Vulture count down, more Parsis go for burial, cremation
Facing a growing crisis over the lack of enough vultures to consume corpses at the traditional Towers of Silence, a small band of “reformists”, including priests, from the shrinking community of Parsi Irani Zoroastrians have begun supporting alternate modes of disposing the dead.
For the first time, some priests have agreed to perform last rites even for those who have been cremated or buried at a new Rs 1.5-crore prayer hall that will become fully functional from this month-end.
This gradually swelling group includes priests who had earlier flatly refused to pray for the dead during the four-day mourning period if the body was buried or cremated, which is strictly prohibited in the community.
Among them is Dastur Framroze S Mirza who has invoked the ire of the Bombay Parsi Panchayat for breaking with tradition.