The Times of India insults the Zoroastrian religion by comparing Dokhmas with LGBT movement

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Roj Bahman Mah Amardad, 1383 Yz.

The last few days have witnessed a flurry of media coverage over the Supreme Court’s decision to re-instate Section 377 of the Constitution, which effectively criminalizes any deviant sexual behaviour, including homosexuality. While the entire media coverage has been biased and lopsided in favour of the LGBT movement, the Times of India has, for some unknown reason, gone totally overboard in its coverage. A visitor from another galaxy, far, far away, would perhaps wonder at the entire nation’s (or rather the entire nation’s media) focus on this issue, oblivious to the real dangers and challenges facing our nation – inflation, corruption, non-governance, income disparities, total absence of law and order and so on…

Day after day, we are being bombarded by eminent persons writing long articles on the ‘gross injustice’ meted out to the LGBT community. People from all walks of life – the chatterati, the glitterati, the party circuit, the page-3 hangers-on, criminal lawyers (pun intended), one-book-wonder authors, shrill feminists, the ubiquitous ‘social workers’, the eco-warriors, film stars, poets, musicians, fake-gurus, fitness-gurus, celebrity chefs…basically all the people who really have no business commenting on these topics have enlightened the dazed readers of the Times with their refreshingly bold, frank and ‘oh, darling, you’re such a sweetu’ views.

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In all this, the Times itself has been overly and dismally vocal about its own ‘view’. [Since when did newspapers enlighten readers with their ‘views’? Are they supposed to give their views or let readers do the ‘viewing’?] Of course the Times has not been shy about self-promotion of the most dubious type, devoting acres of newsprint to its ‘awards’, ‘social movements’ and various other ‘initiatives’, all pushed along with paid-for articles and photographs.

But today’s Times View, given on page 10 of the Mumbai edition of the Times of India is so dismal, revolting, far-fetched, detached-from-reality and frankly, nauseating, that it deserves an award all by itself. In perhaps a journalistic first, the Times View, at 609 words is even longer than the actual news report of 452 words! Wah Times!

The dutiful Times reporter has filed his report about the remarks made by author Vikram Seth at the Rashtrapati Bhavan where he was honoured as one of the 25 ‘living legends’ as decided by a news channel. The intrepid author, seizing the moment to be immortalized for posterity in the official Gazette of India [which will remain long after the media group dissolves] said: ‘You may as well be yourself because really there is no one else you can be. We are here for such a ridiculously short time in this ridiculously trivial corner of the universe that if we aren’t ourselves, what’s the point of doing anything at all? So I would say in all matters, whether it’s your profession, whether it’s your beliefs or the person you love, you must go at heart with who you are. Not what someone else tells you, not what your clan tells you, not even what an unjust law tells you.’

I will leave readers of Frashogard to judge the incredibly ridiculous rant of this author and offer my sympathies to the President of India for having to put up with this nonsense. Sometimes I am sure he must be wishing he were in another age where he could just say ‘Off with his head…’

But what I am more concerned about is the Times View, written by some unknown minion of the Group. After ‘demolishing’ the arguments against homosexuality, the overworked, underpaid (or is it the other way around?) boffin strays into very dangerous territory:  while countering the fact that the LGBT members were a ‘miniscule minority’, he writes: “But if, again for the sake of argument, we were to accept the “minuscule” argument, does that mean that our tiny Parsi community should have no protection under the Constitution? They are, after all, “minuscule” compared to Hindus, Muslims and several other religious and ethnic groups/denominations. What if someone tomorrow were to decide that cremations and burials were the only “natural” way to dispose of the dead? Would that make the Parsi tradition of disposing of their dead as the “unnatural” acts of a “minuscule” community? Should it be declared “criminal”? Should their dakhmas (towers of silence) be shut down and should Parsis who bid their loved ones goodbye in their own traditional way be thrown into jail?” To read the full report and Times view click here

Whoa whoa whoa…!!!

Did someone just compare a group indulging in unnatural, illegitimate, carnal behaviour with the world’s oldest religion, its Prophet of Prophets, His Avesta and the divinely ordained method of Dokhmenashini?

What is going on?

Who is this unnamed wizard who has exceeded the bounds of journalistic and moral decency and has the temerity to compare some Johnny-come-latelies with Zoroastrianism and its cherished, and world-acknowledged-as-ecologically-supreme method of disposal of the dead? Is he totally out of his mind or was he on a psychotropic high while writing?

I am appalled that this Times View passed the Editor’s red pen [unless it was the Editor himself who wrote this unmitigated disaster.] I wonder whether they would have the guts to write in the same vein about another religion? Or did the ‘miniscule size of our community and its legendary laid-back attitude embolden such a step?

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I am not even beginning to go into the merits or demerits of the whole homosexuality question. That will come in another post I am still researching on. But I am extremely distressed, as will many readers of Frashogard, at this crass attempt to draw parallels between a community which has given all to its adopted nation and a degenerate movement.

I request readers of Frashogard to forcefully write to the Times Group to protest this grotesque twisting of facts and the totally far-stretched-out logic (totally illogical, in my view) being used to support the LGBT movement.

Shame on you, Times Group, shame!

Ervad Marzban J. Hathiram



  1. P.D. Magol  December 17, 2013

    Dear Marazban,

    I think you are going overboard. Let us not panic unnecessarily!

    I see nothing wrong in this comparison!

    Times “VIEW” is NOT comparing Homosexuality with Dokhmenashini. Just extending the present argument against homosexuality to a miniscule system followed by a minority.

    I see nothing derogatory in all this.


    P.D. Magol

  2. Stella H Howell  December 18, 2013

    The Times Group like most media, including Television, is owned by Government and is their medium to globally dumb the general population.
    Nothing ethical or moral can ever be promoted by them due to the ‘Reality’ of Good vs Evil forces on Mother Earth. We are all trapped in the Matrix.
    It is best for comments to be posted on the website with the article. I have searched for the article but unable to find.
    May I request you to kindly send the url of the web page.
    Peace be with you!

  3. Yasmin Abadi  December 18, 2013


  4. Vahishta V  December 18, 2013

    Congratulations mobed P. D. Magol. I am wholeheartedly in sync with you on this one. We are a minority community as is the LGBT community. We have our rights as a minority and so should they. Your guru is looking down and smiling at you today. Ada taught you we’ll. be compassionate of all. That is our Zoro way. Vahishta

  5. Jehan  December 18, 2013

    @Dear Vahishta V & P. D. Magol, Please do not compare OUR Beautiful Religion or any Religion, in fact NO ONE HAS THE RIGHTS TO COMPARE RELIGIONS with a bunch of homosexuals, tomorrow a bunch of sex-workers will get up for some BS rights… will you support them in the name of human rights!!! What is wrong is WRONG. No one can make it Right by any cover-up… Please remember we all have to give our accounts of life ONE day to OUR All Mighty,
    Firstly know your ZOROASTRAIN WAY then comment. NO RELIGION ACCEPTS HOMOSEXULES OR LESBIANS IN ANY SERCUMSTANCES, you can be compassionate of all & try & change their outlook or behavior, but not by supporting them in any UNLAWFUL way.

  6. Deen Parast  December 18, 2013

    I am a Parsi and I take strong exception to the mention of our sacred Dakhmas in this so-called “opinion”. Our Dakhmas are a way of corpse-disposal as enjoined in our sacred Avestan scripture, the Vendidad, dating back to 1000s of years before Christ. In the same Avestan scripture, the act of willing homosexuality is condemned in no uncertain terms. Thus, when the Times opinion compares our Dakshmas to this sordid discussion, it is grossly insulting our religion and also doing the Parsi community a disservice.

  7. Dara  December 18, 2013

    Dear Stella H Howell

    Kindly click the blue words Times Group in the last pargraph
    and enter your protest in the feed back Form that will pop up.


  8. Hootokshi & Burjor Thanawalla  December 18, 2013

    The term Community according to me refers to various religious groups. Homosexuality is a mental deformity just as eunuch is a Physical deformity. There are many physically and mentally challenged people in the society who are looked upon sympathetically but they do not harm the society by their presence. They cannot be called a miniscule community. Hence their comparison with a religious community is fallacious and out of question. One cannot change their outlook or behavior. One has to develop tolerance and should not call them criminals. The Times Of India reporter should be called upon to apologise in public for hurting the feelings of the Parsi Community.

  9. Firdosh  December 19, 2013

    Minus into minus is equal to plus. That’s what they teach us in Mathematics in elementary school. But such Mathematics cannot be applied in our effort to understand the right from the wrong. Human mind is so fickle that his right hand won’t come to know how his left hand will react to temptations. Our TV advertisements are so full of such temptations. One of classic example I would like to point out is ad for Condom. It thus goes on like this “To prevent AIDS use Condom”. Well the message should have read like this:- To prevent AIDS stop being Promiscuous and stay away from multiple partners. Nobody puts such an ad in front of Public.

    Similarly in view of Times instead of reminding public about imminent consequence of Homosexuality which is AIDS, you are trumpeting wrong tunes about rights of Minority Homosexuals. That is one wrong move or Minus point.

    The other Minus point you have displayed is equating such a minority of Homosexuals with Minority community of Parsis who are followers of world’s Oldest religion of Zoroastrianism. As per your argument you are mixing up the rights of minority of LGBT movement who are just misguided lost souls by putting them on same platform with Minority law abiding Community of Parsis who follow their Prophets teachings. Aren’t you mixing Politics with Religion. Two wrongs does not make a thing right. So why take trouble in defending LGBT movement when even nature gives a signal that Homosexual behaviour leads to AIDS whose cure is not within our reach, and can they procreate ?.

  10. Hormuz  December 19, 2013

    Stopped reading the times of India years ago, biased, paid news with the owners nose up in the air,pinch them where it can hurt, stop subscribing to the newspaper, do not put your adverts in it. Do not watch Times Now for that is also all shouting.

  11. kfkeravala  December 20, 2013

    rationalism, atheism, secularism…will try its level best to destroy all Divinely Revealed Religions. All Religious Practices will be labeled “unscientific”, “superstition”… For days Times of India indulged in “gay propaganda”. The comparison made by the Times of India could have been avoided.

  12. Percy  January 4, 2014

    Times has given a bad example. I agree with Marazban. Its a total disgrace by comparing our traditional ways to a non traditional, but a physical lust and hunger of human being.

  13. gautamskmr  January 12, 2014

    i think the writer here has interpreted it all wrong, what the toi journalist was trying to say is there shouldn’t be any double standards in the society whereby one miniscule is free to practice what they believe in and another’s is muffled… In fact the people who are criticizing the homosexuals for their “deviant” appetite, they are misinformed “souls” (i don’t think they do have souls), they should go and search about it what W.H.O says about it…

  14. Aashrai Arun  January 16, 2015

    I wouldn’t get alarmed at what has been published (the comparison between homosexuals and the zarthushthi mazdayasni faith). At first, I would laugh at the vulgar ignorance of the person making such comments as he clearly doesn’t have the slightest idea about one of the world’s most intellectually elevated faiths. But then I would also pity him for I always feel sorry for ignorant people who think that their ignorance is something to be proud of.
    I don’t think anyone needs to be really alarmed at what has been published for in no way, do the ramblings of an ignorant person diminish the value of the mazdayasni faith.