Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Debating the decline – what people think about the Parsi population

I recently followed a Parsi Directory “Facebook post titled Parsi Count in India Plunges 18% to 57,264,” referring to the decade old 2011 Government of India census figures. I took part and watched as people posted their recommendations on how to combat the problem. As I glanced at these concerns and viewpoints I observed that the orthodox and reformist segments of the Parsi community were engaging in an ivory tower debate — and more often, a vituperative one! I confess I have also been an active participant, spouting views emerging from my real life experiences and frustrations. 

The discussion slowed down in a couple of days and, along with the other 20-plus participants, I too drifted away. A few days later I realized this was a haphazard collection of views on the vital issue of population decline! As we stand at the threshold of the 2021 census I went back to the Facebook page and copied the full segment to study the disparate views.
I rearranged the views on specific topics to decipher what motivated the writers. I have summarized the comments in each section below, keeping the intent of the writers.
The Census: There was not much interest in addressing the numbers of either the Parsi diaspora, or an acknowledgement that there are many Zoroastrians across the world who have no connection to the Indian subcontinent or its Parsi community. The Parsis unabashedly claim ownership of the Zoroastrian faith.
When discussing the census, the primary concern was that our numbers are diminishing rapidly and the Parsis face extinction.
A thread running throughout focused on Parsi racial purity. While a few unquestioningly supported the perspective, others found it repugnant. There were also pragmatic statements like, “The only reason for me to encourage community headcount going up is simple — strength in numbers. Everything else is incidental.” Another writer commented, “They’ll put us in Victoria Gardens with a board announcing ‘Endangered Species.’” One comment suggested: “Please read demographics published in Parsiana under caption Milestones.”
 
 
 
 
 

  Illustrations by Mickey Patel

 
 
 
Commenters noted the Indian census figures did not include the Parsi diaspora. Since the British departed from the subcontinent, many Parsis have migrated to other Commonwealth countries and to the USA. There are also transient Parsis residing in the Middle East.
Who is a Parsi: Strongly held views included statements like: “A Parsi is the child of a Parsi couple;” “Children of a mixed marriage can be Parsis only if the father is a Parsi;” “Parsis are a ‘pure race’ and the religion does not permit marriage with people of other races.”
Questionable claims supported the beliefs that conversion is not permitted in the Zoroastrian scriptures, and that the Supreme Court had observed that a person’s DNA does not change on marriage.
Marriage: Several believed it is the responsibility of adults to indoctrinate children that they can find a Parsi life partner if they really want to. Early marriages were encouraged, and women admonished for delaying childbirth, thereby limiting the number of children they can produce. Some spoke of couples linking up at international Zoroastrian congresses. One participant, however, differed: “It’s a matter of luck that guys and girls match up to expectation. From attending various conferences there are loads of options available if one gets lucky. But those who don’t find a partner will never find one. Speaking for myself, my current date is a non-Parsi. I am in my 30s and most of those platforms failed me a match… sorry, this is how it is for me and for many more!”
The problem is there are not enough platforms where Parsi youth can meet socially, except in high density Parsi colonies and baugs.
Non-Parsis also chimed in. “My best friend married a non-Parsi, and they drove him out of the community. Today, if the Parsis really want to survive, they need to marry a humdin and have three children.”
One writer noted that parents, especially mothers of marriageable women, are obsessively picky about who their daughters should marry. Invariably the daughters remained unmarried or marry too late to bear children.
To compensate for delayed marriages, some suggested using scientific interventions like semen banks, in-vitro fertilization, freezing eggs, and surrogacy to birth offspring more effectively.
Misinformation was scattered across the posts: that Zoroastrianism prohibited intermarriage; that racial purity is lost when a Parsi marries a non-Parsi; accepting that an intermarried Parsi man’s children are Parsis. And this led to a conclusion by a few that, “If intermarriage happens we will vanish from the surface of this earth!”
Conversion: It is probably the most volatile debate among Parsis. Challenges like, “If our religion did not allow conversion, how did it ever start?” received defensive responses like, “OK, so what’s your solution to this? Why don’t you come up with one?” The commenter responded, “For a start: equal acceptance of children of intermarriage, when either the father or the mother is a non-Parsi. Then: conversion to Zoroastrianism of anyone who wishes to join and follow the faith. The Parsi community in India cannot hold the Zoroastrian religion hostage under the faulty and despicable perception of racial purity.” The response received several “like” and “dislike” emojis!
The orthodox and the reformists stand firmly with heels dug in on opposite sides of every social and community issue. The terms “reformist” and “orthodox” are often used pejoratively by opposing sides of the debates. Both words actually have a positive bearing. The word “reform” implies a desirable and positive path to follow. It is a good word. But it is often confused with giving up what we value and treasure, and changing it to something different. Change is always threatening as we feel safe in a known condition, however uncomfortable and inconvenient it may be. Reform, instead, can be a meeting point of apparently opposing views. Change can be facilitated by collaboration. It can lead to reorganization, restructuring, modification, transformation, alteration, development and amendment. In a business management environment such thinking is rewarded, because positive and desirable strategies emerge when an organization is re-engineered.
Our community’s lay and spiritual leaders should listen to the needs of its members. Protecting antiquated rules to govern modern human and societal needs will not solve the problems the community is facing. It is never too late to match the fundamental tenets of the universal Zoroastrian faith to meet the social survival challenges overwhelming the Parsi community.
 
Yezdyar S. Kaoosji
Born and educated in Hyderabad, Yezdyar S. Kaoosji lives in California. He has worked nationally and internationally serving nongovernmental and voluntary organizations as a professional staff, trainer, and management consultant.
 
 
Yezdyar S. Kaoosji
yezdyk@gmail.com
+1-559-903-0404

Courtesy : Parsiana

Rejuvenation Through Manifestation

Parsi Khabar is happy to present it’s first ever online program this Navroze.
We will anchor a Nowruz 2021 Parenting Special titled

Rejuvenation Through Manifestation

with Dr. Mickey Mehta from Mumbai, India & Meher Amalsad from California, USA.
Saturday, March 13, 2020  07:00 PM Pacific,  10:00 PM Easterm
Sunday March 14, 2020  08:30 AM IST,  3:00 AM GMT
Host & Moderator: Arzan Sam Wadia, Founder of Parsi Khabar
This Special M&M Show Is Dedicated To Mickey and Meher’s Daughters Karishma And Anahita, as well as to All The Daughters Of Humanity.
Join us for this enlightened session on the joys of parenting, as they share their special Father-Daughter relationship of unconditional love and spirituality with humanity.

About Dr. Mickey Mehta

Global Leading Holistic Health Guru And Corporate Life Coach
Dr. Mickey Mehta completed 50 years of yoga with 39 years of Pioneering experience  in the Health And Wellness industry.
Dr. Mickey Mehta is a leading global holistic health guru and a corporate life coach to Bollywood superstars, top politicians, India Inc. and several Miss Worlds and Miss Universes. The recipient of ‘The Health and Wellness Icon of India’ award by Economic Times and is among the ‘100 Most Impactful Wellness Leaders of the World’ as announced at the Global Wellness Conclave 2018.
He is considered the first personal trainer of India, the first fitness columnist and the first fitness TV and radio presenter in India. He has trained police, army, navy and air force personnel.
An honorary double doctorate in Holistic Health and Life Sciences, from the Open International University for Complementary Medicines. He is author of best sellers ‘The Shoonyam Quotient’ and ‘Lose weight gain shape’. Also, a speaker at Harvard University, IIMs, IIT and held holistic health workshops globally.
The author, poet, philosopher, the brand, the institution, the legendary – DR. MICKEY MEHTA who gets you Energized, Naturalized, Optimized, Maximized, Wellness Revolutionized and gets you IMMUNIZED and MICKEYMIZED!!!
Follow Dr. Mickey Mehta on Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin | Instagram

About Meher Amalsad

Professional Speaker And Author Of  Bread for the Head ™
Meher Amalsad is an Engineer, Educator, Inventor, Professional Speaker and published Author of Bread for the Head ™
This gift book is filled with thoughts, ideas and affirmations that inspires the heart, motivates the mind and transforms the soul, with prime focus on Parenting, Unconditional Love, Spiritual Consciousness, Success, and Excellence. This work which is rooted in ‘ROLE MODELING rather than RULE MODELING’ has been used by corporations, schools, children, parents, teachers, hospitals, wellness centers as well as healing and rehabilitation centers. His work has been showcased to over hundred million people across the globe through his appearance on numerous Radio, Cable, Satellite and Television Talk Shows nationwide. His philosophies are simple yet applicable in each and every aspect of life. (www.Bread4TheHead.com).
His purpose is to help others excel academically, discover and maximize their true passions, and become their authentic best selves.
His work is focused on EMPOWERING PEOPLE to create a footprint of success, in them.
Meher has served as the Founding Chair of the North American And World Zoroastrian Youth Congresses since 1985.
He has worked as a Program Manager for Hughes Aircraft Company, which is one of the top Aerospace Defense Companies in the world.
His life’s work has been focused on creating UNITY WITHIN DIVERSITY IN HUMANITY.
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 The Lost Tribe……Parsis of South Africa – Jaloo Camay

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How do I begin to describe the sense of desolation, isolation and solitude, and the lack of an identity that we as Parsi Zarathustis- are experiencing here in our  beautiful country South Africa? Where do we belong amongst the multitude of religions and cultures we are surrounded with here in Sourh Africa? We tried very hard to blend in by dissolving like sugar in milk like our forefathers did when they took refuge in India. However, in that dissolution,  over the years, we have lost our identity and sense of belonging  and have dwindled into a miniscule  plus/minus 25 Parsees in the whole of SA! The majority of us are resident in Johannesburg and a handful live in Durban. I have no knowledge of any Parsees living in Cape Town. I am able to count every memeber of the Parsi community here, on my fingertips.  The passing away of the older generation coupled with the emigration of the younger generation resulted in minimising the Parsee population here in SA. We have become, in essence, members of a long lost lost tribe that is slowly just dwindling away. I am one such lost member- seeking  a glimpse of our people, our religion, our culture, our language, our humour, our drama, our flair; like a thirsty traveller trying to find a mirage in a desert.  My name is Jaloo Camay and this is my story.

Many Parsi families left SA back in the 1960s to settle overseas mostly in the UK.  My parents and a handful of others however decided to stay here as we did not have the finanacial means to settle abroad. We therefore missed out on the golden opportunity to mingle with and stay amongst our community. I often fantasize of how different my life would have been today had my family emigrated to the UK back then.

Parsi Zarathustris and all their related brethren –  all over the world have found some sort of a niche for themselves by belonging to a Zoroastrian Assocition or to affiliated  religious and cultural organisation. Alas over here, in SA we have absolutely nothing, no organisation , no functions no get-togethers, no Jashans,  no Gambars,  no Navroze or Pateti celebrations etc etc . We have absolutely zilch. It is almost as though we are living in a solitary vacuum.

I will not go into discussing the history of how the Parsees came to SA. I will leave that to my brother – Dr Sohrab Shapurjee- who is an avid historian and can narrate the story if anybody is interested. Suffice it to say that my grandfather  Shapurjee Cavasjee Patel came to SA in the 1900s with his wife Ratanbai and two sons Shiavax -my elder Kakajee and Framroze my Dad and started a small business in Johannesburg. Dad went back to Navsari India and got married to Khorshedbanu Nariman Kapadia. They had two childern here in Johannesburg  – my brother Sohrab and myself. That is how we ended up in SA. Both my parents are sadly late now. I have always been questioned about my married surname : Camay. Well, my great grandfather-in-law – Mr Nadirshaw Cama saw it fit to anglicize his surname from “Cama” to “Camay” when he arrived here in SA in the 1900s hence the surname “Camay”. As for the name “Jaloo” – that too is unique here in SA. It would be very interesting if anybody could kindly explain its meaning to me. It doesn’t sound like a  Persian name and seems to have a Gujerati ring to it. Was it concocted by the Parsees in India?  I would love to know especially because I have always been asked about the origin and meaning of my unusual name. I secretly wished my parents had named me with a globally recognisable name!?

Growing up in SA without the much needed exposure to our religion and culture and the absence of a wide Parsee community became problematic for us. It was always difficult to explain who we are to friends who never heard of Parsees and looked at us quizically and were perplexed by our answers. You are a what? What is a Parsi?  With my limited knowledge, I then tried to narrate to them in a nutshell, our epic saga:  how our ancestors came from ancient Iran and how were prosecuted by Muslim Arabs and how some of us were forced to convert and some of us were slaughtered and how some of us fled to India to find refuge from persecution. Where do you pray? Where is your temple ? Who is your God? What do you celebrate? These were endless questions posed by my friends and my answers were scanty. In the world of modern technology, however, I can now refer people to Google ” Zoroastrianism” to satisfy their curiosity about our religion. However, back then, we did not have the convenience and luxury of the internet.

The only time I felt a sense of belonging was when my parents took my brother and myself to Bombay ( now of course Mumbai) for our Navjotes. I marvelled at the fact that there were other people other children just like me, wearing the sudreh and kusti and recting Ashem Vohu and Yatha Ahu Vairyo. I saw and entered an Atash Behram and Agriary for the first time and heard our prayers recited not by my father but by a real Dasturjee? I felt elated and excited and for the first time felt proud to be a Parsi. I wore the sudreh kusti proudly and performed all the prayers I knew. I savoured the fragrance of burning sandalwood, the melodious chanting of our soothing prayers and most impotrtantly – being amongst my own kind.

The early days of my childhood were relatively happy as back then, our parents ensured that we go together via The Johannesburg Parsi Association.  I then had some modicum of belonging, some sense of my identity as a Parsee. As a child,  I still remember we had a Parsi Anjuman, and we had a number of  Jashans, navjotes and even a wedding – functions that were organised by the the Parsi Association made up of members from the very small Parsee community – here mostly our fathers. Everybody knew everybody.  In fact, I chose my life partner from the handfull of eligible Parsi boys here. The biggest drawback for us as children, was the absence of a Dasturjee and regular religious classes. What we knew about Zoroastrianism was what our parents taught us; but as most parents, they were preoccupied with earning a living and had little time for religious discussions and meetings. All I remember is watching my parents perform the kusti prayers and my mother praying every day in the morning and at night. I also remmber the divo being lit every day in our small and modest home. and sandalwood burning in a small afarghan. My father  was considered as a “priest” here as he knew some of the prayers mainly for Jashans and for funerals.  I also remember Dara Uncle – Mr Dara Tavaria who also officiated prayers with my Dad. they were our “dasturjees” Right up until his demise , my Dad conducted all the Parsee funerals to the best of his ability. Now after his demise, my brother Dr Sohrab Shapurjee tries to conduct funeral prayers. The irony is that the handful of Parsees here come together at funerals only -rather than other joyous occasions like Navroze or Pateti ?! It is truely a very sad state of affairs!

As we have no dokhma facilites here in SA, we have no option but to bury or cremate and for this we have a very small Parsee Cemetry in Johannesburg sandwiched between the Jewish and Christian cemetries. Legend has it that one of our forefathers acquired this small piece of land from the ruling Afrikaner Nationalist Party leader at the time. We take solace in the fact that at least in death we have some recognition as a Parsee and can be buried or cremated in our own Parsee cemetry.

I also rememeber few picnics being organised for us, the children and it gave us a sense of belonging of togetherness and comraderie.  This was important as at school, we were always the odd ones out especially when it came to other religious festivals or celebrations like Eid, Diwali, Christmas etc. For us Navroze and Pateti was like any other day and we attended school like it was a normal day. We “celebrated” by eating sev, dhai and mori dal chaval and macchi no paatio and wearing new clothes. Compare this to going to the Atash Behram and celebrating with thousands of other Zarathustris!

Unfortunately for all of us, the youngsters of my generation did nothing about carrying on and nurturing the Association after our fathers passed away. I am guilty of this as well. It seemed nobody was interested in organising activities, Jashans, outings and talks and everything came to a standstill as each one of us enclosed ourselves in our little world at the expense of losing touch with our religion and culture. The visits became less and less and then stopped completely and instead rivarly, bitterness, jealousy and complete indifference crept in. Under these circumstances, there was no place for unity  love and comraderie. It became selfishly like everyone for themselves

It s quite a sad state of affairs and I think it could have been averted if the Parsee youth of my generation had stepped up and taken over and continued the efforts of our forefathers. Most importantly,  however, things could have been much  better if a Dasturjee had decided to settle in SA. So many other countries have had the benefit of having Dasturjees live amongst them. We, however, were not so lucky??!

I as a child and right up to today I have always practised “Good thoughts, good words and Good deeds” I also believe in helping those less fortunate than myself and bringing happiness to others because it makes me happy. A reflection of one of our Asho Zarathustra’s profound quotes: “Happiness comes to them who bring happiness to others.”  The three principles of Humata, Hukhta and Hvarshta govern my whole life. I have never thought ill of anybody, I have never spoken bad or evil words and I have never harmed anybody physically orf mentally. I will always be true to these three tenets till the end of my life. All of Asho Zararthustra’s quotes are so profound, so meaningful and have brought a lot of wisdom and comfort to me and I strive to practice as many as I can.

I had this void – this spiritual bankrupcy in my soul for many years now. I didn’t feel like a Parsee, I didn’t belong like a Parsee.  All I had with me was the divo I burn daily  a little afarghan, the Khordeh Avesta and my undying faith in Dadar Ahura Mazda.  However, with the advent of the internet and once I became technologically savvy I have managed to fill part of this void. A huge “Thank you” to the Dasturjees who recorded our prayers so we could listen to them at home and even attaend virtual meetings courtesy of Zoom. Ironically, this is one positive side effect of the deadly pandemic COVID-19. It definitely brought us closer.  I have now found my spiritual side and pray together with the Dasturjees every single day nourishing my soul. It gives me a sense of purpose of being part of the flock in spirit if not in the flesh.It provides light and comfort, peace and serenity in this stage of my life.

I may not have access to an Atash Behram, or Agiary to say my prayers. I am, however, constantly mindful of the following quote by our Prophet: ” One need not scale the heights of heavens nor travel along the highways of the world to find Ahura Mazda. With purity of mind and holiness of heart one can find Him in one’s own heart”. That is exactly what I am doing:  finding my Ahura Mazda deep inside my heart in my home.

I am truely thankful that I learnt to read and write the Gujerati language and it is all thanks to my late Mom who was a Gujerati school teacher. Today I can read or recite prayers in the Khordeh Avesta. Somehow the English version just doesn’t seem authentic! I would really like to know what I am praying in the ancient Avestan language. Has there been an attempt to translate the meaning of all the prayers either in English or even in Gujerati? I would appreciate it if anybody could refer me to the books or literature.The words are, rhythmic, melodious yet powerful and soothing. Yet they are in an ancient language not spoken any more. We dont technically understand the words but spiritually, we understand.

Culturally I am also bereft. How I long to hear colloquial words like : “Sahebji, tame kem cho?”, “Merere…..”, ” O khodaiji!”, “Dikra… dikri….”. I long to get those bear hugs- the “kotis”. I miss the fragrance of sandalwood burning in the afarghan at the Atash Behram or Agiary, the melodious yet powerful chanting of our beautiful and deeply meaningful prayers. I long to hear conversations in the Parsi Gujerati dialect and savoured every moment of this when I watched a hilarious Parsi Natak on Youtube! I remeber saying to myself – that is who we are — funny, whimsical, fun-loving, witty adaptable, intellgent, and unique.

Seeing or meeting another Parsee is indeed, a rare novelty for us. Everytine I heard any Parsee name like Ratan Tata, Godrej, Zubin Mehta, Gen Sam Manekshaw , Dadabhai Nawzroji, et al , I feel so proud and wanted to shout out “that’s a Parsee just like me!” I remember about a decade ago, I bumped into a Parsi lady shopping at one of our local supermarkets and it was like I had found a gem ! I recognised her from her mannerisms and the red and gold bangles on her hands. I rushed up to her and introduced myself and then arranged to meet with her family. She had come to SA to visit her daughter and son-in-law who were sent to SA by the company they worked for in India. Just talking to them all I felt so connected as though I had found my long lost relatives!!

I got married to a South Afriacan Parsee – Phiroshaw Camay in 1973 and we had three lovely children – two daughters Arnaaz and Pareen and a son Hormuz. Unfortunately, my ex husband passed away in Oct 2016. He was instrumental in helping to develop the trade union  movement in SA and was well known for his selfless involvement in NGOs in the country. I am a proud Mamaiji to two beuatiful grandchildren – Zhara and Ethan. They are truely the loves of my life! They bring an abundance of joy in my life!

I also have a few maternal and paternal relatives mainly in USA and UK. From my in-law’s side I have family living in Arizona:  My brother-in-law Dr Nadirshaw Camay, my sister-in-law Zarine, their two daughters Michelle and Nina, their grandson Kiyaan. Sadly Nadirshaw passed away a couple of days ago – may his soul rest in eternal peace. He was a wonderful human being, a much loved Dentist,  caring and loving and always a smile on his face. It is a tragic loss for the Camay family. Zoom has, however made it easy for us to keep in touch. In SA I am forunate enough to have a few relatives like my brother Dr Sohrab Shapurjee and his family and also my brother-in-law Behram Camay and his wife Shamla and their son Bradley.

My biggest regret for my chidren, however,  is the fact that I failed to provide knowledge of the Zoroastrian religion, rituals and culture to my children mainly because of my limited knowledge. All I had were a few books on the religion and whatever my parents had taught me – which was insuffcient. However I have always kept a divo burning in the house and said the prayers I knew. I also tried very hard to instil the value of “Good thoughts, Good Words and Good deeds” into them.  I also ensured that Pateti and Navroze were special days for them. But what they needed most as children was a teacher – who would teach them guide them to become good Parsees. They desperately needed to attend religious classes conducted by a Dasturjee which were non-existent here.

We performed the Navjote cermonies of my two daughters here in SA in 1990 by asking one of our Dasturjee relatives to come to SA. My son’s Navjote was performed in Mumbai by a Vadha Dasturjee in 1995. I tried to ensure that they did their Kusti prayers regularly. However, It was not enough to susutain their interest and committment to the religion. They became like lost sheep wandering off from the flock and tried to assimilate themselves in the country of their birth. Things would have been different if we had been living in UK, USA or Australia or of course, Mumbai. Their religious and cultural interest would have been sustained and nourished by the many Associations, Jashans and outings, conferences, seminars etc. It is encouraging to know that my son, Hormuz has shown a genuine interest in wanting to learn more about his religion and I will direct him to the various avenues and opportunities to obtain the information he seeks. I am hoping he will be able to attend the Zoroastrian World Congress to be held in New York in 2022.

However, now with the help of modern technology there are so many avenues to obtain knowledege of our relgion. How I wish I had all these modern tools at my disposal back then in the 1990s when my children were small. I really wanted them to get exposure to our religion and culture by emigrating to countries like UK USA, Australia, New Zealand where there was a sizeable Zoroastrian population. However, due to my finanacial circumstances this was not possible and so they stayed in SA. and had to mingle in the hotchpotch of diverse cultures and religions. I really feel I failed miserably as a mother in this regard. They missed out on the opportunity to meet, mingle, identify and  get a sense of belonging with other Zoroastrians across the globe. They would have had much needed exposure to our religion. Obviously, now they can get as much info as they want on their religion due to the internet. However, be that as it may, they would still lack the personal interaction with their bretheren. Attending zoom meetings or reading religious literature is not the same as meeting Zarathustris in the flesh and developing friendships, sharing and exchanging ideas and as most Parsi mothers fantasize – they could even find their life partners!?

In conclusion I would like to say to all my fellow Zarathustris all over the world: Count your blessings that you are living in the midst of our vibrant community and can reap the benefit of belonging to our community. You have an identity that you can share with other humdins, you can stand in the middle of New York City, Melbourne or London and shout out loud that you are a Zarathustri and be proud to be a member of the Zarathustri flock. The next time you attend a Navjote, wedding or a jashan ceremony think about how  fortunate you are to have the priviledge of being amongst your fellow Zarathustris and our Dasturjees. Do not ever take that for granted and treasure every moment you can by belonging to this beautiful,  pure and simple religion that teaches one to follow the paths of truth, rightheousness, humility, goodness, kindness & humanity.

 

Jaloo Camay

jaloocamayt@gmail.com

NEVER LET NEGATIVITY BOG YOU DOWN SAYS MATHS GENIUS MINOO JOKHI

Every human being has problems to face in life and many of them succumb to life pressures but a few dare to be different and fight back bravely and against all odds. Minoo Jokhi is one such Shining Example.

A shy kid from a broken family; one who was the weakest of the weak in Maths and one who saw so many problems; Minoo faced every challenge that has been thrown to him bravely.

People do tend to avoid their weaknesses. But Minoo Jokhi made his weakest point his BIGGEST ASSET. Minoo was very unhappy that he was a Big Failure in Maths. Being ridiculed by his teachers and all children around him; Minoo started to learn basic TABLES uptil 20. He would add and subtract bus numbers and all vehicles numbers.  This small exercises when done on a regular basis became a Number Crunching Habit with Minoo. Encouraged by his mother Kety; Minoo soon started to love Numbers. His mother fully encouraged him and she brought up Minoo and his younger brother Hoshang up single handedly amidst lots of problems really well. Minoo still has tears recalling those days.

Today the then Math Failure Minoo remembers tables up to one crore, can also multiply huge figures mentally at amazing speeds, can remember over 2000 telephone numbers, can tell you the day of any date from 1st January 1600 to date; also remembers Cube Roots up to hundred crores and does many such mental feats. In many Maths Skills; Minoo can defeat the Calculator. He has been featured in over 100 Newspapers and has come over 15 times on Television. He has also written over 45 Articles on Memory Development Topics in various newspapers.

Minoo Jokhi is the Second Indian after General Sam Maneckshaw to have been conferred the prestigious Honorary Membership of the Rotary Club of Bombay Hills South. He has performed abroad too at the 7th World Zoroastrian Congress, USA in the year 2000 and at the International Medical Congresses held in Sri Lanka in 2002, 2003,2004 2005 ,2007 and 2012. He also went to Sri Lanka in 2014 and performed 6 Mathemagic Shows. He has also performed at the Parliament of World Religions held in Spain, Barcelona in  2004 and represented India as the only youth Speaker at the Quest for Global Healing Conference in Indonesia in 2006. He also performed at the North American Zoroastrian Congress in Toronto in 2007 and won the hearts of Canadian people there.  He has also performed in many parts of India like Bangalore, Dharampur, Chennapatna, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Navsari, Chennai, Kerala, Kolkata and Lonavala.

The Corona pandemic came to destroy the world in the last 12-14 months but Minoo is 100 % CONFIDENT the old pre-corona world will return. He is an extremely positive individual and refuses to get stressed but is ready to face it well. Minoo urges all to take proper precautions regarding Corona but at the same time is not negative but positive that this is a passing phase. To build Good Health and Immunity; Minoo advises all to do Physical exercise for 25-45 minutes minimum as it has a great effect on your cognition; also it keeps the individuals body healthy and improves circulation, which means the brain is able to get fresh oxygen more quickly.

 

4 Tips Minoo gives to school and college students to study effectively include:

1)  Begin on time: Start your work on time and do not waste time on unnecessary things.

 

2)  Self-assessment: Study-time should be genuinely effective. See if you really studying or frittering away time.

 

3) Time-Management: See that proper time is allotted to each subject and to each part of all the subjects. Do the difficult questions first when more fresh.

 

4)  Regular Breaks: Divide and plan the work and allow time for recreation. Rest relieves fatigue, not boredom, so a difficult task may be even more difficult after a break. Time your breaks properly.

Also Minoo wants people to be good in Observation. According to him; a person with a good power of Observation has alertness and a good presence of mind. E.g. Newton saw the apples falling from the tree and discovered the Law of Gravity.  Also he adds study for 30 minutes with full Concentration rather than 3-4 hours in an absentminded frame of mind. You cannot be productive in work, study or anything else without Concentration.

Minoo is also a very Successful and Dedicated Memory Development Trainer having taught over 6,000 students. His classes are FUN CUM LEARN and he has created various levels of his Memory Enhancement cum Vedic Maths Classes and people right from 4 till 75 years age have learned from him.

Minoo has a great passion for Acting and has acted in the T.V.Show Nagin 3 in 2018. He has also acted in Short Films as well as Dramas. He has also won several Public-Speaking Competitions and is an avid Lawn Tennis Player. He has won the Vazirani National Sports Academy Singles Title 8 times which is the current Male Record there.

The best thing about this Mathemagician is that he is hungry to learn constantly and is amazingly versatile. He is a brilliant public speaker having won 15 first prizes, is a LIC Agent and practices Yoga, etc.   He loves sharing Math Tricks. E.g. what is 75 multiply by 75. First multiply 5 and 5 which is 25 and take the first digit 7 and multiply it by the next number 8 and the answer is 56 and total answer is 5625 . He sees to it that his students understand how the Memory has to be trained and how things learned once can never be forgotten.  He can be contacted on Mobile No 9821407519 and his e-mail is minoojokhi@rediffmail.com He also has a website: http://www.minoojokhi.in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sammy Bhiwandiwalla passes away

With deep sorrow we inform you of the sudden demise of ZTFE Life Member and WZO Chairman Mr Sammy H Bhiwandiwalla who passed away earlier today, Sunday 27th December 2020, Roj Gosh Mah Amardad. He was 81 years old.

A sad loss to Sammy’s wife Ursula, son Cyrus, daughter in law Christine,  daughter Nicola, son in law David and his grandchildren- (Cyrus and Christine’s children) : Chloe – Rose, Marcus, Reubens; (Nicola and David’s children) : Lara, Rhea and Thomas.

Prayers for Sammy will be performed at the WZO Home as per the WZO email below.

May the soul of Sammy’s rest in peace in Garothman.

Yours sincerely
Malcolm M Deboo
ZTFE President

27th December 2020

Dear Members and Well- wishers,

We are deeply saddened to inform you that our Chairman, Sammy Bhiwandiwalla passed away on 27th December 2020, Gosh Roj, Amardad Mah.

We convey our sincere condolences to his wife Ursula, son Cyrus, daughter in law Christine,  daughter Nicola, son in law David and his grandchildren- (Cyrus and Christine’s children) : Chloe – Rose, Marcus, Reubens; (Nicola and David’s children) : Lara, Rhea and Thomas.
The family wishes that you will join them in prayers for his dear departed soul.

Day 2 – Evening Sarosh No Kardo
Dec 28, 2020 04:30 PM LondonJoin our Cloud HD Video Meeting
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Day 3 – Afternoon Uthamnu
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Sammy Bhiwandiwalla together with his wife Ursula started their own company in 1970 supporting the foundry and industrial model making industry. After 35 years they decided to call it a day and devote some time to the second generation. Ursula and Sammy have always taken an active interest in community matters in the UK and were greatly influenced by the actions and sincere beliefs of individuals such as Noshirwan Cowasjee, Shirinbanoo Kutar, Shahpur Captain and many others, that in a changing world it was necessary to create a more balanced and equitable community within the UK. He joined the WZO Board in 1988 and since then has served in various capacities including being the Chairman of WZO.
Sammy has done great service to the organisation by securing funds from a range of sources to ensure that its core work of aiding Zoroastrians and making information available about the religion can continue. He was particularly interested in ensuring equality of rights and treatment for all Zoroastrians, particularly recognizing that non-Zoroastrian spouses and their offspring were an integral part of our community and to be treated as equals.

May Sammy’s soul rest in Garothman Behest

With Profound Sadness,
WZO Committee Members

 

Bombay Parsi Punchayet To Appoint A New Chairman

Announcement expected within next few days; current chairman Yazdi H Desai has given his resignation citing health reasons

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) Board of Trustees is set to meet in the next few days to appoint a new chairman after current chairman Yazdi H Desai gave in his resignation on December 23.

Desai, who held the prestigious post for five years, has resigned citing health reasons. The BPP’s Viraf Mehta said, “The Board is set to meet within a few days to accept Desai’s resignation and appoint a new chairman. This will be a zoom (virtual meet).”

Desai in his resignation, addressed to colleague trustees of the BPP, stated that as all of them are aware, he had suffered a stroke in April this year. The letter said further, “Doctors have informed me that full recovery may take longer than I had anticipated, due in no small measure to the fact that I was unable to get any therapy for the initial four months, due to the prevailing pandemic situation.”

Terming it necessary to take this “hard and painful decision”, Desai said that to fast-track his full recovery, his doctors have ordered him to avoid stress. He added that for the past 20 years, his life has revolved around his community and the Punchayet. Desai ended his letter saying it has been a “privilege and honour” to serve the community, acknowledging the support of his wife, Anahita.

https://www.mid-day.com/articles/bombay-parsi-punchayet-to-appoint-a-new-chairman/23161242

Triibute to our dear friend Shahpur Captain

Our dear Shahpur was introduced to us by our aunt Ruby Contractor in 1983 when they visited India with others to create awareness about the establishment of WZO.

Since then our friendship with Shahpur blossomed into a very close and fulfilling relationship. It was Shahpur’s vision that WZO undertake community welfare work in India and it was solely due to his enthusiasm, support and guidance that we took the first tentative steps to establish the WZO Trusts in India.

It was our good fortune that in the initial years we had Shahpur to fall back on whenever we needed guidance and support. He regularly visited India once every year till 2007 to visit with us, villages in Gujarat, meet beneficiaries and view the transformation taking place in their lives.

The humble Parsi farmers remember Shahpur even at present and consider him to be one of their benefactors. Their prayers will resonate with those of many others for the smooth transition of his soul from the physical to spiritual realms.

We extend to Shahpur’s wife Inderjit and daughter Armaity our deepest and sincere condolences.

Rest In Peace Dear Friend.

From Bachi & Dinshaw Tamboly

 

============================================

I had known Shahpur from my early years of the 1960s in London. At that time, Shahpur was the youngest Treasurer Trustee of the Zoroastrian House (The Incorporated Zoroastrian Association of Europe). As an astute Chartered accountant, he brought order to the funds at the Zoroastrian House. And this helped the Zoroastrian House move from 11 Russell Road in Kensington to Compayne Gardens in Finchley Road/Hampstead area.
He encouraged Zoroastrian Youth to actively participate in the activities at the Zoroastrian House. And these activities did not stop at fun and enjoyment but in helping our community and others. I remember going to Brookwood cemetery each year during the Farvandian days and cleaning out the areas around where our ancestors’ remains are buried. I am not sure who had started this annual picnic-like event but each year Shahpur encouraged youth to participate in it.
May his noble soul rest in eternal Peace and May Ahura Mazda bless his soul in Grothman Behest! My sincere condolences to Inderjeet and Armaity and other members of Captain family.
Homi D Gandhi

Women Rights In Parsi Community

India is a huge and extraordinary nation having a population over 1.3 billion (130 crore), extending from Kashmir in the north to Kanyakumari in the south, from Thar Dessert in the west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east. This country is home to various individuals following various religions, ideologies, cultures and customs, communicating in numerous dialects and languages. Being the biggest democracy on the planet which has government structure.

Regardless of this unique variety, there goes a strong spirit among the citizens in the whole country from south to north and west to east, the spirit of ‘We Are Indians. To make our country ahead of all, we need to have a society based on gender equality where everyone can live happily sharing fair chances of progress, rights and duties, where everyone can have equality in dynamic, monetary and social opportunity.

Women strengthening is imperative to development of any country and to secure and sustain basic liberties. The Constitution of India ensures equal rights furthermore, benefits to all citizens without any discrimination on any grounds. In spite of various safeguards by various laws and the basic essence of our constitution, women still today need to battle hard to make the most of their privileges at nearly every point of life.

The need of the hour is to change the orthodox mindset that is hindering the growth of women in our society need to be changed not by force or any kind of authoritativeness but by actually changing their views. The methodology used by researcher is doctrinal research methodology because empirical conditions being the favourable mode of study. Researcher has found the issue in interest of society, so this research can be termed as socio legal research.

Researcher has studied the relevant literature available in books, case laws and various databases. The questions that researcher has dealt in the paper is whether the religious laws are still competent enough to solve the issues in the modern times, what are the difficulties facing by the citizens from the orthodox mindset and whether an effective research has been done in recent times in the areas of interest?

The objectives that has been set by the researcher is to find out the condition of the balancing of two system of laws in the modern society, to find out the problems occurring around the masses with relation to the changing in law pattern and to make research paper in such a way so that the system can be revised for betterment by suggestions.

Parsi Law

The Parsi community initially hailed from the area of ‘Pers’ in Iran. They later settled in India in Daman and Diu during 600 AD, later spreading to different pieces of the nation. Likewise reflected in their laws concerning marriage and separation, an affectionate network has been maintained by the Parsis keeping up their own different and distinct rituals.

During the British era, the Britishers came up with English Civil Law to handle the disputes and expected everyone to abide by it but the Hindusand Muslims were exempted from English law and were governed according to their personal laws because their laws were rooted in religion. Interestingly, the concept of personal laws was not uniformly applied to Parsis and were governed by the English Law only. It was the first time in 1865, when Parsis drafted their own personal law regarding intestate succession and the Parsis Marriage and Divorce Act, 1865 came into existence.[1]

It was this act only which was incorporated of the Indian Succession Act, 1925. The elder members of the community, to be specific, Parsis Central Association were not satisfied with the legislation and did not found it to be relevant on the social grounds and perspectives of the community felt the need to change the laws. A Parsi Law Association was formed whose aim was to draft a new legislation based on complete knowledge of Parsis custom.

It was, in this way, changed and was at last titled as Parsi Marriage and Dissolution Act, 1936. It was finally amended by an Amendment Act in 1939 and since then it is being followed strictly. Marriage is considered as a profound order under Parsi Law, and marriage and separation of Parsis in India is governed under the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 (from now on alluded to as PMDA) and its 1988 change. Separation under this law can be allowed on grounds, for example, non-fulfillment inside a time of marriage, infidelity, brutality, unnatural offense, etc.[2]

Denying the basic rights of self-assurance, self-governance and sufficient admittance to assets to women, the PMDA has often been questioned on the reasons of being ominous to the rights of ladies. Endeavors at eliminating the man centric stranglehold over Parsi law and changes intended to address the equivalent, have been ineffective. The procedure with utilization of the jury framework under the PMDA is one of the components that antagonistically impacts the privileges of Parsi women.[3] This uniqueness of the Parsi framework has been broadly criticized. The advancement of the framework and the reactions leveled towards it have been managed under the resulting heads.

Jury System In Parsis And Criticism

The Parsis being one of the main groups to grasp the English culture and educational framework, additionally taught the act of jury preliminaries into their traditions. The use of Jury framework for Parsis was classified in the PMDA by the Federal Assembly which depended on a bill submitted to the Council of State by Sir Pheroze Sethna in 1935. Segments 19 and 20 of the PMDA endorse the use of jury framework in settling marital questions. Cases on the matters of divorce for Parsis are to be presided by a five-member jury.

These jurists (likewise alluded to as delegates) are influential and powerful individuals from the Parsi Panchayat (people group). They are named for a period of 10 years by the Chief Justices of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras High Courts, and direct preliminaries inside the regional locale of these High Courts. The jury meets hardly any times each year to arrange all pending marital cases.

For different purviews, Parsi District Matrimonial Courts are to be comprised which has a comparative majority of jury individuals. Individuals from the jury are looked over a polling form from a waitlist of intrigued legal jurors, the rundown of which is set up by the Parsi Panchayat. Jury obligation is viewed as network administration and conveys ostensible compensation. The decisions of the jury are authoritative however can be challenged in the High Court and Supreme Court.

The jury have been conceded far and wide powers, with the main limitation on them being their failure to choose issues of divorce settlement and child custody. Since the PMDA doesn’t indicate any particular time period for disposition of the case, and on the grounds that the hearers meet just barely a few times each year, the separation applications are stuck in a colossal build-up going back to quite a long while. In certain occasions the timespan among assessment and interrogation of the gatherings to the divorce case happen quite a long while separated from one another.

The interminable time for choosing cases unfavorably impacts the gatherings engaged with the dispute, with the deferral in adjudicating the case negatively affects the individual both from emotional and financial circumstances of the parties in question. In addition, since the debate is before a jury, whose capacity to value the law is intrinsically lesser than that of the bench, the contentions in Parsi divorce cases are typically more genuinely charged and emotional. An extra disadvantage is that the judges are assailed with a solid male centric attitude as the jury is made only out of more established men, while amusingly, the majority of the offended parties looking for separation are ladies.

The unbalanced portrayal of women in the jury is very unfortunate and disturbing. This has gotten under the skin of the Courts, with the Bombay High Court naming the jury framework for the Parsis to be a gratuitous extravagance. In the 2014 instance of Rohinton Panthkay v. Armin Panthkay[4], the Court came to conclusion that the assortment of proof was by and large unduly postponed since 2012 as, there had been no meeting with the jury by any stretch of the imagination, and under Parsi law the proof must be gathered in nearness of the jury.

The Court communicated its disappointment at the slow functioning of the jury and called for procedural changes to be made to the framework and saw that such changes would not be against the holiness of the faith.

Case Of Naomi Sam Irani

This notable case law is important to mention pertaining the study of women rights in Parsi community. Mrs. Irani who had been married for a long time, and also had two kids. She looked for separation from her husband on grounds of brutality before Bombay High Court. The jury was not designated even after two years of recording the appeal. In this manner confronted with the unavoidable and delayed deferral in progress of the procedures, she chose to move towards the Apex Court.

In her request before the Supreme Court she contended the Sections 18, 19, 20, 24, 30, 46 and 50 of the PMDA (which manage the jurisdiction, constitution and arrangement of the members of the jury) as being violative of Art 14 and 21 of the Constitution. She contended that the PMDA had denied her of the specific purview of typical family courts, and exposed her to mental anguish.

The system was certified to have entered Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality, as it shields Parsi women from pushing toward customary family courts, and profiting the preferences loosened up by them. This spots Parsi ladies on a different level opposite ladies having a place with different beliefs, along these lines proliferating imbalance within the gender on the basis of religion.

The legitimacy of personal laws is dependent upon their testing on the standard of fundamental rights, and contradiction with the same can deliver such personal laws to be invalid.[5] It is significant that family courts are well-versed with services of child care centre, guides, in-camera hearings and prepared adjudicators who fill in as directing officials, and these advantages are inadequate in the Parsi jury framework.

Further, the determination and bench of jury takes a preposterous measure of time, which causes ridiculous deferral in continuing of the case. The fact about the existence of breach of privacy is also disturbing as it gives arbitrary individuals from the neighborhood Parsi people group the opportunity to offer assessments on sensitive and individual issues. In addition to it, the parties probably won’t be agreeable in illustrating proof or making claims against one another in presence of the individuals from their own locality.

Likewise, the Act doesn’t recommend any imperative rules for capability as a jury part. Hence, the greater part of the jury is one-sided attributable to cultural standards, and virtues, rather than sound legitimate or legal standards. Having taken cognisance of the issue, the Supreme Court gave a notification to the Central Government, guiding it to advance its perspectives on the issue. The Center is set to make its entries in the forthcoming months.

Women In Parsi Community

In Parsi community, the position of women is not observed to be strong and in-fact the personal laws of the community are discriminatory which though has no foundation in the actual religious belief. For the sake of an example, if a Parsi women marries someone from other community, she is without any reason is expelled from the community and it does not matter whether still her religious belief is same.[6]

Parsis though small in number but is one of the most progressive community with 90% literacy rate and firm control on Indian industryand trade but these statistics are found to be meaningless where women are still discriminated, the community has the most unjust inheritance laws which only shows gender bisases.[7] The rights of women in the Parsi community can be examined through sacred writings and antiquated Zoroastrian writings, for example, the Avesta.

Notwithstanding, the sacred writings can be encountered and seen from numerous points of view. The outcome is two primary school of text elucidators – a liberal camp and an orthodox camp. The individuals who analysed the content with a liberal point of view express that the Parsi prophet, Zarathustra, has consistently tended to the two people through his words and activities.

The fanatic view expresses that nobody who is half Parsi, regardless of whether male or female, destined to a Parsi mother or father, ought to be viewed as a Parsi by any means. These individuals accept that laws and access, even those that permit youngsters destined to Parsi fathers and non-Parsi moms, should just be made more stringent and restrictive.[8] Parsi ladies additionally face segregation in network spaces, for example, social clubs.

Numerous such clubs in Mumbai have embraced the British thought of a “Gentleman’s club” by just conceding enrollment to men. One conspicuous case of this is the Ripon Club. Following reaction from the network, the Ripon Club started allowing enrollment to females. Roughly 10% of their individuals are female, every one of whom are viewed as “woman associates”.[9] Such individuals must achieve their participation either through a Parsi father or a Parsi spouse who is a part. They don’t have voting rights within the club.[10]

Notwithstanding lawful limitations, ladies in the Parsi faith face limitations in ritualized, religious proceedings too. One of the most outstanding instances of this is ladies are not permitted into the doongerwadi and other consecrated graveyard for Parsis all through India irrespective of their feelings towards the loved ones.

The instances being recorded in smaller towns of Gujarat are enough to examine the situation where women are still have not access to their legal share in property of their husbandand father. The women in the community have this fear of expulsion from society in their mind which makes them away from protests or oppositions and they agree to the decisions of the orthodox community panchayats. But in 1981 there was a breakthrough protest in which women took the help of judiciary as well and they won.

“But the first time they did, they were successful. This was in 1981, when practising Zoroastrian women married to non-Parsis were denied the right to vote in their community’s local elections unless they submitted a different affidavit stating that they practised the Parsi faith. They appealed to the courts to prevent such humiliation and won. As more Parsi women join the mainstream of dissent and protest they will find the support needed to stir their community from its present stagnancy.”[11]

Marriage In Parsi Law

The matrimonial relations of Parsis are governed under Section 3 of Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936 in which the researcher wants to highlight one of the clauses which is being discussed in detail.

The clause is:
Such marriage is not solemnized according to the Parsi form of ceremony called Ashirvad by a priest in the presence of two Parsi witnesses other than such priest; or As stated in clause b, the marriage in Parsi community is regarded as a contract which is completed only after the ceremony of Ashirvad.

It is of utmost importance to perform this ceremony conducted by priest witnessed by two persons to hold marriage valid.[12] Since the marriage is believed to be a contract between two parties, the marriage would be declared in case, there is breakdown, flaw, or absence of mutual assent. Yet the most adverse condition that by and large works harshly against women is the restitution of matrimonial rights. The clause in the Act clearly depicts of dominance of male in the community.

The concept of monogamy is practiced in the community. Any other marriage untiland unless the first one being legally dissolved would be considered as bigamy and would be charged under the related sections of Indian Penal Code. This practice is strictly followed and is not allowed even if a Parsi change his religion or domicile for second marriage. Like the Hindu law, blood relatives are not allowed to marry and in-fact the legislation comprises a list of combination of relatives, whose marriage is not allowed.

The arrangement of inter-religion marriage is carefully precluded in the Parsi people group and is classified by the Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act, 1936. Yet, by and by the predominance of guys in the community is reflected in the personal laws as one of the arrangement sets out that in the event that Parsi male weds outside the network, at that point his youngsters can become Parsi, yet the equivalent isn’t material for Parsi female and if a Parsi lady weds to a non-Parsi, her kids won’t be considered as Parsi. A few ladies in the community have scrutinized the training and taken the issue to the courts.

Inheritance Under Parsi Law

Distribution of portion of predeceased offspring of intestate leaving lineal relatives; if such deceased was a son, his widow and kids will take share as per the arrangement of this section as though he has passed on following the intestate demise.[13] If such perished youngster was a daughter, her offer will be distributed equally among her kids. Distribution of assets where intestate leaves no lineal relative and leaves a widow or widower or a widow or widower of any lineal relative.[14]

There are discrete standards for appropriation of the advantages of a male and female. The son’s share in his father’s property is twice that of the daughter. The widow gets just as much as anybody of her son. In the event that the intestate’s parents endure being, at that point the half share of the deceased son goes to the father that is equivalent to the portion of the daughter.

Yet, the mother gets just the half portion of the little girl. When a Parsi woman dies intestate, leaving her husband and children, the property is divided equally among the widower and the children. Male is not bound by any such restriction. While the son is qualified for an equivalent portion of the mother’s property with the daughter, the daughter isn’t qualified for a similar right at the point when she acquires the property of her father. Moms and daughters at that point are the most noticeably terrible endures.

A Parsi lady is agreed no insurance against discretionary choice either – for where as in Muslim law the father can’t exclude his better half or girl; he can just will away one eighth of his property as per his desires.

A Parsi male isn’t limited by any such limitation. In the inheritance laws as well, we can see the partiality between menand women which is evident from the various provisions out of which some are highlighted as:
The daughter’s share in the property of her father is half of that of the share of son.[15] If the intestate’s parents survive being then the father gets half the share of the son that is equal to the share of the daughter.

But the mother gets only half the share of the daughter. The Parsi mother is in a worse position than the Hindu mother who under the 1936 Hindu Succession Acts gets a share equal to that of the widow and the children.[16] Here I would like to quote the perception of Anjali Kant, a prolific writer in subject of Women Rights.

“Where as in 1939 these rules conferred better rights to women than existing Hindu and Muslims Law, with the passage of time they have gone out of step with progressive social trends. Why the educated, outwardly enancipated Parsi women tolerate such inequality is hard to comprehend.

Many of course are ignorant of the law until it actually applies to them. The smaller town of Gujarat, for instance, even today there have been recorded instances of Parsi women being deprived of their legitimate share in the estate of their fathers and husband. They have accepted all simply because they do not know that the laws have been changed.”[17]

Notable Case Laws
One such case is that of a Parsi ladies, Goolrukh Gupta, who came in a wedlock with a Hindu man and was accordingly banned from entering all Parsi sacrosanct because of inter-religion marriage. The woman took legal action against the Parsi trust in her town of Valsad, Gujarat that forced the limitation on her. Gupta contended her marriage to be a valid one under the Special Marriage Act of 1956 and hence common marriage should get recognition in all the communities. Surprisingly, the High Court decided in the favor of the Parsi trust and both from the legaland religious perception, Goolrukh Gupta was a Hindu, and not a Parsi anymore.[18]

Another well-known case is the Parsi Panchayat Case of 1909. In this case, Sir Dinshaw Petit filed a petition against the Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP) on the grounds that the assets from the BPP trust were being confined from Parsi converts, as individuals who could likewise be profited by the contributions of the trust. It is very interesting, Ratanji D. Tata and his wife, who was a French lady, also came under the umbrella of plaintiffs.

Mrs.Tata had changed over to the Parsi religion, but as a convert, the BPP banned her from entering any sacred place of parsis and crippled her from being buried in the holy site, the Tower of Silence. But once again, the High Court decided for the trust.[19]

This third case is an interesting one, in which the Supreme Court of India decided in favour of women rights. Regardless of both being married to non-Parsi men, two Parsi sisters were allowed to go to their father’s burial at the Tower of Silence. For the very first time, the Court gave the decision against the Mumbai Parsi trust.[20]

Conclusion
From the very origin of the human being till now, humans had developed a lot in every field whether it be information technology, medical research, architecture and what not. But there are some loopholes in our society which need to be eradicated from our society to gain something more out of the artificial progress. As of now, we are living in 21st century where everybody has privilege of his Fundamental, Constitutional and Legal rights.

The recent cases concerning Uniform Civil Code, illegality of Triple Talaq, and the Sabarimala decision, have started huge discussions and have paved way to invite all the positive developments. In the scenery of these occasions, the current consultations seeing the PMDA fill in as a beam of plan to a huge number of Parsi ladies. Their situation has for some time been neglected or reliably gone unremedied. In numerous areas, Parsis have frequently been viewed as a model community, yet Mrs. Irani’s appeal brought to the cutting edge the notorious chinks in the armour.

During a time where women rights have at last started to go to the bleeding edge of legitimate talk, the presence of the Parsi jury framework is a deterrent that crashes the course of rapid and viable justice system. In this present modern era, where on one side it is quite important to be strongly connected to our basic moral valuesand religious beliefs but to change with the changing times is important as well. In any sphere of life whether on community or professional grounds, the discrimination on the basis of gender is nothing much more than the corrupt mentality.

The adverse mindset of male dominance deserves nothing much more than to be critically condemned not only by the intellectuals but firstly by the person experiencing it, secondly by the persons observing it and criticizing to the extent till the time the person realises it. We have to make the present in such a way without leaving the traces of this immoral practice on future generations.

End-Notes:

  1. Jesse S Palsetia, The Parsis of India: preservation of identity in Bombay City 56 Encyclopaedia Iranica 2001
  2. S. 32(d) of Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936
  3. Professor Kusum, Family Law I 11 (Lexis Nexis Butterworth) 1997
  4. 2014 SCC OnLine Bom 451
  5. Dr S.R.Myneni – Women and Law – Asia Law House, Hyderabad, p115-116
  6. Abhisarika Prajapati, The Ethnic Identity of Parsi Community and Voice of Women in Parsi Writings, 41311 University Grants Commission, New Delhi Recognized Journal, (2019)
  7. Anjani Kant, Women and the Law 91 (A.P.H. PUBLISHING CORPORATION) 1996
  8. Lalita Dhar Parihar Women and Law 222 (EASTERN BOOK COMPANY) 2001
  9. id
  10. id
  11. id
  12. Dr Paras Diwan, Family Law 26 (ALLAHABAD LAW AGENCY) 2014
  13. S.53 of The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936
  14. S.54 of The Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act 1936
  15. Sylvia Vatuk, Women’s Rights Issues Among Bombay Parsis: A Legal Anthropologist’s Thoughts on Mitra Sharafi’s Law and Identity in Colonial South Asia, 1215 Law and Social Inquiry, (2017)
  16. Dr Paras Diwan, Family Law 377 (ALLAHABAD LAW AGENCY)
  17. Anjani Kant, Women and the Law 91 (A.P.H. PUBLISHING CORPORATION) 1996
  18. Arvind Sharma, Review: She’s Come Undone: Parsi Women’s Property and Propriety under the Law, 41 Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 44 (1999)
  19. Jyoti Shelar, The Conflict within: Parsis and gender Rights, the hindu (May.22,2017)
  20. Samanwaya Rautray, Parsi women married to non-Parsis can visit its places of worship: Supreme Court. The Economic Times(Dec.15,2017)

Written By: Srajan Kapil, Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad – Symbiosis International University, Pune

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