‘Aman Iftaari:In tribute to secularism, meal in Gujarat temple

Ahmedabad: Come Sunday and bright minds across the spectrum will gather for an an Islamic Iftaar party at a temple in Gomtipur. Students from universities including the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Maharaja Sayajiro University, Vadodara, will dine together and discuss communal harmony, gender equality and other issues.

Organised by Scholar School, National Peace group, and Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (Mumbai), the ‘Aman Iftaari’ will be held at Mankiwala Sanyas Ashram.

Elaborating on the idea, trustee of Scholar School Ajaz Shaikh said, “There have been many incidents of communal clashes across the state. The idea behind this Iftaar is to bring together young minds across religions, have a meal together and for them to discuss their views on gender equality, culture, communal clashes, loss, gain, etc.”

Besides IIM(A), students from MSU and other universities will also attend the event, he added.

“When we explained the concept to the mahant of the temple, he readily agreed to it. We have plans to approach maulvis across the city to host Raksha Bandhan events on their premises. This year’s event is restricted to the youth, but next year, we may scale it up and allow professors too,” said Shaikh.

Mushtaq Ali Shaikh, treasurer, National Peace Group, working for communal harmony since 2008 said, “This is a step toward communal harmony. Through this programme, we aim to bring together people from various communities. This year, we have also invited the Chhara community members. Keeping everyone in mind, we will be offering a vegetarian meal with dried fruits and other items.”

Kushal Batunge, who belongs to the Chhara community, said, “I am very happy to be invited to this programme. This will give us an opportunity to socialise and meet new people from different culture.”

Who will participate:
Hindus, Christians, atheists, Valmikis, Buddhists, Muslims

The melting pot
*Vegetarian meal

*One plate will be shared by four people

*Discussion: Harmony, preventing communal clashes