Political parties making best use of Iftar

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SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav with Akhilesh Yadav
Come Ramzan, it is time for Iftar parties. Taking advantage of the festival season, political parties across the lines are leaving no stone unturned to woo Muslim voters across the country. Earlier, it was a tradition to meet people of the community to understand them better but in the recent time, it has become a plank to appease the members of the community for political gains.

Not only this, the political parties are using the Iftar parties as a platform to display their popularity among the minority community. To prove their supremacy over each other, politicians host grand Iftar parties and the attendance at such functions later becomes a barometer for its popularity. A sizeable Muslim presence at the iftar means higher support among the community.

Recently, in an attempt to woo Muslim voters in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress leaders decided to host the party with the help of personal and voluntary contributions rather than drawing amount from the party fund. Senior party leaders said that they have cut short the arrangements of the annual Roza iftar at the UP Congress Committee head quarters just because of financial crunch party is facing after Lok Sabha poll. Undoubtedly, this is an attempt to portray itself as the only guardian of the community.

Iftar parties or political tamasha

Not only this, the politicians can be seen wearing different attires or following rituals commonly done by Muslims during the fasting period to garner their support. The race has become so mindless that they have started wearing Arab attires and skull caps just to get identified with Muslims. Is it necessary to don skull cap or arab attires to take part in such parties? Can't they attend such gatherings in their regular dresses?

Politicians wear Arab attires and skull caps just to get identified with Muslims

Recently, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister was seen wearing a sherwani and Ghutra on his head on July 21, 2014. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, known for her Muslim-appeasing policies, attended Iftar party organised by Kolkata Municipal Corporation recently. A number of politicians across the party line attend the Muslim gatherings donning skull caps.

Such parties are common when elections are round the corner and parties are eager to show their pro-Muslim face.

Muslim clerics slammed 'politically motivated' iftar parties

In recent times, clerics and scholars have criticized the political gatherings in the name of breaking the fast. Some years back an imam of a mosque, Maulana Ikramul Haq, had issued a diktat that attending such parties will be "un-Islamic". Delhi's Shahi Imam, too, once termed the iftar parties hosted by politicians as a political tamasha. He said such activities hurt the religious sentiments as during these events religious ritual often turned into a carnival.

To connect with the community in better ways, the politicians need not to concentrate on such superficial activities where they showcase their sympathy by donning skull cap or wearing arabic attire. The leaders should not look at Muslims as mere vote-bank. The trends in recently concluded Lok Sabha poll have clearly depicted that the community no more pay any heed to politics of appeasement but want policies towards their upliftment and progress.

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