Cyrus Boman Irani Conferred ‘President’s Police Medal For Meritorious Service’


Parsi Pride – Inspector Cyrus Boman Irani Conferred ‘President’s Police Medal For Meritorious Service’.

Doing the Community proud on the wake of India’s 69th Republic Day (26th Jan, 2018), in an announcement made by the Government of India today, Police Inspector Cyrus Boman Irani [Attached to the Special Branch II CID] has been conferred the ‘President’s Police Medal For Meritorious Service’. Speaking to Parsi Times, Inspector Cyrus said, “This is all due to the grace and blessings of Ahura Mazda. I’m happy to bring pride onto our Community!” 

Courtesy :  Parsi Times

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The Woman Behind the Golden Globes – is a Parsi lady Meher Tatna


The Woman Behind the Golden Globes Wants You to Take Them Seriously

No, the awards are not fixed—and more secrets from H.F.P.A. president Meher Tatna.

H.F.P.A. president Meher Tatna
Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock
On a December day after the agencies and studios had closed for the holidays, one office in Los Angeles was still a whirlwind of activity. Inside a quaint English tudor-style building in West Hollywood, through a lobby decorated with Saltillo tiles and giant portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Linda Evans, Meher Tatna, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was busy preparing for Hollywood’s giddiest night: the Golden Globes.
“It’s like 100 weddings in one,” said Tatna, a Mumbai-born reporter for the Singapore daily The New Paper, who was elected to run the organization of 90 international entertainment journalists in June. “The Globes are like a machine. We have a pre-show with Facebook. A post-show with Twitter. And then we have a Chinese platform coming this year. I wake up in the middle of the night thinking, I didn’t answer this e-mail, I better get back to this person.
The Golden Globes are, frankly, relatively meaningless. But they are a damn good time—the most watched awards show besides the Oscars, and an opportunity for visibility in the entertainment industry. As head of the H.F.P.A., the oft-derided nonprofit organization that votes on the awards, Tatna is the evening’s unofficial hostess. In a way, she is also a perfect woman for this job at a moment when Hollywood is examining its own sexist, racist, dishonest habits. She has endured butt pinches as a waitress, offensive casting calls as an actress, and uncertain economics as a print reporter (Tatna declined to disclose her age). She’s interested in reclaiming the H.F.P.A.’s reputation, cemented years ago as a boorish group of semi-working, easily corrupted journalists. As acerbic Golden Globes host Ricky Gervaissaid during the 2010 show, “One thing that can’t be bought is a Golden Globe . . . officially. But if you were to buy one, the man to see would be [H.F.P.A. head] Philip Berk.
During our interview, Tatna rejected many of the adages about the group. The idea that the H.F.P.A. nominates films and TV shows based simply on luring the biggest stars to its show? “No. Otherwise we would have had Julia Roberts this year [for Wonder],” Tatna said. That they are won over by lavish gifts from studios? “We have a rule that no gifts in excess of $95 can be given to us,” Tatna said. “That’s what we remind all the publicists every year. . . . In the past, we’ve returned things.” Last year, for instance, they gave back Tom Ford perfume intended to promote his movie, Nocturnal Animals.

Stakes are high for an entertaining show Sunday night—this year is the H.F.P.A.’s 75th anniversary, and the group’s broadcast rights contract with NBC is set to expire. The H.F.P.A. is also adding new elements, including an overflow room at the Hilton to accommodate the many people who wish to attend and can’t fit in the bustling main ballroom. “I have no idea whether it will be shut down by the fire marshal or nobody will come,” Tatna said. “No idea.”

The first major awards handed out in the #MeToo age, this year’s Golden Globes will likely be different than all that came before, with actresses pledging to wear black gowns and the usually frivolous red carpet taking on a new seriousness. “I am really glad that women are finally feeling safe enough to come forward and talk about their experiences,” Tatna said. “I am totally in solidarity with them. It’s not just in Hollywood that this happens. I was a waitress—the groping and pinching happened . . . back then, nobody felt safe enough to say anything. You thought you’d be fired; you thought you would be ostracized. So yeah, I’m really glad that they found that power, and I hope that this is a time of profound change.”

There have been some suggestions that the H.F.P.A. itself ought to evolve, including from actress Jada Pinkett Smithwho called out its members’ failure to attend a screening or to nominate her film Girls Trip. “We did have a screening of it. We were invited to the premiere as well. There was a junket in New Orleans that we didn’t attend, but we were invited to go,” Tatna said, in response to Pinkett Smith’s remarks. “We always look at the distribution in our territories. If the movie doesn’t open there, then people generally don’t need the press conference. . . . I myself saw it on a screener. I didn’t make the screening. There’s a difference between being a journalist and being a Golden Globe voter. I’m not sure if everybody understands that.”

Tatna did make it to a dramatic, last-minute screening of Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World after Scott raced to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in time for the group’s early December deadline. “We went over to Sony at 10 in the morning. It wasn’t totally 100 percent finished, it needed some color correction . . . but we’ve seen movies in that shape before. Silence, Martin Scorsese’s film, was not completely finished. So we are used to that.”
Tatna’s path to the Beverly Hilton ballroom has been a long and winding one. Her father imported liquor in India (“He was a lousy businessman,” she said) and she grew up with a particular affinity for Hollywood musicals, like My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. She wanted to act—but as a compromise with her parents, who were skeptical of a career in the arts, she majored in economics on a scholarship at Brandeis University.
After graduation she moved to New York City and pursued acting, appearing on a soap opera and at one point voicing various Indian women on The Simpsons. “They always told me to crank up the accent,” Tatna said, of her acting days. “That was very annoying, but that was at a time when the only Indians that you saw were 7-Eleven clerks and taxi drivers, and that was what I was up for. And you either decide to do it or you don’t and when you don’t have too many choices, sometimes you do.”
Eventually, she moved to L.A., bought a Plymouth Reliant on a salvage license, and began to pay more of her bills with entertainment journalism than acting. The state of journalism, especially newspapers like the one that employs her and many of her colleagues in the H.F.P.A., is an issue that weighs on her mind. “A lot of us are finding that our outlets are shrinking and the work is not as much as it used to be,” Tatna said. “Now you are competing with the influencers and the kids who make videos rolling around in bed.”
When Tatna took on the H.F.P.A. president job, one of the first things she did was reach out to studio executives. “I would call up and say, give me 10 minutes, let me come say hello and tell you who I am. . . . Just give us more access, set visits, lift embargoes earlier for us. That kind of thing is important for the members.” She’s also eager for people to remember the H.F.P.A. is a nonprofit, which doles out much of the millions it earns from the Golden Globes TV rights to schools, theaters, and film preservation efforts. Though her Golden Globes votes are secret, she’s still a fan at heart—Game of Thrones and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are two particular favorites.

On Sunday, Tatna will appear on stage at the Beverly Hilton for 45 seconds to deliver some remarks during the telecast—a rare moment in the spotlight after a decade toiling backstage in the press room, where reporters from some 200 outlets, including Vanity Fair, sit elbow-to-elbow. “I always have to watch the show on tape to write my article,” Tatna said. “I’m really looking forward to sitting in the ballroom this year.”

Parsis in a flame war


Orthodox community members, reformists divided over sanctity of fire in Pune temple
Mumbai: For the reformists who built the newly opened Asha Vahishta Zoroastrian Centre in Pune’s Kondhwa area, the fire it houses is a holy one, kindled after carrying out rituals like a jashn ceremony and recital of the Atash Niyeash prayer. But the orthodox in the community are deriding it is just like “any other bonfire.”

At the root of the heated words is the fact that the centre welcomes Parsi Zoroastrians who have married outside the faith. Parsi Zoroastrians have traditionally not allowed non-Parsi spouses to convert to the faith or even enter agiaries and participate in rituals like funeral ceremonies. Further, children of female members of the community who marry outside are also not considered Parsi.

“The idea of our centre was to welcome all and not differentiate on the basis of religion or gender, “said Vispy Wadia, founder member of the Association for Revival of Zoroastrianism, under which the centre has been built. Around 150 Parsis — including Maharookh and Darius Forbes, Kerbanu and Viraf Pudumjee, Darius Khambata, Cyruz Guzder, and Bapsi and Fali Nariman — and the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation donated funds and the land for the centre was purchased in 2010. Work on its construction began in 2014.

“These religiously ignorant legal persons like Fali Nariman and Darius Khambatta have made a mockery and insult of our glorious religion and they must be prosecuted,” says Yazdi Desai, chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet. “The so-called fire temple in Pune is definitely not consecrated. It is just an ordinary fire, like a scout camp fire, and anyone can pray before it.” Dinshaw Mehta, a former BPP trustee, says there is a whole ritual for consecration of an agiary fire: “The Pune fire is a joke on the donors. Just lighting wood in an afarganu vessel is not consecration.” Medioma Bhada, a retired naval officer, says that he is upset with the centre being referred to as a fire temple. “One can call it a prayer hall but not a fire temple.”

Mr. Wadia retorts, “The fire may not be holy for them, but it is for us.”

Worli precedent

In 2015, reformers had built a prayer hall near the Worli crematorium for community members who chose cremation instead of the tradition of leaving the body in the Tower of Silence to be consumed by scavenger birds. Since they were not allowed to conduct the four day funeral prayers inside the doongerwadi, the idea of alternate prayer hall was executed. “In a way it is good,” Mr. Mehta said. “Just as the Worli prayer hall stopped the demand for a cremate-ni-bungli at doongerwadi, the setting up of this cosmopolitan fire temple will hopefully stop the inter-married ladies from moving courts to demand right of entry.”

Two high profile battles are already being fought in the courts: a woman is fighting for her grandchildren born to a Hindu father to get entry to the only fire temple in Kolkata; and another Parsi woman married to a Hindu is demanding similar rights from the Valsad Anjuman in the Supreme Court.

Jyoti Shelar

http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/parsis-in-a-flame-war/article22289350.ece

A GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT IRANSHAH UDVADA


A GLOBAL INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT THE LEGACY OF PAK IRANSHAH ATASHBEHRAM IN UDVADA – OUR PRICELESS AND TIMELESS HERITAGE

TOGETHER Let Us Create An Inner Desire To Support Our Sacred Fire

EDUCATION – INSPIRATION – DONATION

The sleepy village of Udvada is poised for its rightful place on the global map of renowned religious, historical and cultural sites with improved infrastructure, enhanced facilities and better security. This would be in keeping with it’s now officially recognized status of a global heritage village, bestowed by the government of India. The Udvada Atash Bahram is the oldest consecrated fire temple of the highest grade in India; and represents the historical, cultural, spiritual and religious bond with our Motherland Iran.

The divine flame of Iranshah Udvada is one of the oldest and holiest fire that is revered by Zartoshtis across the globe since over a millennium.

Let us join hands together

  • To keep this flame live and alive
  • For the benefit of our future generation
  • Through Education, Inspiration & Donation

OUR MISSION

To make Udwada the global centre for showcasing OUR Zoroastrian heritage, culture and way of life

OUR VISION

To provide a continuous stream of global financial support to perpetuate the Legacy Of Iranshah Udvada – Our Precious And Timeless Heritage

OUR 5-STAR PURPOSE

TO PRESERVE the Sanctity Of Iranshah by honoring​, ​helping and supporting ​all those who take care of ​this great spiritual power-house ​with utmost dedication and selfless commitment – Especially our senior and respected Mobed sahibs​ who have dedicated their ​entire ​lives towards serving OUR Sacred Iranshah with impeccable sincerity, devotion, ​dignity and integrity.

TO CREATE a monetary incentive for our present Mobed Sahibs and to inspire our future Mobeds to pursue the noble profession of Mobedi as a career. This is of vital importance for the survival and revival of OUR Sacred Iranshah.

A great scholar had once said: “no priest, no religion or religious institution”.​

TO KEEP the flame alive by providing firewood (Kathi).  The Kathi Fund needs to be increased substantially to meet the rising cost of Kathi.

TO MAINTAIN the structure that houses our holiest fire. OUR Sacred Iranshah, which is over a thousand years old, and the building in which Iranshah is enthroned; requires periodic infrastructure updates as well as major renovations every 10-12 years.

TO PROVIDE round the clock (24/7/365) Security Service for the premises of OUR Sacred Iranshah.

In addition, we also need the voluntary services of devoted and sincere Parsi helpers to keep the premises clean, tidy and presentable for the local, national and global devotees/pilgrims who visit Udvada to pay their homage to OUR Sacred Iranshah.

 

OUR MOTTO

Together, Let Us Create An Inner Desire, To Support Our Sacred Fire

TO DONATE

From USA – Click Here

From India – Click Here

Please Await updates from Other Countries

Arriving Displaced, Giving Back in Full


Sometime between the seventh and ninth centuries, a group of immigrants landed on the shores of India’s western state of Gujarat, after what probably was a long and arduous voyage from Persia, now modern-day Iran. Not much is known about that journey — about how these people looked, what they wore, how many of them undertook this voyage, how long they sailed or even if India was their chosen destination or a twist of fate. What is known is that like many others in similar situations today, these refugees, who came to be known as the Parsis, were fleeing religious persecution in a land they had called their home for centuries. The story of what happened next is well-documented in Parsi folklore.

Jadhav Rana, the chieftain of the region where the refugees landed, was alarmed at the looks and attire of these strange men and women, and forbade them entry. Instead, he gave them a bowl of milk, filled almost to the brim, as a message that his kingdom was full. It is said that the Parsi head priest added a spoonful of sugar to the milk (or by some accounts a gold ring) to indicate that the Parsis not only would blend into their new society but also enrich it.

Whatever the truth of the story, the Parsis, like many others before and after, flourished in India’s warm embrace. Over time, they became one of India’s most prosperous ethnic communities and have contributed greatly to the development and progress of their adopted home.

 

Jamshed Bhesadia has been panthak, or head priest, of the 161-year-old Kappawala Agiary, or fire temple, for the past 18 years, and is tasked with maintaining the holy fire worshipped by the Parsis.
Jamshed Bhesadia has been panthak, or head priest, of the 161-year-old Kappawala Agiary, or fire temple, for the past 18 years, and is tasked with maintaining the holy fire worshipped by the Parsis. In the spirit of the original commitment made to Jadhav Rana, the Parsis in India do not accept any conversions into the faith, and by extension, only Zoroastrians are allowed to enter the fire temples.(Hoshner Reporter)

Followers of an ancient religion known as Zoroastrianism, the Parsis fled Persia, once the fountainhead of the Zoroastrian faith, when it was overrun by invading Arabs. Their story is particularly relevant at a time when the world is looking increasingly inward, and refugees and immigrants are looked upon unfavorably in many countries, including in traditionally inclusive but now increasingly nationalist and nativist countries like India and the United States, both of which have benefited from the contribution of immigrant communities.

A Parsi residential building in Mumbai bears the winged symbol of the Farohar, an important Zoroastrian religious icon.
A Parsi residential building in Mumbai bears the winged symbol of the Farohar, an important Zoroastrian religious icon. Despite the near complete rout of Zoroastrianism from Iran by Arab invaders, and centuries later by the Islamic Revolution, the Farohar survives among Zoroastrian communities in India and elsewhere. (Hoshner Reporter)

Traditionally, richer countries have considered it their moral obligation to absorb displaced persons, especially on humanitarian grounds. Parts of Europe and the United States initially welcomed Syrian refugees, for example, but public fears of lost jobs, depressed wages, demographic and cultural changes, and terrorism shifted the mood against the immigrants. India largely has been receptive to immigrants and refugees, and more than 200,000 live in India today, including Tibetans, Sri Lankans, Afghans and Bangladeshis. However, India has refused to sign the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention and the 1967 U.N. Protocol on Refugees, seeking flexibility, as is currently being exercised in the recent attempts to deport some 40,000 Rohingya refugees living in camps.

In this context, it is instructive to look at the story of the Parsis.

A Parsi woman performs a ceremony at home associated with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth.
A Parsi woman performs a ceremony at home associated with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. The ceremony is typically performed by Hindus, especially in trading communities leading up to the festival of Diwali, but many Parsis in India have adopted the tradition and made it their own. After centuries of living in India, Parsis have embraced a number of Indian customs traditionally not found in Iran. (Hoshner Reporter)

There are fewer than 70,000 Parsis in India today, but they have made contributions to India that far belie their numbers. Starting off as an agrarian community, the Parsis settled in the fertile lands around the town of Sanjan, before spreading to other parts of Gujarat and eventually to the wild and marshy coastal city of Bombay in the mid-1600s. It was in Bombay that the Parsis gained their industrious reputation, as they took advantage of the British desire to establish Bombay as a prominent port and center of commerce by becoming shipbuilders, craftsmen, merchants and traders in opium, silk and spices with China and others. In the process, they created a new class of wealthy, educated and socially conscious Indians.

For the next 300 years, the Parsi community transformed and reformed, seizing opportunities not only to change themselves but also to benefit the broader society. They were among the earliest Indians to learn English, travel abroad for education, practice professions like medicine and law, secure government jobs, educate women and banish child marriage. Despite their affinity to their English benefactors, the Parsis never forgot the land that welcomed them as penniless immigrants all those centuries ago, and gave back generously to society, building schools, hospitals, hotels, enterprises and institutions that stand even today.

 

The history of the Parsis in India is inextricably linked to Mumbai and one of the enduring symbols of the city is the iconic Taj Mahal hotel, built by the Parsi businessman and philanthropist Jamsetji Tata.
The history of the Parsis in India is inextricably linked to Mumbai and one of the enduring symbols of the city is the iconic Taj Mahal hotel, built by the Parsi businessman and philanthropist Jamsetji Tata. It is said that Tata decided to build the grand hotel when he was denied entry into Mumbai’s Watson’s Hotel because he was not European. True or not, the anecdote is now part of every Mumbai resident’s storytelling repertoire and the stuff of legend.

(Hoshner Reporter)

In the historic districts of Mumbai, home to the world’s largest concentration of Parsis, it is impossible to ignore their influence. Parsis set up the National Center for the Performing Arts; the Central Bank of India, the first modern Indian bank to be run totally by Indians; and the iconic Taj Mahal hotel. Additionally, the community contributed to the industrialization and development of India, establishing the country’s first cotton mill, its steel and aviation industries, and the first institute of science in Bangalore. Some of the best-known companies in India were started by Parsis, from the Tata conglomerate to the Godrej and Wadia business houses, which employ millions and make everything from defense equipment to cheese.

 

Parvez Irani, 76, strikes a pose in the Yazdani Bakery in Mumbai. Started by his father in 1950, the bakery is now run by him and two brothers.
Parvez Irani, 76, strikes a pose in the Yazdani Bakery. Started by his father in 1950, and now run by him and two brothers, the bakery is one of the few surviving Irani cafes in Mumbai. The Indian Irani Zoroastrian community hails from Yazd, Iran, which remained a Zoroastrian cultural center long after the Arab conquest of Persia. Unlike the Parsis, the Iranis migrated to India only about a century ago, but like their brethren who came 1,200 years earlier, the Iranis wasted no time in making Mumbai their home, opening cafes and eateries. Though they slowly are disappearing, Irani cafes remain an important part of Mumbai’s culinary scene. (Hoshner Reporter)

Despite having benefited from their proximity to the British, Parsis also played a significant role in the Indian independence movement. Dadabhai Naoroji, known as the grand old man of India, represented Indian interests in the British Parliament, Pherozeshah Mehta was a founding member and president of the Indian National Congress, and female Parsi freedom fighter Bhikaji Cama co-designed and unfurled the earliest version of independent India’s flag in Germany 40 years before India gained independence from Britain.

 

The Bombay House in Mumbai is the headquarters of Tata Sons, the holding company that runs the Tata conglomerate.
The Bombay House in Mumbai is the headquarters of Tata Sons, the holding company that runs the Tata conglomerate. Tata Sons is unique in that 66 percent of its equity is held by various philanthropic trusts endowed by members of the Tata family. (Hoshner Reporter)

As they have in the past, Parsis today hold prominent positions in Indian society as captains of industry, artists, musicians, doctors, journalists and judges. Parsis not only have adopted a land, but also its languages and customs. They have integrated and added value, while still striving to maintain their unique identity, religion and traditions.

Over a thousand years ago, the Parsis found a land willing to welcome them and give them space to live and prosper. In turn, they enriched their new home like the proverbial sugar in milk.

Statues of prominent Parsis abound in Mumbai.
Statues of prominent Parsis abound in Mumbai. They mark the community’s contribution to the city’s development, and serve as a reminder of the lasting benefits immigrants can have on the communities in which they settle. (Hoshner Reporter)

According to UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, there are 65 million people who have been forced from their homes as of 2017. Of that number, 10 million people are stateless, and are denied the basic rights of nationality, education and employment. It can only be hoped that leaders and communities across the world today will look to the Parsi example when deciding on the merits of opening their countries and homes to strangers from strange lands.

Hoshner Reporter

https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/arriving-displaced-giving-back-full

A time to honor


After over 10 years of ostracization, heartache, struggle and legal setbacks, Goolrookh Gupta and her sisters Shiraz Patodia and Kamal Thapar have won the right to attend their parents’ funerals in Valsad, as and when the elderly couple expire (see pg 26 “In search of justice”). The trio fretted over the issues as their aged parents, Dina and Adi Contractor reside in the south Gujarat town of Valsad. The Valsad Parsi Anjuman (VPA) had passed a resolution banning entry to the local fire temple and Doongerwadi to Parsi women married to non-Parsis. The three sisters, one, who resides in Bombay and two in Delhi, are married to Hindus.

The family fought not only against the VPA but the numerous punchayets and anjumans that supported the VPA. Adi was a trustee of the VPA but when the controversy took a toll on his health, he stepped down from the all-male board.

 

Finally a five member bench of the Supreme Court of India on December 14, 2017 persuaded the VPA to at least withdraw the ban on the sisters attending their parents last rites at the time of their passing. The right to enter the fire temple and whether the Special Marriage Act (SMA) requires the woman to take on her husband’s religion will be decided when the Court resumes hearing on the case on January 17, 2018.

For the three sisters their first and most crucial battle has been won. Their partial victory compensates to a limited extent the inaction of Parsi women who for over 110 years suffered injustice due to the 1908 Bombay High Court ruling by Justices Dinshaw Davar and Frank Beaman in the Parsi Punchayet Case. The Justices specified a Parsi is the child of a Parsi father even if, as Beaman observed, the child was “begotten of prostitutes or kept mistresses.” Beaman was even more scathing in his comments on the witnesses who testified for the traditionalist respondents. He noted, “It is true that the so called learned men who have come before us to support the Defendants’ case have wasted hours of our time in puerile attempts to gloss away the plain letter of the law. But that must be attributed partly to invincible bigotry which proverbially dulls the sharpest wits, and partly to a natural stupidity and want of training in clear thought.”

 

The case pertained to J. R. D. Ta­ta’ mother Soonoo, a French lady (Suzanne Brière) whose navjote was performed by Dastur Kaikhooshroo Jamaspji. She was considered a Zoroastrian by the Court but not a Parsi as she was not born of a Parsi father. The Justices ruled the community trusts were created for those who met both the ethnic and religious criteria; hence Soonoo was barred from entering a fire temple or having her body consigned to the Towers of Silence.

Both parties to the suit, Sir Jamsetji Jeejeebhoy and Sir Dinsha Manockji Petit (a friend of the Tatas) were moneyed and influential yet the Petit/Tatas did not file an appeal in the Privy Council in London. Associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin in Madison Mitra Sharafi, who did her doctoral thesis on the Parsi Punchayet Case as well as the Saklat vs Bella case in Rangoon, believes the Tatas could have won in appeal.

 

The English judges would not have the same mindset as those in India. Even in the Saklat vs Bella(1925) case the three member Privy Council bench ruled that the trustees had the right to admit to a fire temple a non-Parsi, if they so wished. Bella was allegedly the daughter of a Goan father and Parsi mother.

The question arises after these two historic court cases why no Parsi women till this year moved the Courts to challenge the definition of a Parsi as laid down by Petit vs Jeejeebhoy or to combat the relentless discrimination they face. There are many influential and moneyed women / families that could have easily financed any case and withstood any backlash from the traditionalists.

But it was only when the new head priest in Calcutta barred entry to the local adarian to the grandchildren of Prochy Mehta, that she and her daughter, Sanaya Mehta Vyas, who is married to a non-Parsi, filed an Originating Summons in the Calcutta High Court.

 

The Mehtas are a well-placed family, as are the Contractors. Gupta’s sister Patodia, being a leading attorney in the prestigious Delhi law firm of Dua Associates, made it possible for the sisters to take on the VPA. All the lawyers representing Gupta in the Supreme Court including Percy Kavina of Ahmedabad who appeared for Gupta in the Gujarat High Court, did so pro bono. In contrast, the VPA is expected to spend over a crore of rupees fighting the case in the apex court.

In both cases, the instigation for the legal battles came not from the deprived parties but those in power. Their obdurate stand forced the Contractors and the Mehtas to litigate. The times are changing. Women are beginning to assert their rights: The #MeToo movement for women to voice the sexual harassment they have suffered from powerful men, the Hindu and Muslim women who are standing up for their rights, the Dalits and other disadvantaged sections of society that are claiming their rightful dues.

Behind every movement for equality there are a handful of peoplewho initiate the effort. They take on the establishment, regardless of the consequences. They are the heroes of our time. Whether they succeed in their mission or fail, they deserve society’s respect and accolades. The Contractor sisters and the Mehtas are role models not only for the Parsis but for all persecuted women and children everywhere. We have to honor and salute them.

Editorial Viewpoint
Parsiana – 21-Dec-2017
http://www.parsiana.com/current-issue/articles.aspx?id=UPXciO1GrwA=

 

Bangalore’s NAVAL DALAL Turns 103!


Life, at any age, is a celebration — more so when you turn 103, like Bangalore’s Naval H. Dalal did on November 27.

Fittingly, the Bangalore Parsee Zoroastrian Anjuman (BPZA), on behalf of its Trustees and members, felicitated at his residence.

Naval is the oldest Parsi living in Bangalore. Naval Hormusji Dalal was born on November 27, 1914, into a horse racing family!

When Naval was around 10-years-old, his elder brother, Rusi, who was just a few years older, took him for admission to the Clarence Boys School in Bangalore, where the English headmistress christened him ‘Noel’ – the name stuck ever since!

In 1948, Naval married Nergis (nee Tarapore), who is 95 years old today. By Ahura Mazda’s grace, they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary next year!

Courtesy: Jam-e-Jamshed

Tirgan


Tirgan

In the starry Heavens, Ahura Mazda has positioned 4 Guardians, i.e. the 4 Fixed Stars in the 4 Sacred Directions to protect His Good Creations from the armies of Angre-Mainyu.

 

The 4 Guardians of the 4 Directions are:

1)    Teshtar Tir (Sirius) in the Eastern Sky, affiliated to Planet Mercury,

2)    Satvas (Vega) in the West, affiliated to Planet Venus,

3)    Vanant (Antares) in the South, affiliated to Planet Jupiter,

4)    Haptrang (Pleiades) in the North, affiliated to Planet Mars.

 

(These 4 Stars are mentioned in the Pahlavi Minog-i-Kherad, chapter 49, Bundahishn, chapter 2, (SBE), and Doctor Saheb F. S. Chiniwala’s translation of Tir Yasht, as well as in Kangaji’s Khordeh-Avesta-Ba-Mayeni. There are some minor discrepancies in the English names of stars, especially with Vanant. Some scholars take it to be Fomalfaut but Prof. Haug, Behramgor Anklesaria and Dr. Faramroze Chiniwala maintain it is “Antares”. I have taken the above mentioned English names of stars from Tir Yasht by Dr. F. Chiniwala, p. 60).

 

The exaltation and homage to Teshtar Tir Yazad is revealed in the Tir Yasht. It reveals that Ahura Mazda created Teshtar Tir (Sirius) as the Chieftain over all the Stars. He created Tir as brilliant, as worthy of worship, adoration and glorification as Himself! He authorized and empowered Tir Yazad as the lord and overseer over all the Stars. Tir is called “rayomand, khorehmand”, which is how Ahura Mazda Himself is addressed! The Brilliance, the Divine Light of Tir Yazad defeats the darkness and ignorance spread by Angre-Mainyu and helps Ahura Mazda to achieve the divine predetermined event of Frashogard at the appointed time.

Click to continue reading

Courtesy : Pervin Mistry

 

Udvada Station To Get New Lease Of Life In 2018


Two months after Aspi Sepoy, 46, caretaker of the Parsi community museum in the holy beach town of Udvada, lost his legs after slipping into the gap between the train and platform at Udvada station, the Railways have started work on increasing the height of the platform. Repeated follow-ups by mid-day led to the Railways not only fast tracking work at the 1895-built small halt station, but also deciding to give it a complete makeover, which should be wrapped up by January 2018.


Work being carried out to repave and increase the height of the platform

Located around 182 km from Mumbai, Udvada is one of the most important spiritual and religious centres for Zoroastrians in the world. At the Iranshah temple, the holy fire — consecrated in 1742 when the Zoroastrians came to India to escape religious persecution in Persia — is still burning.

As part of the makeover for the station that falls on the Mumbai-Surat railway line, platforms are being raised, paved and passenger amenities upgraded. Further, the old foot overbridge (FOB) has also been dismantled and is being rebuilt and strengthened. It is expected to be ready by the end of this month.


Udvada station sees a lot of pilgrims from the Zoroastrian community

When mid-day visited the station two days ago, work on raising platform one had been completed and paver blocks and tiles were being laid. On platform two and three, the edges were raised on either side, but the surface is being filled up and plastered.

According to a source, work is moving at hectic pace with a number of labourers being hired for the job. Besides raising the platform, the Railways will be laying tiles and paver blocks with tactile markings. A small walkway with paver blocks has also been built over the tracks at the Churchgate-end of the station so that senior citizens can access the platforms easily. “Udvada will get a new station in the new year,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer Western Railway.

Work being carried out to repave and increase the height of the platform

However, with the raising of the platform height, one peculiar problem that has emerged now is that the seats and benches at the station have become shallow and unusable.

Khurshed J Lawyer, actor and a regular commuter, welcomed the changes at the station but said there were a few other issues that needed to be addressed. “The platform length needs to be increased at the station. When longer trains halt at the station, at least four to five coaches are usually outside the platform and many passengers, especially senior citizens, find it difficult to board and alight.”

Aspi Sepoy
Aspi Sepoy

Railway authorities said that they would consider the request later when they begin with phase two of the station upgrade.
Meanwhile, if all goes well, Aspi Sepoy will, in the course of the next few days, get two imported artificial legs to replace his lost limbs, each costing Rs 5 lakh.

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/udvada-station-to-get-new-lease-of-life-in-2018/18734187