RSS' grand iftar party hits a new block, activists say no functions inside venue

Earlier, several Muslim groups refused to attend it, calling the party a sham.

RSS' grand iftar party hits a new block, activists say no functions inside venue
People enjoy the Iftar meal during the holy month of Ramadan in Cairo, Egypt. Over 1,000 neighbors in Cairo's Matariya district gathered to have a Ramadan iftar together. (IANS photo/Xinhua/Ahmed Gomaa)

MUMBAI: There seems to be no end to troubles for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's much-anticipated Iftar party. Barely days after Muslim groups refused to attend it, activists are now seeking a cancellation of the same party. 

Mumbai-based activists – Advocate Adil Khatri and Shakeel Ahmed Shaikh – sought a cancellation of the party being organised at Malabar Hill's Sahyadri guest house. In a letter to Maharashtra Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavi, the duo stated that “no public or religious functions are allowed inside the venue. It is meant for official use only,” reported news agency ANI.  

“A July 2015 order issued by the State General Administration Department (GAD) to all government departments, including the Protocol Department, which is responsible for the (Sahyadri) guesthouse says departments are requested not to hold (public) hearings at the Sahyadri Guesthouse and follow the rules for holding meetings and workshops. The GAD has been informed that the conference halls are requisitioned by ministers for holding hearings with applicants with various issues," the letter read.

"The order also says only the CM, DCM, Ministers and Minister of State, Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Secretary and officials of equivalent rank would be authorised to hold meetings, workshops and press conferences," the activists highlighted in the letter. 

The grand Iftar party, organised by Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) – the Muslim wing of RSS, is scheduled to be held on Monday evening. Members of as many as 30 Islamic countries are expected to attend the party. Around 100 attendees for the event are slated to hail from non-Muslim community.

Earlier, various Muslim groups refused attend the Iftar party, terming it a sham. The groups further added that Muslims must avoid any such event by the right-wing group “unless it gives up (alleged) anti-Muslim policies”. Alleging that the RSS is organising the party to lure Muslim voters to vote for the BJP in the 2019 general elections. According to the groups that have called for the boycott, members of Muslim community have been troubled in the name of Love Jihad and cow slaughter.

Dismissing allegations, MRM national convenor Virag Pachpore said that the Iftar party is an attempt to quash misconceptions about the RSS among minorities. He said that the motive is to drive across the point that the RSS is not against any community.

“The truth is that the RSS wants to spread peace, prosperity and brotherhood among citizens from all communities,” said the national convenor of the MRM.