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RSS Muslim arm to distribute cow milk at iftar in Lucknow's Chhota Imambara

Atul Chandra | Updated on: 24 May 2017, 23:24 IST

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an outfit backed by Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS), is planning to welcome the month of Ramzan by offering cow’s milk to the fasting devout to break their fast at Lucknow’s historic Chhota Imambara.

“We are expecting 200-300 people (at the gathering),” said Mahirdhwaj Singh the co-convener of the RMM. Singh also said the importance of cow’s milk will be explained to the participants who will also be persuaded to stay away from cow slaughter.

According to Singh, MRM was a social tanzeem (organisation) whose aim was to spread amity among communities. And that is why the tanzeem consists mainly of intellectuals though some maulanas are also a part of it.

When asked why he was holding the event at Chhota Imambara and not at Lucknow’s Aishbagh Eidgah, Singh said, “That place is an adda (meeting place) of Dr Zakir Naik’s sympathisers.”

The other reason for not using the Eidgah as venue was that “they support triple talaq while we oppose it”, said Singh. Compared to the Sunnis, the Shias have been more vocal in opposing the triple talaq, Singh added.

Singh went on to allege that Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangimahali’s elder brother is an associate of Dr Naik.

“We have never hosted Zakir Naik at the Eidgah and have no association with him,” Khalid Rashid, however, said.

About cow milk being offered to rozedars to break their fast, Khalid Rashid said that as per religion the fast should be broken with dates or water. “Wo mazhabee hai (that is religious),” he said. Cow milk can be taken at iftar out of “siyasi majboori” – political compulsion.

Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad said dates get priority when it comes to the food one should break the fast with, but otherwise there is no condition on what should be partaken at the time of iftar.

Rashid advised the MRM to distribute cow milk among the poor and hungry instead.

Gai kaa doodh gareebon, zarooratmandon ko do waqt pahuncha dein wo zyada achha hoga (it will be better if they can provide cow milk to the poor and the needy twice daily).”

The venue for the event must have been allotted by the district magistrate, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said.

Mahirdhwaj Singh said it was the district administration which had asked them to organise “paighame aman” (message of amity) first during Mayawati’s tenure. After that it has been an annual feature, he said explaining how he got the Chhota Imambara as a venue.

The final outline of the event will emerge after a MRM meeting scheduled for later this evening.

“Members have gone to meet the Governor and the meeting will start soon after their return,” Singh said.

First published: 24 May 2017, 16:34 IST