LUCKNOW: In a surprising move, Hindu priests organised a ‘Roza Iftar’ party at the 500-year-old Saryu Kunj temple adjacent to the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya which witnessed participation by a large number of Muslims from the twin towns of Ayodhya-Faizabad on Monday.
The Ayodhya priests projected the iftar as an effort towards spreading the message of peace and harmony between the two communities with no political involvement. “Ours is an apolitical event and the intention is to send out a message of peace to the world out there,” said Mahant Jugal Kishore Sharan Shastry, the chief priest of the Saryu Kunj temple.
After offering Iftaar and Maghrib prayers on the temple premises on a white sheet arranged by the temple management, traditional dates and sweets were distributed among Rozedaars by the priests of different temples of Ayodhya who had descended on the Saryu Kunj temple on the occasion.
While Mahant Raghusharan Das called it an effort to bridge the gap between the two communities, the members of Muslim community heaped praise on their Hindu brethren claiming that despite being a minority in the temple town they never felt threatened even in the worst of time. “Of course not because of any political party but the understanding between the two communities on the ground in Ayodhya,” said a Muslim man who had come from Faizabad.
In a related development, the RSS affiliated outfit Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) that held an iftar party in Mumbai on Monday will hold iftar parties in Uttar Pradesh from Friday onwards. The MRM’s first party in UP is scheduled for June 8 in Bareilly, June 9 in Lucknow, June 11 in Unnao and June 12 in Kanpur. It will also hold parties in Kolkata on Tuesday, followed by a series of such gatherings in various districts of Kashmir from Wednesday onwards.