'Hey Sonu Nigam, shift to Ayodhya. I know a place there where there is no mosque'
Sonu Nigam, popular singer of India as well as South Asia, is now facing trouble after posting a series of tweets that questioned the need for mosques in India to use a loudspeaker while calling out for daily prayers to devotees, on Monday. The singer posted, “God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India?”
Nigam’s views went viral, and reactions poured in from all over India.
Pakistan-born Canadian writer, Tarek Fatah sided with the singer. “You are spot on Sonu Nigam. Thank god there is at least one person in India who has the courage to stare down mullah bullying.”
However, not everyone felt the same way about this. Stand-up comedian, Atul Khatri asked the Bollywood singer to find a new place if he was facing so much trouble.
“Hey Sonu Nigam, shift to Ayodhya. I know a place there where there is no mosque,” he tweeted.
Maharashtra Congress leader Naseem Khan said Nigam’s comments were intended at communal polarisation.
Khan told IANS, “He (Nigam) is a lover of late night parties and then sleeps till late hours. The Bombay High Court has permitted the use of loudspeakers from 6am to 10pm. So, his statement is baseless and aimed at creating divisions among communities.”
Film editor Apurva Asrani expressed his opposition to all kinds of noise pollution. “(I) don’t want to hear the azaan at dawn, nor do I want to hear a ‘Chikni Chameli’ tuned Ganesh aarti at dusk. Ban all loud-speakers,” he tweeted.
Actress- film maker Pooja Bhatt feels the sound of Azaan is blissful and wrote on her Twitter handle, “I wake each morning to the sound of church bells and the Azaan in a quiet by-lane of Bandra. I light an aggarbatti and salute the spirit of India.”
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri lent support to Nigam: “I am willing to sponsor a campaign against illegal blaring of azaan and other prayers on loudspeakers. Suggest a creative hash tag.”
“I don’t disagree with Sonu Nigam if he’s speaking as an Indian about the use of loudspeakers across all religions. But I disagree with his choice of words. We have to be a little mature, and speak in a manner that will yield positive results and not make religion a factor,” said Islamic scholar Zeenat Shaukat Ali.
Despite several attempts, Nigam remained unavailable for comment after this situation. Earlier in Indian Idol, Sonu praised two contestants for their respect towards religious views.