I find it very amused when I see the people and the leaders of political parties, who perhaps neither observe Roza (month long fasting) nor have to offer prayers, hosting iftaar party and make it a party of fun and frolic. I think those who host such Iftaar parties are doing only disservice to Islam. When CM or for that matter any leader particularly non-Muslim hosts Iftaar party, see the participants, I wonder what relevance, is being attached to it other than political. Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Kejriwal or Rahul Gandhi or for that matter any body who are hosting such iftaar parties are only reducing the sanctity and importance of the Iftaar. It is a pure religious occasion for religious people who have to break the fast after day long fast. They are hosting these Iftaar parties for those, whose stomachs are already full, who don’t have appetite or are already well off and can afford to have it.
Real Iftaar party would have been, if these people could have hosted the Iftaar party for those who can not afford and had observed the (Roza) fast and that too at their own personal expenditure and not at cost of Govt. Politician’s have used this pious time and pious occasion, which is meant for offering prayers and communion with God, for political purposes, with least religious significance being attached to it. They are simply exploiting the poor. These politicians and leaders are entertaining their friends, relatives and sycophants at the cost of State exchequer, i.e., at the cost of poor. Who are the participants? Some selected gathering, which are very distant from the religion when it is said that it is official, I means that the poor people are paying for the rich and affluent. It is a get together of affluent people at the cost of common man. Why common man will bear the expenses of such parties when they can afford of their own?
I am not an Islamic scholar, but as a common man, I have a firm belief that the God in the His kingdom must be laughing on seeing these type of politically motivated Iftaar parties hosted by the politicians at the cost of state ex-chequer, where entry is restricted to those whose bellies are already full and mostly participants are not fasting (which in Kashmiri Parlance are called Duhil Khao ) and the real people who are genuinely fasting are not cared for. These are the social gatherings where politics and all things other than the religion for which it should have been meant are discussed. What I personally feel, though being a non-Muslim, a real Muslim who is observing the fast may like to spend this auspicious time in a Mosque in offering prayers rather than wasting his precious time in these feasts organised by these politicians with political motive at the cost of poor people.
It would have been appropriate for all the parties either not to host the so called official iftaar party or if it was to be hosted, it should have been for the poorest of poor and that too at their own personal expenses. All these leaders particularly from BJP side should have taken a cue from President and Prime Minister on not hosting lavish parties/ Dinners in the name of Iftar party at the expenses of State exchequer; i.e common masses.
(The writer is a Social Activist and Convenor, Panun Kashmir)
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