Fali’s witty memoirs

Fali’s witty memoirs

July 4th, 2010

By Khushwant Singh in Deccan Chronicle

As I read Fali Nariman’s memoirs Before Memory Fades – An Autobiography (Hay House), I kept thinking about Nani Palkiwala who I had the privilege of befriending during my years in Bombay.

Both men were Parsis from the middle class families with modest means. Both rose to the top of the legal profession and were involved in many landmark cases which had far-reaching effects.

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Three Zoroastrians (Parsis) have dominated our jurisprudence through the last four decades: Nani Palkhivala, Soli Sorabjee and Fali Nariman.

This is of a piece with what this community, given refuge in India when they fled the Muslim invasion of Persia (and guaranteed through 700 years of Muslim rule here), has given to this country for this one act of generosity: Dadabhai Naoroji started our freedom movement; Jamshedji Tata launched us on the path to industrialisation; Homi Bhaba gave us Atoms for Peace; and Sam Manekshaw the liberation of Bangladesh. What an enormous return for a small investment in good sense and kindness.

Fali Nariman ends his book with a passionate plea for secularism. If such a tiny community can give back so much, imagine the returns that await us if we were to be as kind to our largest minority, the Muslims. Tragically, the likes of Narendra Modi ensure that the demons of narrow-mindedness, bigotry and genocide continue to have to be fought.

Click Here for the full review in Outlook Magazine

Courtesy : Jehangir Bisney

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