Arun Jaitley, Ratan Tata among guests at Parsi event

Thousands of Parsis from India and abroad are expected to congregate at Udvada near Vapi in Valsad district for the three-day Iranshah Utsav, a cultural event starting from December 25.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ratan Tata, Bollywood actor Boman Irani, members of judiciary and other key figures are expected to attend the event, which will be inaugurated by state Energy and Tourism minister Saurabh Patel, said Havovi Dastur, core team member of Iranshah Utsav.
“We are expecting nearly 4,000 Parsis, many from the United States, Australia, European nations and Singapore,” said Dastur.

For the Zoroastrian community, Udvada is a place of religious importance because of Atash Behram, one of the oldest fire temples. “We started working on this event in July-August and began registering the names for Rs 1000 per person. Later, we have raised the amount to Rs 2,000 per person and for the last two months, we have been charging Rs 3,000 per person… Even non-Parsis can come and enjoy the event. The Parsi community people have opened their flats and bungalows in Udvada for the guests,” said Dastur. According to Vada Darstoorji Khushidji Dastoorji, an organiser, “The idea of organising such an event was given by Narendra Modi, when we met him a couple of weeks after he took over as Prime Minister. Our visit was just to congratulate him and we requested him to develop Udvada as the pilgrimage centre for the Parsis.”