Parsis – Wikipedia

zoroastrian residential district in the indian subcontinent descended from irani migrants
This article is about a zoroastrian residential district in the indian subcontinent. For the irani people, see Persians. For the iranian terminology, see persian terminology. For other uses, see Parsi ( disambiguation )
Parsis ( ) or Parsees ( lit. ‘ irani ‘ in the irani linguistic process ) are an ethnoreligious group of the indian subcontinent whose religion is Zoroastrianism. Their ancestors migrated to the area from Iran following the Muslim seduction of Persia in the seventh hundred CE. They are the first of two such to have done sol, with the other being Iranis, who migrated to the subcontinent many centuries late, after the coming to power of the Qajar dynasty in Persia. According to a zoroastrian epic, Qissa-i Sanjan, Parsis continued to migrate from the collapse Sassanid Empire to Gujarat in between the 8th and 10th centuries CE, where they were given recourse to escape religious persecution during the early Muslim conquests. [ 10 ] [ 11 ]

At the time of the Muslim seduction of Persia, the prevailing religion of the region was Zoroastrianism, an iranian religion that besides served as the official state religion of the Sassanid Empire. Many celebrated iranian figures, such as Babak Khorramdin, actively rebelled against the Rashidun united states army and late Muslim caliphates for about 200 years, [ 12 ] while the others chose to preserve their religious identities by fleeing from Iran to India during this time. [ 13 ] The news Parsi is derived from the irani speech, and literally translates to Persian ( Modern Standard Persian : پارسیان, romanized : ‘Pārsiān’ – i.e. ‘Pārsi’ ), efficaciously identifying the Parsi people as pre- Islamic Zoroastrian heathen Persians in India and Pakistan. [ 14 ] Farsi, a modern word that is used locally in Persian-speaking regions as an endonym for the irani language, is the Arabized form of the word Parsi ; the language sees far-flung manipulation in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and early regions of the former irani empires. The long bearing of the Parsis in the amerind subcontinent distinguishes them from the much more recently-arrived and smaller zoroastrian Indian community of Iranis, who are by and large descendants of the Iranians who fled the repression of the Qajar dynasty and the general socio-political commotion of late 19th- and early 20th-century Iran. [ 15 ] D. L. Sheth, the former director of the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies ( CSDS ), lists indian communities that constituted the middle class and were traditionally “ urban and professional ” ( following professions like doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, etc. ) immediately after indian independence in 1947. This list included the Kashmiri Pandits, the Nagar Brahmins from Gujarat, the Brahmins from Southern India, the Punjabi Khatris and Kayasthas from Northern India, the Chitpawans and CKPs from Maharashtra ; Bengali Probasis and Bhadraloks, the Parsis, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as the upper echelons of the indian Muslim and indian Christian communities throughout the express. According to P. K. Verma, “ education was a common screw thread that bound together this pan-Indian elite ” ; about all of the members of these communities could read and write in English and were educated beyond regular schooling institutions. [ 16 ] [ 17 ] [ 18 ]

definition and identity [edit ]

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica ,

Parsi, besides spelled Parsee, penis of a group of followers in India of the Persian prophet Zoroaster. The Parsis, whose appoint means “ Persians ”, are descended from irani Zoroastrians who emigrated to India to avoid religious persecution by the Muslims. They live chiefly in Mumbai and in a few towns and villages by and large to the south of Mumbai, but besides a few minorities nearby in Karachi ( Pakistan ) and Chennai. There is a goodly Parsee population in Pune equally well in Bangalore. A few Parsee families besides reside in Kolkata and Hyderabad. Although they are not, strictly speaking, a caste, since they are not Hindus, they form a chiseled community. The claim date of the Parsi migration is nameless. According to tradition, the Parsis initially settled at Hormuz on the persian Gulf but finding themselves placid persecuted they set sail for India, arriving in the eighth century. The migration may, in fact, have taken place a late as the tenth century, or in both. They settled first at Diu in Kathiawar but soon moved to South Gujarāt, where they remained for about 800 years as a humble agricultural community. [ 19 ]

The term Pārsi, which in the iranian language is a demonym meaning “ inhabitant of Pārs “ and therefore “ heathen iranian ”, is not attested in amerind Zoroastrian text until the seventeenth hundred. Until that time, such texts systematically use the Persian-origin terms Zartoshti “ zoroastrian ” or Vehdin “ [ of ] the good religion ”. The 12th-century Sixteen Shlokas, a Sanskrit text in praise of the Parsis, [ 20 ] is the earliest testify use of the term as an identifier for indian Zoroastrians .
parsee from India, c. 1870 The first character to the Parsis in a european speech is from 1322, when a french monk, Jordanus, briefly refers to their presence in Thane and Bharuch. Subsequently, the term appears in the journals of many european travelers, first french and Portuguese, late English, all of whom used a europeanize translation of an apparently local terminology term. For example, portuguese doctor Garcia de Orta observed in 1563 that “ there are merchants … in the kingdom of Cambaia … known as Esparcis. We Portuguese call them Jews, but they are not indeed. They are Gentios. ” In an early 20th-century legal govern ( see self-perceptions, below ), Justices Davar and Beaman asserted ( 1909:540 ) that “ Parsi ” was besides a condition used in Iran to refer to Zoroastrians. notes that in much the same way as the son “ Hindu ” was used by Iranians to refer to anyone from the indian subcontinent, “ Parsi ” was used by the Indians to refer to anyone from Greater Iran, regardless of whether they were actually ethnic iranian people. In any casing, the term “ Parsi ” itself is “ not inevitably an indication of their iranian or ‘Persian ‘ lineage, but preferably as index – manifest as several properties – of heathen identity ”. furthermore, if heredity were the only factor in a determination of ethnicity, the Parsis would count as Parthians according to the Qissa-i Sanjan. The term “ Parseeism ” or “ parsiism ”, is attributed to Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron, who in the 1750s, when the discussion “ Zoroastrianism ” had yet to be coined, made the first detail composition of the Parsis and of Zoroastrianism, therein mistakenly assuming that the Parsis were the alone remaining followers of the religion. In addition to above, the term “ Parsi ” existed even before they moved to India :

  • The earliest reference to the Parsis is found in the Assyrian inscription of Shalmaneser III (circa 854-824 BC).
  • Darius the Great (521-486 BC) establishes this fact when he records his Parsi ancestry for posterity, “parsa parsahya puthra ariya ariyachitra”, meaning, “a Parsi, the son of a Parsi, an Aryan, of Aryan family (Inscription at Naqsh-i-Rustam, near Persepolis, Iran).
  • In Outlines of Parsi History, Dasturji Hormazdyar Dastur Kayoji Mirza, Bombay 1987, pp. 3-4 writes, “According to the Pahlavi text of Karnamak i Artakhshir i Papakan, the Indian astrologer refers to Artakhshir (Sasanian king, and the founder of the Empire) as khvatay parsikan ‘the king of the Parsis’.
  • Herodotus and Xenophon, the two great historians who lived in the third and fourth centuries BC, referred to Iranians as Parsis.[24]

Origins [edit ]

In ancient Persia, Zoroaster taught that good ( Ohrmazd ) and evil ( Angra Mainyu ) were antonym forces and the battle between them is more or less evenly matched. A person should always be argus-eyed to align with forces of fall. According to the asha or the righteousness and druj or the evil, the person has chosen in his life they will be judged at the Chinvat bridge to grant passage to Paradise, Hammistagan ( A limbo area ) or Hell by a sword. A body shape of the soul that represents the person ’ randomness deeds takes the adjudged to their address and they will abide there until the final apocalypse. After the final battle between thoroughly and evil, every soul ’ south walk through a river of fire ordeal for burn of their impurity and together they receive a post resurrection paradise. The zoroastrian holy place book, called the Avesta, was written in the Avestan terminology, which is closely related to Vedic Sanskrit. The Qissa-i Sanjan is a narrative of the journey of the Parsis to India from Iran. It says they fled for reasons of religious freedom and they were allowed to settle in India thanks to the good will of a local prince. however, the Parsi community had to abide by three rules : they had to speak the local anesthetic lyric, follow local marriage customs, and not carry any weapons. After showing the many similarities between their faith and local beliefs, the early on community was granted a plat of farming on which to build a fire temple .

As an heathen community [edit ]

Wedding portrayal, 1948 Over the centuries since the first gear Zoroastrians arrived in India, the Parsis have integrated themselves into indian society while simultaneously maintaining or developing their own clear-cut customs and traditions ( and frankincense cultural identity ). This in turn has given the Parsi community a preferably particular stand : they are largely Indians in terms of national affiliation, linguistic process and history, but not typically indian in terms of consanguinity or ethnicity, cultural, behavioral and religious practices. genealogic deoxyribonucleic acid tests to determine purity of linage have brought mix results. One survey supports the Parsi contention that they have maintained their irani roots by avoiding exogamy with local populations. In that 2002 study of the Y-chromosome ( patrilineal ) deoxyribonucleic acid of the Parsis of Pakistan, it was determined that Parsis are genetically closer to Iranians than to their neighbours. A 2004 learn in which Parsi mitochondrial DNA ( matrilineal ) was compared with that of the Iranians and Gujaratis determined that Parsis are genetically closer to Gujaratis than to Iranians. Taking the 2002 study into account, the authors of the 2004 sketch suggested “ a male-mediated migration of the ancestors of the contemporary Parsi population, where they admixed with local anesthetic females [ … ] leading ultimately to the loss of mtDNA of iranian origin ”. A study was conducted in 2017 which found that Parsis are genetically closer to Neolithic Iranians than to advanced Iranians who have witnessed a more holocene curl of admixture from the Near East, and that there were “ 48 % South-Asian-specific mitochondrial lineages among the ancient samples, which might have resulted from the assimilation of local females during the initial settlement. ” [ 28 ]
Navjote ceremony (rites of admission into the Zoroastrian faith) Parsiceremony ( rites of admission into the zoroastrian religion ) The definition of who is, and is not, a Parsi is a count of capital competition within the Zoroastrian community in India. It is generally accepted that a Parsi is a person who :

(a) is directly descended from the original Persian refugees, and
(b) has been formally admitted into the Zoroastrian religion, through the navjote ceremony.

In this smell, Parsi is an ethno-religious designator, whose definition is of contention among its members, similar to the controversy over who is a Jew in the West. Some members of the community additionally contend that a child must have a Parsi father to be eligible for initiation into the faith, but this assertion is considered by most to be a violation of the zoroastrian tenets of sex equality and may be a end of an old legal definition of the term Parsi. An oft-quoted legal definition of Parsi is based on a 1909 rule ( since nullified ) that not entirely stipulated that a person could not become a Parsi by converting to the zoroastrian faith but besides noted :

the Parsi community consists of : a ) parsee who are descended from the original iranian emigrants and who are born of both zoroastrian parents and who profess the zoroastrian religion ; boron ) Iranis [ here meaning Iranians, not the other group of indian Zoroastrians ] professing the zoroastrian religion ; speed of light ) the children of Parsi fathers by alien mothers who have been punctually and properly admitted into the religion .

This definition was overturned several times. The equality principles of the indian Constitution void the patrilineal restrictions expressed in the third article. The second clause was contested and overturned in 1948. On appeal in 1950, the 1948 predominate was uphold and the entire 1909 definition was deemed an obiter obiter dictum – a collateral opinion and not legally binding ( re-affirmed in 1966 ). ) There is a growing voice within the community that if indeed equality must be re-established then the alone acceptable solution is to allow a child to be initiated into the religion only if both parents are Parsi. however, the impression that the 1909 rule is legally binding continues to persist, even among the better-read and moderate Parsis .


[edit ]

[33] The geographic distribution of modern and ancient parsee in India and Pakistan. According to the 2011 Census of India, there are 57,264 Parsis in India. [ 34 ] [ 35 ] According to the National Commission for Minorities, there are a “ diverseness of causes that are responsible for this regular decline in the population of the community ”, the most significant of which were childlessness and migration. Demographic trends project that by the class 2020 the Parsis will number only 23,000. The Parsis will then cease to be called a community and will be labeled a ‘ tribe ‘. one-fifth of the decrease in population is attributed to migration. A slower birthrate than deathrate accounts for the remainder : as of 2001, Parsis over the age of 60 make up for 31 % of the community. entirely 4.7 % of the Parsi community are under 6 years of historic period, which translates to 7 births per year per 1000 individuals. Concerns have been raised in recent years over the quickly declining population of the Parsi residential district in India. [ 40 ]

other demographic statistics [edit ]

The sex proportion among Parsis is strange : as of 2001, the proportion of males to females was 1000 males to 1050 females ( up from 1024 in 1991 ), due chiefly to the high median age of the population ( aged women are more coarse than aged men ). As of 2001 the national average in India was 1000 males to 933 females. parsee have a high literacy rate ; as of 2001, the literacy rate is 97.9 %, the highest of any Indian residential district ( the national average was 64.8 % ). 96.1 % of Parsis occupy in urban areas ( the national average is 27.8 % ). Parsis mother tongue is Gujarati. In the Greater Mumbai area, where the density of Parsis is highest, about 10 % of Parsi females and about 20 % of Parsi males do not marry .

history [edit ]

arrival in the amerind sub-continent [edit ]

According to the Qissa-i Sanjan, the lone existing score of the early on years of zoroastrian refugees in India composed at least six centuries after their probationary date of arrival, the first group of immigrants originated from Greater Khorasan. This historic region of Central Asia is in depart in northeastern Iran, where it constitutes modern Khorasan Province, share of western/northern Afghanistan, and in separate in three Central-Asian republics namely Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. According to the Qissa, the immigrants were granted license to stay by the local rule, Jadi Rana, on the condition that they adopt the local language ( Gujarati ) and that their women adopt local anesthetic dress ( the sari ). The refugees accepted the conditions and founded the colonization of Sanjan, which is said to have been named after the city of their beginning ( Sanjan, near Merv, mod Turkmenistan ). This first group was followed by a moment group from Greater Khorasan within five years of the first, and this time having religious implements with them ( the alat ). In addition to these Khorasani south or Kohistani randomness “ batch tribe ”, as the two initial groups are said to have been initially called, at least one other group is said to have come overland from Sari, Iran .
Although the Sanjan group are believed to have been the first permanent settlers, the precise date of their arrival is a topic of guess. All estimates are based on the Qissa, which is undefined or contradictory with respect to some elapsed periods. consequently, three potential dates – 716, 765, and 936 – have been proposed as the year of land, and the disagreement has been the cause of “ many an intense struggle … amongst parsee ”. Since dates are not specifically mentioned in Parsi text prior to the eighteenth hundred, any date of arrival is perforce a matter of meditation. The importance of the Qissa lies in any case not so much in its reconstruction of events than in its delineation of the Parsis – in the manner they have come to view themselves – and in their relationship to the dominant culture. As such, the textbook plays a crucial character in shaping Parsi identity. But, “ even if one comes to the decision that the chronicle based on verbal infection is not more than a legend, it silent remains without doubt an highly enlightening text file for Parsee historiography. ” The Sanjan Zoroastrians were surely not the first Zoroastrians on the subcontinent. [ citation needed ] Sindh touching Balochistan, the easternmost periphery of the iranian worldly concern, besides had once been under coastal administration of the Sasanian Empire ( 226-651 ), which consequently maintained outposts there. [ citation needed ] flush following the loss of Sindh, the Iranians continued to play a major role in the trade links between the east and west. [ citation needed ] The 9th-century Arab historian Al-Masudi briefly notes Zoroastrians with fire temples in al-Hind and in al-Sindh. There is evidence of individual Parsis reside in Sindh in the one-tenth and one-twelfth centuries, but the current modern community is thought to date from british arrival in Sindh. [ 48 ] furthermore, for the Iranians, the harbor of Gujarat put on the nautical routes that complemented the overland Silk Road and there were extensive trade relations between the two regions. The contact between Iranians and Indians was already well established even prior to the Common Era, and both the Puranas and the Mahabharata use the term Parasikas to refer to the peoples west of the Indus River. “ Parsi legends regarding their ancestors ‘ migration to India describe a tease ring of religious refugees escaping the new principle post the Muslim conquests in arrange to preserve their ancient faith. ” however, while Parsi settlements decidedly arose along the western coast of the indian subcontinent following the arab seduction of Iran, it is not possible to submit with certainty that these migrations occurred as a solution of religious persecution against Zoroastrians. If the “ traditional ” eighth century date ( as deduced from the Qissa ) is considered valid, it must be assumed “ that the migration began while Zoroastrianism was placid the prevailing religion in Iran [ and ] economic factors predominated the initial decision to migrate. ” This would have been particularly the case if – as the Qissa suggests – the first base Parsis in the first place came from the northeast ( i.e. Central Asia ) and had previously been subject on Silk Road craft. tied thus, in the seventeenth century, Henry Lord, a chaplain with the English East India Company, noted that the Parsis came to India seeking “ familiarity of conscience “ but simultaneously arrived as “ merchantmen bound for the shores of India, in course of trade and merchandise. ” The fact that Muslims charged non-Muslims higher duties when trade from Muslim-held ports may be interpreted to be a shape of religious persecution, but this being the only argue to migrate appears improbable .

early on years [edit ]

The Qissa has little to say about the events that followed the establishment of Sanjan, and restricts itself to a brief note on the establishment of the “ Fire of Victory ” ( Middle Persian : Atash Bahram ) at Sanjan and its subsequent motivate to Navsari. According to Dhalla, the future several centuries were “ wax of hardships ” ( sic ) before Zoroastrianism “ gained a real bridgehead in India and secured for its adherents some means of support in this newly state of their adoption ”. Two centuries after their bring, the Parsis began to settle in other parts of Gujarat, which led to “ difficulties in defining the limits of priestly legal power. ” These problems were resolved by 1290 through the division of Gujarat into five panthak s ( districts ), each under the legal power of one priestly family and their descendants. ( Continuing disputes regarding jurisdiction over the Atash Bahram led to the fire being moved to Udvada in 1742, where today jurisdiction is shared in rotation among the five panthak families. ) Inscriptions at the Kanheri Caves near Mumbai suggest that at least until the early eleventh century, Middle Persian was still the literary terminology of the ancestral zoroastrian priesthood. Nonetheless, aside from the Qissa and the Kanheri inscriptions, there is fiddling evidence of the Parsis until the 12th and thirteenth century, when “ consummate ” Sanskrit translations and transcriptions of the Avesta and its commentaries began to be prepared. From these translations Dhalla infers that “ religious studies were prosecuted with big readiness at this period ” and that the dominate of Middle Persian and Sanskrit among the clerics “ was of a superior orderliness ”. From the thirteenth century to the late sixteenth century, the zoroastrian priests of Gujarat sent ( in all ) twenty-two requests for religious guidance to their co-religionists in Iran, presumably because they considered the irani Zoroastrians “ better informed on religious matters than themselves, and must have preserved the old-time tradition more faithfully than they themselves did ”. These transmissions and their replies – assiduously preserved by the residential district as the rivayat south ( epistles ) – span the years 1478–1766 and cope with both religious and social subjects. From a superficial twenty-first century compass point of view, some of these ithoter ( “ questions ” ) are signally superficial – for example, Rivayat 376 : whether ink prepared by a non-Zoroastrian is desirable for copying Avestan linguistic process text – but they provide a discerning penetration into the fears and anxieties of the early advanced Zoroastrians. therefore, the question of the ink is symptomatic of the concern of assimilation and the loss of identity, a theme that dominates the questions posed and continues to be an return into the twenty-first century. so besides the question of conversion of Juddin sulfur ( non-Zoroastrians ) to Zoroastrianism, to which the answer ( R237, R238 ) was : acceptable, tied meritorious. however, “ the precarious condition in which they lived for a considerable period made it impracticable for them to keep up their early proselytize ardor. The natural reverence of decay and assimilation in the huge multitudes among whom they lived created in them a intent of clannishness and a strong hope to preserve the racial characteristics and classifiable features of their community. Living in an air surcharged with the Hindu caste organization, they felt that their own safety lie in encircling their flock by rigid caste barriers ”. even then, at some target ( possibly soon after their arrival in India ), the Zoroastrians – possibly determining that the social stratification that they had brought with them was unsustainable in the small community – did away with all but the familial priesthood ( called the asronih in Sassanid Iran ). The remaining estates – the (r)atheshtarih ( nobility, soldiers, and civil servants ), vastaryoshih ( farmers and herdsmen ), hutokshih ( artisans and labourers ) – were folded into an all-comprehensive class nowadays known as the behdini ( “ followers of daena “, for which “ full religion ” is one transformation ). This change would have army for the liberation of rwanda reaching consequences. For one, it opened the gene pool to some extent since until that time inter-class marriages were extremely rare ( this would continue to be a trouble for the priesthood until the twentieth century ). For another, it did away with the boundaries along occupational lines, a agent that would endear the parsee to the 18th- and 19th-century colonial authorities who had little solitaire for the irregular complications of the Hindu caste system ( such as when a clerk from one caste would not deal with a clerk from another ). [ citation needed ]

Age of opportunity [edit ]

Following the commercial treaty in the early seventeenth century between Mughal emperor Jahangir and James I of England, the East India Company obtained the exclusive rights to reside and build factories in Surat and early areas. many Parsis, who until then had been living in farming communities throughout Gujarat, moved to the English-run settlements to take the new jobs offered. In 1668 the English East India Company leased the Seven Islands of Bombay from Charles II of England. The company found the abstruse harbor on the east coast of the islands to be ideal for setting up their first port in the sub-continent, and in 1687 they transferred their headquarters from Surat to the newcomer settlement. The parsee followed and soon began to occupy posts of trust in connection with government and public works. Where literacy had previously been the exclusive knowledge domain of the priesthood, in the era of the british Raj, the british schools in India provided the modern Parsi young with the means not merely to learn to read and write but besides to be educated in the greater feel of the terminus and become familiar with the quirks of the british establishment. These capabilities were enormously useful to Parsis since they allowed them to “ represent themselves as being like the british, ” which they did “ more diligently and effectively than possibly any other South Asian community ”. While the colonial authorities often saw the early Indians “ as passive, ignorant, irrational, outwardly slavish but inwardly crafty ”, the Parsis were seen to have the traits that the authorities tended to ascribe to themselves. Johan Albrecht de Mandelslo ( 1638 ) saw them as “ diligent ”, “ conscientious ”, and “ adept ” in their mercantile pursuits. similar observations would be made by James Mackintosh, Recorder of Bombay from 1804 to 1811, who noted that “ the Parsees are a small leftover of one of the mightiest nations of the ancient earth, who, flying from persecution into India, were for many ages lost in obscurity and poverty, till at length they met a just government under which they quickly rose to be one of the most democratic mercantile bodies in Asia ”. One of these was an enterprising agent named Rustom Maneck. In 1702, Maneck, who had credibly already amassed a fortune under the Dutch and Portuguese, was appointed the beginning agent to the East India Company ( acquiring the name “ Seth ” in the march ), and in the following years “ he and his Parsi associates widened the occupational and fiscal horizons of the larger Parsi community ”. Thus, by the mid-18th hundred, the brokerage house houses of the Bombay Presidency were about all in Parsi hands. As James Forbes, the Collector of Broach ( now Bharuch ), would note in his Oriental Memoirs ( 1770 ) : “ many of the principal merchants and owners of ships at Bombay and Surat are Parsees. ” “ Active, full-bodied, prudent and diligent, they now form a very valuable partially of the Company ‘s subjects on the western shores of Hindustan where they are highly esteemed ”. In the eighteenth century, Parsis with their skills in embark build and craft greatly benefited with trade between India and China. The trade was chiefly in timber, silk, cotton and opium. For model Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy acquired most of his wealth through deal in cotton and opium [ 62 ] Gradually certain families “ acquired wealth and prominence ( Sorabji, Modi, Cama, Wadia, Jeejeebhoy, Readymoney, Dadyseth, Petit, Patel, Mehta, Allbless, Tata, etc. ), many of which would be noted for their participation in the public life of the city, and for their assorted educational, industrial, and charitable enterprises. ” ). Through his largess, Maneck helped establish the infrastructure that was necessary for the Parsis to set themselves up in Bombay and in doing so “ establish Bombay as the primary center of Parsi inhabitancy and exploit in the 1720s ”. Following the political and economic isolation of Surat in the 1720s and 1730s that resulted from troubles between the ( leftover ) Mughal authorities and the increasingly dominant Marathas, a number of Parsi families from Surat migrated to the modern city. While in 1700 “ fewer than a handful of individuals appear as merchants in any records ; by mid-century, Parsis engaged in commerce constituted one of significant commercial groups in Bombay ”. Maneck ‘s generosity is by the way besides the first document example of Parsi philanthropy. In 1689, Anglican chaplain John Ovington reported that in Surat the family “ assist the hapless and are fix to provide for the sustenance and comfort of such as want it. Their universal joint kindness, either employing such as are fix and able to work, or bestowing a timely big charity to such as are infirm and deplorable, leave no man barren of stand-in, nor suffer a beggar in all their tribe ” .
ca. 1878 “ parsee of Bombay “ a forest engraving,1878 In 1728 Rustom ‘s eldest son Naoroz ( late Naorojee ) founded the Bombay Parsi Panchayet ( in the feel of an instrumental role for self-governance and not in the common sense of the faith it is today ) to assist newly arriving Parsis in religious, social, legal and fiscal matters. Using their huge resources, the Maneck Seth family gave their time, energy and not inconsiderable fiscal resources to the Parsi community, with the result that by the mid-18th century, the Panchayat was the bear means for Parsis to cope with the exigencies of urban animation and the recognized instrumental role for regulating the affairs of the community. however, by 1838 the Panchayat was under attack for familiarity and nepotism. In 1855 the Bombay Times noted that the Panchayat was absolutely without the moral or legal authority to enforce its statutes ( the Bundobusts or codes of behave ) and the council soon ceased to be considered congressman of the community. In the wake of a July 1856 rule by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that it had no jurisdiction over the Parsis in matters of marriage and divorce, the Panchayat was reduced to little more than a Government-recognized “ Parsi Matrimonial Court ”. Although the Panchayat would finally be reestablished as the administrator of community property, it ultimately ceased to be an instrument for self-governance.

At about the same time as the role of the Panchayat was declining, a number of other institutions arose that would replace the Panchayat ‘s function in contributing to the smell of sociable coherence that the community urgently sought. By the mid-19th century, the Parsis were keenly aware that their numbers were declining and visit department of education as a potential solution to the problem. In 1842 Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy established the Parsi Benevolent Fund with the aim of better, through education, the condition of the impoverish Parsis hush living in Surat and its environs. In 1849 the Parsis established their first school ( co-educational, which was a freshness at the time, but would soon be split into separate schools for boys and girls ) and the education movement quickened. The total of Parsi schools multiplied, but early schools and colleges were besides freely attended. Accompanied by better education and social cohesiveness, the community ‘s sense of disparateness grew, and in 1854 Dinshaw Maneckji Petit founded the persian zoroastrian Amelioration Fund with the purpose of improving conditions for his less fortunate co-religionists in Iran. The fund succeeded in convincing a number of irani Zoroastrians to emigrate to India ( where they are known nowadays as Iranis ) and the efforts of its emissary Maneckji Limji Hataria may have been implemental in obtaining a remission of the jizya for their co-religionists in 1882. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Parsis had emerged as “ the foremost people in India in matters educational, industrial, and social. They came in the avant-garde of progress, amassed huge fortunes, and liberally gave away large sums in charity ”. Near the end of the nineteenth hundred, the total count of Parsis in colonial India was 85,397, of which 48,507 lived in Bombay, constituting around 6.7 % of the sum population of the city, according to the 1881 census. This would be the last time that the Parsis would be considered a numerically significant minority in the city. [ original research? ] however, the bequest of the nineteenth hundred was a smell of self-awareness as a community. The typically Parsi cultural symbols of the 17th and 18th centuries such as terminology ( a Parsi random variable of Gujarati ), arts, crafts, and sartorial habits developed into Parsi dramaturgy, literature, newspapers, magazines, and schools. The parsee now ran community medical centres, ambulance corps, Scouting troops, clubs, and Masonic Lodges. They had their own charitable foundations, caparison estates, legal institutions, courts, and administration. They were no longer weavers and junior-grade merchants, but now were established and melt banks, mills, heavy industry, shipyards, and shipping companies. furthermore, even while maintaining their own cultural identity they did not fail to recognize themselves as nationally indian, as Dadabhai Naoroji, the first gear asian to occupy a seat in the british Parliament would note : “ Whether I am a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Parsi, a christian, or of any other religious doctrine, I am above all an indian. Our country is India ; our nationality is indian ”. At the time of indian independence movement, the Parsis opposed the partition of India. [ 74 ]

religious practices [edit ]

The main components of Zoroastrianism as practiced by the Parsi residential district are the concepts of honor and contamination ( nasu ), knowledgeability ( navjot ), daily prayers, idolize at Fire Temples, marriage, funerals, and general worship .

honor and contamination [edit ]

The balance between good and evil is correlated to the mind of purity and pollution. Purity is held to be of the very kernel of godliness. Pollution ‘s identical sharpen is to destroy purity through the death of a homo. In order to adhere to purity it is the duty of Parsis to continue to preserve honor within their consistency as God created them. A zoroastrian priest spends his stallion biography dedicated to following a holy place life .

Navjote [edit ]

Zoroastrians are not initiated by baby baptism. A child is initiated into the religion when he or she is old enough to enter into the religion as the child requires to recite some prayers along with the priest at the time of Navjote ceremony ideally before they hit puberty. Though there is no actual long time before which a child must be initiated into the faith ( preferably after 7 years ), Navjote can not be performed on an adult. The knowledgeability begins with a ritual bath, then a spiritual cleansing prayer ; the child changes into white pajama pants, a shawl, and a little cap. Following introductory prayers, the child is given the sacred items that are associated with Zoroastrianism : a hallowed shirt and cord, sudre, and kusti. The child then faces the chief priest and ardor is brought in to represent God. Once the priest finishes with the prayers, the child ’ mho knowledgeability is accomplished and he or she is nowadays a part of the residential district and religion .

marriage [edit ]

Parsi marry 1905. marriage is very authoritative to the members of the Parsi residential district, believing that in order to continue the expansion of God ’ s kingdom they must procreate. Up until the mid-19th century child marriages were common even though the idea of child marriage was not part of the religious doctrine. consequently, when sociable reform started happening in India, the Parsi community discontinued the drill [ citation needed ]. There are, however, rising problems over the handiness of brides. More and more women in the Parsi community are becoming well educated and are consequently either delaying marriage or not partaking at all [ citation needed ]. Women within the Parsi community in India are ninety-seven percentage literate ; forty-two percentage have completed high school or college and twenty-nine percentage have an occupation in which they earn a substantial sum of money. The wedding ceremony begins much like the initiation with a cleansing bath. The bridget and groom then travel to the marry in florally decorated cars. The priests from both families facilitate the wedding. The pair begins by facing one another with a sheet to block their scene of one another. Wool is passed over the two seven times to bind them together. The two are then supposed to throw rice to their collaborator symbolizing laterality. The religious element comes in next when the two sit side by side to face the priest. [ citation needed ]

Funerals [edit ]

Parsi Tower of Silence, Bombay. The befoulment that is associated with death has to be handled cautiously. A separate function of the home is designated to sign of the zodiac the cadaver for funeral proceedings before being taken away. The priest comes to say prayers that are for the cleanse of sins and to affirm the faith of the deceased. Fire is brought to the room and prayers are begun. The body is washed and inserted clean and jerk within a sudre and kusti. The ceremony then begins, and a set is drawn around the consistency into which only the bearers may enter. As they proceed to the cemetery they walk in pairs and are connected by white framework. A pawl is necessity in the funeral summons because it is able to see death. The consistency is taken to the column of death where the vultures feed on it. Once the bones are bleached by the sun they are pushed into the circular open in the kernel. The bereaved summons is four days long, and rather than creating graves for the dead, charities are established in honor of the person .
Parsi Fire Temple Delhi

Temples [edit ]

Parsi Fire Temple of Ahmedabad, India zoroastrian festivals were in the first place held outside in the receptive air ; temples were not common until late. Most of the temples were built by affluent Parsis who needed centers that housed purity. As stated before, fire is considered to represent the presence of Ahura Mazda, and there are two clear-cut differences for the types of arouse for the different temples. The first type of temple is the Atash Behram, which is the highest flush of fire. The fuel is prepared for an integral year before it can be installed, and once it is, it is cared for to the highest possible degree. There are alone eight such temples located within India. The second type of displace temple is called a Dar-i Mihr, and the preparation process is not as intense. There are about 160 of these located throughout India .

Factions within the community [edit ]

Jashan ceremony (in this case, a house blessing) Parsiceremony ( in this case, a firm bless )

calendric differences [edit ]

This section contains information specific to the Parsi calendar. For information on the calendar used by the Zoroastrians for religious purposes, including details on its history and its variations, see Zoroastrian calendar. Until about the twelfth century, all Zoroastrians followed the lapp 365-day religious calendar, which had remained largely unmodified since the calendar reforms of Ardashir I ( r. 226-241 AD ). Since that calendar did not compensate for the fractional days that go to make up a full solar year, with time it was no longer accordant with the seasons. sometime between 1125 and 1250 ( cf. Boyce 1970, p. 537 ), the Parsis inserted an embolismic month to level out the accumulating fractional days. however, the Parsis were the only Zoroastrians to do sol ( and did it lone once ), with the leave that, from then on, the calendar in habit by the Parsis and the calendar in practice by Zoroastrians elsewhere diverged by a matter of thirty days. The calendars silent had the lapp mention, Shahenshahi ( imperial ), presumably because none were aware that the calendars were no long the same. In 1745 the parsee in and around Surat switched to the Kadmi or Kadimi calendar on the recommendation of their priests who were convinced that the calendar in consumption in the ancient fatherland must be chastise. furthermore, they denigrated the Shahenshahi calendar as being “ cavalier ”. In 1906 attempts to bring the two factions together resulted in the introduction of a third calendar based on an 11th-century Seljuk model : the Fasili, or Fasli, calendar had jump days intercalated every four years and it had a New Year ‘s sidereal day that fell on the day of the youthful equinoctial point. Although it was the only calendar constantly in harmony with the seasons, most members of the Parsi community rejected it on the grounds that it was not in agreement with the injunctions expressed in zoroastrian custom ( Dēnkard 3.419 ). [ citation not found ] nowadays the majority of Parsis are adherents of the Parsi adaptation of the Shahenshahi calendar although the Kadmi calendar does have its adherents among the Parsi communities of Surat and Bharuch. The Fasli calendar does not have a significant comply among Parsis, but, by virtue of being compatible with the Bastani calendar ( an irani development with the like salient features as the Fasli calendar ), it is prevailing among the Zoroastrians of Iran .

effect of the calendar disputes [edit ]

Since some of the Avesta prayers contain references to the names of the months, and some other prayers are used only at specific times of the class, the emergence of which calendar is “ decline ” besides has theological ramifications. To further complicate matters, in the deep eighteenth century ( or early nineteenth hundred ) a highly influential head-priest and stem advocate of the Kadmi calendar, Phiroze Kaus Dastur of the Dadyseth Atash-Behram in Bombay, became convinced that the pronunciation of prayers as recited by visitors from Iran was chastise, while the pronunciation as used by the Parsis was not. He consequently went on to alter some ( but not all ) of the prayers, which in due run came to be accepted by all adherents of the Kadmi calendar as the more ancient ( and thus presumably adjust ). however, scholars of Avestan speech and linguistics attribute the deviation in pronunciation to a vowel-shift that occurred entirely in Iran and that the irani pronunciation as adopted by the Kadmi s is actually more late than the pronunciation used by the non- Kadmi parsee. The calendar disputes were not constantly strictly academic, either. In the 1780s, emotions over the controversy ran therefore high that ferocity occasionally erupted. In 1783 a Shahenshahi resident of Bharuch named Homaji Jamshedji was sentenced to death for kicking a young Kadmi womanhood and sol causing her to miscarry. Of the eight Atash-Behrams ( the highest grade of ardor synagogue ) in India, three follow the Kadmi pronunciation and calendar, the early five are Shahenshahi. The Fassali mho do not have their own Atash-Behram .
The Ilm-e-Kshnoom ( ‘science of ecstasy ‘, or ‘science of bliss ‘ ) is a school of Parsi-Zoroastrian philosophy based on a mystic and esoteric, rather than misprint, rendition of religious text. According to adherents of the sect, they are followers of the zoroastrian religion as preserved by a kin of 2000 individuals called the Saheb-e-Dilan ( ‘Masters of the Heart ‘ ) who are said to live in complete isolation in the cragged recesses of the Caucasus ( alternatively, in the Alborz range, around Mount Damavand ). There are few obvious indications that a Parsi might be a follower of the Kshnoom. Although their Kusti prayers are very like to those used by the Fassali mho, like the pillow of the Parsi community the followers of Kshnoom are divided with obedience to which calendar they observe. There are besides early minor differences in their course session of the holy eucharist, such as repetition of some sections of the longer prayers. however, the Kshnoom are highly bourgeois in their ideology and prefer isolation even with esteem to other Parsis. The largest community of followers of the Kshnoom lives in Jogeshwari, a suburb of Bombay, where they have their own fire temple ( Behramshah Nowroji Shroff Daremeher ), their own caparison colony ( Behram Baug ) and their own newspaper ( Parsi Pukar ). There is a smaller concentration of adherents in Surat, where the faction was founded in the stopping point decades of the nineteenth hundred .

Issues relating to the deceased [edit ]

It has been traditional, in Mumbai and Karachi at least, for dead parsee to be taken to the Towers of Silence where the corpses are quickly eaten by the city ‘s vultures. The reason given for this drill is that worldly concern, arouse, and water are considered sacred elements which should not be defiled by the dead. consequently, burying and cremation have always been prohibited in Parsi culture. however, in modern day Mumbai and Karachi the population of vultures has drastically reduced due to extensive urbanization and the unintended consequence of treating humans and livestock with antibiotics, [ 75 ] and the anti-inflammatory diclofenac, which damage vultures and have led to the indian marauder crisis. [ 76 ] As a result, the bodies of the deceased are taking much longer to decompose. solar panels have been installed in the Towers of Silence to speed up the decomposition process, but this has been only partially successful particularly during monsoons. In Peshawar a Parsi cemetery was established in the belated nineteenth century, which however exists ; this cemetery is unique as there is no Tower of Silence. Nevertheless, the majority of Parsis placid use the traditional method acting of disposing of their loved ones and consider this as the final act of charity by the deceased on earth. The Tower of Silence in Mumbai is located at Malabar Hill. In Karachi, the Tower of Silence is located in Parsi Colony, near the Chanesar Goth and Mehmoodabad localities. [ 77 ]

Archaeogenetics [edit ]

The genetic studies of Parsis of Pakistan express sharp contrast between genetic data obtained from mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA ) and Y-chromosome DNA ( Y-DNA ), different from most populations. diachronic records suggests that they had moved from Iran to Gujarat, India and then to Mumbai and Karachi, Pakistan. According to Y-DNA, they resemble the iranian population, which supports historical records. When the mtDNA pool is compared to Iranians and Gujaratis ( their putative parental populations ), it contrasted Y-DNA data. About 60 % of their enate gene pool originates from South asian haplogroups, which is just 7 % in Iranians. parsee have a high frequency of haplogroup M ( 55 % ), exchangeable to Indians, which is equitable 1.7 % in compound iranian sample distribution. The studies suggest sharp contrast between the parental and agnate component of Parsis. Due to high diversity in Y-DNA and mtDNA lineages, the hard drift effect is unlikely even though they had a little population. The studies suggest a male-mediated migration of Parsi ancestors from Iran to Gujarat where they admixed with the local female population during initial settlements, which ultimately resulted in personnel casualty of iranian mtDNA. [ 78 ] [ 79 ] A discipline published in Genome Biology based on high concentration SNP datum has shown that the Parsis are genetically closer to iranian populations than to their south asian neighbours. They besides share the highest number of haplotypes with contemporary Iranians ; the admixture of the Parsis with indian populations was estimated have occurred approximately 1,200 years ago. It is besides found that Parsis are genetically closer to Neolithic Iranians than to advanced Iranians who had recently received some genes from the Near East. [ 79 ] parsee have been shown to have high rates of breast cancer [ 80 ] bladder cancer, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase lack and Parkinson ‘s disease. [ 81 ]

big parsee [edit ]

The parsee have made considerable contributions to the history and development of India, all the more remarkable considering their small numbers. As the maxim “ Parsi, thy name is charity ” alludes to, their most big contribution is their philanthropy. Although their people ‘s name Parsi comes from the Persian-language word for a iranian person, in Sanskrit the terminus means “ one who gives alms ”. [ 10 ] [ 11 ] Mahatma Gandhi would note in a much misquoted affirmation, [ 82 ] “ I am gallant of my state, India, for having produced the excellent zoroastrian stock, in numbers beneath contempt, but in charity and philanthropy possibly alone and surely unexcelled. ” several landmarks in Mumbai are named after Parsis, including Nariman Point. The Malabar Hill in Mumbai, is a home to several outstanding Parsis. Parsis big in the indian independence movement include Pherozeshah Mehta, Dadabhai Naoroji, and Bhikaiji Cama. particularly luminary parsee in the fields of skill and diligence include physicist Homi J. Bhabha, Homi N. Sethna, J. R. D. Tata and Jamsetji Tata, regarded as the “ Father of indian Industry ”. [ 84 ] The families Godrej, Tata, Petit, Cowasjee, Poonawalla, and Wadia are crucial industrial Parsi families. other Parsi businessmen are Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata, J. R. D. Tata, Dinshaw Maneckji Petit, Ness Wadia, Neville Wadia, Jehangir Wadia and Nusli Wadia —all of them related through marriage to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Mohammad Ali Jinnah ‘s wife Rattanbai Petit, was born into two of the Parsi Petit – Tata families, and their daughter Dina Jinnah was married to Parsi industrialist Neville Wadia, the scion of the Wadia family. The husband of indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and son-in-law of Jawaharlal Nehru, Feroze Gandhi, was a Parsi with ancestral roots in Bharuch. The Parsi community has given India several distinguished military officers. Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, Military Cross, the architect of India ‘s victory in the 1971 war, was the beginning officeholder of the indian Army to be appointed a Field Marshal. Admiral Jal Cursetji was the first gear Parsi to be appointed Chief of the naval Staff of the amerind Navy. Air Marshal Aspy Engineer served as India ‘s second gear Chief of Air Staff, post-independence, and Air Chief Marshal. Fali Homi Major served as the 18th Chief of Air Staff. Vice Admiral RF Contractor served as the 17th Chief of the indian Coast Guard. Lieutenant Colonel Ardeshir Burjorji Tarapore was killed in military action in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan war and was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra, India ‘s highest military award for chivalry in action. particularly celebrated Parsis in other areas of accomplishment include cricketers Farokh Engineer and Polly Umrigar, rock star Freddie Mercury, composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji and conductor Zubin Mehta ; cultural studies theorist Homi K. Bhabha ; screenwriter and photographer Sooni Taraporevala ; authors Rohinton Mistry, Firdaus Kanga, Bapsi Sidhwa, Ardashir Vakil and Pakistani fact-finding diarist Ardeshir Cowasjee ; actor Boman Irani ; educator Jamshed Bharucha, India ‘s inaugural charwoman photo-journalist Homai Vyarawalla ; Actresses Nina Wadia, Sanaya Irani and Persis Khambatta are Parsi who appear chiefly in Bollywood films and television serials. Naxalite drawing card and intellectual Kobad Ghandy is a Parsi. Mithan Jamshed Lam was a suffragist, the beginning female barrister admitted to practice law at the Bombay High Court, and served as a Sheriff of Bombay. Dorab Patel was Pakistan ‘s first Parsi Supreme Court Justice. Fali S Nariman is a built-in expert and note judge. Soli Sorabjee was a big amerind jurist and former Attorney-General of India. Rattana Pestonji was a Parsi populate in Thailand who helped develop Thai cinema. Another celebrated Parsi is the Indian-born american english actor Erick Avari, best known for his roles in science-fiction films and television. Cyrus S. Poonawalla and Adar Poonawalla are big indian Parsi businessmen.

References [edit ]

Sources [edit ]

further read [edit ]

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