(Last Updated on : 01/02/2011)
When the Parsi followers of Zoroastrianism fled to India from religious persecution in Iran, they approached the Hindu king, Jaddi Rana, for shelter. The king provided them with land for building the first fire temple at Sanjan (in Gujarat) and placed them and their successors under an everlasting debt. By contributing to the progress of the land of their adoption, the Parsis may be said to have repaid that debt in ample measure.
The history of the Parsi Community is around 3000 years old. This community has been consolidated by some eminent Parsis. Their names have been immortalized in its history.
The many sided and characteristic philanthropy of the Parsis has established, through their panchayat system, a remarkable social security system for the community. Its members make their contributions to the local anjuman fund or community chest, which constitutes the base of the system. At the apex is the Parsi panchayat of Bombay which attends, as far as possible, to the community's needs in the relief of poverty, assistance in education, provision for medical relief and others. The community has many trusts and foundations, benefiting non-Parsis as well.
The Parsis have laid claim to no territory and to no special rights for themselves. Their sense of fair play and their philosophy of life to live and let live, which they have always practised, make them look at human relationships with a dispassionate eye.
The qualities of the community that are significant are its vitality, its adaptability to changing circumstances, its industry and civic sense and its philanthropy, qualities which have been inducted by its religion, which is very much a part of its life.