Residential address for the Federation?

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Federation of the Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India (FPZAI) has been called on this May 5 to "change the registered address” of the all-India body to the residence of the chairman, to reconstitute the Defunct Anjumans Committee and to "consider the draft of the trust deed in respect of the Global Working Group (GWG),” among other things.

The timing is such to ensure minimum attendance, as May will be vacation time, plus some of FPZAI and Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) chairman Desai's opponents on the BPP board are in Orlando, Florida, to attend the GWG meet there, as well as the annual general meetings of the Federation of Zoroastrian Associations of North America and the World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce. Desai is ex-officio chairman of the FPZAI.

Desai controls the loyalty of most of the small south Gujarat FPZAI anjuman members and most, if not all of the office bearers are his handpicked nominees. Other anjuman representatives have been more or less sidelined, hence attend sporadically or remain absent of account of Desai’s highhanded approach. The proposed resolutions are expected to pass easily as Desai has the right to stop any discussion he believes is not in the interest of the body.

But he may encounter two legal hitches. As he is a tenant/lessee at Rustom Baug, registering the FPZAI address at his home would amount to creating a subtenancy. The FPZAI is a registered society and hence has a different identity than that of the occupant.

Secondly, prior to the resolution for the change in address being passed at the EGM, the invitation to the meet issued by honorary joint secretary, Farrokh Rustomji and dated April 5, instructs the anjumans to send the names of the attendees to Desai’s address at "7/4 Rustom Baug, Byculla.” The normal, legal practice is to first pass the resolution.

Whether Desai has the infrastructure at home to handle all the voluminous correspondence, is unknown but his wife, Anahita assists him. A further ignominy to what was once viewed as the premier Parsi Zoroastrian body in the country is that it will now operate out of an individual’s residence, the same way an informal baug association would.