In the Parsi Junction Issue No. 139 of 26th June 2022, we had informed the community of the first Covid Ravaan consigned to the Banaji Dokhma on 18th June 2022 at Doongerwadi, Mumbai following all prescribed SOPs laid down by the Supreme Court of India in the Appeal filed by Surat Parsi Punchayet for giving Dokhmenashini rituals to Parsi Covid Ravaans. We had congratulated the Trustees of BPP for ensuring that henceforth every Parsi/Irani Covid victim is consigned at the Towers of Silence and had expressed surprise that Orthodox groups like Parsi Voice, Wapiz, TZML, PIPZ and others have not thanked the new Board for this very first non-cremation of a Parsi Covid victim. In this regard PIPZ has taken umbrage at our comments and sent us the below reply which we reproduce for community benefit with our explanation below the reply:


Admins of PIPZ.

27th June 2022

It is indeed gratifying to note from yesterday’s issue of Parsi Junction that the blessings of Dokhmenashimi were extended to the first Parsi covid ruvan in Mumbai at Doongarwadi’s newly modified Banaji Dokhma (modified courtesy BPP Trustee Viraf Mehta) on June 18, 2022. We are confident that all PIPZ Members join the Admins in congratulating and thanking the new BPP Trustee Team. We understand that since then, 2 or 3 more covid ruvans have been placed in this Dakhma.

Our only regret is that this was not spearheaded by the BPP when covid began, using its clout as the apex Parsi Irani Trusteeship body in India. It was left to the Surat Panchayet trustees to succeed in convincing the authorities. Kudos to them. Only a negligible number of humdins were apparently aware of the first covid ruvan given Dokhmenashini in Mumbai. Most of us came to know only yesterday after reading Parsi Junction. There is apparently no mention of this even in yesterday’s Jame Jamshed.

This underlines the urgent need for the BPP to set up some form of communication system to advise the community about all such matters. This communication system needs to be bidirectional, with all messages visible to everyone.

Lastly, may we request the editor of Parsi Junction to kindly not refer to our and others traditional/ orthodox Parsi Irani groups by the rather derogatory term ‘ultra-orthodox’ as mentioned in his somewhat unsavoury statement in the 2nd paragraph of page 2 of yesterday’s Parsi Junction. May we also draw Mr Dinshaw Mehta’s attention to this point.

Thank you. PIPZ ADMINS.

OUR COMMENTS: At the outset we apologize for our criticism of these groups not congratulating the Trustees as they were not aware of the first Covid Ravaan given Dokhmenashini. PIPZ Admins are right that it is time that the Trustees set up some form of communication system to advise the community about all such matters and events like webmail or a facebook page or a twitter account. With a professional like Dr. Adil Malia on board, we are sure that such an informative system will be put into operation shortly.

PIPZ Admins are also right that BPP as the apex body of the Parsi community should have moved the Supreme Court in Appeal and not left it to Surat Parsi Punchayat. But knowing the grave financial condition of BPP, their disinclination is understandable due to the high legal costs involved.

PIPZ Admins next take umbrage at our use of the word ‘ultraorthodox’ as being derogatory to describe their group. We fail to understand how it is derogatory or unsavory. Today we have the Reformists, radical Liberals, orthodox and ultra-orthodox depending on their beliefs. BPP, N. M. Wadia Trust, Petit Trust, Wapiz are orthodox as they follow the Davar Beamon judgment where children of Parsi fathers are treated as Parsis but not children of non-Parsi fathers. Whilst the so called derogatory word ‘ultra-orthodox’ refers to those groups who believe that children of both non-Parsi fathers as well as non-Parsi mothers cannot be treated as Parsis. If there is a better word to describe such groups please let us know.

We would like to inform the community that from 18th June 2022 till date (8th July 2022) there have been total 6 Parsis who expired due to Covid infection and yet were given Dokhmenashini at Banaji Dokhma at Doongerwadi. To get the Khandias to carry the Covid victims into the Banaji Dokhma, the Union has agreed only on special conditions that

1) All khandiyas will be given necessary safety and personal protective equipments

2) If a khandiya doing such duty dies then his family will be compensated with Rs. 5 lakhs

3) A covid ailing khandia and his family will get full hospitalization at BPP cost as well as Isolation and quarantine arrangements

4) At present there are 8 Khandiyas who have been short listed for the Parsi Covid victims

5) It is requested that community must come forward to look after them and their families to ensure their welfare, including one months extra salary per annum.

Source: Parsi Junction