Thursday, January 28, 2016

TheParseeVoice Petition against Utsav in Udvada

From: The Parsee Voice
Date: Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:32 AM
Subject: TheParseeVoice Petition against Utsav in Udvada

Dear Readers,

Thanks for the support extended by the community in our efforts to protect the sanctity of Holy Iranshah. For those who have missed the mail earlier, kindly act immediately by voting in favour of the petition to the Prime Minister of India. 

We oppose those actions which defile and denigrate the sanctity of our Holy Iranshah. He is our biggest benefactor for the last 1300 years and it is our bounden duty to protect HIM from harm.

We support the Government's efforts to improve infrastructure in Udvada. We are also not against attempts to showcase the community's track record of progress and harmony in India in the last millennium. However, holding of this Utsav in Udvada is damaging the sanctity of Holy Iranshah! Hence the request to the Prime Minister to instruct the organisers to hold future Utsavs at a location OTHER THAN UDVADA and thus prevent further spiritual damage to our holy entity, Iranshah!

An online version of the petition can be accessed via the following link:

For t
hose interested in 
a hard copy, 
​the same is attached herewith. Please print and get as many signatures as you can. The signed sheets may please be returned/mailed to the following address:

Ervad Bahadur Sanjana
R/13, Navroz Baug
Lalbaug, Mumbai 400 012
Maharashtra, INDIA

H. M. Mistry


Petition against holding Parsee Zoroastrian Utsav in Udvada

The Prime Minister of India

Prime Minister's Office

South Block, Raisina Hill

New Delhi-110 011.

Respected Shri Narendra Modiji,

Iranshah Udvada Utsav

At the outset, we wish to thank you for the admiration and affection showered by you on the 

Parsee Zoroastrian community of India as also the support provided to the community by the 

Central and State Governments, especially in improving the infrastructure in Udvada, the 

place where Holy Iranshah Atash Behram is currently enthroned.

While we truly appreciate your sentiments in trying to showcase Udvada as a unique place 

symbolising traditions of tolerance, harmony and progress in India, we, the traditional

members of the community, are gravely concerned about the Utsav recently held 

in Udvada and the decision to hold it there every two years.

Holy Iranshah is a living, spiritually vibrant entity, thanks to the powerful consecration 

ceremonies performed at the time of His installation. Magnetic circuits surround Him to 

prevent entry of spiritual and physical pollution. He functions like a receiving and transmitting 

station for the divine blessings of the Almighty. He is a warrior of the Almighty in the fight

against evil forces which attempt to overpower all creation. This spiritual prowess has been 

nurtured and sustained over the centuries thanks to the various ceremonies which the priests 

tending to him perform every day and which require spiritual, mental and physical piety of the 

highest order. The serene and isolated location of Udvada and Iranshah, away from 

the hustle and bustle of normal city life and the pollution - physical and spiritual, 

associated with it, provides Iranshah the much needed spiritual seclusion, 

necessary for maintaining His sanctity and well-being. The priests tending to Him 

day and night are able to maintain their personal piety thanks to this seclusion and tranquillity 

that Udvada offers as a location.

The laity who seek His blessings are also required to observe strict discipline and present 

themselves before Him, reasonably free of spiritual and physical pollution. 

Unfortunately, the Utsav has severely ravaged the very foundation of Holy 

Iranshah's well-being and survival by compromising the seclusion and serenity 

of Udvada. In their hurry to pay their respects and then attend the other festivities, many 

attendees would not even have performed the minimum ablution and rituals necessary before 

presenting themselves before holy Iranshah. An influx of over 2500 persons during the 

Utsav would have naturally brought with it huge amounts of spiritual and 

physical pollution, which has been deposited at His doorstep. One shudders to 

think of the negative effect on Holy Iranshah's sanctity of this sudden and 

voluminous onslaught of pollution, the karmic obligations of which will 

definitely visit the community in general and the organisers in particular!

Thanks to huge crowds, even the priests tending to Him, who are required to observe strict 

spiritual seclusion, had a real tough time while going to and from their houses to the Fire 

Temple for performing their required daily rituals. 

To add to all this, the Utsav even boasted of two nights of DJ music, karaoke and 

a dance programme by indecently clad youngsters in close proximity to the Fire 

Temple premises! Would such a sacrilegious act be permitted, say in Mathura 

and Kashi or Mecca and Medina or Tirupati temple?? By doing this, the 

organisers have shown open disrespect and lack of consideration for Iranshah's 


To add insult to injury, Mr. Darius Khambata, ex-Attorney General of Maharashtra used the 

Utsav as a platform to promote his pet topic of Conversion, which the organisers were well 

aware of. He even went further to advocate entry into our holy Fire Temples to all those who 

had been initiated into the Zoroastrian faith with a Navjote ceremony, which is nothing but 

conversion by the back door. As the world at large is aware, Zoroastrianism 

forbids Conversion. Worse still, instead of stopping him, one of the key 

organisers of the Utsav, High Priest of Udvada, Dastur Khurshed K. Dastoor, 

felicitated Mr. Khambata and reportedly silenced those who objected to this 

speech. This clearly shows that the organisers of the Utsav were actually pushing 

an agenda of religious reforms, using the Utsav as a convenient platform. It was 

only when the community vociferously objected to this in print and on social media that Mr. 

Khambata backtracked as a face-saving exercise. 

All of this has grievously hurt the religious sentiments of a large majority of the 

traditional members of the Zoroastrian community. 

Subsequently, in an open letter to the community, the High Priests have averred 

that remarks made by Mr. Khambata "..... at the religious and spiritual hub of 

Zoroastrianism to a wide audience was both disrespectful and frankly 

inflammatory." They have also cautioned against Conversion and mixed 

marriages which would lead to diluting our Zoroastrian identity. 

Sir, we are highly appreciative of your efforts to improve infrastructure in Udvada and support 

the same. We are also not against attempts to showcase the community's track record of 

progress and harmony in India in the last millennium. However, holding of this Utsav in 

Udvada is damaging the sanctity of Holy Iranshah! This is amply clear from the 

absence of the other High Priests, including the other senior High Priest of 

Udvada, from any of the festivities and activities for all 3 days

Since you have expressed high regard for Holy Iranshah, we beseech you to 

intercede and ensure Iranshah's sanctity by instructing the organisers to hold 

future Utsavs at a location OTHER THAN UDVADA and thus prevent further 

spiritual damage to our holy entity, Iranshah!

May Holy Iranshah guide your footsteps all through life!

Yours sincerely,

Petition dated 18.1.2016 against holding Parsee Zoroastrian Utsav in Udvada

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