Did you say Iftar party? Are you still confused that the holy word Iftar has been joined with that of an unholy entity called Party? Don’t be. The marriage between the two is a unique union of strange bedfellows. What emerges from this union is an unholy alliance for an unholy purpose: to woo Muslim masses on every count! The moment anybody utters the term Iftar party, the image that conjures up in mind is that of a political party which has come into existence just to exploit religious observation of the Muslims. There is no other Party in the world whose sole motto is so narrow and totally based on negativity. In Iftar Party’s manifesto everything else dominates over the true spirit of Iftar. But how can Iftar, a sacred act of the Believers, be connected with politics or vice-versa? Iftar is an Arabic word which is derived from the root word fatrann. It signifies breaking of the fast. What a political party has to do with the breaking of the fast? Political parties have their own system of interpretation. Let’s try to unlock their interpretative code!
Perhaps a politician’s limited brain with unlimited mischief thinks that the Iftar Party gives him an opportunity for future capitalization among the Muslim masses. It gives him the ultimate advantage of mixing with the Muslims where he can flex his political muscles without any opponent present in the ring! It provides him a pleasant platform to talk about the confluence of Ganga-Jamni tehzeeb (existence of pluralistic society) although his main aim is to garner Muslim votes. It is an attempt to showcase who is who of the politics. It is a race to boost public image of the politician where parameter of power is measured on the basis of cash flow. It is a public relation exercise where each and every object of presentation (read flashbulbs, chairs, tables, plates, delicacies etc.) is chosen carefully after close scrutiny. It acts as an ointment to pacify old wounds of the Muslims! Iftar Party is like a fisherman’s net whose sole function is entrapment!
An Iftar Party is a place where Jinnah comes alive: untouchable Jinnah caps suddenly become touchable. A politician’s favourite Nehru cap is replaced by the Jinnah cap!
Unfortunately some of the self-appointed messiahs of the Muslims who grace Iftar Party happen to be Muslim Ulemas. It is altogether a different matter that most of them are hired. Beware, we are living in an age of hire and fire!
Muslims, beware! Don’t be seduced by the aroma of the political food because it contains ingredients which can impair one’s independent way of thinking! Those who visit political Iftar Party tend to confine themselves to pigeon-holes!
As Ramadan readies to depart, there is a sudden surge in political Iftar parties. It would be worth recalling what Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani has recently written on political Iftars in the form of a beautiful poem:
Count all the known ‘BEARDS’ with utmost care,