Last year, singer Sonu Nigam created a storm online and then offline when he tweeted out in April to say that he doesn’t appreciate being woken up in the morning by the azaan. Going as far as to call it “gundagardi”. Now in 2018, lyricist Javed Akhtar has tweeted out his support (rather belatedly) to the singer and anyone who opposes loudspeakers in mosques or any any place of worship in residential areas. “This is to put on record that I totally agree with all those including Sonu Nigam who want that Loud speakers should not be used by the mosques and for that matter by any place of worship in residential areas,” he tweeted.
This is to put on record that I totally agree with all those including Sonu Nigam who want that Loud speakers should not be used by the mosques and for that matter by any place of worship in residential areas .
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 7, 2018
Last year, the azaan row went on for weeks and even resulted in Nigam shaving his head after a Muslim cleric announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anyone who will tonsure the singer. At the time, several Bollywood bigwigs added their voice to the controversy, but this new year, the conversation around the issue seems to have been reprised with Akhtar’s tweet. Though, in January, the Uttar Pradesh government had banned the unauthorised use of loudspeakers and public address systems at religious and public places across the state.
Here are some reactions in response to the poet’s tweet:
What's the need of loudspeaker for calling people to offer prayers? Those who are God fearing will go for prayer without loudspeaker, and those who doesn't care will not attend prayer even if you put 100 loudspeaker.
— Taslim Shaikh (@taslimshaikh) February 7, 2018
100% with you. Noice pollution is also pollution. There is nothing religious about it,
— rajeev k parashar (@parasharrks) February 7, 2018