IFTAR AT STATE EXPENSE MUST GO
By Brigadier(Retd) Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kept fast from morning till evening during Ramadan, Ramzan in this part of the world, and broke his fast at the end of the day by eating dates in the beginning. The breaking of the fast or breakfast was and is called Iftar. It is indeed a joyous occasion for individuals who fasted successfully and had breakfast in the evening. Customarily we call our morning intake of a wholesome meal, breakfast, after remaining without food at night because of sleep. However, breakfast or Iftar has religious and historical connotation.
Iftar or breakfast after roza is for the adherents of Islam. Friends of other faiths may join in after the Islamic religious rituals have been performed, just to be a party to the happy breakfast after a successful roza. I wonder if in Arabia or in other countries of the Middle-East persons belonging to other faiths threw a lavish party for Iftar even if they had not observed roza. Iftar without observing roza does not make much sense.
Frankly speaking Iftar is observed by an individual or his family who had fasted as a religious obligation and the family sits together to partake of a happy occasion meal. Iftar or breakfast of the evening happy hour where the family buys its own food as it can afford. The affluent people do give alms to those who cannot afford to buy food and observe the happy hour.
If the well heeled people of of faiths other than Islam hold Iftar and feed well the rich and the affluent Muslims who may or may not have observed roza, the exercise of throwing the said party may not be strictly speaking within the ambit of traditional Iftar as had been observed in Arabia or elsewhere where Muslims ran the show.
Bharat where the Hindus form about 85 percent of the population and neither observe roza nor breakfast or Iftar as a religious ritual, will holding a lavish dinner in the name of Iftar and spending money out of State Exchequer by a politician or a Minister or Head of State be justified? It is a simple question that asks for an answer from knowledgeable persons, legal luminaries and religious scholars of all religions. I beseech our readers who choose to answer to be Frank and Fearless.
Some spineless political parties who had no legs to stand upon took recourse to some gimmicks to woo voters from such sections of the society who mistakenly thought that they formed a vote-bank. It is again a mistaken notion that if a rumour is spread that the religion of a section of people is in danger of being wiped out, the said segment would en-mass cast their votes in favour of the political party that vouched to come to their rescue. Did the political parties come to their rescue in the past when they were being oppressed is another matter. The fact of the matter is that the section of population that entertains the whim of oppression is rarely rescued by the so-called saviours. Truth may be stranger than fiction – how true here. The general election to the Lok Sabha in 2014 proved beyond doubt that the voters are wide awake and Iftar gimmick won’t work. Those who believed in limelight were decimated and those who lived in sunlight won hands down.
Breakfast or Iftar being celebrated at State expense has to be said good bye. The national exchequer collects money in the form of taxes from all citizens. In Bharat most of the tax payers are Hindus. It means that the said money of the Hindu community is being spent on lavish dinner parties misnamed Iftar just to buy some votes of the misguided elements of the society. Let independent thinkers think hard and arrive at a conclusion on the issue. Is the whole exercise financed by public money ethically correct?
I pause for a reply from the saner elements in our society and not from those persons who hold high offices but do not think twice before grinding their axe. Holding a high office but doing something incorrect does not absolve the individual or a political outfit of the responsibility of committing an act or omission transgressing the Lakshman Rekha of ethical and correct behavior and later falling into the hellish abyss.
If the BUDDHIMAN PURUSH AND NARI think that spending money out of State Exchequer on lavish dinner parties misnamed Iftar is ethically wrong, let them stand up and be counted. Let us tell our politicians of all shades and hues to stop financing Iftar with public money. It will be a right step forward in the right direction. Public probity will be respected by one and all.
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