In time of hatred, Kolkata Residents Resolve at ‘Dosti Ki Iftari’

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

Kolkata: Amid communal tensions in many parts of India, the 2019 edition of the #DostiKiIftari was held at Shadman Palace Wedding Hall in Khidirpur on Sunday, 26 May 2019. Over 100 people from different walks of life, and belonging to different faiths came together for an inter-faith iftar cum discussions to give the message of peace and harmony.

The annual flagship event of the initiative ‘Know Your Neighbour’ (KYN) was jointly organized by Khidirpur Unit of Social and Welfare Activities, Right Track and Association SNAP.

Since 2016, every Ramzan, KYN organizes the unique Dosti Ki Iftari where local Muslim groups and individuals jointly host non-Muslim friends to break bread and have open discussions with the single purpose of narrowing the gap between different communities.

Know Your Neighbour (KYN) is an initiative aimed at promoting communal harmony in Bengal. This journey began in 2016 in association with SNAP (Social Network for Assistance to People) Bengal. Since then they have been dedicated to bridging the gap among various communities by facilitating a free exchange of knowledge.

In attendance this year was senior IPS officer Humayun Kabir, Special Secretary MA&ME Shakil Ahmed, IA&AS Suparna Deb, famous Bengali singer Moushumi Bhowmik, local lad and Bengal actor Rezwan Rabbani Sheikh, several city-based academicians, journalists, activists, academicians, teachers, bureaucrats, students, among others. Several heritage walk enthusiasts also attended this year’s event.

The sole message that all speakers emphasized upon was that in our diverse faiths, languages, cultures we all are one and as responsible citizens, we need to have better relations with our neighbours and fellow citizens.

Imam of a local mosque Maulana Mohammad Ashraf Qasmi stressed on the need of such interfaith dialogues for peaceful and harmonious coexistence in these troubled times. Dwaipayan Banerjee of People’s Film Collective narrated some recent examples from the city when Muslims had difficulties in finding houses in some localities and how interventions by civil society members have helped.

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