Mumbai may host global Parsi meet again

  • Swati Goel Sharma, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2015 22:32 IST

Mumbai may become the venue for the next World Zoroastrian Congress (WZC) for the second time in a row after the Singapore community body, scheduled to host the event in 2017, declared its inability to do so.

The Parsi Zoroastrian Association of Singapore (PZAS) has written an email to its members stating that at a general meeting on May 31, the proposal to hold the 11th WZC could not garner the required two-thirds majority. Of the 40 members voting, 16 rejected the idea and of those who supported it, only 11 offered to volunteer time or money.

Dinshaw Mehta, chairman of the largest Zarathushti body, Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), which hosted the event in 2013, said, “The global working group (GWG) of the Parsi-Zoroastrians has written to the Perth-based Australian association to organise it in 2018 now. This body was scheduled to hold the next Congress [in 2021], and has bought time to consider the proposal. If they refuse, the responsibility will be BPP’s.”

Mehta, whose 21-year term as BPP trustee comes to an end in September, said, “We will not prefer to hold it in Mumbai again, as we did it only recently. But we may not have an option.”

During the 2013 Congress, which was held in Mumbai after a 23-year gap, Mehta had courted controversy after four BPP trustees filed complaints against him with the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police in connection with a tenancy transfer deal. The matter had resulted in Mehta stepping down from his post.

Jehangir Patel, editor of community magazine Parsiana, said, “Twice in a row has the event seen turbulence. Many are of the opinion that the infighting within the BPP may have had global repercussions and brought down the enthusiasm of the Parsi-Zoroastrians.”

He said the decision to hold the Congress in Mumbai could be taken only by the new board of trustees elected in September.

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