How a Parsi theatre group in UP’s Dankaur has been weaving social fabric for nine decades


Parsi Theatre group,Dankaur,Drona Natya Mandal

A rehearsal session at Drona Natya Mandal at Dankaur in Greater Noida; Parsi theatre is known for giving importance to width of the stage, number of curtains and chandeliers and wooden cutouts.(Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

Purblind to the shimmer of metropolitan cities and away from modern-day art spaces, a Parsi theatre group in Dankaur, a small town in west Uttar Pradesh, has been cultivating a culture of theatre among its people and weaving in social messages through their performances for over 90 years.

Every monsoon, during Janmashtami, Hindus and Muslims sit with each other inside the premises of a temple to cheer for the artistes of Drona Natya Mandal, the local Parsi theatre group, which has enthralled audiences with its social, historical and religious plays over the years.

To reach Dankaur, one has to take a left turn towards a service road, about 15 kilometres after entering the Yamuna Expressway from Zero Point in Greater Noida, which leads to a dilapidated archway — welcoming you to the sleepy town. Dankaur, like many other small towns in India, remains relatively unknown, much like the vibrant culture of its people and the rich tradition of its performance arts. Here, the two communities bond over festivities and music as the town, with a population of about 15,000-16,000 people, cherishes the handful of artistes who have become local celebrities in their own right.

“The people of Dankaur have been anchored to each other since centuries and it has been made possible due to the common culture of music and performing arts. The theatre group continues to escalate that legacy and does the important job of bringing communities together,” says Qadir Khan, a resident and social activist from Dankaur.

The theatre group organises five plays every year during the 12-day Janmashtami celebrations at the Dronacharya temple. The temple complex, consisting of five to six smaller temples and a large temple for Guru Dronacharya, is the principal community centre in Dankaur, where people from all communities come to celebrate festivals. It was in the news recently when police officers had to be deployed after the district wing of the Hindu Yuva Vahini had objected to the long-standing tradition of organising Qawwali inside the temple premises.

A view of Drona Natya Mandali which is 93-year-old Parsi theatre group in Dankaur, in Greater Noida. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

“We try to keep the content (of the plays) relatable to our audiences because of the mixed population, which is why our historical and social plays set in the Mughal or the British era are people’s favourites. Among our famous plays are ‘Veer Haqiqat Rai’, ‘Sikandar Poros’, ‘Amar Singh Rathod’, ‘BA Pass Mazdoor’ and ‘Danveer Karna’. One of our most memorable characters has been a Qazi in the play ‘Veer Haqiqat Rai’ — people have memorised the character’s sublime dialogues,” Manoj Tyagi, president, Drona Natya Mandal, says.

The theatre group, comprising 25 members, all men from Dankaur, has performed over 150 different plays since its foundation in 1923 by late Mangat Ram, who hailed from Sikandarabad and has worked with Prithvi Raj Kapoor in erstwhile Bombay before returning to his roots, as per credentials seen by HT.

Parsi theatre art form was introduced by Parsi artistes in India in the mid-19th century where larger-than-life sets and cut-outs were used and epics were enacted for long hours. The Mandali boasts of being one of the rare surviving Parsi theatre groups in the era of modern, nihilistic performance art forms.

“We strictly follow the basic layout of the Parsi theatre art form, where details such as width of the stage, height of the pillars, number of curtains and chandeliers, wooden cutouts as well as timing of each scene are predefined. We need an interval of at least 15 minutes after each scene as changing sets is an arduous task. We are continuing the tradition started by Mangat Ram. Today, theatre is in the veins of Dankaur,” says Tyagi.

However, all members of the group have day jobs.

They work as clerks, accountants, shopkeepers, entrepreneurs, advocates and farmers. However, when it comes to casting for the plays or day-to-day management of the group, their dedication is unwavering.

One such local celebrity is Mukesh Jain, a bespectacled man in his late forties, who works as a clerk in the town’s postal department Monday to Saturday, 10 months a year. For the other two months, he is a senior artiste in the Drona Natya Mandali, where his job is to supervise the group as its treasurer.

“We maintain the running cost of the theatre group out of our own pockets as this is something embedded in our culture. The cost of costumes, make-up, props, sets and backgrounds, sound system, is borne by us. Every year, we deliver performances that become the talk of the town,” says Jain.

Similarly, 50-year-old Shalendra Govil, whose who runs a clothes showroom, screens potential artistes.

“The core team begins practising in public two months prior to final performance. This attracts a huge crowd, including people interested in theatre. We select new artistes from the lot and train them for two hours every day. I decide the roles for them,” says Govil.

Each member of the core team has his own tale to narrate as to how he came to join the theatre. All the stories have a pattern — they were attracted after watching the veterans of Dankaur perform on stage. Soon, they were trained by the older generation.

“I started watching plays in Dankaur at the age of four and was hooked. I decided to join the theatre group. My first role was at the age of 10. I played the character of Shabari, the woman who fed fruits to Lord Rama in the jungle. I have been part of this group since then and my friends recognise me by the characters I have enacted so far. This is how we inculcate the culture of theatre in the kids,” says 27-year-old Sandeep Bhati, who works as an insurance agent.

The theatre group has its own set of in-house rules.

“It is compulsory for each debut artiste to perform the role of a woman character. We believe when a man enacts a woman on stage, he shreds all hesitations and opens up. We want that from our artistes,” says Tyagi.

Women of Dankaur, however, have not made it to the core team of the group yet as the Parsi theatre form has long held the “tradition” of male artistes performing female roles. “We invite women artistes from Delhi whenever the character demands mature treatment. The smaller female roles are still given to our male artists,” adds Tyagi.

The artistes say they have immense respect for the departed members of the group. The theatre group office has several portraits of veteran artistes who worked with Mangat Ram. “We consider Narayan Das Manglik our inspiration — his versatility is unmatched. Other artistes such as Gopal Krishna Gaur and Mohammad Illiyas have also left a mark. Today, people remember the departed souls of Drona Natya Mandali by the roles they played,” says Purshottam Singh, an elderly member of the group.

One of the key elements of the Parsi theatre style is the energy with which artistes deliver their dialogues. “It’s almost unbelievable how one man started the tradition of theatre in Dankaur. Since then, we have taught this art form to children without any formal training. The former members of the theatre group have trained us to deliver dialogues without sound systems and we continue training the children that way. They have left a legacy behind and we manage to fill that void,” says Tyagi.

As the Drona Natya Mandal inches towards 100 years of existence, it has become an intrinsic part of the town where children watch the show spellbound with stars in their eyes, men whistle for their local heroes and women bond over shared festivities.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/art-and-culture/how-a-parsi-theatre-group-in-up-s-dankaur-has-been-weaving-social-fabric-for-nine-decades/story-8VWNAiBOtieCRwkEmyTGGM.html?fbclid=IwAR2j0CjUjIc5MyPyXjXgZDoRROny6G39f7lYi2E7DPv-f8dngGd9kYS4SzQ

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ZOROASTRIANS ADDED TO THE NATIONAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE


ZOROASTRIANS ADDED TO THE NATIONAL SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE

For over two decades, the ZTFE has been lobbying the UK Government to include a Zoroastrian representative as part of the faiths and belief groups at the annual National Service of Remembrance held at the Cenotaph, Whitehall, on Sunday closest to 11th November.

I am glad to report that on Wednesday 17th October, the UK Government website, link below, reported that Zoroastrians will be represented from this year on Sunday 11th November 2018, being the centenary of the WWI Armistice.

This breaking news was reported in the press, including the The Times, Wednesday 17th October 2018, on page 25, as attached. Also the Business Standard in India, as pasted below.

It should be noted that this happy outcome would not have been possible without the relentless campaigning of our patron Lord Karan F Bilimoria CBE on behalf of our community. We must recognise and record our thanks!

Also our gratitude to the Faith Minister Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), for pursuing this matter with his counterpart at the Department of Culture, Sports and Media (DCMS).

Best wishes

Malcolm Deboo
President – ZTFE

Click Here for the link to the UK Government Website

Trains to halt at Sanjan Station


GUJARAT EXPRESS & FLYING RANEE SUPERFAST TRAIN GIVEN HALT AT SANJAN STATION

ON 16th NOVEMBER, 2018 FOR ONE DAY ONLY

In order to facilitate members of Parsi community to attend the celebration of their Historic Annual Sanjan Day, Western Railway will provide stoppage of 2 minutes to Train No. 22953/22954 Mumbai Central – Ahmedabad Gujarat Express and Train No. 12921/12922 Mumbai Central – Surat Flying Ranee Superfast Express at Sanjan railway station on Friday, 16th November, 2018 for one day only.

CPRO, Western Railway forwarded by Mehernosh Fitter +919892301884🌹🙏

Mission Safeer-Thirty Seven Days to Freedom


The documentary “Mission Safeer-Thirty Seven Days to Freedom” is the a true story of cargo ship Motor Vessel Safeer. (M. V. Safeer)
To its misfortune, Safeer docked in Kuwait and was unloading its cargo of rice, when Saddam Hussein, the then president of Iraq, declared war on Kuwait.
Though Safeer was registered in Panama, its owners and 26 crew members, were Indians. One of the owners was Capt Viraf R Kekobad.
Saddam declared, that all Indians were free to leave Kuwait,
as India had good relations with Iraq that time.
It was a mammoth task for the Indian government to get over 176,000 Indian expatriates out of a country, that had just been attacked.
Some left the country by crossing borders, some were airlifted by Air India planes and 722 Indians by ship,the only ship that was allowed to leave Kuwait, the M. V Safeer.
This 45 minute documentary is the story of the refugees,the crew, the owners and the Indian government who made this journey to freedom- possible.
It is also the story of heroism and teamwork.
Do watch this documentary on YouTube:

THE DOCUMENTARY A true story of heroism by the ship’s crew who faced tremendous odds in face of adversity and eventually managed to sail out of war torn region of Kuwait, with 722 Indians expatriates which included 265 women …

Related article https://zoroastrians.net/2018/03/08/captain-viraf-kekobad/

Thirty-seven days to freedom – Frontline

Ahmedabad Parsi community loses PORUS Jehangirji Karanjawala


Ahmedabad Parsi community lost one amongst their own a human being

It was a very sad day for Ahmedabad Parsi community on very important religious day – 5th Gatha, a day also called as “Pateti”, 16th August, that they lost one of their own dedicated, religious minded, true Seva Bhavi finest human being – PORUS – who died at the very young age of 54 and most importantly when he was associated with so many Trusts and Funds including an Educational institute at Ahmedabad.    

His tragic and sudden death stunned the community that many were not in a position to accept the reality of the news of his demise.   The love and affection that he carried amongst the community at Ahmedabad was so high that ALL the pre-determined fun, joy, eating programmes related to festivals and New Year and Khordadsal days were cancelled.  It was indeed a great shock within the community no one believe such a sudden and tragic death of Porus.   His funeral which had taken place on morning of the very first day of new year of the community, – Navroz -,  though the same day it rained heavily in Ahmedabad and may areas were flooded, most who loved him were there at the funeral.   Likewise people respected amd attended Sarosh nu patru as also Uthamna kriya.    

Differences are the opportunities to learn.   That was the principle he had accepted in his life.   He always valued his ethics and principles and stood by his convictions for which he was accounted as “Zero Tolerance” personality to allow wrong doing.    He had to scarify his own nomination for trusteeship of last APP – Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat election for the very reason that his ideas, ethics and principles were indeed not acceptable to many and to avoid clash which may take place at later period, he did not contest.  

He got entry into community welfare activities at very early age of 24 years and during last 30 years of his life he shouldered the responsibilities with various trusts and Funds and even educational institute as a Trustee, Committee member, Secretary, etc..   During his very active social activities in last 30 years, he held post of an Ex-General Secretary of PYLA – Parsi Youth League of Ahmedabad, as Ex-Committee member and Ex-Trustee of APP – Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat, as Ex-President of FOZYA – Federation of Zorastrian Youth Association.   At the time of his death, he was on Board of Trustee of many Parsi Charitable Trusts, few to be remembered as Roda and Savaksha Mohudawala Charitable Trust, who are known by organising Annual Felicitation of Ahmedabad based Parsi humdins in different field and Christmas eve Joy and Fun for children every year.   Also a Trust Dhanjishaw and Manijeh Gamir Charitable trust, very well known by organising Republic Day Flag Hoisting event followed by a lavish Brunch.  Same trust who have renovated the Parsi Sanatorium, at Ahmedabad, which was managed by him to bring the very dilapidated structure into a solid structure by running day and out for placing orders for supplies for the construction, receiving the same at the site, utilizing the supplies for which ordered, etc., etc..   The inauguration session with Jashan and Dinner was also arranged of the renovated structure being part of the APP properties, was handed over to APP, which generates Rs.10 lacs as annual revenue.   Such was his wisdom, thinking and very selfless work attitude that has given great opportunities to Parsi Humdins in Ahmedabad.  He will equally be remembered of the event – Parsi and Zorastrian Matrimonial Meet – which will take place on 27th and 28th October, 2018 at Ahmedabad.

A condolence meeting was organized to pay respect to Porus Jehangirji Karanjawala by Parsi humdins at Sanatorium Hall on 25th August, 2018.  It started with Jashan kriya and then there were almost 19 different personalities spoke well and remembered Porus for his work and dedicated services rendered to the community in Ahmedabad.   Known personalities included – Kersi Jhanbux Shethna, ex-President of the APP, Dr. Armaity Firoj Davar ex-trustee of APP, Chairman of Parsi Montessori School, and many more to account.   The condolence meeting was arranged by two trusts jointly where he was very active, viz.. Mohudawala and Gamir trust.   Porus was well remembered of his free, frank and fearless personalities with total dedication to do better for the community, by his co-trustee in both the above named trust, Mr.Aspy Bharucha.   Whole condolence meeting was very well compared by Mr. Ariz Bokdawala who has shared many trusts and PYLA and FOZYA with Porus for very long time.      

Mobed Welfare – A Proposed Scheme


 For Elderly Mobed couples and Elderly Widows of Mobeds residing in India 

 

An overseas institution has expressed intent to extend financial support to economically challenged Mobeds who are either:

Ø  Elderly married  Mobed couples, above age 65, who do not have children and whose annual income including benefits received from Trusts and Individuals is below Rs 6,00,000 per annum

Ø  Elderly Widows above age 65 of Mobeds, who do not have children and whose annual income including benefits received from Trusts and Individuals is below Rs 3,00,000 per annum.

The WZO Trust Funds have been requested to compile and make available to them a Pan India list for their consideration.

Mobeds and Widows of Mobeds who fit the above description and who would be interested in receiving financial support are requested to fill in an application form, available at our office, giving complete details that would establish their being eligible for support under the proposed scheme and mail it to us by September 30, 2018.

Applicants will need to make available two passport size photographs and copies of bank pass books and any other relevant documents for verification. Applicants are also required to provide at least one reference known to them but not related to them.

It is to be made clear that WZO Trust Funds have only agreed to act as facilitators for receiving and disbursing the amounts received. All decisions on beneficiaries selected, amounts sanctioned, frequency of support etc, shall be at the sole discretion of the donors.

Trustees,

The WZO Trust Funds,

C-1, Hermes House,

Mama Parmanand Marg,

Opera House,

Mumbai 400 004.

What does the Kasti Symbolize?


What does the Kasti symbolize? How is it made? (Ervad Dr. Ramiyar Parvez Karanjia)

1) The Kasti is the thin woollen waistband worn over the Sadra, which passes thrice around the waist. It is made by weaving together 72 fine threads of lamb’s wool. In the past it was prepared by ladies from priestly families while chanting manthravani prayers. Wool is known to have the inherent property of absorbing and retaining vibrations.

2) The word kasti means a boundary, and it reminds one to keep within the boundary of religious duty. The word Kasti comes from Avesta aiwyāonghana “that which is girded around” and Pahlavi kosht “boundary (of religious duty).” The word is also derived from Avestan word karsha “spiritual boundary which keeps evil away.”

3) The Kasti is to be worn thrice round the waist. The number three, among other things, represent the principles of humata, hukhta & hvarshta “good thoughts, good words and good deeds.” While tying the three rounds, two reef knots are tied, one at the front during the second round and the second one at the end of the third round. Each reef knot includes the tying of two knots – two in the front and two at the back.

4) Hence, in the Kasti there are in all four knots. Each knot is connected to the one of the four promises given by a child while saying the Din-no-Kalmo prayer on the day of the Navjot. The four promises are; I will consider Ahura Mazda as my only God. ii) I will consider Zarathushtra as my only prophet. iii) I will consider Mazdayasni Zarthoshti as my only religion. iv) I will be faithful to my God, prophet and religion all my life.

5) The Sadra and Kasti are the religious implements of the Zoroastrians. They form an invisible circuit of prayers around physical body, which if properly kept, protects one from negative forces, and leads one on the path of piety and duty.

6) Making of Kasti: Lamb’s wool is first woven on a spindle. Then threads from two spindles are combined together in one ball. The double yarn is then twisted and passed 72 times around the loom (Gujarati jantar). These 72 threads are then divided into 6 sets of 12 strands each. It is in a circle, which is then cut by a priest while saying a particular prayer. The rest of the weaving is done by hand. 1 lar and 3 laris are made on each end. Then the Kasti is flattened, washed, dried and fumigated and folded, ready for use.

7) Most of the parts of the Kasti symbolize something and remind us of a religious teaching. Lamb’s wool symbolizes innocence. The 72 threads remind us of the 72 chapters of the holy text of the Yasna which are recited in the Yasna ritual. Hence, the number 72 represents all the sacred Zoroastrian texts and the lofty Zoroastrian rituals. The six laris (three on each side) reminds us of the six Gahambars – the seasonal festivals and teach us to be in sync with the seasons and nature.

Jam-e-Jamshed of 22 & 29-4-2018

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Kusti, Kushti

PARSI / Zorastrian House Maid for my mother – 82 YEARS


I am looking out for full time PARSI/ZORASTRIAN house maid who can take care of my mother from around 20th September 2018 till 5th November 2018 as myself and my spouse are leaving out of India.

During the above period, she will be relocated at ‘The Bandra Parsi Convalescent Home’. As my mother is semi dependent, full time house maid is required to support her for taking bath/assisting her to washroom and helping her to give medicines 3 times daily and Insulin once after breakfast.

Please connect directly to Jehangir Gilder – Contact number 9619106301 or 9004226706 or 022 28389525

Professor John Hinnells : Obituary


Determined expert on Zoroastrianism who founded degree courses on world religion and zipped across the world on crutches

As a child sick with tuberculosis of the bone, John Hinnells spent the best part of seven years isolated in hospital. When he was as young as six years old he was placed on wards full of adults. Only on Saturdays could his parents visit and John would weep as they left. He made sporadic appearances at school, missing months of teaching. “You’ll never work when you grow up” was a frequent taunt. Yet Hinnells, the son of a Derbyshire miner, possessed grit and resilience. Briefly suspended from school for tripping up his tormentors with his crutches, he left with the equivalent of 3 O’ levels. This proved no obstacle to a glittering future in academe.

Published in The Times London

john-hinnells

Once a novice monk, he was drawn east to study the roots of Christianity. Later he became an authority on Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest faiths, which originated in Persia (modern-day Iran). Sometimes obliged by his ailment to lecture from a wheelchair, Hinnells founded four degree courses in world religion at Manchester, Newcastle, the Open University and Soas (the School of Oriental and African Studies). Remarkably he also managed, while using crutches, to zip across the world from Zanzibar to Canada to survey the Zoroastrian diaspora. Staying with modern followers of the Persian prophet Zoroaster, he asked searching questions of their religious beliefs while savouring slow-cooked aromatic curries. He relished Bombay, once missing a flight because an elephant was squatting on the road to the airport. And he found Indians especially kind when they saw his physical difficulties. His frame was contorted, with one leg shorter than the other. Stoically he endured his knees being replaced and many operations on his feet. With a stiff, straight leg secured by pins he was unable to sit down, and could only perch on chair edges. By his thirties doctors suggested to Hinnells that he consider amputation. He always refused, and at a party met an orthopaedic surgeon who suggested that Hinnells should try a hip replacement, an operation then in its infancy, at the Wrightington Hospital, Wigan. “I’d like to do something I haven’t been able to before,” announced Hinnells, after successful surgery. Fearlessly he embraced white-water canoeing with his wife and sons. He had never let physical difficulties get in the way of adventure. Once with a friend he scaled Thorpe Cloud at Dovedale in Derbyshire, encased from chest to toe in plaster. Reaching the summit, he decided that navigating down on crutches was too tricky. So he gleefully slid down on his bottom, burning a hole as he did so in his plaster.

John Russell Hinnells was born in August 1941 in Derby, the only child of William, who after mining worked on the railways, and Lillian (née Jackson), a dinner lady and school cook. At the age of 13, Hinnells won a place at Spondon Park Grammar School in Derby. He taught art after taking a course at Derby and District College of Art. Sensing a call to priesthood, he began training in Cumbria then entered Mirfield Monastery near Leeds. His plans for a life with the Anglican Community of the Resurrection changed the day he met Marianne Bushell, a visitor whose cousin was at the monastery. Smitten, within 24 hours of first meeting they vowed to marry. Marianne (always known as Anne) and Hinnells married in 1965 after he had obtained a degree in theology from King’s College London. She taught literacy to children, and was a calm counterpoint to her husband’s taste for debate. Around the dining table of a home adorned with brass lamps and vibrant Bombay rugs, Hinnells sparked discussion with his sons, Mark and Duncan, on the increasing importance of world faiths because of global migration. How, he asked in a light Derbyshire burr, might religion influence social policy? Hinnells had obtained a lectureship at Newcastle when he was 26 and from 1970 worked at the University of Manchester, where he was made the professor of comparative religion. In 1993 he received the chair of comparative religion at Soas in London and became the founding head of its department for the study of religion. Geographers and sociologists alike were intrigued by Hinnells’s 30-year investigation into the world’s Zoroastrians that was published in 2005. More than 1,800 answered a questionnaire he devised that pinpointed religion as a key marker in the identity of migrants from southeast Asia.

As an adviser on religions to Penguin, Hinnells also edited succinct guide to faiths, including the Penguin Dictionary of World  Religion (1984). Other scholars offered the project felt swamped by its scope. However, by 8am daily Hinnells was in his study rattling out letters on a manual typewriter requesting contributions from the world’s most prestigious religious scholars. He asked Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Jews to write of their beliefs, at a time when accounts of world faiths were largely penned by western Christians.

At home he relished entertaining ministers of all faiths, including the Parsee High Priest, who was one of his friends and was often spotted in Hinnells’s garden lobbing a cricket ball to his sons. After Marianne’s early death from cancer in 1996 a devastated Hinnells left Soas and took up a visiting fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge. Later he invited Alison Houghton, the widowed former librarian of Robinson College, to share his bungalow. She had Alzheimer’s disease and they made a solid team — he was the memory, she was the manpower. Hinnells would remind her to switch off the gas before they left for trips to the Buxton opera festival. She carried the bag he could not pick up. Later Hinnells moved near his older son, Mark, who works for the engineering firm Ricardo. Although he was frequently unwell, his death was unexpected. After falling ill while sharing a meal with Mark, he was diagnosed with septicaemia in hospital. Surgery was planned, but Hinnells asked if he might sample his favourite beverage. “No,” said the doctor. “It’s nil by mouth if we operate.” The next morning he said that Hinnells was not well enough for surgery. Agreeing and aware that this meant death was imminent, Hinnells merely replied: “Can I have that Diet Coke then?” The many letters sent to his sons since his death speak of how often he helped others, whether that was with securing a university place, a book deal or a lectureship. “Dad saw what people were capable off,” recalled his son Duncan, who is a solicitor. Perhaps his own struggles inspired him.

Hinnells’s mother once bumped into her son’s former headmaster. He mentioned hearing that Hinnells had become a university lecturer. Assured that this was untrue, the headteacher replied, “I thought not,” only for Lillian to gently smile. “John,” she replied, “is now a professor.”

John Hinnells, professor of world religion, was born on August 27, 1941, and died on May 3, 2018, aged 76.

https://parsikhabar.net/individuals/professor-john-hinnells-obituary/18182/

WZO Grand Patron Ambassador Jamsheed Marker passes away


21 June 2018

WZO Grand Patron and World’s longest-serving Pakistani Ambassador Jamsheed Marker passes away

WZO Grand Patron and veteran Pakistani diplomat Jamsheed Marker passed away in Karachi on 21 June 2018 in the morning.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Hussain Haroon of Pakistan, while expressing deep sorrow over the sad demise of Ambassador Jamshed K. Marker said,” Pakistan has lost a true and noble son and a brilliant icon.”

The veteran diplomat was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having been “ambassador to more countries than any other person” .

Marker with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Photo: Jamsheed Marker/ Herald

He was Pakistan’s top envoy to the United States and more than a dozen other countries for more than three decades and earned the distinction as the “world’s longest-serving ambassador”.

The Hilal-e-Imtiaz recipient was also an accomplished cricket commentator and was fluent in English, Urdu, Gujarati, French, German and Russian.

Marker with his wife

Photo: Jamsheed Marker/ Herald

He is survived by his daughter and wife.

Marker’s funeral ceremony will be held at 3:30pm in Bath Island, Karachi after which his body will be taken to the Tower of Silence in Mehmoodabad.

We at WZO offer our sincere condolences to the family.

May his soul rest in Eternal Peace in Garothman Behest and may his exemplary life inspire future generations.

Kind Regards,

Shahpur F Captain

Chairman

chairman@w-z-o.org