India’s Dwindling Parsi Population to Be Boosted with Fertility Clinics

Dean Nelson, Telegraph (London), October 16, 2012

The Indian government is to fund new fertility clinics to help save its dwindling Parsi population which is now under threat of extinction.

India’s Parsis first came to the subcontinent more than 1,000 years ago from Persia where they faced persecution from the country’s Muslim majority for their ancient Zoroastrian faith. It is believed to date from around the 6th Century BC and was once one of the world’s most powerful religions. Its followers believe in a creator and the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster.

They worship fire as a sign of divine purity and traditionally buried their dead on ‘towers of silence’ where they were devoured by vultures.

Today they are one of India’s most successful communities with Parsi figures playing leading roles in commerce, politics, the military and entertainment industry. Freddie Mercury, the late lead singer of Queen, was born Farrokh Bulsara and came from an Indian Parsi family.

India’s ruling Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, which has dominated the Congress Party since independence was created when Feroze Gandhi, a Parsi freedom fighter, married the then Indira Nehru.

Ratan Tata, India’s most successful industrialist and owner of Jaguar Land Rover and Corus Steel, the late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, India’s most celebrated soldier, and the acclaimed novelist Rohinton Mistry are all Parsis.

But despite their illustrious past and the continuing success of many Parsis today, their numbers are dwindling so fast that government and officials and community leaders have agreed a plan to increase its birth-rate and halt a decline towards extinction.

Their numbers have declined from just under 115,000 in 1941 to 69,601 in 2001—the last fully published census. The numbers are believed to have declined further since then. In Mumbai, the heart of India’s Parsi community, there are now only between 40,000 and 45,000.

According to Parsi leaders the community has been a victim of its own success. As it has become increasingly educated and wealthy, its young women have married later, while its men have wanted to wait until they have established successful careers before marrying. As a result, many wait until their fertility declines before they start to think of having children.

Khojeste Mistree, a member of the Bombay Parsi Panchayat and a leading community, said the government has earmarked around £250,000 to extend the work of successful fertility clinics throughout Parsi populations in Maharashtra.

“We have a project to encourage young couples to go to a special doctor we’ve identified as an expert in fertility. We’ve been doing this for the last seven years and we will now extend this programme. It has been successful—232 babies have been born [as a result],” he said.

The group is also planning to build new, larger apartments for young Parsi couples to encourage them to have larger families.

Parsi couples should be having four children each, he said, but most were only having two at most. “Our boys are marrying at 31, our girls at 29, important fertility years are lost. They study and after study they want to get jobs, and then marry after they have a good job. if you study any successful community they tend to have fewer children,” he said. Some had married outside the faith and their children are not accepted as Parsis.

Some Parsi figures have called for the children of mixed marriages to be accepted into the fold, but Mr Mistree said such a move would see the bloodlines of Parsis eliminated in a few generations. “If you open up to this kind of step, then within eight generations the Parsi identity won’t be there. That’s not acceptable for us,” he said.

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  • The__Bobster

    Parsis sound a lot like Americans and Europeans, putting their careers above having children.

    But at least they understand that breeding outside their group will ultimately result in their demise in a few generations. Did you get that, Sinophiles?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LVLO4JE5T2UU76PRBNJK4LD7QU John

    It seems like a futile excercize, but at least in India they accept the problem as a problem. Our own Jewish population declined from 5.5 to 5.1 million over the last decade. The problem here is feminism, an ideology that encourages white people to not have children, instead to pursue “careers” why? Oh ya, liberation. Nothing says liberation than having work 8 hours a day at a crappy job and then come home to cook, clean, and look after the children, and do all that totally aware that there exists no societal imperitave for the father to stay with you. In that environment, many women put it off until they are 35 and end up realizing that they are infertile by that time. Women do not have the option of staying home to take care of their children, for our society looks down on such people and men hate the idea of not being able to afford their 500$ counch and 500$ TV and their Xbox Live. Until we challenge this ideology their will be no recovery in the fertility rate.

    • IstvanIN

       If we hadn’t imported 50 million people over the last 25 years perhaps men could find jobs so that women could stay home and have children.  And without all those excess people women would have no problems reentering the job market in their 40 and 50s because their would be openings for them too.  Instead our “betters” screwed over the American people.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/LVLO4JE5T2UU76PRBNJK4LD7QU John

        To simply stop immigration would not be a cure all. Most men can find jobs, the reason women don’t stay home and have children is feminism.

        • Xerxes22

          Finding a job is fairly easy while finding a good paying job with benefits is not so easy even with education and training. These days it takes two incomes to provide a decent standard of living in a safe nieghborhood. That often means putting off having children for at least a few years. Feminism isn’t responsible for this lifestyle choice. It is the new trickle down economics brought to you by our greedy corporate ruling class.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/LVLO4JE5T2UU76PRBNJK4LD7QU John

            Back in the fifties incomes were by any measure lower than they are today. And people had more kids. As our affluent, materialistic society suggests, there is more than enogh wealth out there to raise a family on. You’ll have to go without certain luxeries like being really close to the ski slopes, having a 1000$ TV, having two 20 miles to the gallon cars, and having a home that has a idiodically inflated price. Even then, feminism encourages women to w0rk outside the home. If what you are saying is true, richer men should have wives who stay home.

        • debra

          You stupid little man. Where did you get the idea that men are better than women? The idea that women should embrace their slavery to men is laughable. Aw shucks too–you can’t force us.

      • Sherman_McCoy

        And don’t forget how Free Traders have moved most manufacturing to China, along with countless thousands of high tech jobs now being done in Asia.

    • Liberalssuck

      The white females who voted for Obama voted because they didn’t want to pay for their own contraceptives.  What horror.

    • StillModerated

      Wives were forced into the workforce in order to pay for rising taxes. In the early 50s, the Federal tax burden was a paltry 4%.  But feeding all those gaping mouths with greasy fried chicken and Twinkies costs a lot of scratch.

      • FourFooted_Messiah

         That, and businessmen want the cheapest labour possible (no matter how unqualified or unsafe.)  Why hire a white man OR woman when some Punjabi will do it for even cheaper than either can afford to work for?

        And why can they work for cheap-cheap?  Because they’re disgusting enough to like packing themselves 30 to a single-bedroom apartment.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      Humans aren’t rats, and we need to get rid of that rat-mentality of “breed til yer head falls off”. Unlike other mammals, we no longer lose 60%+ of our offspring before they reach breeding age.

      The problem isn’t that white folks don’t breed enough.  The problem is other races still
      think like rats.

    • seek

      A caricature not based in reality.  What feminists want, pardon the cliche, is “having it all.”  They don’t reject motherhood.  What they reject is the idea that motherhood should be the end of a woman’s full-time working career.  True, there is much egregious about feminism.  But the notion that feminism seeks childlessness for all women is absurd.  It’s a myth invented by the “demographic winter” alarmists like Nicholas Eberstadt and Steven Mosher.  

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/LVLO4JE5T2UU76PRBNJK4LD7QU John

        Feminism doesn’t want women to be childless, nor was that what I said. Feminism, as you say, wants women to “have it all,” but many women in the real world find it unbearable. So they postpone indefinently childbearing in order to have their carrers.

  • NeoconsNailed

    “Within eight generations the Parsi identity won’t be there” — that’s the kind of long view our ancestors took in building white societies. Now our people think in terms of 23-minute sitcoms.

    • Liberalssuck

       Any other race but whites are or would be outraged enough to take immediate action if you told them they would be a minority in their own homelands.  They wouldn’t say, “Oh, well, bring in more immigrants…at least I’ll still have my lattes and nice homes.”

  • Bud

    Freddie certainly didn’t need a fertility clinic.

  • David Ashton

      The Parsis have an interesting faith, history and marital tradition.   Their original Zoroastrian religion has been described negatively by Revilo Oliver and positively by Hans Guenther, who imported their own preconceptions; and it is wiser to rely on mainstream specialists like the late Mary Boyce, especially “Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices” (NY/London, 2001).  Many religious communities are ethnocentric in various ways (e.g. Shintoism, Sikhism, Judaism), but the Parsis are particularly exclusive.
       “Like the Jews, they have produced more than their share of outstanding individuals in industry, government, and science,” (Carleton Coon, “Living Races of Man” [London, 1996], p.37).  Their extinction would be a human tragedy.    Are there lessons for the rest of us in official Parsi opposition to mission and miscegenation, to generational leakage and recent agitation to convert outsiders?  There is a very informative account of initial genetic selection because of Muslim persecution and the important subsequent benefits of inbreeding among a community of pedigree qualities, by Ellsworth Huntington, “Mainsprings of Civilization” (NY 1945/1959);  “People of high inborn ability, [biologically isolated] like the Icelanders and Parsis, may be stimulated to purposeful and progressive activity by physical circumstances which are repressive to people of lesser innate ability.”       Endogamy can benefit a community which starts with genetic quality.  The risk that excessive inbreeding and/or over-specialization can intensify weaknesses as well as strengths, as with domesticated animals, can often be corrected by crossing with closely related but also healthy types.  See e.g. Anthony Ludovici, “A Defence of Aristocracy” (London 1933), ch.VII.      West Caucasians (“white race”) constitute, of course, an immensely larger community with greater variation but nevertheless more closely related than they are to very different peoples like west Africans or aboriginal Australians.  We also have the duty and opportunity to resist birth-rate decline and promiscuously wide out-crossing, and to return towards eugenic marital criteria within our own race.

  • StillModerated

    Well, how about that!  I mistakenly thought that Freddie Mercury was simply flamboyant.  But homosexual marriages are now legal in parts of suburban Washington. Congratulations.