Category Archives: Notable Zoroastrians

Seven Decades of Kanga and Palkhivala

11th edition of Kanga and Palkhivala’s The Law and Practice of Income Tax: History of the book, how it faced a court case, and more….

[Watch video featuring Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, who authored the eleventh edition; legendary Senior Advocate Fali Nariman, who was Jamshedji Kanga’s junior; and others who contributed to past editions of the book]

To mark the release of the eleventh edition of Kanga and Palkhivala’s The Law and Practice of Income Tax, published on the 70th anniversary of the first edition, we have pieced together a video depicting how the original book came into being.

The video features Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, who authored the eleventh edition; legendary Senior Advocate Fali Nariman, who was Jamshedji Kanga’s junior; and others who contributed to past editions of the book.

Datar recounts how Sampath Iyengar, who had written another book on Income Tax, filed a suit in the Madras High Court alleging that Kanga and Palkhivala had copied passages from his book. After a bitterly fought trial, the petition was dismissed with the judge ruling that there was no plagiarism, Datar reveals.

Nariman recounts how his Senior Jamshedji Kanga returned to practice after serving as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court, and later served as Advocate General for the State. He also touches upon Kanga’s style of advocacy and how his chambers functioned.

Jehangir Palkhivala talks about the pains his father Behram and uncle Nani Palkhivala went through to publish the book.

Dileep Choksi delves into what went into compiling the eighth edition of the book, which was the last edition that Kanga and Palkhivala had penned themselves.

Advocate Homi Ranina, Nani’s nephew, speaks about the criticism that the seventh edition of the book received.

The video concludes with Datar’s juniors recalling how they helped put together the eleventh edition of the book.

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman : Priest at Heart Jurist by Profession

By Vineet Malik | London, England | February 06, 2021

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of India on July 07, 2014.

Nariman’s retirement is due in August this year.

He is no ordinary Judge.

Justice Markandey Katju (Ret’d), on his blog revealed that, Nariman was trained as a learned Parsi priest at a tender age of 12.

He was taught at the Harvard Law School by the stalwarts; Professors Laurence Tribe and Roberto Unger. He practiced Maritime Law in New York at Haight Gardner Poor and Havens for a year.

In November, 2016 Nariman while launching his book : The Inner Fire, left his audience spellbound when he spoke at length on drawing a parallel between various faiths and the importance of karma in life.

Lawyers swear by Nariman’s integrity and impeccable knowledge of international laws and bona-fide litigants are often seen walking out crying from his court.

Wrongdoer’s shiver for getting their pleadings converted to perjury as Nariman’s memory is compared with an elephant and resolve to dispense justice is always at fore.

Justice Madan Lokur, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India says, Having known Rohinton from our days in the Law Faculty of Delhi University, I can confidently say, that he is a greater and more versatile genius.

Nariman is often described as a “Rockstar Judge” after he struck down ‘draconian’ Section 66A of the Information Technology Act from the Constitution through his 123 page judgment.

The landmark judgement ruled vide Shreya Singhal Vs Union of India stated, “No one can tamper with the Constitution, Governments may come and Governments may go but Section 66A goes on forever.”

The ruling reflects intolerance of people who misused the law to gag the Constitutional provisions of right to freedom of speech and expression in India.

His another judgment on dissent in the matter of Kantaru Rajeevaru Vs Indian Young Lawyers Association resurrected the Constitutional values where-in it stated, “Women worshippers were thwarted despite a judgment ruled by the Supreme Court upholding their fundamental right to equality and worship at the Sabarimala temple.”

“It was up to the Government, it’s ministers and it’s officials to firm up and implement the judgment. The dissent, be it the Prime Minister or a Chief Minister, who failed to follow the judgment violated the rule of law.”

 

Nariman scrapped the 19th century law criminalising homosexuality vide Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. Vs Union of Indiawhich stated, “The whole object of fundamental rights is to give court power to strike down laws which a majoritarian governments, swung by votes, will not repeal. We don’t wait for majoritarian governments to repeal laws.”

One of the most recent controversial order passed by Nariman pertains to issuance of notice against a lower court Judge alleging contempt of the top court and contravention of statutory articles of the Constitution vide Manubhai Hargovandas Patel Vs Learned A.P Khanorkar, Metropolitan Magistrate, 68th Court, Mumbai, Maharashtra.

Dinshaw K. Tamboly, Chairman, The World Zoroastrian Organisation Trust says,

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman has grown in stature every time he has delivered a judgement, fortifying the necessity of what Caroline Kennedy has mentioned – “the bedrock of democracy is the true rule of law which means having an independent judiciary who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing.


Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman has established that wisdom is not a product of schooling but lifelong attempt to acquire it.

Indian judiciary is very fortunate that it has in Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman a judge who believes and practices that justice must be done, even though the heavens may have to fall, that real peace does not mean the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice.

India survives as a democracy because Judges such as Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and the likes of him have been dispensing real justice to one and all. His stint as a Judge of the highest Court of our land will be remembered for a very long time to come.”

Fali Nariman

“There are some great minds that create a great mark. Fali Sam Nariman continues to be one such personality. He is a jurist, a true living prodigy of law.
Fali Sam Nariman has had a thriving career as a lawyer. He started his career at the Bombay High Court. He practiced law for 22 years and he was then appointed as ‘Senior Advocate’ by the Supreme Court of India. This was in the year 1971.
He is internationally recognized and continues to be a living legend. The renowned Fali Sam Nariman has been honoured with Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Gruber Prize for Justice.
He is best-known for his sense of humour and his great contributions to Indian law system. He is known for having a positive attitude, a witty mind, and a big smile on his face. He is a pleasing personality, who never fails to catch the attention of people.
To quote Fali Sam Nariman, “Our sense of humour has become zero today. Let alone be our sense of fun. Nobody appreciates anything.”
We need more personalities like Fali Sam Nariman. It is surely his positive attitude towards life that is still fit and fabulous!

Let us celebrate the 92nd birthday of this living legend, today (10th January 2021).”

JEHANGIR BISNEY

THE STORY OF SANT KUKADARU SAHEB

Sant Dasturji Jamshedji Ervad Sorabji Kukadaru Saheb was born at Surat on May 26, 1831, on Mah Avan, Roj Zamyad. Dasturji Jamshedji Kukadaru Saheb was a pious man who led a pure and righteous life. He remained away from worldly ways and personal publicity. His great­ness lay in his simplicity and humanity. His material needs were restricted to the bare needs and necessities of life.
Dastur Azar Kaiwan Bin Azar Gushasp, who was Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb’s spiritual guru, gave to Kukadaru Saheb the follow­ing Nirang.
“NAMAJ-VA-DARUD-VASE-TAYESH-VA-AFREEN
BARVAJE-E-KAIWAN-SAFRE- HAR FE-NAAM
RA VAN-E-LA-TEEMAR-TEEN-E- U
ARMAN-SAZ-HARDE NAMANE-HOM”
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb was the spiritual guide to Ervad Nadarsha Navroji Aibara and he gave him a special Nirang as under:
“YA NOORE DASTAGEER, YA DASTAGEERE NOOR
KARAM KAR KAREEMA RAHEM KARO YA PARVARDEGAR
MADAD KARO YA NABEE JARTHOST TARI PADSHAHI”
SIMPLE LIFE
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb led a simple and frugal life. He would spend the whole day in prayers. A strict vege­tarian, he would eat just one meal a day – usually khichdi and a little ghee. It is said that he used to cook the rice himself by placing the vessel in the sun while reciting cer­tain holy Maanthras or Nirangs.
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb served as Panthaky of the holy fire at Seth Shapurji Kappawalla Agiary in Mumbai. He commanded tremendous respect among the Behdins. Whenever he attended a wedding or Navjote, the whole gathering would stand up as a mark of respect.
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb set a living example of how powerful a true prayer can be and how the recitation of the Avesta, with a clean heart, can get one really close to Dadar Ahura Mazda. He based his whole life on the three main tenets of Zoroastrianism – Manashni, Gavashni, Kunashni, to be pure in mind, words and deeds. Such holy souls are born once in several cen­turies.
MIRACLES
Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb performed several notewor­thy miracles. He had also made many accurate predic­tions. It is said that his third eye had opened, due to which he was able to foretell future events accurately He had predicted accurately the time of death of Dastur Peshotan Sanjana, Sir Dinshaw Petit, England’s Queen Victoria and several others.
His great miracles are remembered by people even today. During the life of Dasturji Kukadaru, Anjuman Atash Behram was being constructed at Dhobi Talao. The Trustees were short of Rs. 10,000. All the Trustees were in a quandary as to where to get such a large sum from Some Zarathushtis, who were true devotees of Kukadaru Saheb, thought of approaching him and said he would show the way He also had opponents. One of them said: “Kukadaru Saheb is a very poor Mobed. From where can he give us Rs. 10,000?” But those who had faith in him went to him one day at 5 p.m. One Zarathushti, who opposed him, also went along.
Kukadaru Saheb was engrossed in prayer at Kappawalla Agiary. After finishing his prayers, he asked the Zarathushtis the reason for their arrival. His devotees stated that Rs.10,000 was the deficit for building a Hall at the Anjuman Atash Behram. Kukadaru Saheb, by a sig­nal from his inner self, asked them to come next evening at 5 p.m. with a brick. He told them not to buy a new brick from a shop, but to bring one fallen by the wayside. The people went in search of a brick the next morning. From morning to noon and noon to evening, they could not find a brick on the road. By evening, the Zarathushti who used to speak against Kukadaru Saheb stumbled and fell on the road. When he got up with the support of a brick, the other Zarathushtis said: “We have found the brick. Now we must go before Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb.”
They all went to meet Kukadaru Saheb at the Kappawalla Agiary Dasturji Kukadaru was engrossed in prayers. After finishing his prayers, they showed him the brick. Dasturji Kukadaru told them to place the brick in a bounded square (Pavi) in the next room. Those people who had faith in Kukadaru Saheb said: “Tomorrow evening, surely there will be a mira­cle.” But the Zarathushti who used to criticize Kukadaru Saheb said: “Tomorrow Kukadaru Saheb will be put to shame.”
On the third day at 5 p.m., all the Zarathushtis went before Kukadaru Saheb. That day Kukadaru Saheb spent the entire day in prayer. After finishing, he told them: “Whatever you find in the bound square in the next room, take that.” Then the Zarathushti who was against him said: “We have come to collect Rs.10,000, not bricks and stones.”
Dasturji Kukadaru replied to that Zarathushti: “If bricks and stones are your destiny; you will get only that.” But those who had respect for Kukadaru Saheb went in and to their great surprise found that the brick had transformed into gold. This was a great miracle. Kukadaru Saheb had not even seen where the Zarathushtis had kept the brick in the adjoining room. But he had prayed to Dadar Ahura Mazda and urged that some path be opened to build a Hall at the Anjuman Atash Behram. The Zarathushti who used to speak against Kukadaru Saheb saw this grand miracle and bowed his head in shame. He sought forgiveness from Kukadaru Saheb.
Thereafter all the Zarathushtis took the golden brick to weigh it. It fetched exactly Rs.10,000; not a rupee more, nor a rupee less. Out of Rs.10,000, the Anjuman Atash Behram Hall was con­structed. That Hall was named Dasturji Jamshedji Sorabji Kukadaru Hall. There is a portrait of Dasturji Kukadaru Saheb in this Hall, below which is a large plaque. Devotees, even today bow there in rever­ence, pray and light divas.
From Jam-e-Jamshed 3-1-2021

Dance pioneer Astad Deboo passes away in Mumbai

‘His works represent an important segment in contemporary dance expression in India,’ the Sangeet Natak Akademi had said.

Dance pioneer Astad Deboo passed away in the early hours of Thursday, his family said in a brief announcement. He was 73.

“He left us in the early hours of December 10, at his home in Mumbai, after a brief illness, bravely borne,” the announcement on social media said. “He leaves behind a formidable legacy of unforgettable performances combined with an unswerving dedication to his art, matched only by his huge, loving heart that gained him thousands of friends and a vast, number of admirers.”

The announcement added: “The loss to the family, friends, fraternity of dancers, both classical and modern, Indian and international, is inestimable.May he rest in peace. We will miss him.”

Deboo is noted for creating a modern dance vocabulary that was uniquely Indian.

He “has created a dance-theatre style which successfully assimilates Indian and Western techniques”, said the citation for the the Sangeet Natak Akademi he received in 1995 for his contribution to contemporary creative dance and a Padma Shri in 2007.

“He has experimented with a variety of forms, themes, concepts and performance spaces, and has collaborated with other dancers, composers and designers to create innovative works of aesthetic value,” it said. “His works represent an important segment in contemporary dance expression in India.”

Deboo, who was born on July 13, 1947, in the town of Navsari in Gujarat, began to train in kathak under Prahlad Das in Kolkata and in kathakali under EK Pannicker.

“Later, he attended the London School of Contemporary Dance, learning Martha Graham’s modern dance technique, and learnt Jose Limon’s technique in New York,” the Akademi said. “He has also trained with Pina Bausch in the Wuppertal Dance Company, Germany, attended workshops of the Pilobolus Dance Company, and attended American Dance Festival classes in the United States.”

He was noted, among other collaborations, for his work with hearing impaired people and with street children.

In an interview with Ranjana Dave in Scroll.in in 2018 looking back on his 50-year career, Deboo said that he drawn in influences not only from dance but other artistic disciplines too.

“My main problem was that there were no dancers who wanted to work with me,” he said. “Indian classical dancers would come to me in order to start exploring their own language, but they were always afraid of being rusticated by their gurus. So, I turned to other performing arts disciplines – puppetry, thang ta and pung cholom. I liked that they had a vocabulary of movement I could create with.”

Read the interview here:

Astad Deboo looks back on his 50 years in dance and the time he travelled on a ship with goats

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https://scroll.in/latest/980798/dance-pioneer-astad-deboo-passes-away-in-mumbai

How PARSIS of India Contributed to build India a world leader?

 

The first thing people say when speaking of PARSIS before we go How “PARSIS of India contributed to India”, is “How tiny the community is”.

In the whole Indian subcontinent, there are about 70,000 Parsis alive the day I am writing this article.

Click Here for the full article

Naoroji, India’s forgotten first nationalist

#SoftCover Speaking on his new book “Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism” at ThePrint’s new collaboration with Harper Collins called ‘SoftCover’ and online launch, historian Dinyar Patel talks about the man who inspired Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru – Dadabhai Naoroji. Patel points out in this eminently readable biography that Naoroji is far more important to the idea of India than a man who first thought up the “drain of wealth” theory — how the British were sucking millions of pounds out of India every year — or the fact that he was the first Indian to be elected to the British Parliament, that he was the co-founder of the Indian National Congress along with Surendra Nath Bonnerjea and Allan Octavian Hume and that it was he who first thought up the idea of ‘Swaraj’. Watch :

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