Youths should respect Parsi priests: Chief Justice of India Sam H Kapadia

Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia exhorted Parsi youths to offer more respect to the high priests of the community, which is shrinking in numbers with time.

Talking to Parsi Panchayat members at a function in the city, the CJI said that he is a firm believer of god and it pays to be religious.

Justice Kapadia advised the young Parsis: "You must respect your high priests. The way you do not question the wisdom of your doctor and lawyer, though you get a second opinion, you have to go to Dastoorjis (Parsi spiritual leaders) in order to seek advise in religious matters."

Parsi Panchayat president K J Shethna presided over the function where various groups offered gifts to the CJI, which included the book on history of the city prepared by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and The Times of India .

Originally published in the Times of India

  • Siloo kapadia

    Yes we must respect our priests. Then again I have noticed that too many of our Parsi youth are not respectful of anybody other than themselvse and their close friends. I am constantly shocked to see the language used, the behavior exhibited, etc. by too many Parsi young people. Once a few years back I was in Khushrobaug and simply asked directions from a couple of Parsi teenagers and they all but told me to go to hell! When we visit Parsi friends their children don’t have the courtesy to come out of their rooms to greet us, and at the dinner table we are ignored by them. And what is worse is that their parents let them get away with this! Perhaps this article should be retitled “Parsi Youths Should be Respectful of Others.” This does not mean that they must accept all decisions of the BPP, but there is no reason to be rude.

  • Rathestar.

    For priests respect is to earned and it cannot be obtained as a matter of right. A doctor or a lawyer is suo moto not respected for his profession or qualifications but for his performance and his actions. As for High Priests in any community, they should show that they do not discriminate on the basis of the economic status of the laity and should scrupulously refrain from double standards as well as avoid lust for money.

  • Behroze.

    It is one thing to be God fearing and religious minded and altogether another thing giving respect to undeserving priests whose conduct is not up to the mark. High Priests should set standards by example and should never judge the laity by latter’s wealth or status. If Priest class indulge in double standards and quid pro quo to satiate their worldly desires, how can they expect to command respect.? Dasturji Kookadaru is even revered till this day because of virtuous life style that he led. How many of High Priests of this day have his attributes to deserve same adulation? The High Priests ought to lay high standards in their own conduct so that it can be emulated by youngsters but unfortunately that is not so and web pages abound when one High Priests criticizes another. For example “Our “high” priests are known to swing and vacillate. Jamaspasha and Kotwal had three swings at the time of murder of lal Bag Agiary and “Navjote” of Neville Wadia, respectively.” These are not my words but actual quote from publication known as Parsee Pukar of Jan Mar 2005 and available on the net.
    Arrogance, high handedness, curtness are some of the drawbacks I have found in some of these clergy. As they say, deserve and desire. Now that a grandiose Council has been formed, let us see if they can speak with one voice even if it be for showing to the public.

  • Homi Dalal

    Dear Mr. Sarosh Kapadia,

    I fully endorsed your views that youth should respect the priests.Now I fail to understand why your advice is restricted to Youth only and not to elders. You are 100% right in your observation that nowadays priests are not being respected.–Not only by youth by oldies like me also. But when you say that they should be respected your advice should be simultaneously to these priests also who have lost all the respect they used to command in the past. For example ,Late Dasturji Khurshed Daboo,Dastruji Peshotan Peer,Dr. Hormazdiar Mirza were loved & respected & they were considered to be honest & pious, even they did not carried title of wada before their names. They have always guided the community in right direction and bold enough to say what is right. Unlike these PIOUS souls all the present days so called Wada dasturs are only after money. Their conviction and action violates the very norms of our religion. They are just like pendulums and change their opinion as per their financier khojeste.

    To quote an example or two, these wada dasturs publicly said that Solar Panals are sort of cremation, during installation of Ozone gas exhaust they opined that not a single nail can be fixed in Dokhmas since they are consecrated. Why did Dr Kotwal did Navjotes of Wadias ? For two flats & pension of Rs.15000/- per month?

    After such actions how do you expect masses to respect them leave aside youth?.Their conduct is not upto a minimum mark. Do they think that the community is made up of fools?

    I suggest you to give similar advice to our priests to act in such a manner that they are respected automatically and you don’t have to plead on their behalf that they should be respected.

    Today, why you are respected? Not because you are appointed CJI but because community knows about your honesty & integrity.

    Our community is not such that they will fail to respect the priests, but these priests have themselves lost their own respectability, by their own action & double standards, for that one cannot blame anybody

  • Homi Dalal

    Dear Mr. Sarosh Kapadia,
    In Continuation of my remark I will be highly obliged if you kindly give this advice to your friends Mr. Areez Khambatta, Khojeste,& Mr. Dinshaw Mehta, who felicitated you on your appointment as CJI , possibly with the idea to take their case favorably in case if it comes before SC.But you are known for your honesty & your integrity is known to all.
    You must be knowing public shameless behavior of Mr. Khambatta at Sanjan & also at Valsad against our Wada Dasturji Khurshed Dasturji.Out of these three KM & DRM gave affidavit in writing,to serve their purpose, in ongoing case in HC that Wada Dastur of Udvada is only an ordinary B>Com and has NO RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE. Any advice for these so called Akbaras? I sincerely feel that your advice to these three will encourage the youth to follow your advice to respect the priests.. It will also help these three sethias who thinks that they can get away with anything. I wish that after your retirement, the community needs Trustee like you. Atleast they dare not treat you like Mr. Dadrawala

  • Rathestar.

    Time and again we hear comments HIGH priests. What exactly are criterions for prefixing the Word HIGH. Being born in the family of a previous generation High Priest can surely not be the benchmark. The prefixing of the word High, is manifestation of autocratic mindset and arrogant outlook.Rev. Dasturji Kookadaru Saheb never prefixed the word High.Why, because he had sense of modesty and humility so essential for a man in His Service.
    Secondly, what exactly is the difference between the “derocked’ priests duo and two of our High Priests. Did two High Priests not deal in indulgence, one sanctioning Uthamna of a non Zoroastrian at Doongerwadi and another sanctioning Navjote of an 80 plus Christian.? Those who live in glass houses should ponder before hurling stones at others.
    If undertaking research papers with a foreigner is the factor for being called HIGH, then not all the six Parsee bishops can lay claim to academic research either.

  • Dorab Unwalla