Yazdi Desai's reversal

After endorsing the candidacy of former Bombay Parsi Punchayet trustee Dinshaw Tamboly for a seat on the National Commission for Minorities, BPP chairman Yazdi Desai has "after careful thought and consideration" decided to withdraw the nomination.

In a letter to the union minister of minority affairsMukhtar Abbas Naqvi, copies of which were emailed to the Parsi media and others this morning, Desai stated, "Asizeable section of the Parsi community is very unhappy and upset at my recommendation...This is because Mr. Tamboly has very radical religious convictions and it is most likely that he will misuse this important position to further his reformist agenda, thereby destroying the delicate ethno-religious fabric of the Parsi Zoroastrian community...

"To the best of my knowledge and belief, except for Dasturji Khurshed Dastur of Udvada, none of the other four present High Priests of India have endorsed Mr Tamboly because of his anti-orthodox and anti-religious convictions and actions."

In a subsequent email Desai clarified,Tamboly was "requested to give a two line press statement that as a member of the National Minorities Commission, he would stick to socio-economic affairs and not meddle in religious issues, to allay the fears of the orthodox. He refused to give any such statement, leaving me with no choice."