Udipi, June 26 (newsin.asia): Even as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke the tradition of hosting Iftar parties for Muslims in the month of Ramzan, the ancient Krishna temple in Udipi in South India held an Iftar party at the temple on Saturday.
And a Sikh Gurdwara in Peshawar, Pakistan, offered food to poor Muslims every evening after they broke fast in the month of Ramzan
In a first in the long history of Udupi’s famed Krishna temple/mutt, a gathering of Muslims broke their Ramzan fast and participated in ‘Souharda Upahara Koota’ (harmony breakfast meet) at the Annabrahma Dining Hall in the temple complex, The Hindu reports.
The event was mooted by Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Paryaya Pejawar Mutt, who is presently in his fifth Paryaya.
A gathering of Muslims broke their fast at 6.59 p.m. They were served banana, watermelon, apple, dates and cashewnut along with ‘kashaya’ made of black pepper, at the dinning hall.
Vishwesha Tirtha Swami himself served dates to those who had gathered to break their fast.
The seer greeted the Muslims on the eve of Id. Hindus and Muslims should both live together in harmony, he said.
“Muslims have shown lot of affection for me in Mangaluru, Kasaragod and Bhatkal. They have given their offering during the Paryaya festival,” he said.
“Karnataka, more specifically, the coastal region, should become a land of harmony. All are children of the same creator,” said the seer, who has been closely associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Thirty years ago, during his third Paryaya, he had organised a Hindu–Muslim Sammelan during the Id festival at Rajangana Hall here, the seer recalled.
Later, after breaking the fast, the Muslims offered prayers (namaz) on the second floor of the dinning hall building under the guidance of Maulana Innayatullah, Imam of Anjuman Masjid.
Earlier, Rahim Uchila, vice-president of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party Minority Morcha, said this was a momentous occasion.
M.A. Gafoor, chairman of the Karnataka Minorities Development Corporation, said the message of peace and harmony, which began here, should spread throughout the world.
Pakistani Sikhs Set Example
Earlier on June 10, in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, hosted Iftar for poor local Muslims who are not able to have a decent dinner during the holy month of Ramazan.
“Every day we arrange for iftar in Gulbahar town near Peshawar, where we serve tea, pakora, rice, dal and lassi to poor Muslims, who can’t afford dinner,” Radesh Singh Tony ,Executive member of Sikh NGO Rising Hope told Times of India.
Sikhs and Hindus living in Peshawar are often targeted by Islamist hardliners, who reportedly instigate Muslims to kidnap and forcibly convert their young girls to Islam.
“We are purely doing selfless service to mankind. Our gestures will send a good message to society,” said Radesh Singh.
He said that impressed with their altruistic act a Muslim organization, Taras Foundation, had also joined them.
“We are now planning to host iftar get-togethers in other towns, so we can do a bit more to give some comfort to our fellow poor Muslim brothers,” he said.
Radesh further said that the miniscule Sikh community of Peshawar is contributing for the iftar dinners.
“Around 300 Muslims, who work as laborers or have petty jobs, get together in the evening and then we serve them different food items,” he said, adding that they would be hosting iftar get-togethers on all 29 or 30 days of ‘rozas’ (fasting days) depending on the visual sighting of the crescent moon.
“It’s not that we serve only to poor but our volunteers also distribute food packets to anyone on the road,” he maintained.
(The featured picture at the top shows the head priest of the Udipi temple mutt serving dates to Muslims during Iftar)