Controversy over Iftar Party arose last week when Maharashtra Manch convener Mohammad Faruq Sheikh requested RSS Nagpur Mahanagar Sanghchalak Rajesh Loya to host an Iftar party on the Smruti Mandir premises of the organisation. However, his request was declined by the RSS, saying, “no parties can be hosted there.”
The Indian Express reported that a senior RSS functionary said that “no such event can be hosted at Smruti Mandir. Currently, the third year training camp is also going on at Smruti Mandir”.
Sheikh has said that the idea behind hosting such a party was to spread the message of “brotherhood”.
“I thought RSS hosting Iftar would send a message of brotherhood at a time the world is talking about growing intolerance in India. What’s wrong in that?” he asked.
He added, “Last year, we had hosted an Iftar party in front of Mominpura’s Jama Masjid, in which some RSS, BJP leaders had come.”
Sheikh reportedly also suggested that they make the Iftar feast vegetarian to respect the wishes of the outfit, but his request fell on deaf ears.
Rashtriya Muslim Manch, an organisation affiliated to the RSS, came in the defence of the RSS after reported discontent among its Maharashtra unit over refusal by the RSS to host an Iftar party on its premises in Nagpur.
“Iftar is always hosted by the one who throws the party. Islam doesn’t ask someone else to host the party for Muslims. The request by the Maharashtra unit leader at Nagpur to the RSS is fundamentally flawed on this count and he has been told about it,” Manch national president Mohammad Afzal told The Indian Express.