Reply to Sunday Mid-day: Inter-marrieds have no business to misguide the community

By Marzban Giara


The Sunday Mid-day Newspaper

Kimi Dangor,
Group Editorial Director "Bachi Karkaria" E-mail:
Chief Editor "Aakar Patel" E-mail:
Director - Operations "Arindam Mitra" E-mail:
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CC:, Jame Jamshed; Bombay Parsi Punchayet

I refer to the article "Ire in the Temple" in Sunday Mid-Day of 30/3/2003.

In the list of famous Parsis inter-married you have wrongly mentioned that J. R. D Tata was married to Suzanne, a French lady. Suzanne was J.R. D. Tata's mother. J. R. D.'s wife was Thelma Vicajee. A newspaper like yours should check the facts before putting pen to paper.

You will agree that to become an ordinary graduate, one has to study for 12 years at school plus 5 years at college i.e. 17 years. For a master's degree one has to spend two more years. Does the average Parsi or for that matter any man or woman spend 17 months or even 17 days or even 17 hours during one's life to study religion? The famous Parsis whom you have cited as inter-married may be worldly wise but are any of them qualified or knowledgeable about their own religion? One of the "famous" Parsis whom you have quoted has by her own admission converted to another religion. After separating from her husband she now claims that she wants to bring her daughter up as a Parsi. What hypocrisy!

Late Dasturji Kaikhushru Kutar, our religious teacher used to make his discourses interesting with apt quotations. I quote : "Educate men without religion and you make them but clever devils". "Most people use religion like a bus, they ride it when it goes their way." "In this day and age common sense is at a discount and stupidity is at a premium". "Two wrongs do not make one right. Minus X minus equals plus only in Algebra and not in real life."

A minority community like the Parsis has for centuries preserved its identity by marrying within the fold. Our High Priests have always held the view that inter-marriages are suicidal for the survival of the Parsi community. They have done their duty by passing a resolution that Parsi priests should neither perform ashirwad ceremony of inter-married couples, nor navjotes of their off-springs. This is a step in the right direction to discourage such inter-marriages. In the last century some Parsi men married non-Parsi wives and got their children initiated by having the navjote ceremony performed. At that time some inter-married ladies started demanding equal rights for Parsi women married to non-Parsis. Now when the High Priests have passsed a resolution doing away with gender inequality, they should be congratulated. All concerned must support their bold decision taken in the interest of safeguarding the community's identity.

Those who inter-marry do so of their own free will. They were not forced or coerced to do so. Young men and women consider themselves free to chose their life partners. When they have wilfully chosen to leave their community and religion, why then this hue and cry of demanding rights for themselves and their children? Does it not smack of selfishness? One cannot eat the cake and have it too!

One more request. It is the duty of the Press to create an enlightened public opinion and not play on sentiments. In matters religious and pertaining to the survival of our community, it is the High Priests who can guide the community. Inter-married celebrities and those who are ignorant of their religion have no business to misguide the community.

Marzban Giara

Dear Marzban,

Thank you for this terrific reply. Let everyone know that the community stands shoulder to shoulder with our Vada Dasturjis and welcomes this Resolution. We are many in the sidelines who are silent watchers but we stand behind our Dasturjis.

With best wishes,


From: Mahrukh Zubin Sutaria

Well said MR. Giara. I fully endorse your views on this.


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