LAHORE - Holding of Iftar parties that was earlier an integral part of the lives of general public, is now affordable only for the elite class due to squeezing monetary resources, alienation from the rituals and rising influence of mechanical age. Over the last few years, Iftar parties have become a great arena of get-together. Doctors, politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, and people from almost all walks of life turn Iftar parties into an opportunity to interact with people belonging to cross sections of the society. In City Iftar parties season is in full swing. Participation of renowned socio-political personalities in Iftar parties has turned them into glamorous funfair. Since ministers and politicians exploit this occasion to discuss party issues, people belonging to different spheres of life specially bureaucrats and military officers use the Iftar parties to expand their social contacts. Talking to The Nation, PPP leader Ijazul Hassan said that arranging Iftar parties was the splendid idea for interacting with people. In political life, there is always a great need of having words with the workers and party leaders and iftar parties provide sufficient opportunity to mingle, talk and exchange views besides sharing experiences with one another, he added. Ijaz further said he considered Iftar party held at Governors house as an occasion to commemorate one successful year of Asif Zardari as president. I believe no opportunity for interaction should be lost, he added. It was apparent that people from decision-making class took Iftar parties for their socialisation purpose as well as to promote their public relationship more than fulfilling the idea of Iftar in religious context. Teenagers too, especially the ones living in Defence and Gulberg areas, throw their Birthday parties in month of Ramazan usually at famous restaurants of the city, where good number of friends and family members gather and have Iftari-cum-dinner occasion. Over here, this scribe must present a clear picture and draw a clear line between have and have-nots in our society. The story of down-and-outs has a complete contrast with the riches. Their life is entirely different than that of the politicians and bureaucrats and aristocrats. They are bound to pass through different sort of crisis. Owing to growing inflation, unavailability of flour, sugar and power outages, people have to undergo a lot of hardships to make both ends meet. As large number of them often face starvation, they hardly think of throwing Iftar parties. Deepening financial constraints and availability of time for families under corporate system are causing the fast extinction of the tradition of dishing out Iftar parties. Iftar parties have played a vital role in connecting the people though elite class could afford to hold Iftar parites these days, Ahmad Karim, resident of Anarkali, said. In shrinking economic resources, he said, a common man wanted to meet his basic needs including food, house, clothes, instead of holding Iftar parties. Let us get sugar first then we will think of Iftar parties, another young man from Shah Almi said. He pointed out that middle as well as poor class had been facing the series of crises. While others stand unaffected due to their financial status, he maintained. A producer in PTV said that film industry was once known for holding lavish Iftar parties. Film producers used to throw sumptuous Iftar parties in the honour of various famous film and TV stars during the launching ceremony of their new flicks usually set to be released at Eid, he said, adding now the scenario had totally changed. Iftar Parties in film industry or TV are merely a business meeting. I think life has become faster with people prioritising their life goals, film star Veena Malik said. She further said Iftar parties and such get-together were being followed generation by generation but now they were losing their importance with the passage of time. Interaction leads to expansion of friends circle but as trend of interaction is waning, people had limited their social boundaries, she added.