Parsis debate race vs religion

In February, Russian Zoroastrian Michael Chistyakov rubbed several orthodox Indian Parsi leaders the wrong way when he came to Gujarat to become a religious priest. He returned to Russia almost immediately, but left behind a community divided more vehemently on questions of conversion and ethnicity than ever before.

By Aarefa Johari / Hindustan Times

One group, led by the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), has vociferously rejected the conversion of anyone not ethnically a Parsi-Irani into the Zoroastrian faith.

But the smaller group of reformists, who maintain that religion must be kept separate from race, are now speaking up with more fervour.

“The claim that only Parsis from India and Iran can belong to this religion is flawed.

When Zoroastrians escaped from Iran over a thousand years ago, there were groups that went to other regions such as China, Russia and Central Asia,” said Meher Master-Moos, president of the Zoroastrian College in Sanjan, Gujarat, where Chistyakov was to perform his priesthood initiation rites.

Last month, Moos and Chistyakov filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court accusing several trustees and members of the BPP of breaking into the College on February 19 and violently disrupting the Russian’s initiation ceremony. The case is expected to be admitted in court either in September-end or the first week of October.

According to Chistyakov, there are hundreds of people in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine who consider themselves Zoroastrian.

While some claim Zoroastrian ancestry, many were drawn to the faith in the religious revival of the 1990s, after a long period of State-enforced atheism. “Zarathustra brought religion to all, not just to Parsis, who are people of a specific nationality,” Chistyakov told Hindustan Times in an email interview. “Nobody has a monopoly over truth or religion. If we want to become Zoroastrians, how can Parsis stop us?”

However, BPP trustee Khojeste Mistree said that their objection has always been to conversions taking place in India. “We cannot police the world. People seek our religion because of its wonderful philosophy, but ethnicity is important so we cannot recognise them,” said Mistree.

“The advantage of having an ethno-focused faith is that we are more tolerant and don’t go on killing binges in the name of religion.”

Punchayet leaders such as Mistree and chairman Dinshaw Mehta insist that Parsis have managed to live in non-violent harmony with other Indian communities only because of their 1,300-year tradition of maintaining racial purity.

“To allow conversions now would go against the ethos of the country,” said Mehta.

Most reformist Parsis, however, strongly dismiss such claims. “In most democracies, such an attitude would be recognised as racism,” said Jehangir Patel, editor of the reformist community magazine Parsiana.

The city’s Paris youth, too, is divided on the issue of conversions.

While popular youth forums such as the Zoroastrian Youth for the Next Generation have intensified their focus on marrying within the ethnic community by organising monthly speed-dating events, there are some who sympathise with the reformists.

“If someone from another country has studied the religion in depth and wants to wholeheartedly adopt it, I don’t see a problem in it,” said Huzvak Bhagat (29), an Andheri resident working with the merchant navy.

  • Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha Ph.D.

    The title of this article comes out of total negligence and lack of knowledge of Zoroastrian religion. The is nothing like Race or Religion. It was a Civilization that was destined to be saved by teh messages of Mazdayanians and later Paigam Sageb because of their “class” of Soul they were destined to get inspired for tehir spiritual progression, There are many self-promoting Zarathostis like Ms. Moos who take advantage of the community Trust they once earned and later swayed by name & fame and possibly financial gain to do unethical and anti-religious deeds. Religion has been used by majority within our community to meet the above objectives simply because there is no one or authority to punish them or make them realize their wrong-doings unlike any other religious groups. Ask Ms, Moos to say something about Muslim religion and ask her to convert Muslims from Syria who claim to be from Zoroastrian fold …… or even Muslims from India if possible and see the consequences. I wouldn’t be surprise to see the size of community turn into half within a month. We Zoroastrians tolerate too much and because of religious ignorance not many people support our traditional group and thus the cracks develop from within. Unfortunately majority of our learned people are religiously illetarate when they arrogantly use their college education and universal theories of equality and discrimination to justify our sacred religious laws and traditions. The authors expression on comparing democracies with attitude and racism concept is purely misguiding and antireligious. It’s a provoking remark, and this article overall can give rise to a riot in Mumbai if written for Hundi & Muslim community. Do you think Parsees will start a mass slaugter or riot in Mumbai? People like Ms. Moos and others promoting will remain free to practice anti-religious acts and our community will not be able to do anything to them just like what happened with Ali Jafarey, Kaikhusroo Irani and Kersi Antia promoting conversion and misxmarriages. Yes, they are still alive and doing and believing in all anti-religious traditions and practices and majority applauds their contribution. Our life, purpose and contributions will become a clear glass history on our fourth day of Chahrum when our soul will witness the deeds of our physical life but then it will be too late to confess and ractify any wrong-doings. I recommend Zarathostis to defend our Faith and protect the spiritual contributions of our forefathers (by marrying within and practicing our Faith), the ingredients of which circulates within our physical, ultra-physical & divine body to protect and preserve Not the Race, Color or Ethnicity but ….. spiritual progression cycle.

  • Boman Patel

    “We cannot police the world. People seek our religion because of its wonderful philosophy, but ethnicity is important so we cannot recognise them,” said Mistree.
    COMMENT: THEY CAN “POLICE” MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ONLY AT TALUKA LEVEL.
    =============================================
    “The advantage of having an ethno-focused faith is that we are more tolerant and don’t go on killing binges in the name of religion.”
    COMMENT: NO,NO THEY BELIEVE AND PRACTICE VANDALISM.
    ================================================

    “To allow conversions now would go against the ethos of the country”
    COMMENT: SO HOW DO CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES OPERATE IN THIS DEMOCARATIC COUNTRY?

  • Zarathushtra Zarthosti

    Russian priest’s attackers defied atithi devo bhava
    Mikhail Chistyakov, the Russian Zoroastrian priest who was allegedly prevented forcefully by other Parsis from performing religious rituals, has moved the Bombay high court seeking protection while in India.

    Arguing on behalf of Chistyakov and Meher Master Moos, the president of the All India Shah Behram Baug Society, their counsel BA Desai told the court on Thursday that the “Indian slogan of Atithi Devo Bhava (a guest is akin to God) has been defied” in this case. Justice AM Khanwilkar was prompt in correcting him, saying, “It is not a slogan.”

    Chistyakov and Moos, in their petition before the high court, have stated that on February 19 this year, Chistyakov was engaged in a religious ritual at the “one and only Zoroastrian college in the world,” located in the Talasari district in Thane, when some members of the Parsi community had arrived at the college premises and interrupted the rituals. They also allegedly manhandled the petitioners.

    A day earlier, they had arrived at the college alleging that some ‘Pakistani terrorists’ were being harboured at the college and that illegal conversions were taking place there. Their petition states that police were satisfied after Moos showed Chistyakov’s Russian passport to them.

    However, after the alleged attack on the institute on February 19, when the petitioners went to the police station for filing an FIR, they were allegedly dissuaded from doing so by the police.
    However, after filing the complaint, Chistyakov returned to his country, owing to the ‘violence’ at the educational institute. The court has asked the respondents in the case to file a reply within one week.

    These dictators are going to jail for good.

    KHSHNAOTHRE AHURAHE MAZDAO

  • Zarathushtra Zarthosti

    Why am I not surprized by the return of Ervard Bhadha last when we discussed you seem to have ran away from the debate not being able to answer some Q’s. Now coming again and sprewing venom and under the lines sending coded message to people to start some kind of riot and in fasion throwing Fatwas (Do you think Parsees will start a mass slaugter or riot in Mumbai? People like Ms. Moos and others promoting will remain free to practice anti-religious acts and our community will not be able to do anything to them just like what happened with Ali Jafarey, Kaikhusroo Irani and Kersi Antia promoting conversion and misxmarriages. YES, THEY ARE STILL ALIVE and doing and believing in all anti-religious traditions and practices and majority applauds their contribution.) to attact who names are also provided. On the other hand explain me this why have you escaped from commenting on this article (Ervad Khushru Madon Sends Mail For Support) you are supose to be very very learned and have webinars on darma gyan and your earlier comments were almost endless on Parsi khabar. Have you fallen short of you knowledge on Darma? or is it that you too have opted the hit and duck way like our famous Mr. Firoz Kotwal who has actually tectnically done a conversion of Mr. Nevielle Wadia and Mr. Nuslli Wadia since when the junior Wadia was born Senior Wadia was following catholicism and was married to a catholic lady so the child born was a catholic by birth to do his Navjote is a clear case of converting someone from other faith.

    KHSHNAOTHRE AHURAHE MAZDAO

  • phiroze

    Now that we have a Zarthosti Zarathustra on the net our race, community and religion is safe. Let us blindly follow him to oblivion.

  • Religious but Rational

    Zarathushtra Zarthosti .
    Sir/Madam,
    Apparently this issue of Er Madon is an instance of “bolti bandh”. No need to rub salt on wounds of the coterie of so called Traditionalists of which Er Bhadha is a member. The silence of these Traditionalists is very obvious . The change of views of
    Er. Pallan Ichaporia has already be highlighted by some well meaning enlightened persons . A well wisher has sent a new post of the same traditionalist Ervad which I reproduce here-below.
    In a message dated 10/7/2010 8:28:10 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Soleman2002@aol.com writes:
    Dear Dr. Jafarey:

    As I wrote before the opinions differ among the scholars. But this is not important, what is important is keeping alive the religion of Zarathushtra and spreading it . It is more so important as the Pasis are facing inevitable extinction with low birth rate(300-400) and high 2000 to 3000 death rate year after year and with the total of 60000 Parsis left in India, even the blind can see that there will be slow but steady path to extinction. You have the work cut out for you to help in spreading the weh- deen.

    Dr Pallan Ichaporia,Ph.D., D.Phil
    Mainz and Salamanca Universitat

    Can our Dr.Bhadha contest the contents of this post of Er. Pallan?

    And finally, if we want to ensure ultimate ‘BOLTI BANDH’ of FPJ then as someone has rightly suggested a complaint to Advertising Council/Forum and a Notice to printer & publisher of paper will ensure freedom from noise for all times.

  • Khoremand

    Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha writes- “We Zoroastrians tolerate too much ”

    True… i agree with you, we Zarthustis are very tolerant ppl… Look aren’t we tolerating you and your nonsense?

    for example, nonsense 1- “It was a Civilization that was destined to be saved by teh messages of Mazdayanians and later Paigam Sageb because of their “class” of Soul they were destined to get inspired for tehir spiritual progression,”

    Class of soul?? Are you joking? where did you get this from?
    Can we see the reference, please?
    ——————————————————————–

    Nonsense 2- “Religion has been used by majority within our community to meet the above objectives simply because there is no one or authority to punish them or make them realize their wrong-doings unlike any other religious groups. ”

    Why don’t you join other religious groups if you admire their way of functioning so much? You won’t be missed, trust me.

    Btw, as far as I know in Gathas, no mortal is given the right to judge others or pronounce punishments on behalf of Mazda Ahura… So Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha, who do you think you are? or for that matter, what are your sources of information that tells you that you have some divine rights to police others?
    ——————————————————————–

    Nonsense 3- “Ask Ms, Moos to say something about Muslim religion and ask her to convert Muslims from Syria who claim to be from Zoroastrian fold …… or even Muslims from India if possible and see the consequences.”

    FYI, Muslims from Iran are actively converting to Z’ism even without Ms Meher Moos help. Its about time you update your knowledge.

    If you think terrorizing and show of intolerance is the best way to keep herd in your control? in that case, you are most free to convert to Islam…They will be most happy to have you on board and we will be most happy to get rid of you.
    —————————————————————————————————————-

    Nonsense 4- “Do you think Parsees will start a mass slaugter or riot in Mumbai? ”

    Yes. I don’t underestimate the ability of brain dead followers of Kartir and our very own Dinshaw Mehta is a shinning example.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kartir

    ——————————————————————————————————-

    Nonsense 5- People like Ms. Moos and others promoting will remain free to practice anti-religious acts and our community will not be able to do anything to them just like what happened with Ali Jafarey, Kaikhusroo Irani and Kersi Antia promoting conversion and misxmarriages. Yes, they are still alive and doing and believing in all anti-religious traditions and practices and majority applauds their contribution.

    Gem.

    Now I’m unable to understand whether you are questioning the will of God or is it a professional Baniya envy?

    Btw, Do you have even a single proof with you to prove their acts as irreligious ?

  • phiroze

    Now that all have agreed to conversions, can we also agree on the following:
    1. Who can convert?
    2. Who can be converted?
    3. How and how many to convert?
    4. Where to convert?
    5. Who will take care of the converts religious progress?
    6. Where and Who will build new agiaries and dokhmas for the converts?
    7. who will set up a facrory to sew sudrehs and weave Kustis if these are essential.

  • Dorab.

    Questions from Phiroze replied:
    1. Who can convert?
    Answer: High Priests who can bend the rules according to financial status and ability/means of the one to be converted to provide flats in South Bombay.

    2. Who can be converted:
    Answer: ONLY A BILLIONAIRE.

    3. How and how many to convert?
    Answer: Very few since very few prosperous are interested in entering our faith.

    4.Where to convert?
    Answer:Ask our High Priests since they have precedents in this regard.

    5.Who will take care of the converts religious progress?
    Answer: Is there anybody to take care of Parsee
    Zoroastrians, I mean pure with both parents being Parsee Zoroastrians?

    6. Where and Who will build new agiaries and dokhmas for the converts?
    Answer: Most converts are not interested in living in India and they are citizens of their respective countries.

    7. who will set up a factory to sew sudrehs and weave Kustis if these are essential.
    Answer: In short time even pure Parsees like you and me will find it difficult to obtain Sudreh & Kusti woven by Parsee women.
    I trust I have answered all your intellectual questions so that you and other who share your type of thinking can have a good night’s sleep.

  • Mickie Sorabjee

    “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”._ Charles Darwin, naturalist and author.

    “There is censorship of books, and there is censorship of humans. Excommunication is a fancy word to describe the latter”. _ Author unknown

    Between these two quotable quotes lies a potent message and censure for six incumbent fixated BPP Trustees responsible for creating fissures between community brethren and who in their over zealousness to pander the orthodoxy card are seen to overstep their trusteeship role as mere custodians of the community’s apex charity trust by executing variant authority they are not vested with.

  • phiroze

    Dorab, you have replied but not answered. If u want change then u have to bring it about by your own hard work and money. The BPP or the High Priests will not change just because you are one of those armchair activists who can be sarcastic on this blog. Sir Jamshedji Tata spent his own money and hardwork to build the Taj Mumbai when he was refused entry by the British in their hotel. He could also been cynical like u but then we would not have the Taj today.

    Regarding your reply to question no 6, if so then why are u venting your frustrations on Parsis of India. What is your quarell with them?

    If you or anyone else is ever willing to learn to sew a sudreh or weave a kusti do contact me. But u will have to get up from your armchair to learn that. There is no gender bar on this but it is hardwork indeed.

    Hope this does not disturb your nights sleep!

  • Boman Patel

    @ Ms. Sorabjee, Khoremand, R but R & Dorab,
    It would be patently wrong to call bigots seized with rigidity as Orthodox. In reality Orthodox are those who want to scrupulously follow the teachings of the Prophet Himself. Such teachings were endorsed and implemented by various genuine Scholars & Priests of the earlier Centuries. It is my belief that those who pride themselves in wearing the Cloak of Orthodoxy are in fact deceiving and harming the cause of our Religion by confusing rigidity and fixed thinking as Orthodoxy.
    And who resorts to Censorship but a morally and intellectually WEAK persons who assume that exchange of ideas are a potent threat to their dominance. For them appointing a craven person or a person sharing their beliefs as an Editor is a victory little realizing that such type of Censorship and monitoring the facts is not a solution to the extant problems. The community predominantly consists of elderly and not infants who could be lulled into silence and made to believe in homilies dished out each week. Such rigid bigots seldom realize that there are other avenues of sharing thoughts and spreading information. By dominating a section of the press, these false Orthodox make a laughing stock of themselves and become object of ridicule for which reason some boarders who were ‘permanent fixtures’ on this portal are posting and propagating their obsolete ideas and creating fear psychosis under ASSUMED NAMES one too many, to give an impression that they are many having identical beliefs.
    IS THIS DOING SERVICE TO THE RELIGION IN WHICH WE ARE BORN? IS THIS TRUE ORTHODOXY?
    Any wonder that they have withdrawn themselves totally on the open letter of Er. K Madon.

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze:
    Ref your post of 14th inst – time 1.29 p.m.
    My reply to this Scholarly reply of yours is as under:
    I am sorry, how I overlooked your Scholastic reply of the 14th October.
    Where is it stated that Sudreh has necessarily to be stitched by a Parsee female?.If you happen to go to Dagliwala, Shamji near Manekji Shett Fire Temple, he is willing to stitch a Sudreh for anybody. As for Kusty, have not come across Irani Kusti from Iran.
    As for your comment “:If u want change then u have to bring it about by Y IO U R own hard work and money” can you confirm that all existing institutions were established from YOUR MONEY?
    If you find hard core facts as sarcastic, discomfort is all yours and of ‘followers’ of your type of beliefs that you are owners all Parsee Zoro properties left in Trust by ancestors.
    You say that our Priests will not change. I do not want them to change even a bit.
    I and other rational persons want them to follow the well laid precedents of their own grandfathers.Clarified?
    I have no quarrel with Parsees, rest assured. But do you find our existing Fire Temples overflowing with devotees? And yet you find it viable and feasible for more Fire Temples.
    As for your offer to teach the skills of sewing Sudreh, thanks VERY MUCH FOR YOUR OFFER BUT I BELIEVE IN ONE PRINCIPLE THAT IF I GET MILK FROM A DAIRY, I WOULD NOT BE ‘PRUDENT’ TO HAVE A COW IN MY HOUSE. Ditto for cleaning my house, when I can engage a servant to clean and sweep my house, why should I undertake this chore. There is something called Division of Labour. THANKS NEVERTHELESS FOR YOUR GRACIOUS OFFER OF SHARING YOUR PROFESSIONAL SKILLS.
    Lastly I do not lose my sleep over trivial, self contradictory and flippant arguments.
    My apologies for delay in replying.

  • phiroze

    Dorab,
    My response in relation to the availability of Sudreh and Kusti is in relation to your lament of you and me finding it difficult to get Sudreh and Kusti wowen by Parsee ladies in your post dated 13th October @ 8.40pm.
    Can YOU and FOLLOWERS of your type confirm that all institutions are from YOUR money.
    Just so that the fire temples overflows with people you want to invite anyone and everyone? Will you not need more fire temples once you have hordes of new converts which in turn will result in saving us from extinction.
    I think dignity of labour is better then division of labour. Even GOD helps those who help themselves.
    You are welcome and appologies accepted.
    Is your sarcasm out of frustration to these hard core facts?

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze,
    I have nowhere claimed proprietorship od ant place of worship. My remark was in relation to your own remark of the 14th that ‘Dorab, you have replied but not answered. If u want change then u have to bring it about by your own hard work and money’ implying that those who talk in your tone of language have sole proprietary rights .over these institutions.
    As for your imagination that HORDES OF CONVERTS will mean more places of worship, can you give a guess estimate of numbers intending to enter our Faith in India? This type of ultimatums are doled out to scare simpletons. A couple of hundred children of Parsee women married out of faith will not mean HORDES.
    What you consider as HARD CORE FACTS to my mind are hyperbole of an over imaginative mind. None the less you are entitled to your beliefs and you can correct them after a couple of decades when you see the realities.
    There is nothing for me to be frustrated about because no one can legitimately deny me entry in any place of Zoroastrian worship. So you are WRONG in your inference.

  • Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha Ph.D.

    Mr Religious but Rational.
    Parsees always remain in disguise and so are you under this title ‘Religious but Rational” to wrrite any nonsense and get away with it. Well, teh present generation has prefered to be coward and remain anonymous to blend with the locals or mismatch like what some of our BPP trustees approach in consoling the community. Anyway, I thought I should enlighten you on the identity of Pallan Ichaporia. HE IS NOT A PRIEST or ERVAD. He is Behdin and student of our religion.

    Me Khoremand,
    If I show you all those references what would be your religious opinion and your life practices? Would you believe those references like you believed your college Professor’s in achieving academic excellence and passing your exam? The fact is you do not want to know the references. You like many other disbelievers like to challenge our sacred religion and abuse it within and outside community and make us believe that you are heretic. If you really wanted to know the reference and even if I have said it, what would make you believe that what am I saying is truth since it is written in Avesta and written in scripture you never heard or unfamiliar of its existence? Think about it.

  • Religious but Rational

    Er. Bhadha,
    Kindly enumerate the NONSENSE you allege, I have written in my earlier post. Since more than a couple of years, I have posted on this portal under this sobriquet and I firmly believe that this way is better than posting fundamentalists views under FICTITIOUS NAMES. as some persons are doing. That said,your concept of COWARDS seems to be confusing. Perhaps you associate boldness with hooligans who entered a so called College and vandalised the place and attempted to browbeat a Parsee Lady who was one a part of rabid Orthodoxy not a long time ago.
    As for Pallan Ichaporia being a student of our Religion, do you consider BEHDIN KHOJESTE a erudite Scholar?

  • Khoremand

    Ervad Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha says- since it is written in Avesta and written in scripture you never heard or unfamiliar of its existence?

    Please show it to us here.
    Also please note, unfamiliar scriptures /books that are written by unfamiliar authors are their personal opinions and not divine diktats. Just like you have a personal opinion that all those who don’t agree with the way you think should be severely punished like Talibans do.

  • phiroze

    Dorab,
    Now that we both agree that the institutions are nobodys personal properties the trustees of these can and will put restrictions on entry as per the trust deeds and PARSI Anujams long cherished traditions. So if YOU and YOUR likes do not agree to this are free to have your own institutions where YOU can invite anyone and everyone.
    The couple of hundreds you talk about today will be a couple of thousands in 40 years and couple of lakhs in 80 years if you have heard of simple multiplication. Remember in the begining of the last century these were just a couple which later grew to couple of tens and now are hundreds. If this is not scary to you then you need to do a rethink.
    Just as nobody is denying you entry do not try to force your thinking on others. For a change come out of your my – myself world and look at the bigger picture. Remember fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
    Hope you do not loose sleep over this.

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze,
    Where have I questioned the prerogative of the Trustees of concerned properties to restrict entry of non Zoroastran/ Parsees.
    I am not forcing my thinking down on anybody’s throat but people like me have every right to to disagree with views expressed by you and persons like me have every right to express our dissenting opinion however disturbing they may be to persons like you.
    BTW, what is the ‘bigger picture’ according to you?
    While you are free to delude yourself into calling others who disagree with you as ‘FOOLS’, I sincerely pray that your angelic endeavours succeed.
    I am not losin my sleep replying to your posts but I am most concerned that persons like you have NOT REPLIED to certain posts of one offended off spring of an inter married Parsee,by name Ms. Sawant who has raised certain pertinent points.
    I look forward to your befitting reply to her posts on this very portal.

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze,
    I have referred to posts od Ms. Asha Rustomji Sawant and do look forward to you replying her points suitably, if you can.

  • phiroze

    Dorab,
    Since Asha has made it very clear at the begining that she is a hindu I have nothing to say to her.

    I wish her well like I do to all hindus inspite of her professing the end of PARSIS. I do not want to say more to her as it is not her but her fathers fault for marrying a non Parsi and for making his children to face the consequences. I feel pity for her and her brother.

  • phiroze

    Dorab,
    Now that we agree that the trustees can restrict entry to the Zoroastrian institutions would it not be logical for all those dissenting and who think otherwise to build their own institutions so that this debate can end and everybody is free to do what they want in their own institutions.

    And just so that you do not again try to scare me into replying to someone else who I do not think is worth the effort just imagine the scenario below:
    It would be so nice if Zarathustra Zarthosti can be the neo prophet, Madon the Mobedan Mobed, Ms Moos the high preistess and all the rest can follow them in their brand new 7 star institutions

  • Shaimak Madon

    We have in our midst a blogger Phiroze, eternally optimist, ignoring stark Statisics.
    Phiroze has posed a profound question to Dorab thus:
    “The couple of hundreds you talk about today will be a couple of thousands in 40 years and couple of lakhs in 80 years if you have heard of simple multiplication”.
    MY THOUGHTS:
    As of yesterday according to BPP site 735 Parsees from BOMBAY bid adieu to this world in the current year and with the remaining months of the year, we can assume the possible figure to be 883 based on the average of 74 per month.
    Official figures for births are not available from BPP but relying on figures from Parsiana, the figure as per September 2010 issue comes to 76, again figures from Bombay only. So for the full year we can assume the likely figure to at best 100. We have a negative population growth of 783 annually.
    So I ask Phiroze, WHAT WILL BE THE PARSEE ZOROASTRIAN POPULATION in Mumbai after 40 years and 80 years.
    Will not our religious places be encroached by vandals, peddlers and the like by the end of this century?
    Will our senile and geriatric population be in a position to remove such anti social elements.?. Pained to say that it is people like Phiroze who do not come out of the “ME MYSELF” attitude.
    PHIROZE should care to note that THIS IS THE ACTUAL BIGGER PICTURE and not what Dorab has stated. It is persons like Phiroze who give opportunity on silver platter to persons like Miss Sawant to rebuke, ridicule and castigate us. A bogey was sought to be created that activities of persons like Meher Master Moos would cause communal disharmony. That ‘action’ was concocted to hoodwink the community by creating a false scare, whereas the genuine reason for our community members facing ire and wrath of other communities is the racial superiority hallucination of Persons like Phiroze. This gives a ready handle to persons like Sawant to question our ethics towards humanity.
    There is a saying that Bourbons forgot nothing because they never learnt anything. That saying precisely applies to some of our community’s fraternity. SAD BUT TRUE.

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze,
    You say ‘And just so that you do not again try to scare me into replying to someone else who I do not think is worth the effort ‘ Let me tell you that my aim was not to scare you but to ‘learn’ from you how to tackle such questions that are raised in circles where persons with mixed religious affiliations are present and they raise similar questions. Frankly, I have been stumped in fielding such questions.
    AND YOU TOO WANT TO TAKE AN EASY WAY OUT BY NOT REPLYING THE LIKES OF ASHA SAWANT.
    INSTEAD OF ADMITTING YOUR INABILITY TO COUNTER HER,YOU WANT TO ESCAPE BY BLAMING HER FATHER. So easy.

  • Dorab.

    Shiamak Madon,
    I understand that 60 percent of our population in Mumbai is aged over 50. Current Parsee population in the city would be 40,000. So after 40 years, it will be certainly less by 24,000.
    Only 16000 of those currently residing would be present 2050. Add to that a hundred births that you say take place i.e. 4000. So estmated Parsee poulation in the city in 2050 would be 20,000. This assumes no further migration. An ideal situation for land grabbers and land mafias.They will “bless the true orthodox” and ma even install statues of these Parsees.

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze,
    Overnight my cousin rang me up and has drawn my attention to the fact that the College of Meher Master Moos was NOT funded by any Anjuman and or Parsee Punchayat. So despite the fact that “those dissenting and who think otherwise had built their own institution”, there was nuisance created by persons on whose behalf you seem to speak.

  • phiroze

    Shiamak/dorab,
    Can you also give statistics of the increase in number of Parsis in Delhi and anywhere else in the world where conversion/acceptance is advocated, allowed and practised.
    Are the numbers sufficient to risk a certain loss of Parsi ethnicity forever?
    How do you both propose to ensure that those who convert and get converted are not vandals peddlers and the like by the end of the century? How do you propose to protect our institutions from them? Have you both formulated any terms and conditions for such converts and have them agreed to by the same?
    Why are you both so scared of a confused Hindu lady and choose to lie prostrated at her feet? Are u both so ashamed of being a Parsi that you cannot answer for what your forefathers gave up their lives and lands for? This is the real bigger picture if you choose to see it.

  • Siloo Kapadia

    We Parsees are perhaps one of the ONLY religions groups that link race with religion and refuse converts. Not even orthodox Jews or Shintoists engage in such practice. Then it is logical that our community in its current form will die out. So be it. Sad, but true. I have recently met so many former Parsees that have left the religion for other faiths. That, but the very LOW fertility rate amongst Parsee couples mean we are heading toward extinction.

    Yet none of this concerns the conservative crazies in the religion. They rant against conversion, they fight against intermarriage, yet refuse to see the reality. In 50 or so years there will be no real community left. Nothing. Nobody. Zilch. Kaput. Those left will likely be at death’s doorstep.

    The bawaji bullies will in fact have accomlished what the Muslim invaders to Persia failed to do – stamp out the faith once and for all.

  • phiroze

    Dorab,
    The so called College of Moos is empty of life barring a few days in all these years. There are no students or teachers and nor are classes conducted there. Sometimes a bit of farming is done to pay for the expenses. I am telling you this because you seemed ignorant of the facts of the college. Do you know why a navar ceremony has to be conducted in a agiary and not a college atleast?

  • phiroze

    Dorab,
    I speak only for myself.
    Did anyone stop Moos and Madon from conducting navjotes in Tajikistan? Why did they then not also do the navar in Russia or Iran? No Parsi would have been there to stop it in these places.
    If you instigate then you have to face the consequences.

  • phiroze

    Welcome to another foot in the mouth armchair activist called Shiamak
    Read my post to Dorab again and again till you understand it. I was refering to the number of converts and not ethnic Parsis.
    Hope this gives some relief to your pain my post has caused you. Now we know why you are easily castigated, ridiculed and rebuked my the likes of Asha Sawant.

  • Dorab.

    Phiroze,
    It seems that you want the last word in everything.Whether the College of Moos is empty or full house is not your concern or my concern. The fact remains that it has not been funded by any Anjuman or Punchayat and yet it was vandalised. ‘WHY DO YOU DODGE THIS FACT.?
    Sanjan or any other place in India is not anybody’s grandfathers property. It is a part of the Republic of India.

    That example of Sanjan is a befitting rebuttal of your trite remark “you should establish your own institutions’ because when institutions not established by our forefathers, yet they are an eye sore to people like you.
    Can you stop some riff raff from establishing a “Mandir” near a tree by just putting up a Marble statue.? Why, because you are scared of the consequences.
    If, according to you, legitimate Navar ceremony is to be conducted in a Fire Temple then what is your problem about
    an illegitimate ceremony?
    As for your remark”Why are you both so scared of a confused Hindu lady and choose to lie prostrated at her feet?
    my answer is that if you are so competent, why do you shy away from replying her.
    I further observe that you have tuned a blind eye to Statistics provided by Shiamak. Persons like you would not mind if the Religion goes into oblivion in this part of the world but to you ‘ethnicity’ is very dear. You seem to have a habit of trying to establish that your own ‘kakko’ is right. You are free to reside in your own make believe world of your own but for those who are interested in long term for the Religion to survive, your logic is absurd to the core.
    As I said earlier, you want your word to be the last and for that obstinacy would try to ridicule more than one blogger. Pleasure is all yours.
    I leave you with one lingering questions “HOW DO YOU PROPOSE TO PROTECT THE INSTITUTIONS OF PARSEES FIFTY YEARS HENCE WHEN OUR COMMUNITY WILL NUMBER HALF OF PRESENT POPULACE? If our forefathers had thought only of PRESENT LIKE YOU and NOT OF FUTURE, our community would have lost ethnicity long back.

  • Shaimak Madon

    @PHIROZE. You have chosen to address me as “Welcome to another foot in the mouth armchair activist called Shiamak”. -Thanks for your uncordial welcome.

    What exactly is your concept of ethnicity?. Dictionary definition of this word is “Of, relating to, or characteristic of a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage.”

    Our community has nothing in common with Zoroastrians of Iran. Anybody can enter Fire Temple of Iran. We do not talk in Persian so commonality of language is out too. Do you or I have any common characteristics with a Chasniwalla in a Fire Temple?.. At least I have nothing in common with such persons. as far as characteristics go.

    I say this not out of arrogance but I do not speak Gujarati in the manner such persons usually do. I believe I have more in common with a Delhi Parsi than a Gujarat born person from a supposed Parsi father and a ‘Lalian’ biological mother.

    Nor you or I would have any facial resemblance with such persons. .Not for a moment do you bask in the belief that I am thinking on identical terms as you.

    It is my aim to open eyes of persons like you who for long have talked endlessly of Parsipanu. Some months back a person had rightly commented that some Parsees confuse ethnicity with Dhan Dal Fish Patia and Kachmber.

    There is no problem for persons like you if persons of mixed alliances legal or otherwise enter our Holy places as WORKERS but if an educated and a refined person born out of single Zoro parent expresses a desire to enter our Holy places, you will talk of ETHNICITY being in jeopardy. And of course ‘exceptions’ can be made by our not so holy High priests for materialistic considerations. Time for persons like you to concede that double standards is a way of life for you and those who live and think like you.
    Now let us see in whose mouth the foot fits in.

  • Shaimak Madon

    And as for your statement “Did anyone stop Moos and Madon from conducting navjotes in Tajikistan?” Well that activity does go unhindered elsewher around the globe and your messiah will try to escape by saying ‘ we can not police the entire world’ . Yes Dorab is right. Sanjan is not a fiefdom of any person or a group of person. And I very much doubt if any ‘staunch stalwart’ will try a repeat of Sanjan’s episode once again.

  • Rémi

    Phiroze has raised a question of tremendous importance in his post dated 10/25, 2.49pm:
    “How do you both propose to ensure that those who convert and get converted are not vandals peddlers and the like by the end of the century? How do you propose to protect our institutions from them?”

    If you consider potential converteds, the question “should Z’ism and its institutions be protected against them?” needs to be addressed.
    If you consider the BPP’s full-fledged Parsi assault crew, the answer is cristal clear!

    More seriously, has any Zoroastrian ever filled in a compliance form at his/her navjote? Shouldn’t the navjote in itself be considered as such a commitment?

  • phiroze

    Shiamak/Dorab,
    I am still waiting for statistics of the increase in numbers of Parsis in Delhi, Karachi and all other places where acceptance/conversion is advocated encouraged and practised. Till such times as this is conclusively established it would be sucidal to even think on these lines.
    My opinion on Zoros of Iran are similar to yours. As far as I am concerned Zoroastriasm died in Iran the day our forefathers left for India. Let alone establishing new places of worship today the agiaries there are tourists attractions.
    It is only in western India particularly in Mumbai Udvada Navsari and Surat that higher Zoroastrian liturgical ceremonies like Vanidads, Nirangdins and Purifying an all white bull are performed by Mobeds who follow the traditions of our forefathers. We need to preserve this at all costs. Once you start conversion or acceptance all this will be lost as you will have no control on who does what. You will be left holding something similar to that in Iran today. Let the cure be not worse than the ailment. Remember once this is lost there will be no going back.
    Lastly I am only trying to show you the pitfalls of your thinking. The choice is yours. I repeat, remember there will be no going back.
    I shall not be instigated to reply to people who do not matter to me by Dorab or anyone else.

  • Boman Patel

    M/S Dorab & Shaimak Madon,
    You are actively engaged in a futile exercise debating about replying Asha Rustomji Sawant. I have NEVER KNOWN A PARSEE HAVING A SURNAME OF SAWANT. So my inference is that such a entity has been ‘created’ for a futile exchange of views. As for Phiroze, I am inclined to agree with Er. Bhadha that ‘Parsees always remain in disguise’ though ultimately who the actual author is distinctly discernible.
    I wish that Er. Bhadha becomes more regular on this forum because his fleeting appearances leaving many questions unanswered, bewilders others about his authority on the subject.
    “Boliyo Chaliyu Maaf”

  • Shaimak Madon

    Phiroze,
    As for Karachi, most Parsees have emigrated to West. Only Ahura Mazda knows about the state of Fire Temples situate. there.
    As for the Statistics of population in New Delhi, are you attempting to suggest ALL Parsees there are inter married.? LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST IT WAS YOUR CALL’ If u want change then u have to bring it about by your own hard work and money’ (refer your post of 14th October.) SO PLEASE CLARIFY IF YOU HAD MADE ANY FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS SETTING UP OF COLLEGE AT SANJAN THAT ENTITLED “SAVIOURS” TO GO ON A RAMPAGE?
    You want answers to your questions but dislike swallowing your own pompous advise.
    As for ‘Why are you both so scared of a confused Hindu lady and choose to lie prostrated at her feet?’ if you are bold/brave and full of facts, why do you seek refuge in a lame excuse. It only exposes your inability to reply to Asha Sawant but you do not hesitate to throw the ball in my court by saying that “I shall not be instigated to reply to people who do not matter to me’. This convinces none, rather it shows bankruptcy of reasoned refutal.

  • phiroze

    Shaimak/Dorab,
    If conversion and acceptance was THE answer it should have increased the number of Parsis in the whole world wherever it is advocated encouraged and practiced. Please do not skirt the issue by asking questions and provide the statistics in numbers.
    I confirm and clarify that I was not involved in the college episode if it makes either of you happy.
    If at all anyone is answerable to Asha its her father Rustomji. I also confirm and clarify that she does not matter to me.

  • phiroze

    All those who are guessing or rather mis-guessing my identity are welcome to meet me to clear their doubts about it once and for all. I am unable to name all so its an open invitation