Parsis are upset and embarrassed after reading about the boardroom drama involving Ratan Tata, the tallest figure in the community and Tata Sons, a company “the whole community is proud of”.
When The Quint approached a cross section of the Zoroastrian community at Parsi Colony in Mumbai, most of them were initially unwilling to talk about the controversy as they were unhappy with its media coverage. They thought the media was playing it out of proportion and that media leaks were tarnishing the image of the flagship Parsi business conglomerate.
Interestingly, many members of the minority community were sympathetic to Cyrus Mistry during off-record chats as well as on-camera interviews, although no one spoke a word against Rata Tata. They did not like the unceremonious removal of Cyrus Mistry, whose family they hold in high regard along with the Tatas. Most of them seemed to be unaware of the complete picture, when they said things like ‘Mistry should have been given a chance to resign’.
Of the 50 people we approached, every young as well as old person was unanimous on one thing – that the next Chairman of Tata Sons should come from the Parsi community. While Ratan Tata and his Search Committee will look out for deserving candidates, this pressure from within the community is something Tata cannot completely ignore.
Surprisingly, most Parsi women we approached refused to talk about the issue and claimed to be completely unaware of the developments.
Parsi Colony at Dadar is one of the few places where Zoroastrians live in large numbers. The population of this illustrious community has been falling alarmingly due to migration and low birth rate. As per the 2011 census, there are only 69,000 Parsis in India. Around 45,000 are believed to live in the USA and 25,000 in Iran.