Tamil Nadu

Iftar parties strengthen unity among followers of different faiths

Muslims breaking the fast at Mashaik Mosque, Jagir Ammapalayam, Salem, on Monday.- PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN

Muslims breaking the fast at Mashaik Mosque, Jagir Ammapalayam, Salem, on Monday.- PHOTO: E. LAKSHMI NARAYANAN  

Iftar gatherings, and lately, parties, have traditionally played a significant role in fostering communal harmony and brotherhood among the people. Iftar is the evening meal after sunset that marks the conclusion of daily fasting during the holy month of Ramzan.

The tradition of organising Iftar parties was introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country. Initially Ambassadors from the Gulf and African-Arab countries were invited to these parties. Later, Indira Gandhi continued this tradition during her regime too. Apart from inviting Arab-country Ambassadors, she also called elite members of different political outfits. The practice continues. Of late, different political parties and State governments too have made Iftar parties a regular feature.

In Tamil Nadu, political parties and other organisations vie with each other in organising these parties with much fanfare.

The Chief Minister on behalf of the AIADMK organised an Iftar Party in Chennai a few days ago. The DMK Chief M. Karunanidhi and his son M. K. Stalin are regulars at Iftar parties, as also Vaiko. The Congress, DMDK, PMK too hold Iftar parties every year. Even the Tamil Nadu unit of the BJP held Iftar party in Chennai last year.

Iftar parties are considered a feast for all the senses. Iftar parties hosted by voluntary organisation, traders’ bodies, consumer associations, professional bodies, and residents’ welfare associations have lately become a regular feature.

The voluntary participation of leaders and representatives of all communities reflects secularism, camaraderie and brotherhood, says Moulvi Syed Ilyas Basha Latheefi, a religious scholar of Suramangalam, Salem city.

“Iftar parties are a God-given opportunity to strengthen the bonds between various communities. The voluntary participation of a large number of people from all walks of life irrespective of religious and political affiliations stand testimony to this,” says A. Jayaseelan, Secretary, Salem City Chamber of Commerce.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 2:36:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/iftar-parties-strengthen-unity-among-followers-of-different-faiths/article7397401.ece

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