An affiliate of the Rashtirya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will host an iftar on 2 July. The iftar is set to be a grand affair and international in its scope, with invites sent out to ambassadors from nearly 140 countries, both Islamic and non-Islamic. The iftar will be held at the Parliament House Annexe and the Pakistani ambassador , is among the invitees.
The iftar will be organised by the RSS patronised Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM). The MRM was formed in 2002 as a platform for Muslims at the initiative of then RSS Sarshangchalak, K.S. Sudarshan, with the aim of bringing "Hindus and Muslims together".
The MRM chief, Mohammad Afzal, said that members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet along with representatives of the RSS will also attend the iftar.
“We want to give the message to the world that this (Modi) government is a good government for Muslims. It reflects a new chapter of global harmony being written by the Prime Minister,” Afzal told Mail Today.
Indresh Kumar, Sangh pracharak (volunteer) for MRM, however cautioned that the move should not be seen as a "political ploy".
“The aim is to tell the world that Indian-ness and the Indian culture are an umbrella under which people from all nationalities and religions live with equal rights and dignity,” Kumar told Mail Today.
“India is a ray of hope and peace for the Muslim world. I hope this is the line of approach of all the speakers at the party,” he added, stressing that the iftar is being organised by Muslims and for the Muslim community.
The MRM has organised iftar in the past.
Last year, RSS-backed organisation had hosted an iftar for Muslims from across the country as well as for diplomats of Muslim countries stationed in Delhi. Ambassadors of some countries, including Egypt, and representatives of various Muslim countries had attended the event.
In 2014, MRM had organised iftars in Gujarat that had been attended by senior BJP and RSS leaders.