Charter For Co-Existence

Below is a write-up sent by good friend of Parsi Khabar, Mr. Dinshaw K. Tamboly.

Charter For Co-Existence

Seldom has our small community been so riven with divisiveness and factionalism as now. Divergent opinions on almost every issue are exacerbated further by being aired in the media, not just the community press but the Internet, national newspapers and court proceedings. Very regrettably the opposing stands taken often exceed the boundaries of decent debate and discussion. These deep rooted divisions are causing great harm to the reputation of our community.

In recent times, there has been a substantial and positive focus on our community by governments, both Centre and the State, as well as society at large. There is a huge reservoir of affection and respect for the community. We require this goodwill for the resolution of problems that we as a community face today, including our diminishing numbers, our abandoned and dilapidated properties and educational and employment opportunities for our youth.

Yet the acrimony in the community, magnified by media exposure, can be hugely detrimental as it is destroying this goodwill. Such seemingly irreconcilable differences in such a small community should be a matter of deep and great concern for all of us.

Our community can only progress and grow by firstly adopting a path of Co-existence. Call it the ‘Charter for Co-existence’.  The answer lies in finding equilibrium with neither side imposing its ideology on the other or acting in any way that infringes on the peace of the other. Restoring harmony and goodwill between community members is the first priority as also understanding and accepting that there will be different points of view.

If we trace our cultural history from our origins in Iran to migration to Gujarat, through the British era to date we have clearly adapted ourselves by making several changes but without losing any of our core values. Change, when necessary, has to be brought in by building consensus and with due debate and deliberation along with all concerned.

This process has to be an outcome of constant interaction and exchanges of ideas and knowledge and not by in-temperateness of language and action. There will always be opposing views; the answer lies in finding equations for peaceful and ideological coexistence. We must display maturity to resolve our conflicts internally and stop airing issues in the media and the courts.

We, a small group of well intentioned and concerned individuals whose hearts beat for the community, have been deliberating on ways and means to address the contentious issues that have been creating a split in our beloved community. We request all in the community to introspect and provide us with specific and practical suggestions which will ignite our minds and help in creating solutions to the vexed issues we are contending with.

It is time that the community moves on – to Dialogue from Diatribe, to Coexistence from Confrontation and to Harmony from Hatred.

Let us all come together in a spirit of camaraderie & understanding, sans rancour, and work for our future well being, progress and prosperity.

We welcome your feedback and suggestions. You may write to us at home@parsisforharmony.com.

Signatories:

1.    Dasturji Khurshed K. Dastoor                 

2.    Nadir A. Modi                                       

3.    Burjor H. Antia                                     

4.    Adi Engineer           

5.    Dinshaw K. Tamboly

6.    Sam Balsara

7.    Darius J. Khambata

8.   Maneck Davar