May 06, 2017

India: Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) withdraws name of Parsi priest for membership of minorities commission

Mumbai Mirror

No place for 'reformist' Parsi priest on minorities body
By Yogesh Naik, Mumbai Mirror | Updated: May 6, 2017, 08.39 AM IST

BPP letter withdrawing Dinshaw Tamboly's nomination cites his `radical religious convictions'

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), which had recommended the name of Dinshaw Tam boly for appointment as the Parsi member on the National Commission for Minorities, has decided to withdraw the recommendation.BPP chairman Yazdi Desai, who is also president of the Federation of Parsi Zoroastrians Anjumans of India, wrote a letter to Union Minister for Minorities. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

Desai confirmed to Mumbai Mirror that he wrote the letter on Friday.

"After careful thought and due consideration, I hereby wish to withdraw my recommendation of Tamboly as the recommendation was giv en in haste, at the instance of Shernaz Cama, director of ParZor (Delhi), ostensibly to thwart the appointment of a politically connected Delhi-based Parsi businessman, and consequently my recommendation was given without the authority of the BPP Board at a duly convened board meeting," Desai said in the letter.

"I have made this fact public at the recent meeting of the Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India (FPZAI), which was held in Mumbai over the last weekend."

Cama did not answer calls from Mumbai Mirror.

Desai said a sizeable section of the Parsi community was very unhappy and upset at his recommendation of Tamboly, who "has very radical religious convictions and it is most likely that he will misuse this important position to further his reformist agenda, thereby destroying the delicate ethno-religious fabric of the Parsi Zoroastrian community".

"Even at the recently concluded meeting in Mumbai of the Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India, almost all the representatives of the Anjumans throughout India, expressed disappointment and dismay at my recommendation of Dinshaw Tamboly," Desai said in the letter.

In his letter, Desai said that to his knowledge, except for Dasturji Khurshed Dastur of Udvada, none of the other four present Parsi high priests of India have endorsed Tamboly "because of his anti-orthodox and antireligious convictions and actions".

"Please treat this letter as the final withdrawal of my recommendation of Mr Dinshaw Tamboly, in my capacity as chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, which is the apex body of the Parsi Zoroastrian community in India for over 350 years," Desai said in the letter.

Meanwhile, certain groups have started an online petition to appoint senior advocate Firoze B Andhyarujina as the Parsi delegate at the Minorities Commission.

Tamboly refused to comment on the issue.