Udavada (Guj), Dec 27: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the country was trying to out pace others to emerge as the fastest growing economy amidst adversarial global conditions, but needs more business leaders from the Parsi community to achieve the tall objective.
"You mentioned about India trying to grow faster than any other country in the world. The global situation is adverse, India is trying to do that and for that, we need a lot more of you (Parsis)," he said.
Jaitley was speaking at the maiden 'Iranshah Udvada Utsav', a global congregation of the minority Parsi community, at this tiny coastal hamlet in Valsad district of southern Gujarat where the Zoroastrians first landed around the 8th century to escape persecution from Muslims in Iran.
Touching succinctly on the issue of the entrepreneurial community's dwindling numbers, Jaitley said the Parsis were vital in the quest for higher growth for the business leaders they would produce. "How you do that...I think it is for you to consider and discuss," he said.
The minister said what sets apart the Parsi community from the rest was their desire to achieve excellence in an ethical manner.
Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata was felicitated at the event as an 'Icon of Success' and received a thunderous applause from over 3,000 Parsis present at the event from across the world.
Dressed in the traditional red skull cap and white robes which one associates with the Zoroastrian religion, an emotional Tata said he was overwhelmed by the honour accorded to him by his community.
"The Parsi community has a tradition of success, leadership and contribution to the society. I look forward to the community continuing to be a contributor to the development of the country," Tata said.
He said even though the community was small in numbers, it made a difference to the world around it and its achievements made him proud of being a Zoroastrian.
As per the statistics, there are around 70,000 Parsis across the globe currently. On the occasion, Jaitley said the community has legitimately staked claim to positions of excellence in diverse fields ranging from medicine to law and also armed forces.
Tata described former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee as his "ethical guru".
Most of the Parsi business houses, starting with the Tatas to the Petits, Wadias and the Godrejs have been very active on the philanthropic front and have worked towards emancipation.
They have played key roles in building the Mumbai of today from the British era.