Behli became the principal of B.V.S. Parsi High School in 1946, it
was a year before the partition of the Indian subcontinent and the
impending influx of millions of Muslims. With the agreement, understanding,
and blessings from the first president of Pakistan and father of the
Nation - Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the school opened its doors to thousands
of Muslim immigrant students.
1947, when the nation of Pakistan was established, the country was
in search of a new Pakistani national anthem to replace 'God Save
the King'. A family friend of Behli, Mr. Chagla had just put together
and composed the anthem with inspirational words and an accompanying
melody. While visiting Behli's house, he hummed and tried out the
tune for Behli. At once, Behli played it on the piano, and hence
earned the distinction of being the first individual, a Zarathushti,
to play the tune of the newly created Muslim nation of Pakistan.
The family piano on which Behli played the Anthem (a gift by Behli's
late father Sohrab to his wife Tehmina) is indeed a valuable piece
vision of the ideal school environment was keeping a fine balance
between the required educational syllabus and his passion for extracurricular
activities. He strongly believed that academics without extracurricular
activities would not give students a competitive edge and therefore
made sure that all students, irrespective of individual impairment
and interest levels, were given opportunities and encouragement
to participate fully. In fact, Behli took the personal responsibility
to see that each and every student during their senior years got
his fair share of both.
strongly believed that exposing a student to the 'world' was as
important as learning textbook material, attaining high grades,
and passing exams. He therefore brought the 'world' to the classrooms
and assembly halls of B.V.S.. Local, national, and international
dignitaries, academicians, entrepreneurs, ambassadors, and high
governmental officials, were all guests and frequent visitors to
the school. Officials from the embassies of United States, United
Kingdom, and Iran were among the most frequent visitors. They understood
the value of a good well-rounded education and saw in Behli, the
strong and dedicated leadership to accomplish these results and
benefit the students. They provided the most up-to-date technologies
in improving the school's communication and vocational training
that not all students will pursue college careers, Behli made sure
that vocational curriculum was provided for those students who chose
to pursue it. B.V.S. Parsi High School thus became one of the first
high schools in Karachi, to offer matriculation with vocational
training and education. B.V.S. was also one of the first schools
in the city of Karachi, to be hooked-up with a internal public broadcasting
system (PBS) in each and every classroom, recreational facility,
and assembly hall. World famous institutions like the US-based Ford
Foundation, and the UK-based British Council provided monetary and
material support (books, equipment, fixtures, furniture, etc.) to
the school, once again, mainly due to their strong respect and high
opinion of Behli's educational commitment.
experienced teachers were sent to UK, not only to specialize in
their areas of expertise, but also to teach as guest teachers in
UK schools. In interschool debates, dramatics, elocution competitions,
sporting events, marching band, scouting, and ambulance brigade,
the boys from B.V.S. were always looked upon by rival schools as
formidable adversaries. Behli took pride and joy in these events
and made sure that the boys lived up to the high expectations set
by their predecessors - the old Virbaijeeites.
a school that was founded on Zarathushti values & principles,
religion played an important part in the daily running of the school.
Behli believed in daily morning prayers for all the students before
the commencement of the classes. Praying took place in separate
prayer halls for the Zarathushtis, Muslims, Hindus, and Christians
students - a unique multi-faith activity with equal respect and
tolerance for all faiths.
the 19 years he served as principal, Behli preferred to be addressed
as Headmaster or Sir rather than Mr. or Principal, a preference
resulting from an affinity for British tradition. Behli resigned
as principal of B.V.S. Parsi High School in 1965 to pursue other
educational and scholarship activities in Pakistan.
to the untiring efforts and the vision of Behli, the B.V.S. Parsi
High School was rated among the best in the metropolitan city of
Karachi. Behli took the B.V.S. to a higher level in his tenure.
The tradition of excellence continues today, and it is one of the
most sought after schools in the nation.