Have you seen the ‘Jiyo Parsi’ print ad? This is a Government of India supported scheme to arrest the decline in population of the Parsi Zoroastrian Community in India. It is a unique campaign, spear headed by Shernaz Cama. The ads are truly witty, with a tongue-in-cheek look at the Parsi community, poking fun at that old Fiat cars, 1982 Gold Rolex Oyster and also tries to put in a fear that the Parsi Colony could be taken over by the nearby Hindu Colony. The aim of the ad is to urge the dwindling Parsi community to marry and have children so that the Parsi clan grows; currently there is an increasing threat of the entire community vanishing in a few years.
One does not at this juncture know if the ad will irk or amuse the community but it surely is a good move. Parsis too have their grouses – they are termed as ‘Minority’ but yet, they get no preference anywhere, neither in Govt nor private sector jobs.
India owes a huge debt to this silent but resilient community. In fact the doyen of Indian industry, Ratan Tata is a Parsi and many more like Wadias of Bombay Dyeing and Godrej of Godrej Industries. A look into history shows that in 1800’s more than 50% of Bombay was owned by Parsis.
Well, we all owe a lot to this community and irrespective of this ad campaign, the Parsis do need to grow. Almost all of us share the same memory of Parsis – happy, positive, great etiquette and very careful with their money and every asset. Yes, go forth and multiply; India’s multicultural tapestry needs the rich colors of Parsis.