Who is a Parsi? is a book, which, through court recorded documents, letters and articles, reveals the misconceptions which prevail in the community about the rights of women on the basis of folklore, hearsay and half-truths. Research which was started for personal reasons has grown to be a clarion call for re-establishing the rights of our intermarried Zoroastrian women and their navjoted children. The book has been whetted by India’s foremost constitutional lawyer, Mr Fali Nariman who has written some chapters in the book and an extensive foreword which shows the constitutional way forward for acceptance.
In the book I have shared photocopies from a judgment Saklat vs Bella which Mitra Sharafi procured from the Privy Council Archives. Here the priests have been cross-examined in court and their statements are recorded. An expert committee in religion had recorded in its statement that “to give up a child of a Parsi mother to the religion of the father was a sin”.
Both Samara and her brother Nirvhan, were going to the fire-temple until there was a change in priests. My research shows that there is no religious, social or ancient custom to differentiate between intermarried men and women’s children especially because intermarriage became a reality in India only after the Special Marriage Act of 1954. As my daughter Sanaya says, mum chapter by chapter you demolish all the myths in our society. We hope that the book and the song will lead the path to acceptance. The lyrics of the song were written by my dear friend Yezdi Karai.
The book is available on amazon. The link is given below.