Seth Maneckji Limji Hataria


Seth Maneckji Limji Hataria & Zoroastrian Civil Rights in Iran 

Zartoshty Brothers Hall, Zoroastrian Centre, London, UK 

Saturday 13th February 2010 @ 5.30pm 

Dear ZTFE Members & Friends

 Seth Maneckji Limji Hataria, popularly known amongst the Iranian Zoroastrians as Arbab Maneckji passed away in Tehran, Iran on 15th February 1890.  When Hataria was sent from India to Iran in 1854 by the “Society and Fund for the Amelioration of the condition of the Zoroastrians in Persia”, he reported back to the Parsis in India that the Zoroastrian population of Iran had dwindled down to 7200.  Life for the Zoroastrians of Iran was worthless.  Besides the dreaded jizya tax, other laws existed to pressurise Zoroastrians to convert.  Murders of Zoroastrians went unpunished.  Rape and abduction of Zoroastrian women was common.  Zoroastrians were even forbidden to wear spectacles, carry umbrellas and ride a horse.  After struggling for nearly three decades Hataria persuaded the Qajar Shah to abolish the dreaded jizya tax, which is Haratria’s lasting legacy in ensuring that Zoroastrianism continues as a living faith in Iran, the land of its birth.  The ZTFE is commemorating the 120th anniversary of the passing away of this Zoroastrian hero and saviour of Zoroastrianism in Iran by organising commemorative lectures.

 The evening will commence @ 5.30pm by the Ervad Sahebs invoking the fravashi of Seth Maneckji Limji Hataria by reciting a compilation of the Avesta Yasna Hā 26 and a portion of a Parzend prayer ordinarily known as the debāche of Afringān-i Ardā Fravash, also known as the Stūm-no Karta.  This will be followed by Dr. Rashna Writer, lecturer of Zoroastrian Studies at SOAS, delivering the opening lecture titled; “The life and legacy of Seth Maneckji Limji Hataria”.  The lecture accompanied with visual material will cover the historical period shortly before the arrival of Hataria in Iran in 1854 to the coming of Reza Shah Pahalvi in 1926.

 After questions and answers, Mr Sam Vesuna, President of the Zoroastrian Society of Ontario, Canada, and past ZTFE Honorary Secretary and Treasurer will give a lecture titled; “My father Dr Manuchiher of Yazd”.  The lecture will cover the experiences of Dr Minoo Vesuna, a Parsi born in India in 1903 married to Dowlet Irani, an Iranian Zoroastrian of Poona, who took up the post of resident doctor at the Tata Memorial Hospital in Yazd in 1930.  To conclude, Mr Shahrokh Vafadari, will deliver a lecture titled; “Growing up in 1930s Iran”.  The lecture will be an autobiographical account of a young boy growing up in Kerman, Iran, during the 1930s including the bullying and prejudices faced by him for being a Zoroastrian.

 Following questions and answers, dinner will be served around 8pm consisting of lamb dhansak with kachumber followed by lagan – nu custard.  Vegetarian dhansak option available, please request in advance.  Kindly register by email or phone 020 8866 0765, Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm . 

 Malcolm M. Deboo

ZTFE President

See Attachment : Hataria


Please click on the following two links from Vohuman.Org for more information about our wonderful Hero  

Maneckji Limji Hataria in Iran
Boyce, Mary
This article provides a historical narrative on the course of events that lead to the arrival of Maneckji Hataria in Iran in mid 19th century, and the impact of his tireless efforts to ameliorate the conditions  of Zarathushtrians of Iran.  Seth

Maneckji Limji Hataria
Deboo, Malcolm Minoo
The events leading to  Zoroastrians of Iran being given some degree of civil rights during the Qajar period of late 19th century to 20th century when no such rights had existed for that minority group in an Islamic State are outlined in this paper. The contributions of Zoroastrians in Iran and outside Iran leading to the uplift of this community and their ancestral land is also alluded to in this article.

Courtesy : Meher Amalsad


  • “After struggling for nearly three decades Hataria persuaded the Qajar Shah to abolish the dreaded jizya tax, which is Haratria’s lasting legacy in ensuring that Zoroastrianism continues as a living faith in Iran, the land of its birth.”

    And hopefully the jizya will stay abolished. But unfortunately the jizya is making a comeback around parts of the Islamic world–just ask the Sikhs in Pakistan, the Jews in Yemen, and Christians in Iraq.

  • Friends,
    The following information was previously posted by Bahman Noruziaan on another alias. You can use the link to see the article in Amordad News. (The article and picture of the statue of Maneckji Limji Hataria (inserted on top of the article) who went to Iran to study and report on the sad plight of Zarathushtis in Iran during the Qajar dynasty rule of Naseeruddin Shah when their population was down to around 4,000 people, and who came back to successfully petition the Shah to remove the hated Jizya tax on non-Muslims, and with funds raised by Parsis of India to help start schools, repair Daremehrs, and help Zarathushtis to start coming out of their depressed state into a gradually prosperous condition.)

    The article is in Persian language.

    Maneck Bhujwala

    “The Kermani Zoroastrians have done something special for the Zoroastrian community. They have created the only Zoroastrian Museum in Iran In this museum the ceremonies and rituals as well as some antique objects and artifacts, clothing and other Zoroastrian related objects are put to display.

    This year a new section was added to the Museum for the introduction of the well know Zoroastrian figures. The Museum is one of most visited places by the tourists, specially during Novruz holidays.

    Thanks to the Kermani Zartoshtis, including the members of Zoroastrian Anjuman, and the good Zartoshti youths of Kerman who have used their knowledge and skills to bring about this unique project to its currents state.”

    Courtesy : Maneck Bhujwala

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