Notes from Persia

Mar 06, 2013, 08:03 IST | The Guide Team

The National Gallery of Modern Art is hosting a lecture titled The Parsis and Iran by Alexandra Buhler. The lecture will delve on the attitude of the Parsis to the situation in Iran during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911)

Could you tell us a bit about the topic of your slide-illustrated talk on The Parsis and Iran.
The content of my talk on “The Parsis and Iran” is drawn from my research for my Ph.D. which is about the Zoroastrians during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1905-1911. One aspect of my research is the attitude of the Parsis to the situation in Iran during this period – this is what my talk will concentrate on.

Persian Relief

What will be the highlights and some interesting facts that people will come to know from the talk?
People may be more familiar with the role played by Parsis here in India but I hope to show that the Parsis were also interested in events taking place in Iran, as well as the situation of the Zoroastrians still living there. It may be of interest to people to find out, for example, that there were discussions as to whether the Parsis should try to return to Iran.

What were some of the challenges that the community faced in Iran in the 20th century especially since they were in a minority?
In the early 20th century, most Zoroastrians in Iran lived in and around the towns of Yazd and Kerman. They did face difficulties as a minority but in my talk I will be exploring how the attitude towards Zoroastrians in Iran during the early 20th century was beginning to change and with the establishment of a constitution in 1906 there were some improvements in the position of the Zoroastrians in Iran.

Can you tell us a bit about whether you will delve on the Mumbai connect (since a large population of Parsis resides in the city).
Yes, I will be looking at the relations between the Parsis in Mumbai and the Zoroastrians in Iran. For the past six weeks, I have been in India, mainly in Mumbai, and the talk will draw on the research that I have conducted here. For example, I will discuss how important events for the Zoroastrians in Iran were reported in contemporary newspapers.

Will there be a contemporary angle as well - about how the population is faring today and in Mumbai?
My research is concerned with the first decade of the early 20th century so the talk will focus on the late 19th and early 20th century so will not cover contemporary affairs.

On: March 6, 6.30 pm
At: NGMA Auditorium, Sir Cowasji Jehangir Hall, Fort. 

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