Why are Parsees called ‘BAWA’ or BAWAJI?’

*Khan Bahadur Nasarvanji Rustomji Vatcha (1866-1931)* of Surat was a Jail Superintendent posted at Sabarmati Jail. He would give kind and sympathetic treatment to prisoners transforming them into honourable men. Thus, he won the hearts of prisoners. Once Vatcha saheb protected a prisoner from Death Sentence on the occassion of the coronation of King George V. The prisoner was also released. Mr. Vatcha would enter prisons without police baton & revolver even during his night shifts. During such visits any cry of pain or complaint that reached his ears used to receive immediate and best attention. Prisoners looked upto him as a *Father-figure” each time bending down, laying their heads on his feet calling him *Bawaji* to show their affection. This humble Parsee left such a magnificent impression of his compassionate nature that members from other communities began addressing every Parsee as ‘Bawaji’ meaning ‘Father-figure’


  • It is good to know that this is a compliment of kindness and concern .However it is my impression this normal colloquial reference to our community comes across uncomplimentary and somewhat archaic today, although perhaps in playful humor

  • I totally respect the Bawaji Community for their Giving Attitude be it money, love, kindness. May the community grow and we have more of JRD Tatas with his Ethics in all communities.

    • Could aldo he that erstwhile Parsis used to be Seclusive, Relijious Minded Practicing Piety, Honesty & Purity.
      Praying most of the time even at Night. Just Like the Sadhu Bavas of the Hindus.
      That too could be a reason for the local People terming Patsis as ‘Baavaaji’.
      A term used as a Respect for the community at large.

  • You do not find any bad things in their relationships with any one irrespective of caste creed or religion.

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