Listen to the change around you

Yesterday, mid-day ran an extensive front page report on the working of an app called Aapro App, a Parsi exclusive app that is aimed at encouraging youngsters in the community to date, marry and then mate, in an effort to increase numbers.

Several agile Mumbai brains are behind the invention and they even have a professional advisory board, consisting of well-known glamour names, to give the dating app some pizzazz and a glam quotient.

It is good that a community comprising a majority with more salt rather than pepper hair, is putting its finger on the pulse of Gen Next. Several campaigns like Jiyo Parsi have been launched, with the aim of increasing numbers.

One important point was the debate within those connected with the invention of the Aapro app. The talk of whether to keep it only for Parsis or open it up so that other communities could download it too. Debates are healthy and necessary for a community cleaved on certain seminal issues.

It is important that there is intra-community discourse on so many issues that continue to simmer.

Young Parsis are questioning the gender bias, where Parsi men who marry non-Parsi women have ‘Parsi’ children but this is not so when a Parsi woman marries a non-Parsi man. It may also be time to hear voices that urge the community to open the doors of the fire temples to non-Parsi women married to Parsi men. Then, of course there is the perennially contentious disposal of the dead issue.

The divide between so called reformists and traditionalists may never be filled. Yet, it is important that there is discussion and civilised dissent, so that different voices, most of all those of the young are heard and their sentiment is not summarily silenced or dismissed. Let not Parsi Panchayat election run ups degenerate into shouting matches, but ensure a vibrant exchange of ideas and views within the community. Let people speak and let there be listeners. For, there are none so deaf as those who do not hear.

Published on Mid-Day