Councillor Filly K. Maravala, Board Member of the TZML writes:
The Editor of the Parsiana
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear Mr. Editor,
It is with great regret and disappointment that I read your Editorial Viewpoint in your January 2004 Edition pertaining to "The men in White". I can quite clearly glean from your Viewpoint that your Viewpoint is similar to the Viewpoint of the other rag known as "Jame-Jamshed". Mr. Rustom Tirandaz was absolutely right in calling it a rag.
Let me take great issues with some of your so called viewpoints.
"Many of the views expressed by the Parsi clergy are based on their genuine apprehensions".
These dear sir are not apprehensions, THEY ARE GENUINE OBJECTIONS BASED ON GENUINE RELIGIOUS FACTS.
"But the priests have to offer guidance and comfort to the entire community. They should not be alarmists. They must have a deeper understanding of modern day realities and examine and explain events in the larger perspective".
For your information the Priests/High Priests DO OFFER GUIDANCE TO THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY, but when they pass/reiterate a religious tenet, the media turns it into a controversy, and intolerably fans the issue to death, as it so happened when the High Priests recently happened to reiterate a resolution that had been passed some years ago. You then have the gaul to say they should not be alarmists, which is a bit rich, when in the same article you state that 30 per cent are marrying outside of the faith in Bombay, isn't that reason enough to be 'alarmists', isn't that enough for people to sit up and take stock of where our "Glorious Religion" is going. You want the Priests to have a 'deeper understanding of modern day realities', this sounds as if you have taken a leaf out of Mr. Dinshaw Tamboly's book, because he too (the liberal that he is) harps on and on about being "pragmatic". Dont you dare even suggest changing anything to accommodate your so called modern day realities. You must follow religion in its entirety.
Let us now come to the Aviary and the vultures. Your assertion that vultures are dying of Diclofenac poisoning is nothing short of total humbug. It is a known fact that vultures across not just India but Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, etc. are dying because of "a virus'. This fact Mr. Homi Dhalla, Mr. D. Tamboly and Mr. Khojeste Mistree all know about. Breeding vultures in captivity is a viable and feasible project, the only thing that it requires is a big cash injection, which, if there was a political will in the BPP and outside, could be done tomorrow. If the community perceives the "solar concentrators as a back door entry to cremation", then who are you to question it ?
Now to intermarriages. The 30 per cent of intermarriages that take place in Bombay is a sad indictment on the Akbars of our community. What have the BPP Trustees done to arrest this trend ? has it made housing for couples any easier ? has it made education for our children any easier ? when was the last time they introduced a new workable incentive to encourage marrying within the fold ? How much have you, as the Editor of a responsible Journal, done to propagate our religion and all that it stands for, what positive slant have you ever put on Orthodoxy, No sir, you have not done that at all, you are quick to jump upon the band wagon of liberalisation, its easy and fashionable and the flavour of the month, I suppose.
"The Priesthood should pave the way for acceptance; reunite families torn apart because of a son or daughter has married a non-Parsi, it is the Priests who should welcome the progeny of such unions and urge them to worship at the fire-temples, undergo the navjote ceremony and be good Zoroastrians".
I am totally disgusted with the above statement, and you ought to be thoroughly ashamed. This is the height of irresponsible journalism, then no wonder you love to publish the "Statistics for intermarriage Nationally" in your Journal. So YOU want the Priests to pave the way for acceptance, the same Priests whose proud ancestors and forebears in face of insurmountable adversity stuck to their glorious religion, the same Priests who gave their lives in ancient Persia, the same Priests who to this day, piously look after lit fires in Iran for a couple of thousand years. Lets examine this mind boggling statement of yours. A Parsi boy or girl, goes against centuries laid down religious tenets, goes against his/her parents' wishes and marries outside of the community, then you in your finite wisdom, WANT THE PRIESTS AND THE ORTHODOXY TO PICK UP THE PIECES. If there is some crazy logic somewhere here, I am so sorry but it totally evades me.
Why should the problem of someone marrying outside be "dumped" at the feet of the Priests or the community. Did the person ask for a Priestly opinion. NO they did not, then you say the Priests "must explain events". The Priests recently have been screaming about the folly of what all this intermarriage is doing, but IT IS YOU WHO IS TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT AIRING CORRECTLY AND FAIRLY THEIR VIEWS. No sir, what you are preaching, quite openly, is a flagrant disregard for our religion, just come out and say it, if all this is in the name of modernisation, THEN YOU CAN KEEP IT. Then you bring the question of a family being torn apart, this with respect, is a self-inflicted wound. Why then dont you listen to our Khojeste Mistree, YOU GO TO YOUR OWN CHURCH, AND LEAVE US IN PEACE WITH OURS. Build your own crematoriums, your own Agiaries, your own colonies for intermarrieds, do what the hell you want, JUST LEAVE US ALONE WITH WHAT WE WANT TO BELIEVE IN.
The sway of the orthodox in the guise of Wada Dasturji Saheb Kotwal and Wada Dasturji Saheb Jamasp Asa, has already gone way beyond Maharashtra and Gujrat. Orthodox Jarthostis flock to hear them speak when they come to the West. They are respected the world over. Orthodoxy is alive and well and in the majority, at least in United Kingdom. Dont blow pockets of liberals here and there out of all proportion, "One swallow does not make a summer". You just talk about India and let me talk about U.K. where I have lived for over 36 years. Khojeste Mistree is absolutely correct in his summation of North American Zoroastrian leaders as "mandarins", unfortunately it is not just the leaders but some corrupt and unenlightened Priests, especially the one in Houston, who recently performed the Navjote ceremony of one Magdalena Rustomji (a woman of Latin American origin) and a couple of other renegade Priests in Canada. I genuine do not know how and where you get your information about UK from, where you say "the winds of change are blowing", you must get your facts absolutely right. I throw open a challenge to you. I INVITE YOU TO COME TO UNITED KINGDOM TO SEE FOR YOURSELF. I SHALL PAY FOR YOUR UPKEEP, YOUR EXPENSES AND YOUR AIR FARES. "Have bijoo soo kari apoo". What more can I do ?
You want the rules, rituals and traditions to be viewed objectively and explained logically. Please list everything that you want explained logically, preferably in your Journal, and I shall ensure that you have the answers to everything that you want to know, which you must also publish in your journal. It would appear to be me, that despite the rituals and scriptures not explained to you logically, you still write the first thing that comes into your head, totally an irresponsible and unjustified attitude to take, isnt it ? How can your readers take you seriously, when you publish such pathetic and uncorroborated "viewpoints".
Sir, before you even think of asking the Priests and their followers to reform, inspect your own conscience, and awaken from your deep religious slumber. There are many Zoroastrian scholars who can put you straight, because I do not think any Indian scholar can teach you anything, I think yours is a gone case. Let me quote you a well known adage "FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN RELIGION NO EXPLANATION IS NECESSARY, FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT NO EXPLANATION IS POSSIBLE".
Finally, Sir, you exercised your prerogative by publishing your thoughts, I hope you too will be magnanimous and peruse mine.
HOPING YOU MAY STILL 'SEE THE LIGHT' SOON AND MAY DADAR AHURA MAZDA BLESS YOU.
Councillor Filly K. Maravala
104 Mortlake Road,
Way to go Brother Filly ! Very well said !
This is an eye opener to show the reformists in our religion that Zoroastrian Orthodoxy is still alive, not only in India but also far beyond.
Tehemton B. Mirza.
Fantastic and Very Well Said Filly.
This is an Eye-Opener letter from Councillor Maravala.
It deserves an Applause from all of us.
May the Liberals & Heterodox brethren awaken and follow the RIGHT PATH.
Neville Sorabji Gandhi
Dear Filly uncle,
A wonderful reply!! Many thanks for posting it here. You have successfully argued many thoughts and issues spewed by liberals - unfortunately, they just don't understand that WE DON'T WANT THEM! Coming from a 'true' preistly family (unlike some of the biggest sinners in our religion, who encourage it's ransacking, instead of protecting it!) I cannot even put into words my disbelief at this poor, ignorant soul's suggestion that our Mobeds and Dasturjis accept and "mend broken hearts/families" of intermarried parsees! IT JUST AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!
I think that it's imperative for all real Zarthoshtis to object and stand up for our great religion! We must make sure that the liberals hear us LOUD and CLEAR, wherever they may be!
Many thanks once again and may Pak Dadar Ahura Mazda always shower His blessings on you and your loved ones!
Daisy J. Dastur,
Toronto, ON, CANADA
I urge every single one on the TZML alias and otherwise to bombard the Editor of Parsiana with what we think of his lamentable and pathetic "View Point". By the way as if the article in itself wasn't bad enough, there appear to be 5 editors. Let me quote :
EDITOR Jehangir R. Patel,
MANAGING EDITOR Arnavaz S. Mama,
EXECUTIVE EDITOR Parinaz M. Gandhi,
SENIOR EDITOR Hilla P. Guzdar,
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Roxana A. Driver
So you can take your pick as to who you write to.
Their address: Parsiana Publications Pvt Ltd, K.K. (Navsari Chambers), 39B AK.Nayak Road, Fort, Bombay 400001.
Editorial enquiries: Phone 22078183
Councillor Filly K. Maravala
Kudos for speaking out on behalf of all Traditionals worldwide. It is indeed totally disgusting that the liberal Parsiana editor has had the temerity to suggest to the High priests:
"..a son or daughter has married a non-Parsi, it is the Priests who should welcome the progeny of such unions and urge them to worship at the fire-temples, undergo the navjote ceremony and be good Zoroastrians".
Thus the liberal editor has shown his true colours and openly encourages inter-marriage, an act which is totally against our religion and is the sure destructor of any small community.
Filly, you rightly say:
"I am totally disgusted with the above statement, and you ought to be thoroughly ashamed. This is the height of irresponsible journalism, then no wonder you love to publish the "Statistics for intermarriage Nationally" in your Journal. "
Your fine letter, along with the letters from outraged Zarathushtris who are also disgusted at this Parsiana editorial, is now on the Traditional Zoroastrianism home page at http://ParsiZoroastrianism.com (visited by thousands of Zarathushtris from around the world) under the heading:
"Traditionals protest against disgusting Editorial of PARSIANA January 2004"
Shame on the Parsiana and its liberal anti-Zarathushti leanings, this magazine is openly encouraging the non-zoroastrian sins of inter-marriage and conversion, and subtly working against the sacred religion we are born in. The Editor and the owner of the Magazine will have a lot to answer for when they stand before Ahura Mazda.
It really disturbs me knowing that such propoganda about "inter-marriage" acceptance et al. is now being distributed through magazines like Parsiana! The efforts of our Zarathostis like Mavalwalla is certianly applauded but I'm wondering if that is enough to deter them from repeating this. They seem to be getting bolder and bolder by the minute.
For instance the priests who have done navjotes of non-zarthustis. Why haven't they been condemed publicly by the High Priests? The High Priests should be in charge of all the preisthood whether in India or around the rest of the world. There has to be some kind of control exerted over priests otherwise they can prescibe whatever they fancy!
Isn't there something more forceful that we can do to tell these "liberals" (I hate using this terminology ...... ) enough is enough. Even burning issues of this "Parsiana" in the colonies would be not be tantamount to throwing down an ultimatum.
We don't have to resort to violence but we certainly cannot be subservient! But this has to come from the top down. Our esteemed priests and scholars have to take a stand, together, and push to abolish this "liberal movement" (that awful term again!)
I live in Toronto and it pleases me to say that there are still many young Zarthustis who are aware of their religion and culture but they cannot withstand the forces of evil alone. We need direction and purpose from our elders and we need it now!
The forces of evil liberalism are increasing day by day, as you have mentioned. This is happening all around the world, in all religions, not just ours, and shows the irreligious state of the whole world today. I suggest three steps to deal with this:
1. Let us oppose this irreligious act of inter-marriage wherever we find it in our midst. This may involve total non-coperation with intermarrieds - not going to their parties etc. If your local Zoroastrian organization supports the non-Zoroastrian act of intermarriage, then we should not become members of such organizations. Refer to the Traditional page and give to all the references of why intermarriage is not the right thing to do in our religion.
2. Let us stay true to the ideals of our forefathers, and vow only to marry within our community, so as to preserve our precious community and religion. Let us teach our children to do the same.
3. Let us pray for the advent of the Rainidar Shah Behram, who will oppose all these evil powers and defeat them once and for all, since this great Saviour has the spiritual power of God. Only a Prophet of God can turn around the sad state of the world today, where irreligion and rampant liberalism is increasing day by day.
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