SAVE OUR ATASH BEHRAMS (FIRE TEMPLES)!
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Respected Prime Minister,
We invite your kind attention to the grave concerns of the Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian community over the impact of the ongoing construction of the Mumbai Metro Line – III on the spiritual sanctity and structural safety of our Atash Behrams, i.e. the most holy Zoroastrian Fire Temples of the Highest Grade of consecrated Fire. There are only 8 Atash Behrams in the whole world and the present issue concerns 2 of them.
A part of the Mumbai Metro Line –III, which runs along Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor, has been proposed to run directly under two Atash Behrams, viz. H.B Wadia Atash Behram and Zarthosti Anjuman Atash Behram on the Jagannath Shankar Seth Road in Mumbai.
These Atash Behrams are of the most solemn spiritual significance for the Zoroastrian community not only in India but worldwide. The Atash Behram buildings are consecrated after an elaborate ritualistic processes, spanning over years.
Fire is the central focus of the Zoroastrian forms of worship, ceremonies and rituals. Any interference underground by way of a tunnel running below the Atash Behram premises will adversely impact the spiritual piety and sanctity of the Atash Behrams and will result in their desecration and defilement. Such spiritual damage will be irreversible!
The Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian Community is also extremely concerned about the impact of the construction acitivites on the structural stability of these Atash Behrams which are also very old heritage buildings. The Anjuman Atash Behram is 122 years old and the H.B. Wadia Atash Behram is 188 years old. The proposed Kalbadevi station is planned to be constructed barely 5 meters away from the H.B. Wadiaji Atash Behram and for the construction of which the techniques involving controlled blasting are proposed to be used in very close proximity to the Wadiaji Atash Behram. This threatens the structural safety of the Wadiaji Atash Behram. Further the process of construction of the station will impact well water levels in the wells of the Atash Behrams thus rendering performance of sacred rituals impossible.
Any damage or destruction of the Holy Atash Behrams will devastate the religious sentiments of Zoroastrians worldwide. The Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian community, which has been at the forefront for the development of the country, especially the city of Mumbai, calls upon your good self to preserve the spiritual sanctity and structural safety of our Atash Behrams.
The Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian community though being a minority has without taking any benefits and/or reservations as a result of this status, only contributed to the development of the country. It is for the first time the entire Parsi/Irani Zoroastrian community is making a request to you that too in one voice, to save the Holy Atash Behrams.
By shifting / realigning the tunnel by only 4 meters more, the spiritual sanctity of the Atash Behrams can be secured as the tunnel would then be outside the premises of the Atash Behrams.
We hold you, Sir, in the greatest love and affection; and you have termed us a ‘model minority’. Your model minority is now crying for the intervention of Shri Narendra Modiji.
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