31st March marks the end of Financial Year and closing of Books of Account. However, for me, 31st March 2011 marks a voluntary end to my stint as trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) and closing for good an unfortunate chapter in my otherwise extremely successful and joyful book of life.
Yes, indeed, after serious thought and prolonged deliberations with close friends over several months, I finally decided to step down.
Professionally I have been involved in the field of philanthropy and management of charities for two and a half decades. I have advised the government of India and served on expert committees of the Planning Commission of India. I have helped to set up some of India’s best Corporate & Family Foundations and continue to serve as trustee of some of the best institutions in the country and abroad. I teach philanthropy management at two of Mumbai’s best Business Schools and the company which I head is the first port of call for people from across the world seeking guidance on philanthropy, be it the Gates or Google Foundation or celebrity clients like cricketer Steve Waugh and Oscar winning director Danny Boyle whose Jai Ho Trust I govern as Managing Trustee.
With the long years of experience that I had gained and the goodwill that I had earned among members of all communities, I thought it would be good to focus some of my energy to the welfare of my own community through its apex body – the BPP. However, my dream to serve the community soon turned into a nightmare. I was appalled seeing archaic systems of micro management and total lack of transparency and accountability. Difference of opinion is healthy. But, what I encountered at BPP was rank hostility and total disregard for any alternate point of view. The policy was clear – ‘if you are not with us then you are against us’.
To cut a long and sordid story short, I found myself totally incompatible with the rest of my team members.
On every Board that I have served (15 to be precise, including 2 international Boards), I have used a simple litmus test – ‘Am I Effective’ & ‘Am I Enjoying the experience’. My litmus test proved negative on both counts where BPP is concerned. Therefore, after considerable thought, I finally decided to step down. Not because I was tired of battling a lone battle for positive change. But, because I genuinely feel that I have bigger and better things to do in life that waste my time and energy with a team that has an ideology totally incompatible to my own. Although a charitable institution, it has become a political seat of power where lakhs of rupees meant for charitable purposes are blown away on needless and wasteful litigations and tabloid propaganda.
My deciding to step down has neither been easy nor impulsive. But, I knew since long that sooner or later I would have to let go. And, letting go doesn’t mean giving up… it simply means moving on – in my case to bigger and better things in life.
I’ll be leaving shortly for the United States of America to attend the prestigious Global Philanthropy Forum and thereafter organize a similar event in India. Indeed, there is an exciting and beautiful world of Philanthropy beyond Petty Parsi Politics and I am happy that I am no longer a part of the latter.
My resignation may throw up some debate and people will shower me with both brickbats and bouquets. However, on my part, I refuse to be drawn into any further controversy or debate. My tryst with BPP has ended and I would like to make my exit peaceful and devoid of all bitterness and rancour.
We are indeed very sorry to read this. I hope it’s not an April Fool’s Joke. It would not be in good taste, if so.
Noshir Dadrawala was one bright spark in the Trustees of the BPP and it is indeed a sad day for the Zoroastrian community if has decided to step down from his Trusteeship. It’s a loss for the community, not for him.
We wish Mr. Dadrawala all the very best in all his endeavours. Wish the community had more men like him.
Thank you for being you, Mr. Dadrawala.
Wish we had more people in the community who would vote for people like him is the issue here. Everyone knows whats happening in the BPP but still people vote for such trustees.
As long as the fanatics in our community open their eyes & mind, the BPP trustees will prosper.
U should not do anything which you do not like or u r not comfortable with it. Never go against your conscience. May God always be with you.
In the times we live in there is no place for an honest man. I knew for sure that Noshir Dadrawala would not stand a chance to air his views in any BPP trustees meeting. He was like a ‘pigeon amongst a pack of cats’. Now the remaining cats will have a free range. God save the community. Wish you sir, all the best in whatever you do next.
I request Noshir Dadrawala to let the Parsi community know exactly what happened in those meetings.
I would not term Mr. Dadrawala as “pigeon amongst a pack of cats”. Infact he was a square peg in a round hole.
Same thing put in a different way.
When I got an email forward saying that Noshir had resigned from the BPP it thought it was an April fool’s joke. But an article in the TOI confirmed the news. The current Trustees who the parsee/iranis voted for have no agenda about what they are doing for the community – except to babble about which dasturs cannot perform ceremonies where and how the community should dispose their dead corpses (as if it mattered). As to who gets the houses in the colonies Lord Zarathushtra knows! With Noshir’s exit the little ray of hope we had is no more. I personally wish Noshir all the very best in his future –
A man who could have been an asset to the BPP has very sadly been hounded out of the august office. Noshir Dadrawalla can be and still is an asset to the community and will continue to serve it. His harressment and eventual departure is an insult to those who had voted him in and had given him the mandate to serve the community. “O what a fall there is” my friends! Noshir we wish you success in all that you do. Thank you for serving the community so
well, so honestly, so faithfully.
I am really disappointed to learn about the resignation of Noshir Dadrawala. Although there were differences between him and other BPP Trustees, he should not have given up. BPP Trusteess are elected by the community members and they are duty bound to work harmoniously in the interest of the community.
It is indeed sad and astonishing that a person of the calibre of mr. noshir dadrawala had to resign. he was one and only honest trustee. God only will help BPP to find a replacement. May Zarthustra help us mumbai parsees to find another bold and honest parsi as a future trustee.
Its never too late. Its good you have step down so that now you can concentrate more in your work that rather wasting your precious time with such politics and in simple words I would say “Parsee are ungratefull”. But you were carried away by some people within your circle. The same thing had happen to me, some few years ago and I too decided llike you and resigned and today I am very happy in life. God Bless U Noshir.