Jashu Shah has gone. A pillar of vegetarianism in Asia and the world, a really father of vegetarianism, Jashubhai – as he was called – really deserves the suffix bhai which means father (in Portuguese pai, which is very near to bhai). Jashubhai was really a bhai with a large family around him who will for sure very much miss him.
I met Jashubhai for the first time in the 31st World Vegetarian Congress in The Hague, The Netherlands, in 1994. After that we met many other times, including in Brazil for the 36th World Vegetarian Congress which I had the privilege of organizing. Here in Florianopolis I asked Jashu if he was enjoying being here and he told me that he enjoyed the 24 hours of his days. And really it was like that. Jashu was all the time just happy. And he had – it appears – reason for that. He was a successful man in his profession – as a very well known layer in Mumbai. He was also very successful in raising a happy family and had many friends. And he was also dutiful to his religion. As a Jain he waked up at 4 a.m. every day to make pooja.
Jashu Shah – WVC Goa 2006
Vegetarian cause was very deep seated in his heart. He said to me that the thing that most made him happy was dedicating himself to this cause. And really he was a tireless worker in this field having a very respectable list of service in India, in Asia and in the world as a whole. He was present at the first IVU Indian Congress in 1957 and become more and more involved subsequently. He attended many IVU Congresses, in various parts of the world.
In India Jashu worked hard for many years – lastly as secretary of Reverence for Life and coordinator of Asian Vegetarian Union. He was a fellow of IVU.
Jashu was especially worried in showing the young the value of their ancient traditions on diet: "Young Indians are taking their cue from Western media- not real Western people. So they've come to think that to smoke, drink and eat non-veg is modern and fashionable," said Jashu Shah.
I had the privilege of being with him the last two years in India. In 2006 for the 37th WVC organized by him in Goa – and in 2007 for the 11th International Vegan Festival organized by Shankar Narayan. At his invitation after the Festival I deliver a speech at Reverence for Life in Mumbai. It was as ever a very pleasant a meeting with so many friends all around.
Jashu Shah and Anjan Lalaji
In my visit of him in 2006 I had the happy opportunity of being present in the celebration of 40 years of his law firm, a gathering which was attended by many of his friends.
Jyotsna, Marly and Jashu at his office in Mumbai – 2006
Jashu at his office in Mumbai – 40 years celebration
Jashu has gone but his work on behalf of vegetarianism is never to be forgotten and I’m sure he is having a lot to do in the second floor too for our work should never stop. As the 1000 pillar of Mandalam in Madurai many more supporters of this noble cause are helping in advancing that which Jashubhai considered his cherish work.
May the flame be keeping burning in India and elsewhere.
Your faithful friend,
Latin American coordinator of IVU
Brazilian Vegetarian Society president
A born vegetarian - Jashu Shah talking with Marly Winckler at his home in Mumbai - 2007
How many vegetarians there are in India?
Asian Congress - Jashu Shah talking with Marly Winckler at his home in Mumbai - 2007
See more pics:
- Marly Winckler talk at Vegetarian Society Reverence for Life
- 40 year of Jashu Shah firm
- WVC Goa 2006
- Congress Report of WVC in Goa by Marly Winckler
If you want to be spiritually higher you must be a vegetarian. In India It is said that what ever you eat it is reflected in your mind, so if you eat vegetarian you become purer and purer. Those who want to go to spiritualism have to ultimately go to vegetarianism because if you are not a vegetarian your thoughts are disturbing and you can not achieve the higher things you want to achieve. Even in yoga, it is sometimes said that it is not necessary to change your diet but ultimately it is the change of the diet which starts the ball rolling."— Jashu Shah
Non vegetarians should become vegetarian as soon as possible. They must understand that vegetarianism is ultimately for the benefit of the human race."— Jashu Shah