The day after Pateti this year, an article appeared in the Hindustan Times, commenting upon the state of Parsis in the National Capital Region of Delhi (click on the picture above to enlarge and read). You can also read it online here, on the author’s blog.
It is a short and simple, yet thought provoking commentary on the sad state of our numbers, and draws from our own DelhiParsis.com Parsi Meter (top right on this page).
“In the National Capital Region, their (Parsis) number is embarrassingly low. Check out the ‘Parsi Meter’ at delhiparsis.com. The population stat displayed there is so low that if you catch all Parsis in town, you would still not be able to fill the 980-seater Delite cinema.”
With respect to our diminishing numbers, our community is clearly divided between the orthodox hard-liners, and the progressive liberals.
One side we have those who would rather “uphold the purity of our bloodlines, than have any bloodline surving at all”.
On the other hand, we have those who would “rather infuse fresh new blood, to uphold the tenets of Zoroastrianism and what Parsis stand for – for a long time to come.”
On a more bizarre note, there are some in the community who actually debate the authenticity of our miniscule numbers and the theory of our extinction in little over a century from now!
And so, the debate will rage on.
Meanwhile, our community will continue to battle issues of a large beyond-reproduction age population. And problems of infertility among the actual reproductive age-band.
We will continue to eject daughters and their children, if they choose to marry outside their community. And we will praise our sons who marry within, even if they don’t wear a sudreh-kusti or do anything to nurture the community beyond procreating more offspring, who in turn become ambivalent towards the whole ‘parsi thing’.
On this site itself, we will receive congratulatory notes and comments for raising the issue. And for sure we will receive angry notes and threats for ‘talking nonsense’.
This is a free country. And we are free people. We live with the tenets of Good Thoughts, Good Words and Good Deeds. All we need now, is a huge dose of Good Sense.
Here’s another article I came across on the subject: Parsis may be silenced by success via Asia Times Online.
“The community’s very success appears to be threatening its survival. Parsis are keen to get a higher education, establish themselves in a profession, and buy an apartment and a car before getting married. This often means late marriage or remaining unmarried; 30% of Parsis are single. Those who marry tend to have fewer children. (more)”