Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, hosted an Iftaar here in Srinagar some time back. Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh; Governor, N. N Vohra; Minister of State in PMO, Dr. Jitendra Singh; Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta; Ministers; Judges of the High Court; several Legislators; Former Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, GoC in C, Northern Command, senior officers of Army, Police and civil administration, besides prominent citizens and members of civil society attended the Iftaar. Mehbooba Mufti also hosted an Iftar party at her residence in Jammu. A large number of people representing different walks of life attended the Iftar.
At the same time President Ram Nath Kovind did not host an Iftar party, in accordance with his decision to not observe any religious functions inside Rashtrapati Bhavan on taxpayer expense. He decided not to use Rashtrapati Bhavan for any religious observance. He further said that the decision is in keeping with the principles of a secular state and applies to all religious occasions, irrespective of religion. Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims break their fast at sunset during Ramzan month.
Politicians, over a period of time, have misused the Iftaar parties for their political ends, which is otherwise a pious occasion to break the fast after a complete day’s of fasting (Roza). I have seen from the childhood, how people, who observe the fast during the day, eagerly wait for the Iftaar, to break it with just a glass of water, tea or juice and a few palms and rush to Mosques for offering prayers. This is the month, when the man is closer to almighty and prayers have special significance. The timings of Iftaar is also special as the day meets night and the people, who are on fast are eager to offer the prayers rather to enjoy a sumptuous meals at the time of breaking. At Iftaar shows, politicians are more relevant than Muslims and an invitation to the breaking of the Ramzan fast is a valued trophy among politicians and bureaucrats. Many believe it was under Congress Regime in New Delhi in 1980`s who gave a political colour to Iftaar parties to woo Muslims. The Ramzan parties hosted by politicians have become a political and Anti-Islamic tamasha and it hurts religious sentiments.
How Iftaar party can be an official party? Yes, it is a social gathering at the cost of state exchequer. That is the only relevance in calling it official, as to bear the expenses in this regard by the Govt. It is not mandatory for CM to arrange for such parties during the holy month of Ramzan. Even the opposition as well as any party or individual can arrange for such functions and it is the choice of the invitee to attend such function or not.
The state BJP, an alliance partner of the ruling PDP in Jammu and Kashmir, last year slammed Mehbooba Mufti for hosting an ‘Iftar party’ two days after the killing of six police personnel by militants in the Valley last week. Congress leaders also stayed away from an Iftaar party hosted by Mehbooba Mufti last year. It is ridiculous to see the Chief Minister hosting Iftaar party when so much of blood is spilt in the valley and she is remains a silent spectator and enjoying sumptuous meals at Iftaar. I don’t know whether her conscious allows her or how she feels when taking delicious dishes at the party or is it in the spirit of Islam.
The strange thing is that BJP members have also joined the Iftaar. They should have taken a lesson from PM Modi and President Kovind who do not indulge in such extravaganza and ostentatious political shows which has more a political relevance than religious.
(To be continued)
I like to live on the edge: Radhika
Filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi passes away at 64
‘Village Rockstars’ is India’s official entry to Oscars 2019
Won’t do any film which will make Aaradhya feel awkward: Abhishek
Netflix renews ‘Sacred Games’ for season two
© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper