Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Ervard Xerxes V Dastur Elected as Trustee of the Bombay Parsi Panchayet

Parsi Khabar is happy to announce that our dear friend Ervard Xerxes V Dastur has won a very tight election for the lone seat of the Bombay Parsi Panchayet.  In a hotly contested election that became a two way race between him and Anahita Yezdi Desai, Xerxes won by over 90 votes.

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Image courtesy: Rayomand J. Patell

The race was a hard fought one, with two very strong candidates who excelled in their own fields of expertise but also came with fundamental ideological differences. All elections bring out the worst in the community. And this election was no exception. Even though both candidates tried to remain above the fray, the multitude of anonymous messages floating around wreaked havoc. Both candidates were forced to issue rebuttals repeatedly, and that took away from the time they could have spent explaining themselves.

Xerxes’ campaign had some very innovative ideas and the various beautifully designed, tongue in check ads, and the video endorsements captured the imagination of the voters and were just appropriately lengthy to capture the attention of an attention-deficit whatsapp and facebook world Smile

Anahita ran a tough campaign and highlighted her work over the past 15 years and more serving the community. With such a slim margin; it has to be tough for Anahita at this time. But knowing her tenacity and passion, she will bounce back and continue to do what she does best; and hopefully run in 2022 when the next elections happen.

Parsi Khabar had the opportunity to interact with Xerxes recently in Perth Australia. Some of that is captured on a 40 minute video interview here.

The real work for Xerxes starts now. We will look up to Xerxes working towards achieving all he had hoped to do. We realize the ground realities of fulfilling all campaign promises. And we will continue to monitor Xerxes and his performance in the years to come. We want him to succed. We want all his 6 other colleagues to succeed. Only in their success lies the success of our Kom and community.

As the dust settles, and the community gets back to doing what needs doing; the BPP in general need to address the issue of voter absentia. Rough estimates put the number of eligible voters at about 20,000 to 25,000. Only a quarter or less showed up to vote. That too on a Sunday when the rains did not create havoc. This is a really big issue. For everytime someone bitches and moans about how the BPP is not doing its job, I ask….did you vote ? And if you did not, then you deserve what you get.

In closing, some thoughts…

Anahita has been a fantastic community organizer. Of that there is no doubt. Xerxes should extend an olive branch and urge the fellow trustees to tap that expertise, passion and commitment and put her in an executive professional role to crack the whip and run the BPP as a professional corporate organization.

The BPP should find the funding and hire a Brand manager. This idea was floated by the brilliant adman and our friend Sam Balsara a few years ago. The BPP desperately needs this. Maybe they can hire the guy who ran Xerxes’ ad and branding campaign.

We now have two young trustees. In the years ahead may this become a majority. Newer times need the newer generation to step in. May this election be the one that makes it happen.

Congratulations Xerxes V Dastur. The real hard work begins from tomorrow. Wish you all the strength in undertaking this. Aedun Baad Aedun Taraj Baad.