Chairman, trustees in battle over BPP’s place in all-India Parsi body

Yazdi Desai’s idea of keeping BPP out of the Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India’s affairs led to a heated exchange of words between trustees.

Noshir Dadrawala and Yazdi Desai
Noshir Dadrawala and Yazdi Desai

With the tension between the trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) growing over the past couple of months, an ‘extraordinary general meeting’ of the members of the Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India (FPZAI) called by BPP chairman Yazdi Desai on May 5 aggravated the situation further.

What led to a heated exchange of words between Desai, who is also the FPZAI president, and the other trustees, was his idea of keeping the latter out of the Federation’s affairs. The main focus of the meeting, which was held at the Banaji Atash Behram at Charni Road on Sunday morning, was to distance the BBP trustees from the FPZAI.

Khurshed Dastur. File Pics
Khurshed Dastur. File Pics

Referring to two other trustees, namely Noshir Dadrawala and Kersi Randeria, Desai said that one of the resolutions was to remove the BPP trustees as the bank signatories in matters pertaining to the FPZAI. “They have not been cooperating with us. They are not giving us access to our own records and not releasing the required funds,” added Desai. He further said that the BPP trustees created a lot of commotion outside the meeting venue and they even barged in bypassing the security personnel. The problems between the trustees, especially Desai and Dadrawala, have been increasing over the past couple of months. In fact, one of the resolutions mentioned in the agenda was to accept Dadrawala’s resignation that he had submitted in 2017.

Following a tiff between the trustees, high priest Khurshed Dastur and members from the New Delhi Anjuman appealed for unity in the community. Desai said that he agreed to maintain status quo in the matter, as he couldn’t refuse the request of a high priest. “Dasturji has promised to intervene in the matter. Hence, we did not put the resolutions to vote. But I’m confident that the members would have voted in favour of the resolutions,” said Desai, adding that he would wait for the next meeting to be held in Ahmedabad in July before taking a decision on the resolutions.

However, in his defence, Dadrawala said that the trustees had always been cooperative and they never delayed signing cheques as well. “Some at FPZAI are uncomfortable with the questions we ask before releasing funds. We stand for accountability and transparency, and we will continue to ask these questions. The message has gone out clear and loud,” he added.

Out In The Public

Back in January, Dadrawala and Desai had a public spat when the former raised allegations against the BPP chairman as well as his wife, Anahita, referring to her as a shadow chairperson. Though the FPZAI meets once a year, this meeting was organised after two years. The FPZAI comprises of elected members representing 70 Anjumans (a body that takes care of the local Parsi community) from across the country.

Published on Mid Day