Nearly a month after liberal members of the Parsi community opened an Asha Vahishta (best righteousness), a Zoroastrian Centre which has a Dadgah (house-level) fire and a library in Pune to ensure that Parsi families continue to live together, the orthodox and conservatives in the community have started a book distribution drive to counter it.
Alleging that the Asha Vahistha will be used for conversion, they are distributing a book which has articles of their priests countering conversion. They say the Pune centre is not for keeping families together but for conversion. One of the high priests of the community had said people who had opened the Pune temple did not have the knowhow to consecrate a fire temple fire. Liberals had countered the argument, saying orthodox had always considered all kinds of fire to be holy.
“A similar thing had happened in 1983. Three of our high priests had written about the issue of conversion. This place is actually in for conversion,” alleged Dr Viraf Kapadia, one of the members who distributed around 200 booklets titled ‘Conversion in Zoroastrianism – A Myth Exploded’
The booklet has articles that were published in a Parsi newspaper, Jam-e-Jamshed, on June 9 and 10 in 1983. The articles by three prominent priests of the community stated that conversions into the Parsi faith was wrong as was done by some priests in north America.