A Day of Shame for India

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Roj Gosh Mah Amardad, 1382 Yz.

It is a day of great shame for India and all Indians. How many millions of us feel the pangs of pain and humiliation, that a country which is so vocal about its great culture, which never tires of sermonizing others, which is quick to find faults with neighbours and distant countries, which goes on and on about being the fountainhead of everything good that exists in this world, could not protect the innocence and honour of its own girl-child.

After battling for over two weeks, the brave and innocent girl who had been so brutally assaulted in New Delhi, finally gave up her struggle and joined her Heavenly Father today. No more pain and suffering for her; finally she is at peace. Our dear sister was vandalized by her own brothers and left to die a painful and shameful death. There are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe the pain and anguish which I feel. We have failed – as a nation, as a people, as humans. We are not fit to be called any of these. We are below even animals.

The very brutal and widely discussed case of this innocent girl only brings in public focus a greater and even more shameful national statistic – Indians are killing their girls, without fear or compunction. In October 2012, on the occasion of the Day of the Girl Child, government released figures which show that India is losing 3 million girls in female infanticide, every year. To put that in perspective, it means that a girl child is killed in India roughly every 10 seconds. The Child Sex Ratio is showing not only an alarming decline, but also a real acceleration in the rate of decline. To my great surprise, states which were known to be at the forefront of protecting their women’s honour – Rajasthan and Punjab – show some of the highest levels of female infanticide. This skewed ratio has reached such proportions in some districts that brides are ‘bought’ from areas of South India which have a larger female population.

How did things come to this? Is this not the same India which gave the world the Vedas and the Upanishads – where the role and status of women is so highly and beautifully enshrined? Are we not descendants of those who valiantly fought for the honour and purity of their wives and sisters? Did not our ancestors prefer to die, rather than be subject to such ignominy? Then how did we fall from the heights of such supreme behaviour to this uncivilized morass of objectification and sustained violence towards half of our own population?

India needs to have a crtitical look at the model of progress it has adopted, its headlong dive into materialism and consumerism, its legacy of ‘chalta hai’ and ‘jaane do’, its deep-seated corruption, and the lack of gender-sensitive education. India also needs to critically analyze the way women are portrayed in that great curse of entertainment which is called Bollywood, whose denizens are today issuing hypocritical statements when they are themselves responsible for vulgar lyrics, graphics, crude innuendos and item numbers which demean the very idea of womanhood enshrined in our culture and tradition.

I am no social scientist. I am a priest and will therefore speak about how our own religion lays great stress on the importance of women. The Yenghe Hatam prayer, which occurs at the end of most other major prayers, remembers both the male as well as female souls (tanscha, taoscha) of those who have reached the level of perfection and unity with the Lord. In the Fravardin Yasht, an entire chapter (Karta 30) is devoted to remembering the Fravashis of the brave, righteous and noble ladies of ancient times.

Our Master, Ustad Saheb Behramshah Nowroji Shroff explained the rationale for this high status of women. He revealed that at the time of the creation of the Cosmos, the original Urvan (Soul), which contained some deficiency within it, was taken through a process of fragmentation, which would enable the Urvan to easily cleanse itself of the evil tendency. After dividing the souls into five groups, which would ultimately arise as the five major religions of the earth, the process of fragmentation commenced by splitting each Urvan into two parts. These were the male and female parts. Thereafter, each of these two parts went through a series of fragmentation based on the decimal system until one part of the Urvan came to reside in us. The Urvan in each one of us, has, therefore a counterpart in the other sex. Similarly, one-tenth part of our soul is fragmented in the animal kingdom, one-hundredth in the vegetable kingdom and one-thousandth in the mineral kingdom. All souls are linked to each other through a spiritual cord which is unseen and latent.

Ustad Saheb further explained that as Zoroastrians follow their Tarikats and Code of Living as enshrined in the religion, their souls start broadcasting a beacon at a special frequency. This beacon signal is caught by the fragments existing in the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Through a highly complex and long process, these fragments are slowly but surely assimilated into our own bodies and merge with the resident Urvan. In a similar manner, the fragments of the male or female counterpart of our Urvan also get assimilated in the body containing the counterpart.

Finally, after many thousands of years of hard work and progression, the male and female counterparts of the Urvan reach a stage of perfection. They are then ready to merge with each other. This beautiful and highly spiritual event, which takes place in the higher regions of the Cosmos, is called Khaetwodath. This is the reason why our Jasa me avangahe Mazda prayer has the words ‘Khaetwadatham Ashaonim’ –  it is our faith which helps the Urvan attain the Ultimate Union. This is why the Zoroastrian religion is called mazistacha, vahishtacha, sraeshtacha – the greatest, the best and the most excellent – not as some cheap one-upmanship over another faith, but as a spiritual and fundamental truth – the Union of Souls can take place only after the soul has progressed through the Mazdayasni Zarathushtri faith.

Prophet Zarathushtra devised the spiritual institution of marriage on this earth as a reflection and reminder to us of the Ultimate Union of Souls. Our physical partners may or may not be the actual Urvan counterpart. But Prophet Zarathushtra advised us to lead a life of faithfulness and truthfulness with the other, so that each may help the other in achieving that ultimate goal of Perfection and Salvation. This is the reason why marriage should always be between a man and a woman. This is also why marriage should be between a man and woman of the same faith, since the souls should have the same spiritual frequency. Those members of our community who choose to marry outside, but yet go through the sham of an Ashirwad ceremony by hiring and bribing rogue priests do not understand the grave error they are committing.

Readers of Frashogard may now understand the total spiritual chaos that is happening by the terrible practice of female infanticide. How many millions of souls must be losing the opportunity to come down on the earth and fulfill their obligations with other souls? How many millions of male souls must be wasting an entire life, waiting for their female counterpart to come – when the poor thing is being drowned in a bowl of milk somewhere else? What terrible spiritual repercussions must our country face for this murderous deed of most unthinkable proportions? Is it any wonder that we are being torn asunder, that our country is becoming the laughing stock of the whole world, when our grand culture and moral high ground is being reduced to rubble?

Even in these times of terrible shame, readers of Frashogard must not lose hope. We must hope that this tragedy of unspeakable proportions will mark a turning point in our country’s attitude towards half of its population. Ustad Saheb has warned of the most horrible times that our country will have to go through before the New Dawn breaks. The events of these last few days seem to suggest that maybe, just maybe, we may be on the cusp of some grand change. Let us pray that it will be change for the better.

Readers of Frashogard will join me in reciting one Ashem in memory of the brave girl, a drop of whose blood is on the hands of every Indian, with the fervent prayer that her soul reach its ultimate destination and be taken under the care and protection of her spiritual forefathers. May it be so as we wish for!

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram

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Comments

  1. Porus Homi Havewala  December 30, 2012

    Well said Ervad Hathiram. God Bless.

  2. Farzaan  December 30, 2012

    “After battling for over two weeks, the brave and innocent girl who had been so brutally assaulted in New Delhi, finally gave up her struggle and joined her Heavenly Father today. ”

    Innocent??? Nobody in this world is innocent, all are sinners.

    Er. saheb no doubt members of both genders have to work for their spiritual progress and one requires help of the other , but the behaviour of women nowadays is otherwise. All this talk about women empowerment and gender equality if trash. It is because of such trash that we find women of our deen married to juddins filing court cases and giving advertisements in newspapers after performing so called navjotes of their mixed breed children. It is because of such trash that we find women brazenly flouting the tradition of seclusion during menses. It is because of such trash that we find women entering shmashaans and remarrying after becoming widows, both of which are not permitted as per the Hindu religion.

    Women are no saints. They talk about equality and then want special privileges.

    The day the evil called women empowerment started is a shameful day for the entire world.

  3. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  December 30, 2012

    @Farzaan

    I feel really sorry about your deep seated angst and hatred. Whatever may be the rationale of your thinking, should you not stop to consider whether this is the right time and opportunity to say this? When I use the word innocent, it is in the sense that the girl had no idea what she was getting into when she climbed the bus. You are right, none of us is innocent. But all of us are humans and we should not forget humanity. In times of a terrible tragedy, rather than offer solace and reasoning, you go on a campaign for issues which have no relevance to the incident.

    Farzaan, first be a good human, then you can be a good Parsi. If you have read even little of Khshnoom (which I doubt you have) you would realize that the ability to forgive, to NOT judge another human, to not point fingers at who is practicing or not practicing Tarikats is the cornerstone of a person’s development. Please read the chapter on Tarikats from page 677 and specially the footnote of Dr. Saheb given on page 819 of his Khordeh Avesta ba Khshnoom, and also his footnote on page 29 of the Ustad Saheb Memorial Volume. Then you will realize what Khshnoom is. Dr. Saheb himself writes in another place that when a person falls off the bus, people run to help him get up. They don’t kick him and abuse him and ask why he was travelling on the running board so that he fell down. By their act of kindness and help, they themselves set an example which get’s the man’s mind working that ‘maybe I should not have been standing on the running board of the bus’. That is real Khshnoom. What you are talking is not Khshnoom, but hatred arising from little knowledge of Khshnoom, which in our circles we call ‘Ilm-e-Khasyun’. Trust you will understand what that means.

    Be real, be human and feel sorry for a tragedy that has taken away the light of a family. If you cannot, then at least be quiet. Maybe someday, when you have a family of your own, kids of your own, you will realize what it feels like to loose a loved one. May God not make you see that day, is my earnest prayer.

    Er. Marzban J. Hathiram

  4. Roshni Vakharia  December 30, 2012

    Er Marzban .. a befitting reply to Farzaan .. thank you

  5. Farzaan  December 30, 2012

    hmmmmmm……maybe I should start an organization called ‘Being Inhuman’ (donations to the said org. are NOT eligible for deduction u/s 80G of the Income Tax Act) and write a book titled ‘How To Be A Bad Parsi’ :p :p :p

  6. Phiroze  December 31, 2012

    Farzaan, as Er. Marzban has pointed out if you can’t be human or real, at least be quiet at this time. What you should or should not start and write are entirely your business if you know what I mean.

  7. piloo dotiwalla  December 31, 2012

    India is an uncivilised country and only strict laws which punish rapists with castration plus minimum imprisonment of 7 years plus public photographs of the rapists and his family members will reduce this malaise to single digit cases otherwise nothing will work. No mercy should be shown to the rapists as this will only embolden them. They only shed crocodile tears in the court and will rape once again if let free without castration. They are vermin who should be treated as vermin and not humans.

  8. Dara  December 31, 2012

    Respected Ervad Marzban Saheb,

    This was really loaded with sense and sensitivity.

    As always you’ve excelled. More power to your elbow!

    With deep respects,

    dara

  9. MEHLLI N. BHAGALIA  January 2, 2013

    INDIA IS A HIGHLY CIVILIZED COUNTRY, WHERE MANY OF IT’S INHABITANTS HAVE FORGOTTEN THEIR CIVILIZED HERITAGE OF THE TEACHINGS OF IT’S SAINTS AND AVATARS, WHO HAVE BLESSED AND PROTECTED THIS SACRED LAND AND ALL WHO LIVE IN IT.
    THAT BLESSING AND PROTECTION WAS EARNED FOR THIS LAND, BY THE PRAYERS,BLOOD, GOOD DEEDS AND THOUGHTS OFFERED FOR 1000S OF YEARS BY IT’S DEVOTEES FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS ON THIS EARTH. THAT RING OF PROTECTION, IT SEEMS, .HAS BEEN BREACHED BY EVIL FORCES AND SPIRITS FROM THE UNSEEN WORLD.
    THIS BREACH BY EVIL FORCES, CAN ONLY BE STOPPED BY RELIGIOUS PRAYERS AND RELIGIOUS CERIMONIES CONDUCTED BY DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS GROUPS IN THE COUNTRY..
    THE ‘HUMAN’ WRONGS COMMITTED BY EVIL MISGUIDED MEN CAN BE STOPPED BY ENFORCING EXISTING LAWS AND AND ENACTING NEW ENFORCABLE LAWS WITH MANDATORY PUNISHMENT OF EMASCULATION AND DEATH WITHOUT DELAY.
    .LEGALLY FORMED “EMASCULATION” HEAVYLY ARMED SQUADS, SHOULD BE AUTHORISED TO ENFORCE EXISTING AND ANY ANTI RAPE NEW LAWS , WHEN WOMEN ARE AT IMPENDING RISK OF PHYSICAL HARM OR RAPE.
    NO RELIGION JUSTIFIES RAPE OR INFANTISIDE. DOCTORS, HOSPITAL AND ALL PERSONS RESPONSIBLE AS CLAIMED BY THE MOTHER OF THE VICTIM CHILD, MUST FACE THE PENULTY OF EMASCULATION AND DEATH WITHOUT DELAY.
    FORCE USED AGAINST WOMEN SHOULD BE MET IRRESISTABLE FORCE OF RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN..

    THE ELECTED GOVERNMENT, MUST HAVE THE DETERMINATION AND COURAGE TO DO THIS OR FOR THE HONOR OF THE COUNTRY, THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, MUST OVERTHROW THE WEAK GOVERNMRNT AND APPOINT A NEW ONE.

    THE HONOR OF THE COUNTRY DEMANDS THIS.
    (YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION TO GET THIS POSTED IN ANY INDIAN NEWS PAPER.). .

  10. TEHEMTON  January 5, 2013

    PILOO, EVEN PAKISTAN WILL NOT SAY INDIA IS “uncivilized” when somebody asked about 50000 childrens death by sanctions . answer was “IT WAS WORTH IT” ANY MOUTH SHUT

  11. porushasp  January 5, 2013

    Please do not write any wrong word(s) about India (Bharat). We are blessed that India is our MotherLand. We are Indians first and Parsis/Iranis later. This great nation has preserved and protected you/us.

    There are certain individuals who are crooked and criminal (our community in the present times has no dearth), for such people the nations shall not get a bad name.

    I urge all Parsis/Iranis to travel more within this beautiful land, meet its people, read and know about the Gods, sages, kings, culture and people. Such a wonderful nation. Please experience the reality of India rather then be cooped up in the baugs and feeling good in introverted behavior/ handagiri within the few.

  12. TEHEMTON  January 6, 2013

    TO POURUSASP FROM TEHEMTON, AS I WOULD UNDERSTAND YR. MESSAGE WAS TO FRASHOGARD. / MY COMMENT WAS FOR PILOO. / MY 50000 WAS MADELEINE ALBRIGHT COMMENT/ BECAUSE OUR ANCESTRAL MOTHERLAND COULD BE NEXT

  13. dimplewadia  January 15, 2013

    To all readers whose sensibilities are hurt by the above comment by one of the readers what would you call a country where massive female infanticide is practised by the majority community which comprises more than 85% of the population and creates skewed male female ratios. Hence, their men folk want to marry females belonging to other communities. Where a govt. does not punish rapists since its own personnel are carrying mass rapes in order to subdue populations in restive states and who desire autonomy. Where a female is tortured, raped and murdered every 30 seconds but the powers to be fail to act. Where more than 50% of the population is subjected to unequal treatment (women). Which is considered one of the most unsafe countries in the world for women by the United Nations Survey. The United Nations Survey must be more correct than the mad bawas and bawis who are the worst hypocrites in the world.