A Parsi, sometimes spelled Parsee, is a member of the close-knit Zoroastrian community based in the Indian subcontinent. Parsis are descended from Persian Zoroastrians who emigrated to the Indian subcontinent over 1,000 years ago to escape religious persecution after the Islamic conquest (courtesy wikipedia).

Parsis first arrived in India at Sanjan, on the coast of Gujarat in the year 755 AD. Since then, we have merged into the fabric of the country, and are as Indian as you can get today.

While Parsi characters have provided comic relief in many a Bollywood film, thanks to the general perception (and reality) of Parsis being good-natured, fun-loving, and always young-at-heart, Parsis have over the years contributed greatly to the Indian subcontinent in almost every area you can choose to mention.

Parsis have contributed significantly, to the arts, sciences, sports, etc., and have played a significant role in nation-building.

For example, the man who’s considered the father of Indian Industry, Jamsetji Tata was a Parsi. Well-known Parsis who fought for India’s freedom include Phirozeshah Mehta, Madam Bhikaji Cama, and Dadabhai Naoroji. Legendary filmmaker Sohrab Modi was a Parsi. As was renowned banker, Sir Sorabji Pochkhanawala. 

Nuclear scientist Homi J Bhabha was a Parsi. The champion of the 1971 Indo-Pak war Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was a Parsi. 

In the arts and entertainment industry, we have screenwriter and author Sooni Taraporewala; authors Bapsi Sidhwa, Bachi J Karkaria, Firdaus Kanga and Rohington Mistry; and actor Boman Irani.

Legal luminaries like Soli Sorabjee, and Fali S Nariman are Parsis. Parsi Captains of Indian Industry today include Ratan Tata, Adi Godrej, Adar Poonawalla, and Keki Mistry, to name a few.