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Zoroastrians in BritainThe Ratanbai Katrak Lectures: University of Oxford 1985$
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John R. Hinnells

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198261933

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198261933.001.0001

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Zoroastrians in British Politics

Zoroastrians in British Politics

(p.155) 5 Zoroastrians in British Politics
Zoroastrians in Britain

John R. Hinnells

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Zoroastrians in British politics. Unlike other South Asian groups in Britain, Zoroastrians have never constituted a significant electoral group because of their small number. However, they have held political office. In national terms, the major figures have been three Parsis who were the first Asians to become MPs at Westminster: Dahabhoy Naoroji, Muncherji Bhownagree, and Shapuri Saklatvala. These people are discussed in the first three sections. The fourth section considers Zerbanoo Gifford, still active, but she has not yet become an MP. She merits consideration because of the work she has already achieved. Although all four of these politicians have taken a public stand on behalf of the people of India, they have also affirmed their community or religious allegiance. The work of each of the politicians in Britain has been neglected by earlier studies of Zoroastrian history and of Indian politics.

Keywords:   Dahabhoy Naoroji, Muncherji Bhownagree, Shapuri Saklatvala, Gifford, Westminster MPs, British politics

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