LUCKNOW: Apparently with an eye on 2019, Hindutva organisations, including the RSS affiliated outfit Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), are back to ‘Iftaar’ diplomacy.
Moreover, the saints of Ayodhya too organised a ‘Roza Iftaar’ party at a 500- year-old Saryu Kunj temple adjacent to the disputed site of Ramjanmabhoomi Babri Masjid in Ayodhya which witnessed participation of large number of rozedaars from the twin towns of Ayodhya-Faizabad on Monday.
While MRM contemplates to organise a series Iftaar parties in a number of states including Kashmir, Maharashtra and West Bengal besides UP, Ayodhya seers projected it as more of a 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 temple premises on white sheet arranged by temple management, traditional ‘khajurs’ (dates) and ‘laddoos’ were distributed among Rozedars by the sadhus of
different temples of Ayodhya descended on 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 all praise on their Hindu brethren claiming that despite being a
minority in the temple town they never felt threatened in the worst of time. “Of course not because of nay political party but the understanding between the two communities on ground in Ayodhya,” said a rozedaar who had come from Afaizabad.
On the other, MRM, affiliated to Sangh Parivar, would treat the rozedaars with ‘Khajoors’ and cow milk at its Iftaar parties. Even more, a pledge to plant a ‘tulsi’ (basil) sapling in their homes would also be taken. While the first party was held in Mumbai on Monday, the second will be organised in
Kolkata on Tuesday followed by a series of such gatherings in various districts of Kashmir from Wednesday onwards. In UP, Manch’s iftaar parties are scheduled on June 8 in Bareilly, June 9 in Lucknow, June 11 in Unnao and June 12 in Kanpur.
“Through such Iftaar parties the Sangh intends to dispel the myth that RSS was anti-minority. It is the biggest lie being spread by the political parties in the country,” said a senior Sangh functionary.
MRM was founded in 2002 at the initiative of then RSS chief K S Sudarshan to reach out to Muslims. However, the iftaar parties are being seen as a desperate effort of the BJP to keep the minorities in good humour as the party has been facing successive defeats in UP bypolls and opposition is sharpening its claws under one umbrella in the run to 2019.