Dwindling numbers is a big concern among Parsis, but you would not have felt it at Udvada on Sunday as the community came out to take part in the 1290th anniversary celebration of the most important fire time of the community Shreeji Pak Iranshah in Udvada. Some 2,000 Parsis gathered from around the world for the celebrations with Narendra Modi becoming the first Gujarat chief minister to visit the town.
In the gathering were Parsis from Canada, the US, Iran and various parts of India. It was a perfect opportunity for the members to interact with each other and get in touch with their roots. People, young and old, were seen discussing how their ancestors arrived in Gujarat after they were forced to leave Iran. Even the young and were present and got an opportunity to get a glimpse of their rich history.
Parsis, who descended from outside Gujarat, found a perfect opportunity to showcase their business products. Many of them had put up road-side stalls to market their wares. A community lunch was also organized for the participants and the guests were served the traditional Parsi food in the luncheon.
"It is a memorable day for any head of a government when a micro minority community of the world offers him a standing ovation. No other certificate is required after this by him to prove that he is a good leader. Parsis are living happily in Gujarat," Modi said at the function on Sunday.
After landing at Daman airport, Modi went to meet Vada Dastur Khurshedji Dastoor opposite Shreeji Pak Iranshah at Udvada. Later, he visited the Zoroastrian Information Centre. Modi said, "Let us show to the world how the micro minority community is living happily in Gujarat. Earlier, the central government had a scheme under which the Parsis could go to Iran once a year. This programme has been stopped by the current government."
The chief minister said the Union tourism minister has been requested that Udvada be declared as a global religious harmony site.