From Persia to India

Glimpses of Parsi presence in Gujarat and Diu

GUJARAT, DAMAN, and DIU

A Parsi dharamshala (guest-house for pilgrims) near Udvada Station

The Parsis, followers of the ancient Zoroastrian religion, are few in number, making up a minute fraction of India’s population.

Fire Temple in Ahmedabad

In 2014, there were less than 70,000 Parsis in India, and this number is decreasing rapidly. Though insignificant in numerical strength, the Parsis have made a disproportionately enormous positive impact in many fields of activity in India and the rest of the world. To appreciate their achievements, one need only consider that the following well-known personalities are all of Parsi origin: the politicians Dadabhai Naoroji, Bhikaiji Cama, and Pherozeshah Mehta; the industrialist families Wadia, Petit, Tata, and Godrej; scientists Homi J Bhabha and Homi Sethna; musicians  Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji, Zubin Mehta, and Freddy Mercury; military men including Sam Manekshaw; authors  Rohinton Mistry, Firdaus Kanga, and Bapsi Sidhwa; actors John Farhan Abraham and Boman Irani; and a host…

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