A senior member of a minority council issued a fatwa against singer Sonu Nigam for his comments over azaan. “If anyone can shave his hair, put a garland of old torn shoes around his neck and tour him around the country I personally announce an award of Rs 10 lakh for that person,” said Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, vice president, West Bengal Minority United Council.
Terming Nigam as an anti-national, Quaderi said at a press conference today that no one had the right to hurt the sentiments of any other religion. “I would have reacted the same way if one had talked ill about the sound of bells coming from a temple as well. If we all become so intolerant about each other’s religions, we will soon have a bunch of atheists in our country. People like Nigam should be driven out of the country,” he added. He said that the council will organise a mass rally at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in central Kolkata.
“It is a rally to send a message across to people like Nigam and RSS leaders who had recently put up a public meeting at the same place to insult our prophet. The rally will be attended by people across all faiths,” Quaderi said.
Sabir Ali, general secretary of the council too came down heavily upon Nigam saying that it was a publicity stunt. “More than the namaz people are disturbed by the cacophony from his music studio and during his concerts. In every religion people are asked to wake up early in the morning. Just like Muslims wake up early to say namaz, Hindus too wake up early in the morning to do Surya Namaskar. God gives these people prosperity. It seems Nigam had lost his popularity and Arijit Singh from Bengal is getting all the singing contracts. Our appeal to Nigam is o get up early with the sound of azaan,” said Ali.
Minority leader Khaled Ebadullah cited the example of Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra and said, “Here is another actor who doesn’t need cheap publicity. She had said that every morning she wakes up with the sound of azaan and finds it so good that she keeps her apartment windows open in the morning to listen to it. Now whose testimony would you hold good?” Ebadullah asked.
The singer had, yesterday in a series of tweets between 5.25 am and 5.49 am said that he did not like to be woken by the sound of azaan, the call for prayers. ‘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’, one of the tweets read. He had also said that there was no electricity during the time of Prophet Muhammed. ‘Gundagardi hai bus…’ another of his tweet read.
After he met with severe criticism since then, he came back with a damage control today saying that all he wanted was to put a stop on loudspeakers. ‘Dear everyone. Your stand exposes your own IQ. I stand by my statement that loudspeakers should not be allowed in Mosques & Temples. Period’ his tweet at 12.46 pm today read.