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Sunday , October 17 2021

Parsi ‘Tata’s’ humane role

There is a difference between sanctifying something and worshiping it. Many people believe that the Indians worship cows, or that the Magi or Zoroastrians worship fire, and the truth is that neither the cow nor the fire is worshiped, but rather for them these things are sacred, for many logical reasons they believe in.

The origin of the word “Magi” is not known, as it is Arabized, but the majority of the peoples of the world know them as ‘Zoroaster’ (or Zarathustra), and their religion is said to be the oldest, and there is no evidence for that.

It is also said that various other religions have taken a lot from it, but there is also nothing to confirm this definitively. However, what is known is that the famous Japanese Mazda cars were given this name by their founder, after the god of the Zoroastrian Magi, Ahura Mazda.

Zoroaster is known as the Parsi who migrated to India to escape the persecution of Muslims after their control of Persia especially during the Safavid era when they were killed if they refused the forced conversion to Islam. They also suffered a lot during the reign of the Qajar dynasty in the nineteenth and early the twentieth centuries, and the last group was called the “Iranians of India,” to differentiate between them and those who preceded them for more than four centuries, and also because of their strong ties with the Zoroastrians of Iran, and their adherence to their Iranian nationalism compared to the Parsis who are more closely related to India and Hinduism.

The number of Zoroastrians in the world is estimated at only 120,000, more than half of them live in India and their most powerful and influential group can be found in Mumbai (Bombay). They benefited from English missionary schools and in the 19th century adapted to the Western style of living during the English colonialism.

Despite the small number the Parsis have played a vital role in India’s modern history. For example, they strongly participated in the founding of the Indian National Congress at the end of the nineteenth century, the party that ruled India for a long time after leading the independence movement. Feroze Gandhi, the husband of Indira Gandhi, and Rajiv’s father was a Parsi but his sons chose Hinduism later.

The Parsis also led the industrial revolution in India, through the “Tata” and “Godrej” brands. JRD Tata is considered the father of modern Indian industry, founder of the Indian Institute of Science, owner of the Taj Mahal hotel, Tata steel factories, the famous Tata vehicles, and many more.

The occasion of this article is the circular issued by the “Tata Steel Corporation” which was founded in 1907 in which it pledged to take care of the families of all workers in the front lines who have recently died due to Corona pandemic and to provide for their livelihood, treatment and educating their children up to a certain level, for many years to come.

The issue becomes a cause for appreciation when we know that the number of employees in the company, which is a branch of the “Tata Group”, exceeds 35,000. The news of the generous donation garnered attention in the Western media. The group also played a major role in donating to the Indian government in its war against Corona, in addition to the hundreds of millions that the Tata family spent on distinguished education and health.

email: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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