Darius Khambata Clarifies Stand on the IUU 2015 Talk

Published on Parsi Khabar.

Darius Khambata was one of the speakers on Day 02 of the recently concluded Iranshah Udvada Utsav 2015. His talk raised a lot of controversey over what was said/heard/implied…..or NOT….by those present, and those that went by hearsay.

He clarifies his stand in a letter to the Editor of the Jame Jamshed that was shared over social media by Jame.


Dear Editor,

Some of the reactions to my speech at the Udvada Utsav on 26 December 2015 lead me to issue this statement.

It appears that some may have understood me as proposing some policy allowing conversion to Zoroastrianism and they apprehend this will lead to the ‘floodgates’ being opened. This is not what I intended. What motivated my speech, was a desire to initiate a discussion and hopefully to forge a consensual solution to what several members of the community see as a serious and longstanding question.

I prefaced my speech with the qualification that I was going to speak on the difficult issue of inter-faith marriage, which I am told is increasing each year.This was the theme of my speech. I do not advocate adopting any policy of conversion to Zoroastrianism.

I spoke at length of the universality of Zoroastrianism to support the proposal I made at the conclusion of my speech. What I said on universality was based on the opinion of several distinguished priests and scholars including Vada Dasturji Dhalla and on the findings of the Bombay High Court in the Parsi Panchayat Case . These findings were based on the evidence of amongst others the then Vada DasturjiJamasp Asa. This was to support an inclusive, rather than exclusive, approach.

When I spoke I did not, and even now do not, expect that every Parsi/Irani (referred to collectively as “Parsi”) will agree with me. I respect the views and the sincerity of those who do not and I recognize that there is also scholastic and religious writing that suggests that Zoroastrianism is only for Parsis. I am not persuaded to this point of view but merely ask each Parsi to read both views, analyze and think for himself or herself and have a dignified dialogue. As I said at Udvada, I have no religious or scholastic expertise. But I do read and think for myself.

Click here to read the full letter.