by Ervad Kaikhushro N. Dastoor

30th August 2000

The Editor
Jam-e-Jamshed Weekly
Shaheen Mansion
150, Mody Street
Mumbai 400 001

Dear Sir,

We were not at all surprised to read your editorial "A Wake-up Call for Deen Parasts............" in the Jam-e-Jamshed Weekly (JJW) dated 27th August 2000 which, as usual, is nothing but juvenile rambling; a lot of hot air but no substance.

For your information, the signature campaign and Handbill were modest attempts to place facts before the community. However, you have till date not been able to refute any of the issues raised by the signature campaign or the Handbill dated August 6, 2000. Your attempts to raise a hue and cry and mislead the community time and again is amply proved by your current editorial.

If you recall, it was in the fourth round of the poll that you asked the community to opine on the continuation of the poll. The signature campaign was started as an answer to that question. 2,154 signatures were submitted to you calling for a STOP TO THE POLL. Unfortunately, you had neither the guts nor the honesty to publish the correct poll result. So it was not just a motley crowd of 4 or 5 traditional Zarthushtis as alleged by you but a sizeable portion of the community who registered their protest by signing the protest letter dated 28th June 2000. Even the Handbill dated August 6, 2000 was published under the aegis of three very orthodox and well-reputed committees viz. Dini Avaz Commitee, Parsi Pukar Committee and Zarthosti Dharma ane Samajseva Samiti which collectively have a readership/membership of approx. 2500 people. This by no standards is a small number. However, you chose to overlook all this and submitted a wrong picture before the community, not once but on many occasions.

In spite of your 'care-a-damn' attitude, it is obvious that the campaign has affected you. You have wasted a lot of time and space in JJW in trying to project yourself as the aggrieved party but failed miserably. Your totally negative reaction to the signature campaign and your all-out efforts to try and scuttle it are proof of your attempts to muzzle the truth.

As far as Mr Jehan Daruwalla's association with JJW is concerned, it has only acted as one more nail in your coffin. The community is well aware of the heterodox leanings of this so-called 'veteran' journalist. You concede that you "do not agree with everything that Mr. Jehan Daruwalla writes, but that does not mean that he should not have the freedom to put forth his reasoned views". Is it not strange that you are willing to respect and air the views of a heterodox from your columns but you do not feel it right to respect and air the views of the orthodox community. Letters written by various other orthodox individuals also never see the light of day. And you project yourselves as an orthodox newspaper ! How HYPOCRITICAL ! We are expected to respect the opinions of our elders, however harmful, but JJW will not condescend to respect the community's verdict which has the backing of various community elders including a reputed BPP Trustee who had the guts to stand up and be counted amongst the FAITHFUL.

If you had orthodox leanings as you often profess to do, you would not have started this dubious poll asking questions on religious issues. Religion is a matter of REVELATION and not subject to polls and democratic process.You do not understand this basic fact and then speak about maintaining the sanctity of our religious institutions At every step you continue to expose your crass ignorance on matters of religion but will not stop dabbling in these issues, thus causing untold harm.

At every step you have proved that you are the DEEN DUBAV and not those whom you choose to accuse. In your eagerness to please your mentors, you have failed the community badly and deserve the condemnation that is coming your way.

Yours faithfully,

Dini Avaz Committee
Parsi Pukar Committee
Zarthosti Dharma ane Samajseva Samiti

K N Dastoor

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