At a time when the city's young Parsis are attending speed dating sessions and get-togethers to meet prospective spouses, the community's apex body, Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BPP) has said that the number of divorce cases in the community is on the rise.
"Over the years, Parsi women have become very independent, both financially and emotionally. They are very educated and are individualistic in their own views.
So they prefer living alone," said Dinshaw Mehta, chairman, BPP, who wrote to the chief justice of the Bombay high court to increase the number of annual sessions in the Parsi divorce court, to dispose the rising number of divorce cases in the Parsi community. The court currently convenes twice a year.
With several efforts made to promote community marriages, some Parsis believe that the couples barely get to know each other before getting married. "Several young Parsi couples mistake lust for love and get married sooner than they know each other," said Sam Patel, a retired assistant commissioner of police and jury delegate in the Parsi court. "In contested cases, the concerned parties do not cooperate with the court, causing the delay," said Patel, adding that the number of fresh divorce cases of young Parsi couples has gone up because the level of dependency on their partners has decreased.
During the recent three-day session of the Parsi divorce court that began on March 29, the jury comprising five elected community delegates settled 18 divorce cases and adjourned six cases.
"Ten years ago, there were not more than 10 cases that were heard during every session. In 2009, we also permitted Parsi couples seeking mutual consent divorces to approach the HC directly to save time," said Dr Viraf Kapadia, who is one of the delegates in the Parsi court.
According to a report published by community magazine Parsiana, the number of inter-faith marriages registered by the city's Parsis has risen to 39% in 2011, one percentage point higher than 2010. The divorce cases recorded in the case of marriages outside the community, which are relatively few, are not heard in the Parsi court.