Irani (India)

Irani (India)

The Irani are an ethno-religious community in South Asia; they belong to the Zoroastrians who emigrated from Iran to South Asia in the 19th century.[1] They are culturally, linguistically and socially distinct from the Parsis, who – although also Zoroastrians – emigrated to the Indian subcontinent from Greater Iran many centuries before the Iranis did.


  • Distinction from Parsis 1
  • History 2
  • Notable Iranis 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Distinction from Parsis

The Parsis and Iranis may also be considered legally distinct. This is based in part on a 1909 obiter dictum that, among many other issues relating to the Indian Zoroastrians, also observed that Iranis (of the now defunct Bombay Presidency) were not obliged to uphold the decisions of the then regulatory Parsi Panchayat.


Although the term 'Irani' is first attested during the Mughal era, most Iranis are immigrants who arrived on the subcontinent also during the 19th and early 20th centuries, that is, when Iran was ruled by the Qajars and when religious persecution of non-Muslims was rampant. The descendants of the immigrants of those times remain culturally and linguistically closer to the Zoroastrians of Iran, in particular to the Zoroastrians of Yazd and Kerman. Consequently, the Dari dialect of the Zoroastrians of those provinces may also be heard amongst the Iranis.

As is also the case for the Parsis, the Iranis are predominantly found on the west-coast of India, in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, with a concentration in and around the city of Mumbai.

Notable Iranis

Irani is generic surname for the community, though there are others surnames, depending on the hometown like Kermani, Yezdani, Khosravi, Faroodi, and Jafrabadi.

Notable members of the Irani community include:

See also


  1. ^ Masashi, Haneda,. "Emigration of Iranian Elites to India during the 16-18th centuries". Retrieved 2013-12-17.