Category Archives: History

Mankind – Whither Bound

This treatise, by Dasturji M N Dhalla, an eminent scholar, traces the history of mankind and the thought processes prevailing during each era and the path forward for mankind. This scholarly work has been acclaimed to be amongst the best of his writings. We bring this to you with the kind permission of Ms. Coomi Vevaina for the benefit of the community. Download it and read it at leisure for an enjoyable experience.

This is a 567 page book and will take some time to download – please be patient

Click Here to download Mankind – Whither Bound

Parsi Prize medals: patronage and philanthropy

Medals not only acknowledge excellence but they also offer an insight into the community’s history and priorities
Shailen Bhandare

The prize medals instituted by the Parsi community of Bombay present us with an interesting insight into making of the identity of a colonial elite group in a fast-changing urban space. As such they are firmly contextualized in the urban history of a colonial metropolis, reflecting the reformulation and revivalist movements in the community, and also the community’s engagement with the greater good — both within the community and outside. They are testimonies to the drive for wider social engagement, patronage and philanthropy which Parsis took very seriously while remaining true to the chief tenets of the Zoroastrian religion: Good thoughts, good words and good deeds.
Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy was associated with founding of the city’s first medical college, the Grant Medical College, named after Sir Robert Grant, the Governor of Bombay who took a keen interest in its establishment but died suddenly in 1838. The hospital attached to the medical college that bears Jejeebhoy’s name was funded through a donation of Rs 1,00,000 made by him. He was knighted in 1842 and awarded a baronetcy in 1858, becoming the first Indian to achieve this civil honor. The bust on this medal — which is described as a Grant Medical College Prize Medal — shows Jejeebhoy wearing a typical Parsi turban and an expensive shawl. It was engraved by Benjamin Wyon. On the reverse we see the crest of the Jejeebhoy family, proudly displaying its motto “Industry and Liberality.” It has not yet been possible to ascertain for which particular achievement in the medical school this prize medal was given. But there are records of many other Parsi-endowed medals for specific subjects like surgery, physiology and ophthalmology (Robert Puddester 2002:  Medals of British India with Rarity and valuations: Volume 1 – Commemorative and Historical Medals from 1750 to 1947 London: Spink and Sons).

  1. Gold medal of Zoroastrian Girls’ School Association, 1893 with the bust of Sorabjee Shapoorji Bengalee;

  2. Grant Medical College prize medal in bronze, showing Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy, 1st Baronet, 1857;
  3. Silver medal, Bomanjee Dinshaw Petit Challenge Shield for boxing, undated;
  4. The F. D. Master Memorial medal for the Tutorial High School, undated;
  5. The New Bharda High School, sports medal in bronze, undated;
  6. The Ardeshir Irani Memorial medal for Health and Athletic Strength, Behman Physical Culture Home, undated;
  7. The Framjee Nusserwanjee silver educational prize medal, executed by French medallist Mounot, undated;
  8. The Bharda New High School, silver medal of merit, undated;
  9. The Zarathosti Jashan Committee of Bombay, silver medal awarded in recognition for antiquarian explorations
      on the Bahrot Hill, YE1289-90, AD1920;
  10. The Bharda New High School, bronze prize medal, 1915;
  11. The J. J. Parsee Benevolent Institution, silver prize medal in memory of Cursetjee Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy,
         with the crest of the  Jejeebhoy family on reverse, undated;
  12. The Golwala Brothers’ Victoria Swimming Baths, silver medal for
          water polo, made in Birmingham, undated;
  13. The Sir J. J. School, Bilimora – Dhunjibhoy Jinabhoy ‘Zand Prize’ medal, YE1323;
  14. Privately endowed College Essay memorial gold medal, 1928;
  15. The Ave Bhownaggree Memorial silver medal, the Alexandra Native Girls’ Education Institution, undated;
  16. The Sir Pherozeshah Mehta Medal for Mechanical Engineering, V.J.T.I., Bombay, dated 1955-56;
  17. The Zoroastrian Physical Culture and Health League, bronze medal for swimming, 1920;
  18. The Zoroastrian Physical Culture and Health League, bronze medal for boxing, 1920;
  19. The Zoroastrian Physical Culture and Health League, gold medal for running, 1920;
  20. The Zoroastrian Physical Culture and Health League, silver medal for wrestling, 1920;
  21. The Zoroastrian Physical Culture and Health League, bronze medal for running, 1920
  The images of the medals have been taken from the collection of Yasmin Todywalla.
  The author expresses his gratitude to Yasmin and Farokh Todywalla for their assistance
The Ave Bhownuggree Medal of the Alexandra Native Girls’ Education Institution was instituted by Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownuggree (1851-1933) in memory of his sister Awabai or Ave (1869-1888). The medal was bestowed on students who scored the highest marks in the matriculation examinations of 1890, 1891 and 1892. In 1893, Bhownuggree made a further donation to perpetuate the medal. The bust of Ave on the medal shows close similarities to a marble sculpture by the British sculptor Emanuel Edward Geflowski, which Mancherjee had commissioned with a view to be installed in another of his commemorative projects, a “hall of education” for women, which never came to fruition (John McLeod 2008: Parsis in India and the Diaspora, New York; Routledge). Although McLeod mentions that Mancherjee had “an English mint strike the medal,” Puddester’s research in the Bombay mint archives has suggested that the medal was indeed struck in Bombay. Two versions, silver and bronze, with the latter having an uninscribed reverse, are known. Perhaps the bronze version was struck later when Mancherjee’s original endowment might not have been financially viable to make it in silver.
A medal that combines a multi-faceted 19th century Parsi gentleman from Bombay and the community’s enthusiasm about female education is the Sorabjee Shapoorjee Bengalee medal bearing the name of the “Zoroastrian Girls’ School Association.” The Association (also known as “Parsee Girls’ School Association”) was founded in 1857 with Framjee Nusserwanji Patel as its chairman (Jivanji Jamshedji Modi 1932: K. R. Cama, Bombay: R. J. J. Modi and J. M. Unvala). It owed its formation to an “earlier societal network where students and ex-students of the Elphinstone College taught pro bono each morning for experimental schools for girls” (Tim Allender 2016: Learning Femininity in Colonial India, 1820-1932, Manchester: Manchester University Press).
Bengalee (1831-1893) was a leading light of the community in the late 19th century, associated with a wide spectrum of activities concerned with social work and upliftment in the fields of health, education, religious reformation and labor welfare. In 1885, he gave a generous donation towards completion of a school for girls, named in honor of his mother Bai Bhikhaijee Bengalee (Jesse Palsetia 2001: The Parsis of India: Preservation of Identity in Bombay City, Leiden: Brill). The school was managed under the Zoroastrian Girls’ School Association and the date on the medal, which corresponds to the year of Bengalee’s demise, probably commemorates his affiliation with the Association. His bust on this medal was engraved by the British medallist Allan Wyon. It is not known for which particular prize the medals were awarded, but they were struck at the Bombay mint in three metals — gold, silver and bronze. The bust bears a strong resemblance to his sculptured bust which is now in the Bhikhaiji Bengalee Girls’ School and can be seen on its website (http://www.bengalleeschool.org/history.htm, accessed on 21-12-2016). Puddester wrongly ascribes this medal to a school named “Zoroastrian Girls’ School,” located in Navsari, Gujarat, and otherwise known as Bai Navajbai Tata Zoroastrian Girls’ School, completely ignoring the word “Association” which appears in the legend on the medal.
Parsis fiercely defended their religious identity as distinct from the rest of the Indian population. A major jolt to identity issues, particularly in Bombay, was the arrival of proselytizing Christian missionaries in the 1830s. The colonial government had so far carefully kept religion out of the purview of its direct patronage; however, it succumbed to the pressure of Evangelical and Utilitarian lobbies back home in Britain. Indigenous communities in Bombay were particularly threatened by aggressive proselytizing missionaries who were now free to preach under the government’s aegis. The response elicited by Parsi elites involved opinion building through pamphleteering and journalism, and prompting a deeper soul searching exercise in ascertaining their religious identity.
A reflection of this newfound quest for learning religious texts from their source is seen in prize medals instituted by various Parsi schools for particular benchmarks of proficiency. Unlike the medals described earlier, these are simple — with no particular artist-engraver behind their production. They also employ generic designs, like a figure of Zoroaster, seen on this medal given by the Sir J. J. School of Bilimora. This prize was instituted for “Zand,” or the commentary of Avesta, and it is dated in the Yazdegard Era, which was adopted as the Zoroastrian religious calendar, counting from 632 AD, the year in which the last Sasanian ruler Yazdegird III was crowned. All these features neatly encapsulate appropriation of the past to forge a distinct religious identity for the Parsis which is particularly distinguishing for a small object of a quotidian nature and appearance. We do not know anything more about this prize, except that it was instituted by a Dhunjibhoy Jinabhoy.
Apart from textual and linguistic sources, interest was also sparked, in the early 20th century, in Zoroastrian archeology. A medal dated 1920 AD is given in recognition of “investigations on Bahrot mountain,” by the Bombay Zoroastrian “Jashan Committee,” a body which oversees religious functioning of the community. The medal is replete with visuals that offer a wonderful insight into how the 20th century Parsis imagined their ancient Iranian past. The dominant vignette on the obverse is that of the sacred fire, contained in a traditional metal fire-holder or afarganyu, which had replaced the more traditional altar, or atashdan. On either side, there are symbols taken from the familiar Achemenid tradition — to the left is the winged man or Farohar, the symbolic representation of humankind’s ultimate unity with Ahura Mazda, the supreme Zoroastrian divinity. To the right is the winged anthropomorphic bull, adopted as a symbol of royalty by Achemenid kings from past Mesopotamian cultures. The legends above and below, although inscribed entirely in Gujarati script, are two Avestan slogans — Zarathushtrahe Daenam Yazamaide (We worship Zarathushtra’s religion) and Humata, Hukhta, Huvarashta (Good thoughts, good words, good deeds). Curiously, Humata has been incorrectly transcribed in Gujarati! On the reverse is the vignette of Bahrot mountain, home to a small group of rock-cut caves located among prongs of the Western Ghats east of the town of Sanjan, the earliest Parsi settlement on India’s western coast. The Parsi community of Sanjan is said to have taken the holy fire here after the area was invaded by armies of the Muslim sultan of Delhi in 1297, and kept it alive incognito for the next 12 years (Mary Boyce 1979: 2001: Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, London and New York; Routledge).
No account of Parsi prize medals would be complete without mentioning sports. Funding was obtained in 1888 to establish the Parsi Gymkhana of Bombay and in the decades that followed Parsis took enthusiastically to sports such as swimming, boxing, wrestling and tennis. Though recreation and health were the most appreciated and applauded backdrops for sporting activities, competitive sport events were encouraged as well. Two Parsi brothers, Dadabhoy and Framroze Golwala founded the Victoria Swimming Bath at Backbay. Framroze’s son Khurshed and his wife became Bombay’s first trained swimming and life-guard instructors and introduced a competitive sport like water polo to the Swimming Baths in 1903 (Hormuzji Darukhanawala 1935: Parsis and Sports, and kindred subjects, Bombay: published by the author). The medal shown here presents a vignette of the sport, with an etched inscription on the reverse identifying its sponsors. The hallmarks below the inscription testify that the sterling silver (0.925) medal was made by the silversmiths James Fenton and Company of Birmingham in 1920-21.
The community exhibited a certain appetite for body building, athletics, wrestling or boxing which were more macho than recreational sports like swimming or tennis. In 1920, The Zorastrian (sic) Physical Culture and Health League was founded to encourage these sports in the community. Competitions were held and prizes awarded; the medals struck by the League are in gold, silver and bronze. In order to have a gold medal for sports restricted to those within what was already a small community the League must have had a munificent sponsor behind the enterprise. Although we have little clue as to who this might have been, such acts of generosity were not at all surprising among the Parsis of Bombay.
The choice of visual representation on these medals once again presents an interesting insight into what such activities meant to the Parsis. The emblem of the League is composed of a hugely muscular forearm with bulging biceps, holding flaming fire in the outstretched palm. As the backdrop we see two bull-headed scepters or “Gorz-e Gawsar” which, according to the Avesta are a favorite weapon of Mithra. In modern-day Zoroastrianism, mobeds or priests carry such clubs, referred to as “Gorz-e Mehr” and “Gorz-e Feridun,” as symbols of their continuous battle against the forces of evil (Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol XI, Fasc. 2, pp 165-166). Below the hand, there is the winged Farohar symbol. The vignette on the medal awarded for swimming situates the sport in the urban setting of Bombay, with a backdrop of the skyline of instantly recognized buildings such as the Bombay High Court and the University clock tower, against the Oval Maidan, a prominent sports field created in the late 19th century when the Esplanade surrounding the old British fort of Bombay was dismantled, having outlived its protective purpose. The fact that there was never a swimming pool in this location does not seem to have mattered very much for the designer — he appears to be predisposed more towards familiarity than fact while contextualizing his subject!

Shailendra Bhandare is the Senior Assistant Keeper of South Asian and Oriental Coins and Paper Money collections at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He is also a Fellow at St Cross College and a member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies. He has contributed a wide range of articles on the subject of Indian numismatics.

 

Courtesy : Parsiana – 7 October 2020

 

Cyrus the Great and the Birth of the Achaemenid Persian Empire

With this video we start a series of programs and podcasts all dealing with ancient Persia and the beginnings of the Achaemenid Persian Empire of Cyrus II, better known to the world as Cyrus the Great. We’ll first take a quick look at the history of the region around the time when the first Iranian tribes entered the region, followed by the Medes and how they laid the groundwork for the rise of one of history’s greatest rulers, Cyrus the Great, founder of Persian Achaemenid Empire. We’ll also examine a good deal of the primary sources (such as the works of Herodotus, Babylonian chronicles, the Cyrus Cylinder, etc.) that help us to put together a better picture of who Cyrus was. You will not want to miss this episode!

The Other Manekshaw

 

The world knows late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw as the man who, as the chief of the Indian army in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War following the Bangladesh Liberation War, made great contributions to the creation of Bangladesh. Sam also fought on the Burma front as a Captain of the 12th Frontier Force and was seriously wounded fighting the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. But the world is unaware that another Manekshaw –Lt Jamshed Manekshaw (Jimmy)–was also defending the Indian territory against the Japanese invasion in the Dohazari region of the Chittagong front during World War II. While Sam survived the bullet wounds, Jamshed died in action in Dohazari and he became an unsung martyr. Lt Jamshed Manekshaw died on May 14, 1944.

Lt Jamshed belonged to Bulsar in Gujarat state of undivided India and he worked in Kabul in Afghanistan before he joined the Indian army as a commissioned officer. He was sent to fight against the Japanese Imperial forces in the northeast part of India and in the Chittagong’s areas. These areas which were then part of the erstwhile East Bengal are now part of Bangladesh. A large number of Indians, British, Australian and Africans died in action fighting here. Based on their religion the last rites of these brave soldiers were performed in the various war cemeteries built by the British army in the region. They were designated military cemeteries where the martyrs were laid to rest with full military honours.  Lt Jamshed Manekshaw belonged to the Parsi community in India; the Parsis are Zoroastrians who fled from Iran to settle down in India. The Parsis who settled down in Gujarat after escaping from Iran facing persecution later spread to various parts of India and excelled in business. They contributed to the economy of undivided India and a few families had businesses in Dhaka and Chittagong too. There was one businessman, Mr Merdhora, who lived in Chittagong then and the British took his help in performing the last rites of Lt Jamshed.

 

 

It is believed that his last rites were performed according to the Parsi religion. There were originally 400 burials in these cemeteries and later when the Commonwealth War cemetery was built in Chittagong the graves were transferred to the new cemetery. There are now 731 Commonwealth graves of the 1939-45 war here, 17 of which are unidentified. This cemetery is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission of Britain that funds it.

The Commonwealth war cemetery is situated on the Badsha Meah Road in Chittagong city. The site of the cemetery was originally a paddy field adjacent to a horseshoe-shaped hill spread on the east and south, and located two and a half miles away from the then Chittagong city.

During the Second World War the pioneer camp of the Fourteenth Army of the allied force was set up in Chittagong along with facilities for army training and the British General Hospital. The hospital remained operative from December 1944 to October 1945 and initially, 400 corpses were buried in this cemetery under the supervision of the army.

The burial area is situated at the bottom of a slope directly behind Finlay’s Guest Houses and is surrounded by a large area planted with a mixture of jungle trees, fruit trees and flowering trees. It is not easily seen from the road.

I am a regular visitor to Dhaka in connection with the Moyeen Foundation Jaipur Foot artificial limb fitment camp and I come as a team leader. When the camp was being organised in 2017, Salahuddin Ahamad, a former Indian bureaucrat who served as the Chief Secretary of the Rajasthan government and who is the Executive President of the Jaipur, India based Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS), the parent body of the world-famous Jaipur Foot. Salahuddin has a great passion for cemeteries and apart from the various Indian cemeteries, he travelled to see the cemeteries in Myanmar and in Egypt. He goes to pay homage to the great warriors there.

When he came to Dhaka, he and his friend from Bengaluru in India, Kalyan Ganguli whose ancestors were from Dhaka, drove to Chittagong to see the cemetery and I accompanied them. We all landed in the cemetery in the morning and were really impressed with the way the cemetery was maintained, with rows of plaques. The plaques bore the names of the soldier, his unit name and the year when he died.  Each plaque had the religious sign to which the soldier belonged like a cross for the Christian and a temple sign for the Hindu. As we were seeing each plaque, I suddenly noticed the only plaque with a Zoroastrian (Parsi) signage in a row. I was fascinated and I leaned down to read the plaque and to my surprise, I found that the only Parsi who was laid to rest here was Lt Jamshed Manekshaw. The inscription read…Lieutenant Jamshed S Manekshaw, Royal Indian Army Service Corps,14th May 1944 Age 33, O Rest, Dear Partner of My Days I Pledge My Troth To Thee Always….

 

 

I called Salahuddin and Kalyan Ganguli to have a close look at the plaque. They came and read the inscription thereon and were equally surprised. It reminded us of Field Marshall Sam Manekshaw as he was the only known Manekshaw soldier and we never heard of another Manekshaw soldier. This Manekshaw was an unsung martyr about whom we never ever heard.

After each of us took pictures of this and other plaques, I thought I must send the picture of the plaque to the family members of late Jimmy Manekshaw. We had no clue before this how and we searched for his family. Salahuddin contacted his friend Brig Dara Gowadia, who was also a Parsi; he made frantic efforts to know about Jimmy’s family, but could not find anything. Through Facebook, I sent messages to all the Manekshaws with the picture of the plaque with a request to connect with the family. Similarly, Salahuddin also tried all his contacts but without any success. I contacted my friend Farokh Manekshaw, who runs a resort in Goa to help me. After several months, he sent me a message that he had been able to find the son of Jimmy Manekshaw. He turned out to be Nauzer Manekshaw, a retired assistant commissioner of police. He did not believe his ears that we have been able to find the cemetery where his father was finally laid to rest.

 

 

“I was barely 15 months old when I lost my father, I don’t remember his face or how he looked. His death brought us miseries as we lost the breadwinner of the family. My mother Zarine was shattered as I was still a toddler and our full life was before us. The army general sent my mother a letter announcing the death of my father. Then we were in Bulsar. My mother moved to Hoshangabad town in India and spent some time there; my mother with great difficulty was trying to raise me. She got a job in Nashik in a school where she taught art. She was a good painter and this skill helped her get a job as a teacher. By then in the forties, the British sanction Rs 100 pension to my mother and Rs 300 per month pension as a minor to me. After schooling, I completed my college education and graduated from Nashik. But I always missed my father. When my father was laid to rest in Dohazari , 45 km from Chittagong the Dohazari cemetery was built. I am 76 years old now, then I was five years old when I came with my mother to Dohazari to place a wreath on the war memorial that was raised there and the plaque carried a message of my mother Zarine. I have a faint memory of this visit to Dohazari, but I still remember, how my mother cried to see my father’s grave. But I was clueless as to why she was sobbing. My mother drew a painting of my father and my mother with charcoal. This sketch was inspired by a picture of my father in uniform with my mother taken in a studio. I still have the picture. It is the only picture of my father and my mother. I have been seeing this picture even today,” shared Nauzer.

Nauzer had no clue that the mortal remains of his father was shifted along with others to the new Commonwealth War Cemetery in Chittagong until I informed him.

“When you and Salahuddin Saheb informed me about this new cemetery in Chittagong I decided to go there and I decided to take my whole family to Chittagong and we booked our tickets and our hotel to pay homage to my father. I wanted my sons and grandchildren to know the final place of rest of my father. I wish my mother was alive. My mother lived with me after I joined the Bombay police until her death. She was a sad woman but she brought me up very well. I served the Mumbai police and served as an honest police officer and retired as assistant commissioner of police. I am still active as a security adviser.”

Nauzer flew to Chittagong with his three sons Jimmy, Rumi and Sam, the third son Sam was named after Field Marshall Manekshaw, the hero of India-Pakistan War who effected the surrender of the Pakistan army in Bangladesh after that the nation Bangladesh was born. “Thus, I have very happy connections with Bangladesh,” said a nostalgic Nauzer.

Nauzer along with his three sons and daughters-in-law, two granddaughters and two grandsons all were there at the Chittagong cemetery along with me as I guided them to the father Jimmy Manekshaw’s memorial.

The ceremony was well-organised at Chittagong where a specially-made wreath with white roses and white lilies were placed on the plaque and a lamp lit. Nauzer’s eyes were moist when he placed a photo frame of the charcoal painting of his parent drawn by his mother on the rear side of the plaque. The family joined in prayers. It was a touching moment. For Nauzer, it was a dream fulfilled and his sons, grandchildren and daughters-in-law visited the site for the next two days to pay homage.

“I shall cherish all my life these moments and the time spent at the Chittagong cemetery. For me this is not a cemetery but a pilgrimage. I salute my father,” said Nauzer.

 

Prakash Bhandari is a veteran Indian journalist, formerly with The Times of India.

Prakash BhandariNovember 25, 2019

https://www.thedailystar.net/in-focus/news/lt-jamshed-manekshaw-unsung-hero-world-war-ii-1831402

New Book about history of Zoroastrianism has been published

My name is Denis Karasev. I live and work in Russia.

 

My father – Dr. Vladimir Karasev – is a famous archeologist and historian from Central Asia. Here is his official website – http://www.vladimirkarasev.com

 

For more than 30 years he was studding history of Zoroastrism in Central Asia and based on his 30 years research, he has written a book with the name “At Ahura Mazda’s Throne”. This book was published few days ago with quite limited circulation and now available in Russian language on Vladimir’s official website https://vladimirkarasev.com/book?id=24. (For English Version – Click Here – https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ru&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vladimirkarasev.com%2F) It is distributed only as a hard copy and can be delivered worldwide.

 

This book is the first book that has been published about Zoroastrism in post-Soviet space and I believe that may be of your interest. Vladimir does not speak English so I would be more than happy to help and answer any questions.

 

Book has introduction letter from Dr. Keki Bhote (one of the principles of World Zoroastrian Organization).

 

Kind regards,

Denis Karasev

 

 

 

Studies in Parsi History

STUDIES IN PARSI HISTORY by SHAPURSHAH HORMASJI HODIWALA 1920

The historian S H Hodiwala discusses the Traditional Dates in Parsi History. Dates of the Sack of Sanjan, Jadi Rana and the Kisah -i-Sanjan, the colophons of Mihirapan Kaikhusru, Parsi Sanskrit Colophons and the dates of the Riwayat’s. He also gives a translation of the Kissah-i-Sanjan.

He writes, “It is fairly well known that the only source of our knowledge of the early history of the Parsis is the Kisaah-i-Sanjan, a narrative in Persian verse by Bahman Kaikobad Hamjiyar Padam Kaikobad in 1600 AC.”

“Bahman does not give us a precise chronological starting point, it remains open to the reader to infer whether a long period of time, or a short one, whether many years or a few years passed between events”. The 846 lines of the Kisaah are translated from page 102.

From page 199 he writes about ancient documents which are family papers of some Zoroastrians who lived in the 16th and 17th Century which show the kind of life they led. “It is fairly well known that the people were in a state of obscurity and indigence in those times”.

“Most of the documents tell us, which may appear incredible today, that the Parsis of those times lived for the most part, only by agriculture and retail.” “These are the oldest original papers in existence relating to our ancestors”

This is a very meticulously researched book with historical references. A must read to know the truth about our past.

The original article was published in the

JOURNAL OF THE IRANIAN ASSOSSIATION VOL. II JANUARY 1914.

THE TRADITIONAL DATES OF PARSI HISTORY by PROFESSOR S. H. HODIWALA M. A. (pg309 TO 325)

Objects of the Iranian Assossiation.

  • To maintain the purity of the Zoroastrian religion and remove the excrescences that have gathered around it
  • To expose and counteract the effects of such teachings of Theosophists and others as tend
  1. To corrupt the religion of Zarathustra by adding elements foreign to it, and
  2. To bring about the degeneration of a progressive and virile community like the Parsis, and make them a body of superstitious and unpractical visionaries
  • To promote measures for the welfare and advancement of the community.

 

 

MEMBERS OF THE MANAGING COMMITTEE OF THE IRANIAN ASSOSSIATION

 

President                   Mr H. J Bhabha

Vice President           Mr J A Dalal

Mr L N Banaji

MEMBERS

Mr D F Gimi                  Mr Ardeshir Servai

Mr Padamji B Desai     Mr  N N Katrak

Mr M F Anklesaria       Mr D M Madan

Mr P A Engineer           N N Kanga

Mr Jamshedji Nadirshaw

 

Click Here to Download the entire work and read it at leisure

JOURNAL OF IRANIAN ASSOCIATION – QUESTIONS ON SOME HISTORICAL DATES

JOURNAL OF THE IRANIAN ASSOSSIATION VOL. II JANUARY 1914.
CONTENTS
THE TRADITIONAL DATES OF PARSI HISTORY by PROFESSOR S. H. HODIWALA M. A. (pg309 TO 325)
Objects of the Iranian Assossiation.
1) To maintain the purity of the Zoroastrian religion and remove the excrescences that have gathered around it
2) To expose and counteract the effects of such teachings of Theosophists and others as tend
a) To corrupt the religion of Zarathustra by adding elements foreign to it, and
b) To bring about the degeneration of a progressive and virile community like the Parsis, and make them a body of superstitious and unpractical visionaries
3) To promote measures for the welfare and advancement of the community.

MEMBERS OF THE MANAGING COMMITTEE

President Mr H. J Bhabha
Vice President Mr J A Dalal
Mr L N Banaji
MEMBERS
Mr D F Gimi Mr Ardeshir Servai
Mr Padamji B Desai Mr N N Katrak
Mr M F Anklesaria Mr D M Madan
Mr P A Engineer N N Kanga
Mr Jamshedji Nadirshaw

The original paper written by the historian Hodiwala on the traditional dates of Parsi history were published in this journal in 1914.

He explains that our knowledge of our ancient history is based on a poem Qissa I Sanjan written in 1599. There is much confusion regarding dates as there is no recorded history but a surmise is made depending on the events mentioned in the poem and matching it with the historical facts available. Thus he writes “the same event (the arrival of the Parsis at Sanjan) occurred in 716, 839 and 905 AD.”
” I believe these dates to be speculative dates, calculated dates, ex post facto results of calculations made upon the basis of a few generally accepted postulates, but combined diversely by different persons with conjectures, emendations and probable estimates of their own……..our ignorance of early Parsi history in this country is to-day almost as dense as it was fifty or a hundred years ago.”
He explains in detail in the original article in the Journal of the Iranian Assossiation which is attached.

 

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