Monthly Archives: May 2012

Guidance needed for Zarthosti artist

Dear friends,

My dear son-in-law Shahzad Homi Irani, besides flying for Jet Airways as senior cabin crew, has a flair for drawing artistic pieces, as depicted by 3 of his creations attached herewith. I would like his creations to be showcased on the right art platforms but don’t know how to go about it or whom to contact.

Can somebody guide us in this direction ? Your advice and any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best wishes,

Rusi Mistry

Motion Moved by Lord Bilimoria in the British House of Lords on the Zoroastrian contribution to the UK

This is an exciting moment in our Zarathushti History for which we are grateful to Lord Karan Bilimoria. Bravo.

Motion Moved by Lord Bilimoria in the British House of Lords on the Zoroastrian contribution to the UK

That this House takes note of the contribution made by minority ethnic and religious communities to the cultural life and economy of the United Kingdom, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the formation of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe. 

 

Lord Bilimoria (Crossbench)

My Lords, more than 1,000 years ago, a group of Zoroastrian refugees fleeing religious persecution in Iran arrived in India in what is now the state of Gujarat. The Zoroastrians asked the local king for refuge but he said there was no space for them in his land. One of the Zoroastrian priests asked the king for a cup of milk filled to the brim. The priest gently took a teaspoon of sugar and stirred it into the milk without spilling a drop. He then said to the king, “If you take us into your kingdom, we will be like the sugar in the milk: we will blend in with you but we will also make your kingdom sweeter”. The king allowed them to stay and that group of refugees, and others who followed, flourished to become India’s Zoroastrian Parsee community.

Fast-forward over 1,000 years and the Zoroastrian community is still tiny: only 69,000 people, less than 0.006% of India’s population of 1.2 billion people, and yet wherever you go in India, everyone knows who a Parsee is. Moreover, what makes me so proud as a Zoroastrian Parsee is the reputation of our community within India. When I took over as UK chairman of the Indo-British Partnership, now the UK India Business Council, of which I am president, my Indian counterpart Narayana Murthy, one of India’s most respected business leaders, said to me, “I have never met a bad Parsee”. Mahatma Gandhisaid:
“In numbers, Parsees are beneath contempt, but in contribution, beyond compare”.
Over the centuries, the Zoroastrian Parsee community has excelled in every field. Today, both the Chief Justice of India and the Solicitor-General of India are Parsees. Maestro Zubin Mehta, the world-famous conductor; the late Freddie Mercury of Queen; Farokh Engineer, the great cricketer-all Zoroastrian Parsees. I could go on. In fact, I could go so far as to say that in achievement per capita, the Zoroastrian community is the most successful in the world by far. However, the community has not only looked after its own but has always put back into the wider community. It exemplifies one of my favourite sayings: “It is not good enough to be the best in the world, you also have to be the best for the world”.
The Zoroastrian faith was brought to the world by the prophet Zoroaster in around 1500 BC. It is said to be one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, if not the oldest, with a god, a supreme being, and the concepts of good and evil and heaven and hell. This was the religion of the largest of the ancient empires, the Persian Empire. This was the religion of the Emperors Xerxes, Darius and Cyrus the Great.
The Emperor Cyrus is of course credited with writing the world’s first Bill of Rights, the Cyrus cylinder, which is far older than our own Magna Carta, whose 800th anniversary we will soon be celebrating. The basis of Zoroastrian faith is three words: “Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta”-good thoughts, good words, good deeds. I was the founding chair of the World Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce in the UK. Our motto is: “Industry and Integrity”. When the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury visited the Zoroastrian Centre recently, he explained that the word “integrity” comes from the Latin word “integrum”, which means wholeness. In order to practise integrity, you need to feel complete and whole.
During our 150th anniversary, when His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh visited the Zoroastrian Centre in Harrow-a grade 2 listed building-he arrived in a Land Rover. When I greeted him, I said: “Sir, thank you for arriving in a Tata-mobile!”. Jaguar Land Rover is, of course, now owned by one of India’s largest conglomerates, the Tata Group, a Zoroastrian Parsee company. When Jamsetji Tata, the founder, set up Tata Steel over 100 years ago in the jungles of what was then part of the state of Bihar, where our company, Molson Coors Cobra, now owns the only brewery in the state, a British civil servant at the time dismissed the idea of an Indian ever owning a steel factory and said he would eat every bar of steel that came out of that factory. He has certainly had to eat his words. Now, a century later, Tata Steel owns British Steel-Corus-and is one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world.
I am proud to be the first Zoroastrian Parsee to sit in your Lordships’ House. Before I made my maiden speech, the first thing I did was to read the maiden speech of the first Indian to be elected to Westminster. Dadabhai Naoroji entered the House of Commons as a Liberal in 1892, against all odds. In fact, the then Prime MinisterLord Salisbury, said that no British person would ever accept a “black man” as their MP. In 1895, just three years later, the second Indian, Mancherjee Bhownagree, also a Zoroastrian Parsee, was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative. In 1922, the third-and the only one of the three Indians elected to the other place before India’s independence-was Shapurji Saklatvala, or “Comrade Sak”, who was elected as a Communist with Labour support. All three were Zoroastrian Parsees-one a Liberal, one a Conservative and one Labour. I now sit, as a Zoroastrian Parsee, as an independent Cross-Bench Peer. We have squared the circle.
The Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe was founded in 1861 and is now celebrating its 150th anniversary. Dadabhai Naoroji himself served as president of the ZTFE from 1863 to 1908. During this time, ZTFE functions were attended by young barristers and professionals, including none other than Mahatma Gandhi.
Earlier this year, my friend Maurice Ostro presented Her Majesty the Queen, on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, with a specially made necklace with symbols from the nine recognised faiths of the United Kingdom-Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh, Baha’i and Zoroastrian. These nine faiths are represented by the Inter Faith Network, which has been enormously successful.
The Zoroastrian community has made an enormous contribution to the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, with my own family as an example. My late father, Lieutenant-General Bilimoria, was commissioned into the Indian army. His father, Brigadier Bilimoria, was commissioned from Sandhurst. My father’s cousin, Lieutenant-General Jungoo Satarawalla, from my father’s regiment, the 5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force), was awarded the Military Crossin the Second World War, as was India’s first Field Marshal, Sam Manekshaw, also a Zoroastrian. My maternal grandfather, JD Italia, served as a squadron leader in the Royal Indian Air Force during the Second World War. I could go on with a long list of Zoroastrian Parsees who have served in theBritish Armed Forces. However, I am disappointed that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not yet allowed the Zoroastrian community to be represented at the annual Cenotaph ceremony each Remembrance Day. Can the Minister ask her Cabinet colleagues to rectify this anomaly?
I mentioned the Gurkhas. What an amazing contribution they have made to Britain over the centuries. My father’s battalion, the 5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force), was awarded three Victoria Crosses in the Second World War. I am so happy that the previous Government eventually recognised this contribution, allowing retired Gurkhas to settle in this country should they so wish.
When I came to this country 30 years ago as a student from India, I was told by my family and friends to remember that if I decided to stay on and work in Britain I would never be allowed to get to the top, because, as a foreigner, there is a glass ceiling. They were absolutely right 30 years ago. Today, they would be absolutely wrong, because I have seen before my eyes this country being transformed over the past few decades into a country of meritocracy where there is opportunity for all, regardless of race, religion or background. The glass ceiling has well and truly been shattered and the ethnic minority and religious communities are now reaching the very top in every field, whether it is in sport, academia, the Civil Service or politics-just look around your Lordships’ House at the speakers in this debate who come from so many minority communities, having reached the very top in their respective fields. I am so proud of them and so looking forward to the wide-ranging perspectives that will be reflected in this debate, and the high quality of debate and contributions that I know my colleagues will bring to this discussion.
Indeed, yesterday there was a photograph taken in Westminster Hall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the election of the first four ethnic minority MPs since the war, in 1987. From just four MPs 25 years ago, we now have 69 ethnic minority MPs and Peers at Westminster and in Parliament. This is the progress that I have been talking about. In fact, I believe strongly that in my lifetime we will see a member of the ethnic minority community become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Immigrants from all ethnic minorities and religions have been the making of the “Great” in Great Britain. They have been crucial to Britain’s success, contributing enormously to the economic and cultural life of Britain and enriching it in every way by punching far above our weight. One example is the Asian community, which makes up just 4% of the population of Britain yet contributes double that percentage to our economy. Yet the Government have brought in the immigration cap-a madcap idea, and a crude and blunt instrument. Foreign students bring up to £8 billion a year in revenue into our country, both direct and indirect, yet potential foreign students are asking themselves, “Does Britain really want us?”.
I know from my experience as a member of the advisory board of the Cambridge, Cranfield and Birmingham business schools that we have seen the number of applications from Indian students, for example, plummet. This is so short-sighted when student numbers should not be included in immigration figures to start off with. Would the Minister ask her Cabinet colleagues to once again look into removing students from immigration figures? Yes, the Government need to crack down on phoney students and, yes, they need to crack down on bogus colleges, but why tar everyone with the same brush? Furthermore, foreign students bring generation-long links between Britain and their own countries. I know this, coming from a family that has been educated in Britain for three generations.
The immigration cap is also affecting business. My own business, Cobra Beer, supplies 98% of the UK’s Indian restaurants. Well over two-thirds of the country’s Indian restaurants are actually owned and run by Bangladeshis, and the Bangladesh Caterers Association does tremendous work supporting this industry. Because of the immigration cap, the industry is unable to bring in the skilled staff-the chefs-which it so desperately requires.
This industry has been an inspiration to me. It is made up of pioneering entrepreneurs who have gone to every corner of Great Britain, opened up restaurants on every high street, won customers and made friends, put back into their local communities and made Indian food a part of the British way of life. They deserve our support and our gratitude, and we must do all we can to help them. I know that the Secretary of StateEric Pickles, has mooted a curry college. It is a great idea to train British people in the industry but it will take time. The restaurants are suffering. They need the staff and have the skills shortages. Can the Minister look into this with her Cabinet colleagues and see what can be done to help this important industry in the mean time?
I am often asked to express what Asian values are and I summarise them as the importance of hard work, family and education. Britain prides itself on being a secular and multicultural society where all religions are allowed to be practised and where all races, communities and cultures co-exist side by side. There is a word, however, that I do not like: tolerance. I believe not that all this should be tolerated but that it should be celebrated. It should be about mutual trust and mutual respect. I have spoken a great deal about the inspirational achievements of the minority and religious communities in Great Britain, but none of this would have been possible without the great opportunities that this great country has given us.

In this country, renowned around the world for its sense of fairness and opportunity for all and where the glass ceiling has been shattered, the wonderful thing is that when people from minority ethnic and religious communities do well they reach the top. Their achievement creates inspiration, which creates aspiration, which in turn leads to achievement, and the virtuous circle continues. That is the magnifying, multiplying and inspiring power of minority ethnic and religious communities succeeding in Britain. We are a tiny nation, yet we are still one of the 10 largest economies in the world, with hardly any natural resources. The one resource that we have is our people and among our people it is the minority, ethnic and religious communities who punch far above their weight. Without their contribution, Britain would not be where it is today.
The Nobel laureate Professor Amartya Sen talks about identity. He says that each one of us has not just one identity but several identities-religious, ethnic, professional and national. When I came to this country, my father gave me some great advice. He said, “Son, you are going to study abroad. You may stay on in Britain. You may live in another part of the world. Wherever you live, integrate with the community that you are in to the best of your abilities, but never forget your roots”. I am so proud to be a Zoroastrian Parsee. I am so proud to be an Indian. I am so proud to be an Asian in Britain, and most importantly I am so proud to be British.
Courtesy : Meher Amalsad

Zarathost-no-Diso

Remembering Paigambar Asho Nabi Pak Zarathustra Spitama

My Dear Zarathushtis,

Today (25-05-2012) is Dae Mah and Khorshed Roz, our beloved Paigambar Saheb Asho Nabi Pak Zarathustra Spitama’s day for leaving this world. He left upon us to preserve and protect HIS creations and above all, gifted us with the most valuable assets for our souls progression – “Alaats” to remain attuned with HIM for attaining the objective of Ahu’s Divine Plan.

Click on the link to read the article written by Ervad Hoshang J. Bhadha

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On Zarathosht-no-diso (the day Prophet Zarathushtra passed away) – Khorshed /Dae,

Tehemton B. Adenwalla  adds, wouldn’t it be appropriate to pray the short but revered prayer (a Satayesh) called “Afrin Paigambar Zarthosht”.

It is just one page long and is on page 546 of the Gujarati Tamam Khordeh Avesta (the big blue book!)

 

 

 

WZC, 2013 Logo Design Contest

Dear All,
As you must be aware, the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress is being held in Mumbai in December 2013, under the auspices of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet.

 

The theme of the Congress is

Zoroastrianism in the 21st Century: Nurturing Growth and Affirming our Identity.

 

In order to create a platform for creativity, the Organising Committee of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress has decided to host an international competition open to all Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians, in all parts of the world, to design the logo of the Congress.

 

The prize for the chosen logo will be Rs. 100,000/-

 

The online entry form and Terms & Conditions are available on the BPP website www.bombayparsipunchayet.com

 

The Trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet would be much obliged if you would spread the word and forward the enclosed message to as many Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians as possible.

 

The last date for the submission of entries will be July 31, 2012.

 Logo Competition-10th World Zoroastrian Congress

Regards,

(Mehli Colah)

Chief Executive Officer

Bombay Parsi Punchayet

 

Relay for Life_Auckland

Attached  is an article that has appeared in the May 2012  edition of the Parsiana magazine, on the Auckland Parsi’s.

The first Auckland  All Parsi Team took part in the 2012  “Relay for Life”.

The “Relay for Life” is the annual fundraiser of the  Cancer Society of New Zealand.

Click on the link for the Article : Love & Peace Team_Auckland_Feb 2012

Kind Regards

Rashna Dorab Tata.

Chaiyye Hame Zarthoshti

I’m currently practicing Sepultura, and it’s taking quite a time. After all it is “Sepultura” 🙂 So i decided to play “Chaiyye Hame Zarthoshti” This thought came into my mind out of no where. This wasn’t planned. It was like some Higher being Or my conscience telling me to try this one out.

Well, i guess.. i’m the only individual who has played this traditional song called Chaiyye Hame Zarthoshti on Guitar. Proud of it .. yeah !! he he. 🙂 After all i’m a Traditional Mazdayasni Zarthoshti and i am playing Guitar since a year. Why not give it a try. So i got this tune all by my self in no time by the Grace of Almighty. I feel elated.

Played two different versions, first on a lower pitch and the second one on higher.

Nevil Saiwalla

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This is our traditional song originally sung in Gujarati language. Click Here for the link
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Dire demographics of Parsi-Zoroastrians

Between 1951 and 2001, when the country’s population increased by 185%, the number of Parsi-Zoroastrians fell by 37.7%. This probably explains why no other community in India watches its demographics as closely as the Parsi-Zoroastrians. While the country measures its demographic milestones in decennial censuses, the Parsis have an annual count that is keenly studied by community members who are worried about their declining numbers.

Mumbai-based magazine Parsiana carries a weekly update on the number of births, marriages and deaths in their worldwide Diaspora. In Mumbai, where the majority of the community lives, the information comes from the municipal corporations, marriage venues and hospitals. The statistics from outside the country is collected from community associations. The weekly lists are then compiled into an annual report.

Click Here for the full story

Dae Dadar

By : RUSTOM C. CHOTHIA

HAMKARS are Powers (Shakti). They are Yazads who help the Amesha Spentas.

They are Yazads of the spiritual world..

DAE is a Hamkar or helper to Dadar Ahura Mazda.

3 Days in every month and one full month in the year are devoted to the Yazad DAE.

The 8th day DAE- P – ADAR DADAR is the day for revering, worshiping God Ahura Mazda.

We must worship Ahura Mazda through His Son the Holy Fire.

There is fire in every creation and on this day we remember God through the fire VOHUFRYAN which is the fire burning in our bodies. This fire has to be fed by thinking good thoughts and doing good works. Selfless service to the poor and needy – Helping the old and infirm – Teaching the ignorant what Asho Zarathushtra Sahib taught us. These are the things a Zarthusty must do.

Selfless service to God without expecting a reward.

The 15th day DAE-P-MEHER DADAR is the day for doing joyful works. A good Zarthusty has to take care of his family – nurture the children and bring them up as good citizens and good Zarthusties. Just as God looks after His creations, we have to look after our offspring.

The 23rd day DAE-P-DIN DADAR is the day for remembering God. This is the day we should contemplate on why we are born on this earth, what is our purpose in this life. What does God want us to do. Asho Zarathushtra Sahib has given us the answer. We have to fight evil.

How?  By doing good works –

Fight first the ten evils within us – Then fight the external evils.

The ten evils within us are:

SELFISHNESS – (Swarthipanu)

VANITY- (Abhiman)

ENVY – (Adekhai)

WRATH – (Gusso)

LUST – (Vishya vasna)

GREED – (Lobh)

HATRED – (Dhikar)

GRUDGE – (Ver)

DECEIT – (Thagai)

UNGRATEFULNESS – (Nagunai)

It is in the month of Dae that Asho Zarathushtra Sahib finished His earthly mission and ascended back to the spiritual world. On Khorshed Roj we should think about Him and say a prayer thanking Him for having come and taught us the laws of nature and why we are in this world and how to live our lives correctly.

This is the month when devotees perform Jashan Ceremonies in their homes, offices and in Agiaries. The Jashans are for thanksgiving and asking Ahura Mazda for His continued Blessings.

The Baaj of Homaaji, the innocent weaver of Bharuch who was wrongfully consigned to the gallows also falls this month.

Some Agiaries have their Salgrehs during this holy month.

Mazgaon Batliwala Anjuman Agiari – Roj Hormuzd.

Tarapore Dadgah – Roj Ardibehest.

Igatpuri Agiary – Roj Asfandard.

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ZTFE 150th Anniversary @ House of Lords

Dear ZTFE Members & Well-wishers
It is with great delight and gratitude that we report the following excellent piece of news, for our ZTFE and all brother religious communities. Our most distinguished UK Zoroastrian, Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea has succeeded in his efforts to bring to the notice of the nation the ZTFE 150th Anniversary and the contribution made by Zoroastrians as well as other religious minorities.
Lord Bilimoria will move a motion in the House of Lords on Thursday 24 May 2012 (which will be debated for about two and a half hours by the peers ), as follows:
“ That this House takes note of the contribution made by ethnic and religious communities to the cultural life and economy of the United Kingdom, on the occasion of the 150thAnniversary of the formation of the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe “
The House of Lords will debate this motion for about two and a half hours. Baroness Warsi will respond on behalf of the government. Several distinguished peers from other religious communities are expected to speak in the debate.
This is a landmark occasion in the history of the United Kingdom and most appropriate when we are all celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty. This Diamond Jubilee year has been designated as A Year of Service. ZTFE has played and is continuing to play its due role in projects associated with A Year of Service. Never before has the Zoroastrian community featured so prominently in this historic chamber. Fittingly, the first ever Zoroastrian peer will move the motion. Lord Bilimoria follows in the footsteps of the three great Zoroastrian MPs who graced the House of Commons nearly 100 years ago.
We express our deep gratitude to our patron Lord Bilimoria for all that he has done and continues to do for us. Within a short span of time he has established a well-deserved reputation for making strong contributions in the House of Lords on subjects such as Enterprise, small and medium businesses, the budget and above all, his beloved Zoroastrian community.
If you wish to come to the Visitors Gallery in the House of Lords to witness this debate, please send an email to malcolm_deboo@yahoo.co.uk  and we shall inform you of the time and other details. Photo ID is a must and please let us know by end of Tuesday 22nd May.
Yours sincerely
Malcolm M Deboo
President
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