Parsi Population In India

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The present work is an appraisal of shrinking Parsi population. Parsi population is the only community in India which has experienced drastic decline in its population count over the time. While tracing origin and arrival of Parsis on Indian shores, spatio-temporal changes in fertility and temporal changes in mortality and population size are assessed. Comparative analysis for two different projection approaches for forecasting Parsi population up to the year 2051 by Shroff et. al (2011) and by Unisa (2008) is undertaken. Factors responsible for the depleting Parsi population are contemplated upon. Recent measures adopted by the government of India for addressing the issue of declining Parsi population are discussed. 1. PARSIS IN…show more content…
Parsis , non-Hindu religious minority, are perhaps the only community which has experienced dramatic population and fertility decline outside Europe (Coale, 1973; Coale and Watkin, 1986). India has one billion plus population characterized by wide cultural differences among different communities within the national territory (Kulke, 1974). Various population policies floated at different points in time over the past 60 years by the Indian government have offered incentives in various forms to its people for restricting family sizes, in order to arrest the rate of population growth. However, the Parsi community in India has consistently exhibited an exceptional decline in its population count.. The community members are not mandated to register births at a central Registry either under the aegis of the government or under that of the Bombay Parsi Panchayat- the apex body of the community. The prominent Parsi members, the Parsi Panchayat, and Registrar General of India had therefore appeald to all Parsis by making announcement in daily news papers, and in the Parsi publications like Parzor and Parsiana for participating in the census operation during 2001 census. Enumerators were also trained to record different names of Parsi community such as Parsi, Irani, Parsi Zoroastrian, Parsi Zarthoshti, Parsi Irani Jarthoshti,…show more content…
Their census enumeration in 2001 was at 69,601. Consequently, the persistent decline pattern within the national boundaries have persuaded demographers, sociologists and policymakers to study and contemplate possible causes and corrective measures. A number of studies have documented their demographic graph and a few have postulated hypotheses regarding factors shaping them, based on crude birth rate figures and guess estimates , as no accurate data is available on Parsi births (Patel, 2011). Though very small in size, the progressive community has contributed substantially in the various spheres of economy, industry, banking, health care, education, research , philanthropy and social work. They were first in India to abandon child marriage practice. In India, Parsis have practiced endogamy and do not accept new converts to their faith (Visaria, 1974; Axelrod, 1980). There has been a legal precedent for the past century that the offsprings from the union of a Parsi man and a non-Parsi woman is accepted as a Parsi (Zoroastrian). However, offspring of a Parsi woman married to a Non-Parsi man is not considered as a member of the

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