Shun the Condom Tonight: Indian Zoroastrian Community Urged to Multiply by the Government
Simultaneously courting controversy and applause, a new series of advertisements supported by the Government of India is asking Indian Zoroastrians to multiply.
The Jiyo Parsi campaign ad features several catchy lines, a few among which include "Don't Use a Condom Tonight" and "Isn't it Time You Broke up With Your Mom?" to get young men and women from the community to marry and have children to arrest the dwindling population of the community. The community's size is estimated at 40,000 in Mumbai, the Indian city with the biggest Zoroastrian population. The declining numbers have been attributed to late marriages, couples opting to not have children or those preferring to remain single, Firstpost reported. For every 200 births annually, there are 800 deaths, indicating that the community would soon disappear if its members did not multiply.
While many members from the community appreciated the ads, they also termed them offensive as they feature content that could be offensive to other religious communities in India, and also advocate pressurizing youngsters, women in particular, to get hitched
"The kind of pressure these advertisements put on women and their bodies, the idea that a women's life is not complete without a marriage and child, is appalling. The next series of advertisements will probably be on how to cope with the 'failure' of a miscarriage," social history researcher Simin Patel told Scroll.
One of the ads in the series which was termed offensive to members of the majority Hindu religious community would be removed.
"While we have government assistance for medical intervention, the other, we also need to make people aware that there is a problem and it can be tackled. We have deepest respect for the Hindu community. We do not wish to offend anyone," Shernaz Cama director of a social initiative that is associated with the government's scheme.