Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Parsi debate: panchayat vs federation

Don’t force radical changes on us: Ahmedabad panchayat to governing body

Express News Service

Ahmedabad, April 30: Accusing it of forcing its radical propaganda upon Parsis, the Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat (APP) on Sunday hit out at the Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India.

The panchayat says the federation — a governing body of Parsis spread across the country– is trying to thurst some controversial issues over the small traditional anjumans.

According to the panchayat, the federation leadership has been mostly focusing on issues like legalising adoption, accepting children of non-Parsi fathers as Parsis, and other socio-religious issues. And the panchayat feels the federation is pursuing the issues by making changes in the federation’s Parsi Constitution.

”We are too small and therefore we should very well understand what is happening around,” said Khhojstee Mistry, a Parsi-Irani Zoroastrian scholar who was invited by APP to address the gathering on Sunday. Lashing out at the federation, he said: ”The federation is pursuing the hidden agenda to drop Parsi-Irani nomenclature, while they must understand that our religion is non-negotiable.” The radical agenda of the federation became obvious at the executive council meeting that was held in Thane in March last. There the Secunderabad-Hyderabad anjuman of the federation had tabled a proposal for a radical change in the Constitution.

”This will reduce us to minority and will leave us toothless. The small anjumans in that case will be unable to even oppose a resolution,” said Mistry, adding that ”federation should look after the community’s socio-economic issue and not try to coerce the small anjumans.”

Areez Khambatta, president of Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat, said one of the vital issues with the Parsis today is to protect, preserve and propagate religion. ”It is the religion that keeps the community in tact,” he said. Khambatta pointed out that India had helped the community prosper but the new crisis that had arisen within the community now put the community at stake.

At the gathering, even the federation’s idea of joining the world Parsi body–the Cosmopolitan World Body– was opposed.