A STATEMENT FROM UDVADA SAMAST ANJUMAN ON RECENTLY CONCLUDED IRANSHAH UDVADA UTSAV-2015
Udvada Samast Anjuman was proud to co-host the ‘Iranshah Udvada Utsav’ (IUU) with Foundation for Development of Udvada (FDU). Going by responses gathered from all over the world, IUU held on 25th to 27th December 2015, was undoubtedly a stupendous success.
Over the past few weeks, post the Iranshah Udvada Utsav, various write ups, comments and views, both positive as also negative, have appeared in various print & social media channels about hosting of the Utsav. Some have been very encouraging, heart warming, providing suggestions for improvement and some downright negative, discouraging and personally attacking and defaming the IUU, Udvada Anjuman and our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor.
It is a well known fact that the IUU has received adulation from most quarters, it has resulted in Udvada being poised for infrastructure development and progress that will be of immense benefit to all those who are fortunate to reside and visit Udvada. We shall provide some information on the benefits that shall accrue to Udvada later in this communiqué. However, before we enumerate these benefits, it is essential that we inform the community at large about negative politics that a few from our community have indulged in, post the conclusion of the IUU.
In all communities and societies, there are some individuals with holier than thou mindsets who perceive their word to be the final word on how others should conduct themselves in all walks of life. Our community too has its fair share of individuals who have narrow visions and revel in fomenting discord. These disgruntled elements see a hidden agenda in everything. Their efforts are always to foist their views on everything under the sun and should their views not be adhered to, they are at their vituperative best in criticising and maligning those who have not complied with their viewpoints.
Over the past many years, we have experienced a few individuals/groups, who have made it their mission to malign our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor in any and every positive initiative that he has taken for Iranshah & Udvada.
This same group of individuals, who have been ventilating their negative views about IUU in the media, both published and social, are well known to have a personal animus against our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor ever since the FDU was established around 2004. They misguided the community even then as they are doing now. We may add that the FDU has never sought to influence or interfere with the working of our Udvada Anjuman.
Lest such disgruntled individuals misconstrue our silence to be an acceptance of their misguided and mischievous statements, Udvada Samast Anjuman has decided to issue this one and only statement for the information of the community.
Our forefathers, members of the Nine Athornan Families, have over centuries and generations, often at a great sacrifice, have been willingly doing ‘khidmat’ of Shreeji Pak Iranshah with all the necessary ritualistic discipline, maintaining the sanctity and purity of the holy fire and the precinct of Iranshah, which has been continued by us of the present generation and we shall ensure the same will be continued by our future generations.
We put to rest once and for all the controversy created by the speech given by Mr. Darius Khambata. It has already been stated that Mr. Khambata was expressing his personal views, with which our Anjuman & Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor are not in agreement. Neither our Anjuman nor our Dasturjis, Dasturji Khurshed & Dasturji Peshotan have ever encouraged conversion or mixed marriages in any form whatsoever.
The canard spread by these disgruntled elements that other Dasturjis were not invited for the IUU is absolutely false. Dasturji JamaspAsa, Dasturji Kotwal & Dasturji Mirza were not present at the IUU due to their prior commitments (performing Navjote / Wedding ceremonies in Mumbai). It may be noted that Dasturji Kotwal & Dasturji Mirza have, along with Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, willingly contributed learned and informative articles in the souvenir released at IUU. As regards to Dasturji Meherjirana of Navsari, keeping in mind his ill health, it was thought best not to inconvenience him with a visit to Udvada. It must also be mentioned that many members of the Nine Athornan Families of the Udvada Anjuman attended and participated on all the three days of the IUU, thus nailing the mischievous and misleading comments of those who were antagonistic to the holding of the IUU.
It was amusing to read the frequent comments of Ervad Yazdi Unwalla deriding the IUU and Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor. Though being part of the Udvada Anjuman, he has not contributed an iota towards Iranshah nor Udvada and has the audacity and temerity to comment against our Anjuman and our Dasturji only displays his prejudice against the Anjuman and our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor.
Er. Marzban Hathiram, has recently written an article ‘Sleepless Nights In Udvada’, in which he has mentioned that if a poll by secret ballot was conducted solely of members of the Anjuman, the result would serve as a jolt for both the Dasturjis. All that we can say about Er. Hathiram is that, he himself needs to first introspect before endeavouring to make sanctimonious statements about our Shreeji Pak Iranshah and our Anjuman or trying to drive a wedge between our Anjuman and both our Dasturjis by recalling and remembering what in the first place caused him to leave his Panthak at the Behram Baug Agyari, and come and settle in Udvada for which we do not even need to conduct a poll by secret ballot. Let the healer first heal himself before trying to heal others.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Yazdi Desai, the present chairman of Bombay Parsi Punchayet, sought to issue a loose statement to the media without first verifying the details and facts with either the Anjuman or Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor. It would have been proper had he done so.
Some individuals have commented that rather than organising a mega event such as IUU, the funds should have been more fruitfully utilised for the welfare of underprivileged Zoroastrians at Udvada. Those holding this view point will do well to note that our Anjuman takes good care of the welfare & medical aid of all their practising & retired Mobeds, Goranis, widows of late Mobeds, helpers at the Iranshah and those that carry out duties in other various capacities in the Udvada gaam.
We urge the 185 year old publication, Jam-e-Jamshed and our Parsi journalists reporting in the cosmopolitan media, to act more professional and responsible and to verify the facts either with our Anjuman or our Dasturjis before reporting inflammatory, fabricated and false propaganda just to sensationalise the issue at the cost of the dignity and reputation of our own community.
By holding the IUU at Udvada, we, the khidmatgars of Iranshah, did not find anything that was incorrect, harmful, amiss or detrimental to our Shreeji Pak Iranshah and its precincts.
In all the ridiculous noise and din created post the Utsav, the fact that hosting the Iranshah Udvada Utsav brought about a lot of POSITIVES for the community, in general and Udvada village in particular, has been lost sight of. We wish to take this opportunity to highlight the tangible benefits that have accrued and share them with the community at large.
The fact that around 4000 Parsi/Irani Zoroastrians from all over India and other parts of the world attended the IUU and participated with enthusiasm and vigour is illustrative of its success.
The below mentioned points are illustrative of the positive results achieved by the IUU: –
It is the formation of FDU and the efforts of our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor that has been instrumental in getting funds allocated and disbursed to carry out infrastructure development in Udvada.
There are now proper roads across Udvada village, more so around the Iranshah, to avoid congestion near its entrance.
A parking lot has been assigned specifically for the devotees visiting the Iranshah.
Regular supply of electricity is now available and CCTVs are being installed for the safety of our residents.
A local police station is to be established and regular police patrolling to be done in the village.
Refurbishment of the Zoroastrian Information Centre and Dasturji Kayoji Mirza Hall & Library will be undertaken from the funds sanctioned specifically for these purposes, as was announced by Mr. Saurabh Patel, Minister, Gujarat State, at the inauguration of the IUU.
Construction of a Persian Gate, from funds sanctioned by the Government, will shortly be undertaken at the entrance of Udvada village (near Doongerwadi) as was also announced by Mr. Saurabh Patel, Minister, Gujarat State, at the inauguration of the IUU.
Planning for the construction of a concrete wall structure to stop ingress of seawater into our village shores is being done.
Most importantly, Udvada gaam and our Iranshah was saved from the clutches of some individuals who had planned to build an industrial-cum-residential zone on a large stretch of 160 acres of land close to the vicinity of Iranshah Atash Beheram, due to the timely intervention of Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor, who took up this matter with the concerned government officials at Gandhinagar and the then Chief Minister, Shri Narendra Modi.
Instructions issued to the local authorities by Mr. Arun Jaitley, Union Minister, and Mr. Saurabh Patel, Minister, Gujarat State, to halt further construction of high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Iranshah will be invaluable to preserve the sanctity of Iranshah and Udvada.
We are confident that FDU & our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor shall continue to work with the concerned authorities to follow-up and get the above benefits officially documented and implemented.
Udvada Samast Anjuman takes the opportunity, to once again make it explicitly clear to one and all, that it has never interfered in the affairs of other Anjumans / Associations and in turn shall brook no interference in our affairs. It is the bounden duty of our Anjuman to protect and preserve the sanctity of Iranshah & Udvada, which we have done over the centuries and are perfectly capable and committed to do so, now and in future.
To our detractors, we reiterate that Udvada Samast Anjuman and our Dasturjis are not answerable to any outside agencies or small pressure groups and shall not respond to any further communications with regards to our Anjuman or any of our Dasturjis.
Before concluding, the Udvada Samast Anjuman extends its whole-hearted gratitude to our Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor and Team IUU for the hard work put in by them to successfully organise the mega event and assures them of their continued support in future editions of IUU at Udvada that are intended to be held at regular intervals.
We conclude with a prayer and a hope that peace, good sense and serenity may prevail in our community!
Unanimously approved by all the committee members.
For & On Behalf Of Udvada Samast Anjuman,
Copies of communiqué sent to: