if they are wearing Jeans/ Trousers.
    I full endorse your view of Parsi Properties can not allow entry of neo converts. But has Peterson whose Navjote was performed more than two decades back demanded entry into our Fire Temples, asked for allotment of a flat in a Parsi building from any Parsi Punchayet or applied for dole or Educational assistance from any Charity?
    As for Madon & Mirza, they were unknown entities till some over wise brought them into limelight free of cost.
    I am not going to dwell on Wadia Navjotes, though relevant because that issue has now become over discussed.

    Some time (14 months ago) a a born Parsi lady with an Hindu name was consigned by Parsi rights and at that moment BPP came out with a disclaimer that it was the responsibility of the concerned Panthaky to know that antecedents of the deceased. That being the case, it is obvious that BPP has no control over the Priests and is not their emplolyer but the concerned Panthaky is . We can argue till cows come home. But does that resolve our controversies?

  • Rémi

    Arzan : It seems that the last two questions were too hard to answer, so I’m going to scaling it down a little bit further:

    Are Iranis Zoroastrian?

  • Meheryar Rivetna

    Dear Arzan,

    I have to express a little disappointment. You do not like uncivil behavior and name calling, yet you resort to the same. Who and what are “imported reformists?” Why are Farzana and Rathestar not members of our community? Because they hold a different view point from yours disqualifies them as Zoroastrians? They certainly are not waiting for your endorsement, but isn’t your statement a little rude? Why are you attacking someone’s family? You once said that we should be civil to each other, because we do not know each other. What happened? Do you know anyone’s family here to question whether they are cultured or not? Also, kicking dogs, literally or metaphorically, is not polite, civilized behavior. You may say that your comments were not directed at me of which I am not so sure, but nevertheless, I will stand up for people I consider my friends, wherever, whenever; warranted or not. Yes, they are capable of standing up for themselves and do not need me, but I really feel I need to speak up. There is a term for people who say and expect one thing from others and they themselves do not live up to their own expectations. I think you know what the term is. You won’t like me spelling it out.

    I do not have a flock, as you implied. They are individuals in their own right and I have no desire to dictate terms to anybody. Incidentally, no matter how strong, powerful, and elephantine you may think you are, dogs don’t always bark to draw attention to themselves. Do you remember the Aesop fable about the lion and the mouse? It took a mouse to free a lion caught in a net and rendered powerless. No matter how small one’s stature or status, everyone has value and does not deserve being kicked and thrown out of sight. Let’s keep our egos in check first; we shall worry about our flocks later.

    Are you serious about carrying on a healthy discussion? Let’s do it. If by intelligent and healthy you mean a meaningful exchange of ideas supported by agile thinking and legitimate resources, I am for it. I am unable to join you on any platform as practical considerations will not allow it. We can make this forum our platform. It is not about winning or losing, but being open to ideas different from our own. If you make statements like, “all I can say is we do not convert” and you are not open to scriptural and historical evidence that conversion is not disallowed in our faith, that would not be a healthy, intellectual discussion. I am not asking you or anyone to accept blindly anything. Question everything, but ultimately accept well-reasoned factual matter presented from reliable sources. That is a mark of intelligence–an ability to grasp new ideas and shed old ones that have no merit. If you repeatedly dismiss any source or material put forward that you do not like or goes against your ingrained way of thinking as unreliable then that would not be very intelligent.

    Think about it; we may learn from each other.