Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the smallest community in India – the Parsis have never regarded themselves as minority, a mindset that has allowed them to emerge as a role model for others.
He said, Parsis mark a distinct thread in the tapestry of multicultural heritage in India and are a one rare community to be measured not by their number but their impact.
Mr Jaitley stated this while inaugurating the Everlasting Flame International Programme in New Delhi to celebrate multicultural ethos of Parsi Zoroastrian community.
The event has been organised by the ministries of Minority Affairs and Culture.
Mr Jaitley lauded the liberal and large-hearted Parsis for their contribution in diverse fields. He said the community have preserved their culture and also exhibited the ability to reach the top.
Mr Jaitley proposed that the town of Udvada in Gujarat, where the Parsis had landed centuries ago, should be developed as a global cultural centre.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken an initiative for developing the town when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Union Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla expressed concern over the slow growth of the Parsi population.
She said that while she has worked extensively for population control, with regard to Parsis, it is otherwise.
She lauded the community saying the measure of its contributions is disproportionate to its size and it has never sought any favour from the government.
British parliamentarian Karan Bilimoria said Parsis are ahead of everybody else in terms of per capita achievements but this was possible because the community prospered in India.
Three exhibitions have been organised in the national capital to showcase the multicultural ethos of the Parsi-Zoroastrian community.
The exhibitions take the visitors on a journey from the earliest days of Zoroastrian to its emergence as the foremost religion of imperial Iran.