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  Opinion   Edit  11 Jun 2018  Iftar parties and politics

Iftar parties and politics

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 11, 2018, 4:55 am IST
Updated : Jun 11, 2018, 4:55 am IST

US President Donald Trump, on the other hand, revived the White House’s iftar tradition last week.

President Ram Nath Kovind (Photo: PTI)
 President Ram Nath Kovind (Photo: PTI)

President Ram Nath Kovind has cancelled the annual Rashtrapati Bhavan iftar party, and said he would not host any event linked to any religion. Past Presidents have different views on this: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, for instance, did not host an iftar during his term, but that was to promote austerity, that was a defining quality of his tenure as First Citizen. An iftar, marking the breaking of fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramzan, at Rashtrapati Bhavan was to symbolise how Muslims are an integral part of India’s social fabric. The President’s decision can, however, be seen as fair as ending receptions celebrating any religious event, which could be seen as true secularism, separating religion from the State.

US President Donald Trump, on the other hand, revived the White House’s iftar tradition last week. But, in typical demolition mode, he has managed to displease far more than he pleased by ignoring a large section of American Muslims, making it a foreign policy-driven event, inviting only diplomats. But it’s unlikely this would help dilute his Islamaphobic image, which just goes to show that you can’t please everyone. However, such symbolic events, generally hosted by political parties these days, can’t be a bad thing if they genuinely promote communal harmony. Meanwhile, the Socialist Party (India) has taken objection to Telangana state spending funds marked for minority welfare on iftar and Christmas parties. Minority outreach is never going to be universally popular, but that doesn’t mean there should be no space for it in pluralistic India.

 

Tags: ram nath kovind, iftar, donald trump