Peak Parsi

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

In 1941, the religious community of the Parsis in India peaked at 115,000, Volkmar Weiss remarks:

This 0.03% of the population of India provided 7% of all engineers and 5% of all physicians in the entire country. Parsi female literacy today is 97%, the highest in India. For generations their women have been educated, they study and marry late and end up having fewer children. Since 1953 their birth rate has sunk below the magic number of two, and may at present be even less than one per family. If this does not change, by 2020 there will likely be only about 23,000 Parsis in India. The Parsis symbolize – even in a more pronounced way than the secularized Jews – the fate of the industrialized society and of its elites. The Parsis, who have been characterized (Kulke, 1974) as “engines of social change”, share their fate with the childless feminists. Because they will have exterminated themselves by failing to reproduce, the culture they represent will be replaced by the culture of those who are more prolific.

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