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Parsi Perspectives: Armaity Ghasvala Discusses India’s Cultural Harmony and Growth

June 9 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Parsi Perspectives: Armaity Ghasvala Discusses India’s Cultural Harmony and Growth

Respect and love the country you live in, or live in the country you love and respect.

In this episode of Dharma Explorers, host Jai Bansal engaged in a captivating conversation with Armaity Ghasvala, an Indian Parsi homemaker from Mumbai. The series, which features discussions with individuals who support Sanatana Dharma despite not being born into Hindu households, welcomed Armaity to share her unique perspectives.

Armaity began by describing her upbringing in Navsari, Gujarat, a place significant to the Parsi community with its numerous fire temples, including one of the eight most sacred Atash Behrams in India. Her narrative provided a glimpse into the tight-knit Parsi community, emphasizing their beliefs in natural elements such as fire, water, and the sun.

The conversation delved into the history of the Parsis, who fled Persia around the 7th century to escape religious persecution and found refuge in Gujarat, India. Armaity recounted the well-known legend of their arrival, where the local Rajput king welcomed them after they demonstrated their peaceful intentions by symbolically dissolving sugar in a bowl of milk. This gesture illustrated their commitment to blend harmoniously into Indian society while retaining their unique identity.

Throughout the discussion, Armaity highlighted the successful integration of Parsis into Indian society, noting their significant contributions across various fields. She mentioned prominent Parsis such as JRD Tata, Homi Bhabha, and Sam Manekshaw, among others, who have made remarkable strides in business, science, and the military. This success, she argued, is a testament to the harmonious relationship between the Parsis and the broader Hindu society.

Jai Bansal steered the conversation towards the broader topic of India’s tradition of welcoming diverse communities. Armaity acknowledged this tradition, citing the peaceful coexistence of various minorities, including Jews, Baha’i, Tibetans, and Chinese, in India. She contrasted this with the persistent claims of persecution by certain other minority communities, namely Muslims and Christians, who, despite increasing in number, often express a sense of being oppressed. Armaity refrained from commenting on these communities but emphasized that she had never experienced any fear or persecution as a Parsi in India.

Addressing the portrayal of India in the media, both domestically and internationally, Armaity firmly rejected the notion that Indian democracy is being eroded or minority rights are being crushed.  She asserted that India remains a robust democracy where freedom of expression is alive and well. She pointed out the paradox of critics who, while claiming suppression, freely express dissenting views without facing repercussions. Armaity also praised the country’s economic growth and inclusive development policies over the last decade and expressed optimism about India’s future, asserting that the country is on a path to becoming a major global player.

When asked about the resurgence of Hindu pride and the restoration of Hindu religious sites, Armaity welcomed these developments. She viewed them as a natural expression of the Hindu majority’s cultural and civilizational pride, which had been long suppressed. She cited the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya as an example, celebrating it as a historic and rightful act.

Concluding the interview, Armaity reiterated her contentment and sense of security as a Parsi in India. She emphasized that the country remains a beacon of democracy and freedom, urging viewers not to be swayed by negative portrayals in the media. Her final message was one of assurance and pride in India’s democratic fabric and its ability to accommodate and respect its diverse population.

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June 9
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT
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