oppn parties Iftar parties: Time to End the Sham

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Iftar parties: Time to End the Sham

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The President held an Iftar party on the premises of the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 and immediately invited censure. Questions were asked whether the state should sponsor an event that is largely religious in nature. Further questions were asked about the purpose of the party, as most present were not keeping Ramzan fast and did not need to break it (how many Muslims can you spot in the picture above?) It turned into a political show, something which the President of India should keep away from.

The Telegraph has, in a hard hitting editorial, laid down all the reasons for which Pranab Mukherjee’s Iftar party was wrong (read the editorial). One needs to add that while involvement of dignitaries holding important state positions in religious events should normally be looked down upon in a secular country, it is increasingly becoming a fashion and a kind of political statement to hold Iftar parties. One would have understood that the person giving the party was showing solidarity with the fasting Muslim community if he or she had fasted for that one day and broke the fast with them. But Iftar parties have become a tool for politicians to try and win the goodwill â€" and votes â€" of the community.

The Muslim community and its leaders should come up with a fatwa. Anyone wishing to hold an Iftar event should keep a fast that day and break the fast with all invitees. No Muslim should attend an Iftar event where the host is not fasting. The fatwa should also mention that any Muslim leader attending an Iftar party where the host did not fast for the day would be censured. That would immediately bring down the number of such parties.

The Muslim community should see through this gimmick of people not having to do anything with Ramzan or not keeping fasts inviting them to break their rozas. Umpteen years of Iftar hospitality community leaders have enjoyed has not brought succor to disadvantaged Muslims. It has only resulted in newer alignments between political forces and perhaps newer ways to fool the community. It is time now to end the sham.