With Eid coming up next week, many are set to celebrate with an Iftar party. But not President Ram Nath Kovind. At least not at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Kovind has decided that he will not observe any religious functions at the Rashtrapati Bhavan using taxpayers’ money, according to media reports. "After the President took over office, he decided there would be no religious celebrations or observances in a public building such as Rashtrapati Bhavan on taxpayer expense," said Ashok Malik, Press Secretary to the President to ANI.
As far as I know Rashtrapati Bhavan is lit up every day. For the President and his Secretariat, every day is a celebration and a festival of the democracy, diversity and sheer magic of India https://t.co/zsQDRLqGZS— Ashok Malik (@MalikAshok) June 6, 2018
After the President took office in July 2017, he directed Rashtrapati Bhavan being a public building there would be no religious observances at taxpayer expense. This is in keeping with the principles of a secular state and applies to all festivities, irrespective of religion 1/3— Ashok Malik (@MalikAshok) June 6, 2018
Of course the President wishes all fellow citizens on all major religious festivals. Officials and employees living in the President's Estate premises are absolutely free to celebrate any religious festival of their choice in the privacy of their homes 2/3— Ashok Malik (@MalikAshok) June 6, 2018
President's Estate has religious institutions, such as a temple, a gurudwara and a masjid, erected by and for residents. On major festive occasions, the President does visit these to wish people. For example, he recently visited the masjid to mark the holy month of Ramzan 3/3— Ashok Malik (@MalikAshok) June 6, 2018
According to Malik, the President did not celebrate any other religious ceremony such as Diwali, Christmas or Holi. However, Kovind wished all his fellow citizens on all major festivals since he took office in 2017. In a series of tweets, Malik explained that this move is in keeping with the principles of a secular state and applies to all festivities.
Iftar parties were usually hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan except while APJ Abdul Kalam was in office between 2002 and 2007, officials told media outlets. Iftar parties were resumed after Pratibha Patil took charge and even her successor, Pranab Mukherjee followed the tradition.Iftar is an evening meal with which Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.