(Last Updated on : 27-10-2009)
Occupation of Parsis according to the report of Mumbai (Bombay) census of the year 1881 shows there is not a single soldier who is a Parsi. There were in that year a total of 855 priests and persons officiating in religious buildings. They are suitably represented as the educators of youth. Out of 951 schoolmasters there are 141 Parsis and there are 34 lady teachers who are Parsis from among the total of 165 lady teachers. There are thirty three Zoroastrians who returned themselves as civil engineers from among the total of 84 civil engineers.
Parsis dominate abundantly in business. A total of 1,384 were listed as ordinary clerks and 115 as office managers or as linked with offices. From a total of forty six boat-makers and shipbuilders, twenty six are Parsis. A greater number of 'dubashes' or ship compradores are Parsis with 146 out of a total of 159 'dubashes' enumerated being of that race. The highest numbers of machine manufacturers in any one class of the total population of the city are Parsis and it is also striking that the highest number of fitters and mechanical engineers of any single nationality is among the Parsis. The sedentary business of tailoring is not favored by Parsi males, as only one is enumerated. Lastly, there were 2,966 female and 6,618 male mendicants in the city of Mumbai
(Bombay) and among them only one female and five male were Parsis.
It has been observed that the Parsis have never accepted the meaner occupations like day-laborers, palki-bearers, scavengers, grooms, barbers, washermen, etc. The most important observation is that, the people of Parsi community
of the present day are less inclined towards agriculture whereas their ancestors took much interest in their own country, and which the first settlers in India demonstrated for several centuries.
Today, the Parsis are not men of the country; they have rather become the men of the towns. With the beginning of the present century a number of well-known Parsis possessed extensive farms, and spent huge sums of money in the development of their estates, but these have passed completely out of their hands. When other pursuits brought riches sooner the Parsis left their investments in lands.