Centre will help Parsis to boost count

By Vineeta Pandey / DNA

Concerned about the dwindling Parsi population in the country, the ministry of minority affairs is trying to come up with a concoction to reverse the trend.

Minister Salman Khurshid said that they are soon going to meet Parsi leaders in Mumbai to figure out a plan to stop the extinction of the culturally rich community.

The current Parsi population in India is about 69,601 (33,949
males and 35,652 females) compared to 76,382 (37,736 males and 38,646 females) during the 1991 census. According to the 2001 census, the child-woman ratio, which is a key indicator of fertility, is 578 per 1,000 in India. Among the Parsis it was 85 per 1,000.

The 2001 census report called for an urgent intervention. The report said that fertility improvement initiatives rather than fertility control measures adopted by the community so far are possibly the need of the hour.

“It is expected that this loud and clear message from 2001 census awakens the country and the Parsi community from the deep slumber it is possibly in and have a beneficial effect,” it added.

The ministry, while making it clear about their no-interference policy in the religious and community matters, said they are working out plans which may include providing them financial help for healthcare. This support could also be for fertility-related treatments.

“Besides population, the Parsi community has been coming to the government with various other problem, including cremation, shortage of priests, property disputes, etc,” said Vivek Malhotra, secretary, ministry of minority affairs.

“There are also concerns about their children not getting admissions in schools and not enough people being left to take care of their properties.”

However, a few of the community members believe there is no reason to panic. “Our community is not destined to be obliterated from the face of earth,” said Khushru Panthaki, principal of MS Cama Athorna Institute.

“We have to encourage marriages within the community. Alien elements will destroy the genetic characteristic of our community.”

  • FEROZE

    I AGREE WITH KHUSHRU PANTHAKI THAT ALIEN ELEMENTS WILL SPOIL THE FABRIC THAT IS ZOROASTRIANISM. WHAT IS NEEDED IS MORE INTERACTION AMONGST THIS SMALL COMMUNITY SO THAT INTERCAST MARRIAGES AND LATE MARRIAGES ARE AVOIDED. ALSO INCENTIVES FOR RAISING MORE CHILDREN SHOULD BE MORE ATTRACTIVE AS THE PARSI FAMILY IS MORE ABOUT QUALITY THAN QUANTITY

  • mark sumariwalla

    As my dad is Parsi I am too , but what about people who’s mothers are Parsi & there fathers are not.Count them & let them in too then you will boast your numbers. I don’t want our history & people to be killed off by some fool who who does not let them in to our fold .

  • fks

    If both the parents are not Parsees, then their children are no Parsees. Let it be perfectly clear that I do not dispute that they may well be a perfectly decent human beings, I merely contend that they are not Parsees.

    It is because some corrupt priests and trustees (and a chauvinistic court) have interpreted the parsi heritage as a patrimonial feature, only to be passed on via the male line, that I, a parsi woman of 100% Zoroastrian parsee lineage, have chosen to avoid dealing with the community and its religious paraphernalia all together. In fact, I think it would be best if all Parsi women were to boycott this (and all other) religion(s) completely. They are sufficiently educated and well off to be able to survive without invoking the priest, the trustee or the courts — just invoke Manasni–Gavasni–Kunasni on your own instead.

    The children of parsis married to non-parsees may be all too eager to be accepted into the fold — indeed, they are often the ones who shout the loudest about having navjotes, and about “our” history & people being killed off, but it is obvious that the community started dying the day a child was called a parsee just because the father was one. Of course, one may wonder why someone wants to be accepted by a community where the majority wishes to have nothing to do with them. Methinks a faint reek of social climbing permeates the air?

    Anyway, let me reassert– these children may well be perfectly nice human beings, and we ought to treat them with the kindness and respect due to all. BUT before they declare themselves to be a parsees, perhaps they should ask themselves what was so shameful about their mother’s cultural/religious heritage that they could not adopt that instead? Can they truly guarantee that their upbringing has, in no measure, been influenced by her culture as well? Can they trace their entire genetic lineage back to the region of Iran from where pasis are said to originate? I think not.

  • Bomi sumariwalla

    my late sister Doli sumariwalla married rajnikant Talati  (Hindu Brahmin )  children are parsees  these children are well educated and good looking well mannered proud . they don ‘ t  care but it is injustice. 
    Religion is choice not any thing like birth right 

  • Bomi sumariwalla

    my late sister Doli sumariwalla married rajnikant Talati  (Hindu Brahmin )  children are parsees  these children are well educated and good looking well mannered proud . they don ‘ t  care but it is injustice. 
    Religion is choice not any thing like birth right 

  • xyz

    Incentives for third child given by Bpp is just an eyewash. Just fooling people.  From April 2010, they have started cheating 85 families. If your child is born before april 2010, you get Rs 1,000/- per month and if the child is born after april 2010, you get Rs 3,000/- per month. Why this injustice. Then they do not pay school fees for that child. why ?? Do you think to-day Rs 1,000/- is sufficient if you want to increase parsee community. School fees per month is more than Rs 2,000/- per month. They have promised to pay more from april 2012 – another carrot dangling tactics just to get votes. They have wasted Rs 2 crores for legal expenses in a year and they cannot encourage parsees to educate their children. All 7 trustees cannot decide unilaterally a simple point. 

  • xyz

    Incentives for third child given by Bpp is just an eyewash. Just fooling people.  From April 2010, they have started cheating 85 families. If your child is born before april 2010, you get Rs 1,000/- per month and if the child is born after april 2010, you get Rs 3,000/- per month. Why this injustice. Then they do not pay school fees for that child. why ?? Do you think to-day Rs 1,000/- is sufficient if you want to increase parsee community. School fees per month is more than Rs 2,000/- per month. They have promised to pay more from april 2012 – another carrot dangling tactics just to get votes. They have wasted Rs 2 crores for legal expenses in a year and they cannot encourage parsees to educate their children. All 7 trustees cannot decide unilaterally a simple point. 

  • xyz

    Incentives for third child given by Bpp is just an eyewash. Just fooling people.  From April 2010, they have started cheating 85 families. If your child is born before april 2010, you get Rs 1,000/- per month and if the child is born after april 2010, you get Rs 3,000/- per month. Why this injustice. Then they do not pay school fees for that child. why ?? Do you think to-day Rs 1,000/- is sufficient if you want to increase parsee community. School fees per month is more than Rs 2,000/- per month. They have promised to pay more from april 2012 – another carrot dangling tactics just to get votes. They have wasted Rs 2 crores for legal expenses in a year and they cannot encourage parsees to educate their children. All 7 trustees cannot decide unilaterally a simple point.