Mr. Hoshang Wania, Mr. Mehernosh Fitter, Members of the SDAC,
The Traditional Zarathushtris worldwide FULLY SUPPORT the SDAC and this clarion call for a Samast Anjuman Meeting.
Your letter to the BPP will be put up on the Traditional Zoroastrianism Home page on the internet at http://www.ParsiZoroastrianism.com which is visited by tens of thousands of Zarathushtris worldwide.
We salute you and we pray that Ahura Mazda awards Final Victory to you, who are the staunch Zarathushtris who wish to preserve the sacred religion of our forefathers. In this spiritual battle of Good versus moneyed evil, it is Good that is certain to win - be assured of this.
The Chairman & Trustees Bombay Parsi Punchayat Funds & Properties 209, Dadabhai Naoroji Road, Fort, Mumbai; 400 001.
Re; Letter dated 28th November, 2001- Ref. R-1099
I received your hand-delivered letter on the 29th of November, 2001, in the evening at 6.15 p.m.
The members of the Committee are deeply grieved to learn that you, the BPP Trustees, have acceded to the DDG-AG demands and have agreed to accept their unjust and totally irreligious position for a new prayer-hall facilities to be built, in the environs of Doongerwadi. This is to enable the performance of the four-day obsequities after the funeral ceremony, for those persons whose bodies are disposed off by methods other than doknmenashini.
Your letter is a clear indication of a tendency to buckle under pressure, when exerted by an influencial small group of irreligious individuals who in your opinion have made ' reasonable' demands, which the High Priests have clearly stated are not in consonance with the customs and practices of the Zoroastrian religion. How then can the DDG-AG demands be construed to be reasonable?
We feel betrayed and let down that you did not even deem fit to meet our group of SDAC members, before taking this important decision which is against the religion. In our view, deciding an issue as important as this, in the manner in which you have done, does not befit those who hold the high office of trusteeship of the BPP.
It is extremely regrettable that you, the Trustees have not hesitated to blow hot and cold in the letter under reference, while on the one hand you have no compunction in giving away part of the Doongerwadi lands for an anti-religious purpose which undermines the system of dokhmenashini and yet on the other hand you reiterate your " hollow slogan" that you seek to strengthen the system of dokhmenashini. Surely, by giving this sanction to the DDG-AG you are indirectly encouraging Zoroastrians to opt for an alternative mode of disposal in Mumbai which to-date has not been the case. If the BPP sanction is there for the four-day obsequities to be performed, when would this not encourage more persons to follow an anti-Zoroastrian path of seeking to be cremated in Mumbai? Such dubious tactics should not be adopted by you, to fool the community into making them believe that the DDG-AG demands are " reasonable", as they are NOT.
You have completely ignored the fact that you are the Trustees of the Doongerwadi property and hence bound to administer the same in accordance with the Trust Deed. Your own councel has opined that your actions have to be in consonance with the religion. It is amply clear that the facilities at Doongerwadi are available only to those community members whose corpses are consigned to the dakhmas and not to those who wish to avail themselves to an alternate un-Zoroastrian method of disposal of the dead. The Zoroastrian religion firmly rejects all other methods of disposal of the dead except dokhmenashini, particularly where it is available and in use.
In taking this unholy decision, you have completely ignored the voice of the community which was expressed in clear terms by the Resolutions passed at a meeting held in Patkar Hall on the 23rd of February, 2001, where an overwhelming majority of the community members had strongly condemned your decision to permit the use of bunglis and rejected the same outright.
Worse still, you have totally ignored and shelved the opinion expressed by all the eight High Priests of our community at their meeting held in the Cawasji Framji Hall on 21st April, 2001, and their subsequent letter to you, reiterating the same points. Your actions show nothing but an expression of contempt for their position and learning, and we as the SDAC decry your attitude. Your decisions, we believe, has set a dangerous precedent for the future, as other groups of rich and influencial Parsis will make further irreligious demands with regard to the time tested customs and traditions of the religion, resulting, in we think, some grave consequence for the future.
An issue as important as this cannot be decided by you, the Trustees, who openly profess that you have no knowledge of the religion. Therefore, we believe, that it is imperative that a Samast Anjuman Meeting be properly convened in the New Year. At this meeting, let both sides present their case so that the voice of the community may be heard and taken cognizance of, on this vexed issue. .
We the members of the SDAC speaking on behalf of the majority of the community, reject outright your decision to accede to the demands of the DDG-AG as well as we oppose your thirty-day deadline communicated to us vide your letter dated the 28th of November, 2001, and request you to rescind your wrong decision.
We would like to draw your attention to our article which was published in the Jame Jamshed Weekly dated 2nd of December, 2001, for your further reference.
We would also like to meet with your entire board of trustees, so that we may discuss the new situation arising from some recent developements appertaining to this case at a mutually convenient time and date.
-Hoshang Wania. Convenor Save Doongerwadi Action Committee (SDAC).
Sd/- received on 3-12-01. Stamped BOMBAY PARSI PUNCHAYET 209, DR. D.N.ROAD, FORT, MUMBAI: 400 001.
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