Mumbai: Parsis set to hit the streets to save their fire temples

Updated: Dec 14, 2018, 12:35 IST | Arita Sarkar | Mumbai

They plan to hold a peace march next week in support of the cause; members of Save Our Atash Behrams reach out to Parsis in other parts of the country and other communities for support

The Anjuman Atash Behram
The Anjuman Atash Behram

The city's Parsi community is not ready to give up on their fight to protect the fire temples from the Metro construction work. After facing disappointment in the Supreme Court, which has allowed Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to continue with the tunneling work under the Anjuman and Wadiaji Atash Behrams, members of Save Our Atash Behrams have decided to hold a peace march next week in support of the cause. They have reached out to Parsis in other parts of the country and other communities, who have been similarly affected by Metro work.

Ever since the Bombay High Court passed its judgment in the matter, the Save Our Atash Behrams group started promoting the campaign on social media. Members of the group said the aim of the peace march was to show the government that Parsis were not going to accept the injustice being meted out to them by the government.

The Wadiaji Atash Behram
The Wadiaji Atash Behram

"The attorney general had said that there is no unity in the community and only a few members are opposing the tunnel work. Till now we were disciplined and did not stage any protests in the matter, but now we want to show them that the entire community supports the cause. We won't take things lying down," said Adil Driver, one of the organisers of the march.

While the date and venue for the march would be finalised after the group gets police permission, in all probability, it would be organised near the Atash Behrams next week. The members have already decided on slogans that would be used on posters as part of the protest. Two of them are — 'Stop desecration of Parsi Fire Temples' and 'Parsis moved mountains for India. Can't the Metro move a few metres from the Fire Temples?'

Another member of the group, Freida Aspi Edwards said they were expecting about 500-1,000 people to take part in the march. "The march is open for all those who support the cause. We are reaching out to people affected by the Metro work like the fisherwomen community of Chira Bazaar. We expect support from all communities to stop the desecration of our fire temples," she added. Apart from appealing to the Parsis in Mumbai to participate in the march, members of the group said they were reaching out to the community in Gujarat and other parts of the country.

They are also trying to arrange for their travel so that they can come down to Mumbai to participate in the march. The group is also trying to approach political parties for their support in their fight to save the fire temples.

Also read: Parsi community: Now, all our hopes rest on the divine forces

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