Jame Jamshed betrays the community’s trust – once again

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Roj Spendarmad Mah Adar, 1379 Yz.

For the last few years, the community has had to bear in silence the brunt of the reformist agenda posted through the columns of the venerable Jame Jamshed newspaper, which was once the bastion of orthodoxy and religiousness. Many campaigns and attacks were carried out through this newspaper on our religion, its sacred institutions, our Manthras and our long standing traditions. This was possible due to the absolute intellectual, ethical and moral inadequacy of the so-called editor of the paper.

The hopes of the right minded and traditional community members were greatly uplifted when Ms. Shernaaz Engineer was appointed Editor of the Jame by the owners a few months ago. Well known for her upright behaviour, ethical attitude and journalistic pride and courage, Ms. Engineer was like a breath of fresh air. She promised to bring about righteous change in the manner in which the paper was run and within a short time we did see significant and positive changes, not only in terms of editorial content and presentation but also righting the balance between orthodox and reformist sections of the community.

It came as a great surprise therefore, to see the full page advertisement given by “Roshni and Savio D’Souza” thanking all kinds of people who helped in getting the farcical “navjote” of their daughter performed. Readers may be aware that there was frenetic activity through the last two weeks when news surfaced of the attempt of this inter-married couple to get the so-called navjote of their daughter performed at Colaba through the renegade and apostate “priest” Khushroo Madon. Various people swung in to action to try and prevent this irreligious act. Despite their best efforts, the D’Souzas had greater pull and managed to get the Deputy Chief Minister involved and through this influence this ceremony went ahead and a reception was also held.

This act, which goes against the very basic fabric of our religion, is a slap in the face for all our age old traditions, and is totally against the advice given by all the High Priests to this couple. Not being content with this, the irreligious couple had the gumption to take out a full page advertisement in the Jame Jamshed – “thanking” all those who had joined in this anti-religious act. And Jame Jamshed merrily published this ad.

This is a new low for our community – a non-Parsi breaks the basic rule of our religion, then publishes an advertisement thanking others who joined him in perpetuating the crime, the community’s premier paper publishes this ad – right opposite the page where the community’s High Priests have written that this should not be allowed.

Where are we headed as a community? This thought often occupies my mind. When incidents like this happen and are glorified by the press, it causes great grief and confusion in the minds of the faithful members of our community. It builds up a peer pressure to accept this irreligious act and becomes the new bench mark to be aped and followed by the impressionable members of the community.

As the community’s paper, Jame Jamshed carries a great responsibility – not only of reporting news and views, but also helping in preserving the traditional ethos and long standing traditions of the community. By allowing an advertisement like this to be carried, Jame Jamshed has betrayed the sacred trust reposed in it by the community. No excuses of presenting both sides or “it’s just their view” will wash. Jame Jamshed’s actions have greviously hurt the sentiments of a large section of the community and I have sent a strong letter of protest to the Editor. I request my readers to write individually to the Editor of Jame Jamshed [mailto:[email protected]] and make their displeasure known to her. It is only when a large number of people protest that Ms. Engineer will realize that the community is strongly against such acts and will not condone this kind of opportunistic behaviour in the garb of “being fair”.

Madam Editor, first be fair to your religion and the sacred vow you took when your Navjote was done, then talk about fairness to liberals and those who are bent on destroying the sacred and traditional character of our community.


Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram



  1. Hanoz Mistry  April 20, 2010

    Dear Marzban

    You have effectively captured the feelings of betrayal felt by the orthodox section of the community. Having lost the BPP elections, the radical elements are now undoubtedly trying to make a strong comeback by using opportunities like these to gain mileage. They may feel that they have scored a victory by this foolish farcical ‘Navjote’, but have actually recorded a grave sin in Meher Yazad’s records against their names for which their unfortunate souls will have to suffer.

  2. shehzad irani  April 20, 2010

    Dear Marzban,

    your thought about “Where are we headed as a community?” is something that always occupies my mind. Parents, elders and peers haven’t been able to answer us youth… or the younger generation. Most traditionalists feel the fight is futile when they see themselves losing ground time after time. The whole thought seems depressing, and the direction dark… We wonder when there shall be a bright day, a red letter day, where we shall get the news of success, where we shall find true leaders and ones who shall be victorious…

    when she came on the board one thought things would change – there was good news and hope. But this act – MORE HORRENDOUS than the ones earlier – has proved once again – that the traditionalists are going to be a minority – and their fight ever so tougher than they thought.

    May it be as He wishes…

  3. kfkeravala  April 21, 2010

    Jame Jamshed Newspaper is made “so called orthodox” by reformist community members.

    Their(i.e.reformist)main aim is to see that different orthodox groups start infighting.The united Orthodox front very effectively defeated “the good human material”(AFP 8).

    Don’t be surprised to see orthodox community members fight out their differences in the “so called orthodox Jame Jamshed”.This is the reformist game plan for the next BPP elections.

    What is more surprising is that Jame Jamshed the “so called orthodox” Newspaper has not mentioned a single word regarding the Sacrilege which occurred at Paak Dadyseth Atashbehram saheb !!!

  4. Eric  April 21, 2010

    Manvant Marzbanji,

    Thank you for sharing this misfortunate event. I have written an email as suggested and also given some recommendation on improvement for the news paper.

    Thank you,

  5. M Dastur  April 22, 2010

    Very true. It’s only when individuals start writing to the editor will she begin to understand the disgust and opposition against the “navjote” and the advert. Carrying that advert was tantamount to a seal of approval. So much for “fair press”!

  6. PERCY N. SIGANPORIA  April 23, 2010

    Respected Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram ,

    ‘Jame Jamshed” rating as Community News paper was observed during past few years:”Totally Cheap Platform used by opportunists”..!!

    However, on appointment of Ms Engineer was indeed a Sad episod on name of qualitative jurnalism.
    Editor must have fair vision, judgement and neutral decission with policies of overall considerations with aspect of impact of news telecast in comunity and society..!!

    After reading, examine and concluded opinion .. I have no word to say but to demand ” Unconditional Resignation” from Ms Engineer . She was indeed Epicenter for volcanic eruption of anger in hearts community’s sentiments..!!

    It is not only me but thousands of fellow believer in “Mazdayashni Zarthoshti Deen”… must echo their voice and protest against Khushro Madan, Ms Engineer and High prist who gave totally wrong advise.. What Preventing actions of Turstees of Parsi punchayet has taken for the comminity ? In fact they should take public reffrandum and must punish above TRIPUTI subject to court stay order and rulling for ” Navjot” to be treated as Cancelled-Null and void !! Every body should send Protest E-mail to Ms Engineer and demand firmly: to render her “unconditional Resignation”. In addition to this “Owner of Jame Jamshed” must print public apologies to the community..!!!

    This is my Honest and fearless View..!!(I am not a reformist nor Orthodox… nor I am a preacher or teacher or critics or commentator.. I firmly believe in 3 cardinal principles of our religion I do only short prayers 2 Time a day..!!

    Percy Noshirwan Siganporia

  7. Saroosh Yazdani  November 5, 2011

    Dear Mubed Hathiram,
    I feel your pain. It just breaks my heart to see our pure and perfect community muddled by the blood of outsiders. When some Muslims come from Iran entire families change their names to Zoroastrian names so the Mullah’s are quick to throw them out. Then they come abroad with no sense of even basic Zoroastrianism and proudly read translations of the Gathas (which to them is the only legitimate scriptures), and convince Westerners that their ideologies of Zoroastrianism are correct. If a male is not Zarthusti how can a couples prodigy be Zarthusti? Even though we give high respect to women in our religion, our religion is inevitably patriarchal. So how can a female Zarthusti marry out side of the religion and expect that her children be called Zarthusti?!

  8. Freek Magin  December 11, 2011

    You all disgust me. Especially Saroosh Yazdani. Wake up.. this is not Harry Potter. Its real life. Who are you to talk about whats pure and whats muddling it up? This entire post is biased. No heeds paid to being a parsi by birth and faith but its all about being a man or a woman. Its no religion. You all are mocking it and the God. Shameful.

    People like you try to own a religion. You have an eternal problem with people going their own way.

    Patriarchal religion. How can you be so blatantly daft? Have you ever read the teachings of Ahura Mazda? Was it mentioned that religion is to be defined by men and women are to follow. All of you are insecure and red taped. Nobody wants to open their eyes and see the rational.

    If you see women as an object for pleasure and then use them to increase the community’s number, it won’t be a surprise if Parsis become a tribe soon and then vanish.

    You don’t understand the concept of religion and you go out protesting for it. Shameful that we are suffering this gladly.

  9. Freek Magin  December 11, 2011

    I am sure you will be moderating the comment and will not publish it. If you do that, it proves me right.

  10. Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram  December 11, 2011

    Thank you for your wise and balanced opinion. No need to suffer, my friend, just move on! Or better still, study a little and start your own blog.

  11. Freek Magin  December 12, 2011

    🙂 Thanks.
    Wait and watch.

  12. Siroosh Yazdani  December 13, 2011

    I am very sorry that you do not understand that religion is more than just philosophy. You will see the mysticism in due time, worry not. God bless you

  13. xyz  December 27, 2011

    It is the owner of Jame Jamshed who expects editor to bring business by collecting more and more advertisements. Asking for editor’s resignation is totally useless. BPP Chairman’s sister is married to a muslim and son married to a sindhi. What more do you expect from akabars of our community. Sethias and all other trustees are totally useless fighting amongst themselves. They hardly do anything for the community except meeting for four hours on every tuesday to eat free breakfast and tea. They hardly take any correct decisions for upliftment of the community. They continue fighting in the court and waste precious funds which could have been utilised for welfare of the community’s really poor and needy. Not a single court case has been settled in an out-of-court settlement. Instead, they have increased no. of court cases from 750 to 900 in last one year. Trustees are taking free accomodation for themselves in parsi colonies. What more do you expect from this tiny community of 40,000 in mumbai. God save the community. Only after Shah Behram Varzavand comes out in the open, only then we can expect miracles for our community. Yatha Jamiyad Yatha Afrinami. Amen.