Around 1,000 Parsis from across the globe got together at National Sports Club of India(NSCI) in Worli on the second day of 10th World Zoroastrian Congress — a platform for Parsis to socialise with members of their community once every four years.
Freddy Gandhi from Chicago said the conclave was an opportunity to meet relatives as well as new people. The four-day long conclave will include sessions on Parsi culture, art and community-based issues. On Saturday, the sessions covered topics such as Parsi contribution to media, Zoroastrian legacy, laws affecting Zoroastrians and Parsi literature. However, a 45-minute session on ‘Late marriages and divorces among Parsis’ drew maximum crowd.
Burjor Antia, session chairperson, said, “Divorces based on mutual consent have increased among Parsis.”
Lawyer Firoze Andhyarujina, a panelist, claimed that with little parental guidance, low tolerance and increasing incompatibility, couples are breaking up. “Girls are not keen on marrying early and if they do, they marry outside their community,” said Andhyarujina.
he second day of the 10th World Zoroastrian Congress at NSCI Grounds, Worli, saw many interesting events and discourses by prominent members of the community. At a discussion titled ‘Parsi contribution to media, advertising & cinema’, most participants echoed the same sentiment: that the Parsi community should proactively look at professions revolving around the media.
The session was chaired by Maneck Davar, proprietor of Spenta Multimedia. The panel of speakers consisted of Sam Balsara, chairman of media agency Madison, prominent columnist Bachi Karkaria, Farokh Balsara, partner at Ernst &Young and Neville Taraporewala of Microsoft.
“I think the community should stop looking down upon media professions and join the field in greater numbers,” said Farokh Balsara, adding, “There are prominent business houses who have sponsored this event but they too are into business of roti, kapda and makaan. Parsi businessmen should enter the media sector.” Balsara, however, appreciated the fact that almost one third of the Bollywood movies are produced by a company owned by a Parsi.
Karkaria spoke about the poor representation of Parsis in the media and placed an emphasis on a skewed gender ratio. “I see more girls in the newsroom as compared to boys,” she said.
The panelists also pressed on the need for more leadership programmes for the youth, better branding of the community and effective use of social media for better communication.
He called on the followers of all the