Iraq’s Hot New Religion: Zoroastrian

One of the smallest and oldest religions in the world is experiencing a revival in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The religion has deep Kurdish roots—it was founded by Zoroaster, also known as Zarathustra, who was born in the Kurdish part of Iran 3,500 years ago, and the religion’s sacred book, the Avesta, was written in an ancient language from which the Kurdish language derives.

In this century, however, it is estimated that there are only around 190,000 believers in the world. After Islam became the dominant religion in the region during the 7th century, Zoroastrianism more or less disappeared.

Until—quite possibly—now.

For the first time in over a thousand years, locals in a rural part of Sulaymaniyah province conducted an ancient ceremony on May 1, whereby followers put on a special belt that signifies they are ready to serve the religion and observe its tenets. It would be akin to a baptism in the Christian faith.

The newly pledged Zoroastrians have said that they will organize similar ceremonies elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan and they have also asked permission to build up to 12 temples inside the region, which has its own borders, military, and Parliament.

Click Here to read more


Improving the Performance of Sponsorship

Improving the Performance of Sponsorship by Ardi Kolah has recently been published by Routledge.  Ardi Kolah who lectures at Henley Business School has written this book that covers how sponsorship is now an essential part of the marketing mix, based on his experience within the industry that spans 20 years plus the research he carried out for the Government in the wake of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Ardi has been invited to speak by the WZCC, holds the prestigious UK Sponsorship Award for his work on the Raindance Film Festival / British Independent Film Awards and the book covers all types of sponsorship, not just sport.
In the chapter on corporate social responsibility, there is a reference to the ethics of the Zoroastrian community:
In many respects, having CSR objectives that run in parallel with commercial objectives helps to elevate sponsorship to new heights. This is largely because the level of engagement with desired audiences and customer segments is that much deeper and the sponsorship programme itself is much less self-serving as a result, creating a ‘triple bottom-line’ impact for the brand owner, its desired customers/clients and wider society. This new paradigm in sponsorship can be accurately described as ‘enlightened self-interest’ and is definitely shaping the agenda. For example, many global brand owners, such as Unilever and The Olympic Partners including Coca-Cola and McDonald’s haven’t just paid lip-service to this principle but have staked their future commercial success on achieving a position where the enterprise is built on the values of sustainability, improved well-being, care of the environment and enhancing the quality of life for millions of people around the world.
Another notable exponent of ‘enlightened self-interest’ is Tata, one of the most successful multi-national organisations in the world that’s built on ancient Zoroastrian values that place contribution to the wider community on an equal basis as wealth creation and profit. In many respects, CSR has ceased to exist outside of sponsorship in today’s modern business world and rather than being an add-on, CSR is increasingly seen as intrinsic to the enterprise and to modern global sponsorship.
The book has also attracted some strong endorsements, including this from ZTFE Patron Lord Karan F Bilimoria CBE DL, Chairman of the Zoroastrian All Party Parliamentary Group:
A thorough and detailed understanding of sponsorship is an integral part of building any brand and Kolah offers readers an educated guide on the subject. Improving the Performance of Sponsorship is an outstanding piece of scholarship on a subject of vital importance to every business and this book will undoubtedly prove a valuable tool to marketers and entrepreneurs from start-ups and multinationals alike.
Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership
A SPECIAL DISCOUNT OF 20% off the price of Ardi’s new book is available by completing the attached order form and sending this to Routledge.
Yours sincerely
Malcolm M Deboo
President ZTFE
20% Discount if you pre-order with the enclosed code

Astonishing Key board Artist Zubin Kanga

Dear  friends and  music lovers,

Remember  the brilliant young Parsi pianist from Down Under, Zubin the son of Rustom Kanga and grandson of Adi Kanga the ‘father of Navi Mumbai’ ?  He has been touring Australia during the past month in a series of unique concerts.

Australia’s Classical Music and Arts Magazine LIMELIGHT talks  about his ‘electrifying modern repertoire’ in a   very complementary language in describing Zubin’ s innovative breakthrough combining modern electronic technology and  music which no one  has yet attempted in Australia.


Attached  below are  3 links:-

  1. The link to his interview on Radio National and videos that they took of two pieces he performed are here:

ABC Radio National Music Show 1/5/2015 – includes videos of two pieces being performed.



  1. Christopher Lawrence on ABC Classic Radio f.m.  on Morning  6 May talks about  his “Astonishing Keyboard Artistry.”

On the  link below, please move  the  fast forward slider on the  screen to a position below the  “C” of the word  Classic
under – ABC Classic to hear Christopher’s  praise.



  1. The live broadcast from Perth last Friday 20th May is available for the next month here. :

ABC Broadcast link Classic FM 92.9 20th May 2015 10pm AEST



  1. The review in Limelight Magazine of the performance in Melbourne is a MUST  READ too:


Here is  another ZUBIN to delight music lovers all over the  World.


Have a  nice  week-end &


Rusi Sorabji


Click Here for his website



Lesson 4 – Hormazd Khodaae

Zarathushti Learning Center of North America

Lesson – Hormazd Khodaae

I hope that you are enjoying the prayer lessons. The Hormazd Khodaae prayer, if recited slowly and with proper understanding, offers us an opportunity to look within our self. It provides us an introspection of our mistakes and weakness, to repent for our deficiencies and to make a resolve to renounce all our shortcomings and change our behavior.

With proper understanding of the meaning of what I pray, the prayer becomes a Guiding Force in my life. When I make a habit of saying my prayers slowly and with full understanding of its meanings, then I will begin to notice a big change in my behavior and attitude in life. I will begin to feel better, more confident of myself and my ability to do the right things in my day to day life. As I pray regularly and with full understanding of what I am praying, a flame is kindled in the depths of my consciousness, as if a light is turned on in a dark room. I begin to see within myself. I discover my selfishness, my silly pride, my fears, my greed, my mistakes, my blunders.

I begin to develop a sense of moral obligation, what I should or should not do in my daily life. I begin to develop intellectual humility. I begin to see my ego and control it. I begin to develop a strong foundation of my own value system. I begin to realize that this life is so short and time is so limited, that I better not waste any time. I begin to ask myself what I want out of this life. What is my purpose in this life? What do I want to achieve and what do I want to leave behind me, when I pass on. Saying my prayers regularly and with full understanding reinforces my intellect, vigor and moral stamina to do the right things in my daily life.

Prayer is not just worship.  It is the most powerful form of energy that one can generate. Prayer is a Force as real as the gravitational force. By saying my prayers with full understanding, I achieve a complete and harmonious assembly of body, mind and spirit. This gives me my unshakable strength and faith in Ahura Mazda. It is through prayers that I can attain the fullest development of my personality — the ultimate integration of my highest faculties.

Here is a link to the fourth lesson,

Hormazd Khodaae

With best wishes for an enlightened community,

Copyright © 2015 Zarathushti Learning Center of North America, All rights reserved

Prime Minister Modi likely to visit Gujarat in December

He will be visiting Udvada in south Gujarat to attend a function of Parsi community.

District administration and local BJP cadres have started early preparations in this regard.

To develop Udvada as heritage place, the government has approved Rs 20 crore grant, of which Rs 10 crore allotment has been made already.

Modi had addressed Parsi community function in Udvada also when he was Gujarat Chief Minister.

Modi government has made allocation of crores of Rupees to show-case civilization and culture of the Parsis in year 2015-16 budget. An exhibition ‘The everlasting flame’ will be supported by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

Parsis are integral part of culture and history of Gujarat as they arrived from Iran with holy fire at Gujarat coast and stayed here.

Udvada(200 km north of Mumbai) is a town in Gujarat, renowned for its Zoroastrian Atash Behram. This place of worship is the oldest still-functioning example of its kind, and has established Udvada as a pilgrimage center for Zoroastrians the world over.

– DeshGujarat

May 28, 2015  

Navar ceremony of Jahan J. Fatakia

Jam-e-Jamshed's photo.

The Navar ceremony of Jahan J. Fatakia, aged 9 years and studying in the Maneckji Cooper Education Trust School, son of Er. Jawid B. Fatakia and Yasmin, was performed at the Bai Motlibai Wadia Agiary (Jogeshwari West) on Roj Hormazd, Mah. Dae, Y.Z 1384, May 15.

The Navar ceremony was conducted under the able guidance of Er. Eric Dastur and Er. Khusru Kanga.

Panthaki Saheb Framroze D. Vatcha, all the Mobed Sahebs and support staff of the Agiary extended full support.

Courtesy : Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman of Secunderabad and Hyderabad shared Jam-e-Jamshed’s photo.

WZCC – Call for nominations

wzccilogo_multicolour.jpgEvery year, the World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce honours individuals with Recognition Awards in three categories.

·    Global Outstanding Zarathushti Entrepreneur

·    Global Outstanding Zarathushti Professional

·    Global Outstanding Young Zarathushti Entrepreneur / Professional (up to age 35 years)

You may nominate a prominent Zarathushti who fits the laid down criteria. Weightage to be given to Academic Qualifications, Progress in Career, Management Level of responsibility, Achievements and Recognition by Peers in their specific business/profession in country of residence, contribution made and Global reach together with involvement in Community affairs.

Appropriate weight-age need be given to achievement in the field of Trade, Business, Commerce , Economics and Industry. The nominator and the person he so nominates need not be a member of WZCC.

Based on the schedule determined by the Board, the nominations should be forwarded to the local Chapter Chair, before Monday, 31 August 2015. Nominations received thereafter will not be accepted. Further details are available on our Website – under “Nomination Package – 2015”.

Kindly note that the application should strictly adhere to the Nomination Package format to enable us to consider the same. If details are not according to the format, the application may not be considered.

Do make a conscious and determined effort to search and recommend potential Awardees.

Best wishes,

Adi B. Siganporia

Chairman – Mumbai Chapter

Mumbai’s Oldest Cricket Clubs

Mumbai's oldest cricket clubs


Photos by Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

In 19th-century Mumbai, the gentleman’s game was often used to show that one’s community was superior to another’s

Dustin Silgardo
“The Parsee owes his cricket prosperity as much to the civilizing and inspiring influence of British Rule as to his own innate vigour and adaptability. He is a fine product of Persian pluck and English culture—a strong combination, indeed, which may account for his all-round and rapid progress, like the Japanese, in many fields of human activity.” This is from Stray Thoughts on Indian Cricket, written in 1905 by J.M. Framjee Patel, an early Parsi cricketer from Mumbai. A lack of modesty in Indian cricket, it would seem, predates Virat Kohli.
Unlike Kohli, who recently declared himself the most important member of the Indian team, Patel and other 19th-century Mumbai cricketers chose to take pride not in themselves but in their religious communities. Cricket was used as a means of proving one’s community superior to another’s, and on par with the imperialist British.
In A Corner of a Foreign Field, Ramachandra Guha posits that it was because cricket in India was built on the base of communal pride that the sport has achieved its enveloping popularity. The stories of India’s oldest cricket clubs provide an insight not only into how cricket developed in India but into the desires, grouses and insecurities of religious communities at that time.
The Parsis, a community from Iran that had immigrated to India and one of the first to be Westernized, were proud of their close business relations with the British, so it is logical that they were the first community to play cricket in Mumbai. A schoolteacher named Mr Boswell taught Parsi boys the game in the school he ran in Mumbai’s Fort area. “In the 1830s, Parsi boys began imitating white soldiers… using hats as wickets, umbrellas as bats, and old leather, stuffed with rags and sewn up, as balls,” Guha writes in a research paper titledCricket and Politics in Colonial India in Oxford University Press’sPast and Present. It helped that the Parsis were already acquainted with the concept of playing with a bat and ball—the ancient Persian sports chugan gui and gooye bazi bore some resemblance to cricket.
The first Parsi cricket club was the Oriental Cricket Club, started in 1848. The club existed for just two years, and not much is known about it, though those familiar with Parsi names may be able to guess what the club’s Devecha Lamboo looked like or what N.P. Daruwalla did for a living. During the 1850s and 1860s, a whole spate of Parsi clubs were started. Interestingly, many were named after Roman and Greek mythological figures, such as the celebrated Mars Club, Jupiter, Spartan and Herculeans.
Framjee Patel writes that it is likely these clubs were formed from the remnants of old Sadri Fanas (mat and lantern) institutions, where a game of dice called chopat was popular. The Parsi cricket clubs began playing matches, sponsored by writer and social reformer Shapoorji Sorabjee Bengali, against each other. While wanting to appear gentlemanly, like the British, was a part of the Parsis’ motivation to play cricket, it did not, apparently, curb their enthusiasm for winning. Patel writes of a cricketer who during a game between two Parsi clubs disguised himself in order to bat again for his side.
While playing cricket was, in a way, an attempt by Mumbai’s communities to emulate the British, the game also caused conflict between the imperialists and the locals. Famously, in the late 19th century, the Parsi, Hindu and Muslim communities came together to appeal to the governor to stop the members of the all-white Bombay Gymkhana playing polo on the portion of the Esplanade maidan, or parade ground, where the locals played cricket.
But the reason the cricketers were even there is because the early Parsi cricketers had been pushed out of the Oval maidan because a “random cricket ball struck, not in the least injuriously, the wife of a European police constable whilst enjoying a stroll round about the cricket field”, as Shapoorji Sorabjee writes in his 1897 book A Chronicle of Cricket Amongst Parsees. Despite the support of British judge Joseph Arnauld and the English newspaper Bombay Gazette, the Parsis were told the Oval was not a safe place to play cricket.
In 1876, a significant club was founded by a patron named Ardeshir B. Patel, who, though never a cricketer himself, contributed significantly to Parsi cricket. The club was called The Parsi Cricket Club, and when Patel managed to arrange the first match between the Parsis and the Europeans, in 1877, most of the players in the Parsi team were, expectedly, from his club. When the Parsee Gymkhana was formed in 1885, with the backing of leading industrialists such as J.N. Tata and N.N. Wadia, it became the centre of Parsi cricket. The gymkhana had been allotted a space of land on the Esplanade and was the first Parsi club with its own pavilion.
Once the gymkhana was built, few of the clubs that had sprouted in the 1800s survived long. One exception was the Young Zoroastrians Club. A club called the Zoroastrian Cricket Club had existed since 1850, but in 1869, the wicketkeeper, Hiraji Costa—who M.E. Pavri, one of the first Parsi cricket stars, describes as the best keeper of the day in his 1905 book Parsi Cricket—decided to form a new club called Young Zoroastrians. This was, presumably, a club of younger cricketers and it exists to this day.
The team now plays in the Plate division of Mumbai’s Kanga League, and its players practise at Azad Maidan. It is no longer run by Parsis, though. The club’s authorized signatory is now Nitin Dalal, who is also the joint honorary secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
Divide et impera
The Hindu community had a long-standing social and business rivalry with the Parsis and were not going to let them be the only local group playing the British at their own sport. That the first Hindu club was called the Bombay Hindu Union Cricket Club, founded in 1866, was ironic, as the Hindus were anything but united. Clubs were usually restricted to people of a specific caste or from a particular region, as names such as the Gowd Saraswat Club, Kshatriya Cricket Club, Gujarati Union Cricket Club and Maratha Cricket Club suggest. In fact, even the Bombay Hindu Union Club was formed by and for members of the Prabhu caste.
The exclusion of players based on caste from Hindu club sides proved an impediment to their development. In a prologue to Framjee Patel’s book, Lord Harris, the governor of Bombay from 1890 to 1895, who is remembered as one of the most influential Test cricketers by virtue of the work he did to further the game both in England and India, writes that Hindu clubs had very few members because their patrons only let people of their own caste play.
“It has been charged against British Administrators that their policy in India is divide et impera (divide and rule); but there is no need for the British Raj to try to divide; the natives of India do that most effectively of their own motion,” he writes.
The Parsis had established a strong tradition of school cricket. The Parsi students of Elphinstone High School had formed a cricket club that later became an open club called the Elphinstone Cricket Club, one of the top Parsi teams of the 1870s. Hindu students at Elphinstone High School learnt cricket from their Parsi classmates and started the Hindu Cricket Club in 1878. Their side practised at the Esplanade maidan and played matches against Parsi sides.
In Bombay, the Muslim community was the slowest to take to cricket. Badruddin Tyabji, a reputed lawyer and member of the Indian National Congress, and other community leaders attempted to popularize the game, and in 1883 the Mohammedan Cricket Club was established.
When Lord Harris granted the Parsis a space on a plot of reclaimed land on Kennedy Sea Face, now Marine Drive, to start their Parsee Gymkhana, the Muslims requested they be offered the same. They founded the Islam Gymkhana next to the Parsee Gymkhana in 1892. Two years later, the row of gymkhanas on the sea face was completed when the Hindu Cricket Club that had been founded in 1878 became the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana. It was named after Parmanandas Jivandas, whose son Gordhandas had contributed Rs10,000, a fortune in those days, to help build the gymkhana.
Awards displayed at the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

Awards displayed at the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana in Mumbai. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

The three sea-facing gymkhanas became nurseries of Bombay and Indian cricket. They were in charge of selecting the Parsi, Hindu and Muslim teams in the famous Quadrangular and Pentangular trophies and played a role in the formation of the Bombay Presidency (Proper) Cricket Association, which is today the MCA, one of the most powerful sports bodies in India.
Cricket commercialism
The gymkhanas still occupy prime property on Marine Drive, for which, by the way, they pay all of Rs12 annually as rent, courtesy Lord Harris’s generosity and Mumbai’s complex property laws. The status of the three gymkhanas in modern Mumbai cricket, however, is somewhat less than prime.
Once the Pentangular Trophy was abandoned in 1946, in the face of growing protests that it promoted divisive communalism, the Ranji Trophy became the premier Indian domestic tournament. The gymkhanas, over the years, tried to move with the times by becoming open clubs that embraced all communities. Their premises and facilities ensured they did well in Mumbai’s premier competition, the Kanga League, till the 1990s, but they then began to struggle as commercialism gushed into Indian cricket.
“The gymkhanas have an old way of thinking. They don’t want to hire professional cricketers to play for their sides,” says Arman Mallick, who has been the secretary of the Islam Gymkhana for the past 17 years. Other sides, he says, pay cricketers in excess of Rs1 lakh to represent them in the Kanga League, while in the gymkhanas, members protest when outsiders are hired to play for the club. “I have managed to arrange funds myself for our Islam Gymkhana team, which is the only reason we are in the B division of the Kanga League. But if I was president of the club and had freedom to run it the way I wanted to, I could construct a team that would rule Mumbai cricket.”
The Parsee Gymkhana has managed to stay in the A division of the Kanga League, having contracted well-known first-class players such as Suryakumar Yadav, who briefly captained Mumbai’s Ranji team, to play for them. The P.J. Hindu Gymkhana finished first in the D division last year and will be promoted to the C division in 2015.
The grounds of the Islam Gymkhana.

The grounds of the Islam Gymkhana.

The influence of the gymkhanas on administration has waned. There are no longer reserved seats in the managing committee of the MCA for representatives of the three gymkhanas, explains Mallick, who is on the managing committee because he was elected to it.
From a historian or archivist’s point of view, the most disappointing thing about the three gymkhanas is how little documentation they have maintained of their interesting histories.
The P.J. Hindu Gymkhana and Islam Gymkhana have brochures that were created for their centenaries but these contain only basic details; the MCA has no records of the histories of its member clubs either.
“I don’t think any of the current members or players know much about the history of this gymkhana,” says Ramesh Panchmatia, president of the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana.
The coach of the Young Zoroastrians Club laments that none of his pupils know how old the club they represent is.
“These days, players are only interested in money, not history or prestige,” says Islam Gymkhana’s Mallick.
The more positive outlook would be to attribute the disinterest in the clubs’ legacies, which are tied inextricably to the communal pride they were built to display, to the secular nature of modern cricket. The Parsee Gymkhana has no Parsis in its Kanga League side, the Islam Gymkhana has more non-Muslim players than Muslim ones, and the P.J. Hindu Gymkhana makes no distinctions on the basis of caste, unlike the Hindu clubs of old. If India’s cricket history is a revelation of the communal tension that existed, perhaps its current state is a celebration of the country’s secularism.

IBF Scholarships – Education


Indiabulls Foundation Scholarship Program aims to encourage and promote quality higher education among meritorious students from economically challenged families to nurture their careers. Indiabulls Foundation understands that a large number of deserving students who have an urge to pursue their higher education are unable to do so owing to mainly financial constraints. In view of this, Indiabulls Foundation offers scholarships to deserving students to pursue their education after 12th standard and launch a sustainable career in the field of Engineering, Medicine, Law, IT, IIT, ITI, Management courses or any other stream of the students choice.

In the first year of the program, 100 deserving students have been provided scholarships for their complete course. In the second consecutive year, IBF will be awarding 400 scholarships to deserving students Pan India. This will completely be on a first come fist serve basis.


Who can apply?

• 1st year students of any professional full time graduation course from anywhere in India.

• Annual Family Income: Not more than 2 lakhs

• HSC or equivalent result: Minimum 50% aggregate


Eligibility criteria:

The criterion for selecting the student in the first year would completely depend on the financial challenge of the student. However, from the second year onwards the scholarship will continue only on merit basis. Students who do not fulfill the merit criterion at the end of the first year or semester will not be eligible to receive the scholarship in the subsequent year or semester.


For further details please contact:

Parama Deb

Phone: 022 61891577 (10 am to 6 pm)