Below is a letter signed by all the Vada Dasturjis in the aftermath of the Iranshah Udvada Utsav 2015
Preserve identity and maintain religious practices, say Vada Dasturjis in one voice, as they address an open letter to the community in the wake of the controversial #Iranshah #Udvada #Utsav.
Here is the full letter that they have sent Jame Jamshed for publishing:
We write this open letter to the members of our revered and dear Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian community in light of the events that have unfolded at the recently concluded Udvada Iranshah Utsav. Our holy fires and places of worship hold a special place in our hearts and the hearts of all Zoroastrians worldwide.
To preserve their religious sanctity is of the utmost importance to us as a community and it has greatly saddened us and several members of the community at the events that have transpired. Some of the points made at the Utsav were both detrimental towards preserving the basic tenets of our religion and hurtful to a large cross section of the community.
We live in the world’s largest democracy and as such everyone has the freedom to express their opinions, but to do so at the religious and spiritual hub of Zoroastrianism to a wide audience was both disrespectful and frankly inflammatory.
There is no doubt that several issues plague our small but illustrious community today. In an ever changing world we have to constantly evolve, but this should be within the framework of the basic tenets of Zoroastrianism.
To shake up the very foundation and basis of our identity is not the way forward. Zoroastrians have through the millennia evolved and changed but always maintained their religious and cultural identity.
Our community is a small one, but it is our faith in the religion, our customs and traditions, our values, our honesty, our integrity, our inherent goodness, our philanthropy and charity that makes us stand apart. It is these unique values and this faith that we must promote in our generations to come. It is this rich heritage which we must pass on to our generations to come.
We must as a whole strive towards preserving our identity, maintaining our religious practices and taking Zoroastrianism forward. If our ancestors had taken the easy way out, they would not have risked life and limb to preserve our holy fires and brave several hardships to land on the shores of India. If they had succumbed to the Arab invasion, we would not be practicing Zoroastrianism as we do today.
The solution to our current issue does not lie in cutting out the very basis of Zoroastrianism and allowing widespread conversion and mixed marriages thus diluting our Zoroastrian identity, but in nurturing our future generations and instilling in them the meaning and the values of being a true Zoroastrian.
We as guardians of the religion are always available for advice and guidance but it is now time for all of us as a community to come together and move forward. Zoroastrianism is a religion that teaches us to walk the path of Truth (Asha) and Righteousness. It is now time for us to understand this and guide our future generations onto the right path.
We hope wiser counsel prevails.
– Dasturji Dr. Kaikhusroo M. JamaspAsa, Dasturji Dr. Feroze M. Kotwal, Dasturji Dr. Peshotan H. Mirza, Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, Dasturji K.N. Dastoor, Dasturji Cyrus N. Dastur, Nayab Dastur Dr. Jamasp K. Dastur