Monthly Archives: July 2017

What you need to know about Dadabhai Naoroji

Dadabhai Naoroji Passed Away Hundred Years Ago But Here’s Why You Need To Know About Him

Dadabhai Naroji was a great nationalist leader. A Parsi by birth, he is popularly known as the ‘Grand Old Man’ of India. Yesterday marked the 100th anniversary of his death. Here are some interesting facts about the great life of this remarkable son of the soil.

1. He (1825-1917) was one of the integral leaders of India who led the country to its independence. One can see the honour given to him in the form a statue near the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) of as one walks by the railway station.


2. The title – Grand Old Man of India – was given to him as it was believed that he was one of the intellectuals who had helped in shaping the modern India.

3. He has worked extensively to promote the Zoroastrian religion, and Indian culture. Naoroji belonged to an a priestly Zoroastrian family. He later went on to found the Rahnumae Mazdayasne Sabha in 1851 in an attempt to restore the Zoroastrian religion to its past glory. This society still operates in Bombay (now Mumbai).

4. When Naoroji was as young as 25, he got a job of an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Elphinstone College in Mumbai.

5. In 1855, Naoroji went to London and became a partner at Cama and Co., one of the first Indian company that was established in Britain.


6. He later resigned from the company and in 1859, went ahead and established his own cotton trading firm and named it Naoroji & Co.

7. Naoroji began working towards upliftment of Indians from 1860s and became quite eloquent against the British colonialism and their exploitation of India.

8. He became the Divan, also known as the Chief Minister of the Princely state of Baroda in 1874 and was also patronised by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III of Baroda.

9. He left the post soon for an elected seat in the Bombay Municipal Corporation.


10. He was an active participant in the founding of the Indian National Congress and became its President thrice in 1886, 1893 and 1906.

11. He moved to London in the late 1880s and was elected for the Liberal Party in Finsbury Central at the 1892 general election – becoming the first British Indian MP.

12. He was the first Indian to win a seat in the House of Commons.


13. Apart from the D. N Road named after him in Mumbai, Naoroji Street in Finsbury, UK has also been named after him.

Truly, he was a great personality who was able to propagate nationalist values among the young and old people of the country.


Wanted: Parsi Engineer for Mumbai Metro


The HP Wadia trust, managing the fire temple, has asked MMRC officials to find a ‘Parsi civil engineer’ for conducting the survey from inside the temple as non-Parsis are not allowed inside the Parsi fire temple.

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), which is constructing the Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro-3 line, has a curious task on its hands. It is currently on the hunt for a ‘Parsi civil engineer’ to conduct a pre-construction structural survey for the underground metro corridor.

Reason? The alignment of the underground Metro-3 corridor at Chira Bazar in south Mumbai runs parallel to a Parsi fire temple. The HP Wadia trust, managing the fire temple, has asked MMRC officials to find a ‘Parsi civil engineer’ for conducting the survey from inside the temple as non-Parsis are not allowed inside the Parsi fire temple.

The trust has conveyed to MMRC that a non-Parsi civil engineer will not be allowed to enter the fire temple. This in accordance with the prevailing rituals of the Parsi community, they have said, sending MMRC officials into a tizzy.

The MMRC is going to start with the tunnelling work for the underground corridor in October, for which tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be shipped from China from July onward.

Considering that the tunneling work is likely to result in vibrations, the MMRC is carrying out a pre-construction survey.

“In this survey we will conduct, for every structure, we will prepare a report that will specify the structural strength of the same. In future, if there are any claims relating to tenants or structure owners blaming MMRC for cracks in their structure, we will be able to respond to them accordingly on the basis of the report.”

“For the Parsi fire temple at Chira Bazar in Marine Lines, we have been asked by the fire temple’s trust to find a Parsi civil engineer in case we want to carry out a survey from inside the temple. Due to this, we at MMRC, are also looking for one Parsi civil engineer and have also asked the trust to find a Parsi civil engineer,” said a MMRC official, who did not wish to be named.

The official added, “We have carried out survey on the external structure of the temple, but we need to go in to check its stability and the condition, as that will help us while we drill underground for the tunnel.”

Khurshed Mistry, Secretary, HP Wadia trust, told DNA, “We have already given pictures of our fire temple from outside. We cannot allow any non-Parsi inside the temple, be it an engineer or any layman. We are cooperating with the MMRC officials, but keeping the sentiments of our community in mind, we cannot allow non-Parsis inside the fire temple.”

The fire temple is located near the Girgaon Metro station of the Metro-3 corridor that will have 27 underground stations and will be a crucial north-south link. The metro corridor will connect major Central Business Districts (CBD) such as Nariman Point, Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and Seepz in Andheri. The whole corridor is expected to be commissioned in 2022.

Documentary on TAQ KASRA, the capital of Persian Empire

Dear Friends @ Zoroastrians Net,

I am working on a documentary film about TAQ KASRA, the capital of Persian Empire in Sasanian era and the world largest brickwork vault.
I have been in Iraq twice in the past months to film the arch and already interviewed internationally recognized scholars in the field of Persian studies. In the film it is also mentioned that before Arab invasion the Persians were Zoroastrian.
You may watch few minutes of the film here:
The project is independent, therefore I have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money and covering the expenses for the equipment and post-production.
May I ask for a favor? If you know interested people in Persian history in your Zoroastrian network please feel free to forward them the link of fundraising:
Even little contributions finally will help the project. And I will be happy to mention the name of the contributor(s) in the film’s credits if they wish.
I have attached a PDF file about the film but if you need more information please do not hesitate to ask.
Many thanks for your attention.
All the best
Pejman Akbarzadeh, Amsterdam