SONU TRIG­GERS SO­CIAL ME­DIA WAR

The singer vents ire against the use of loud­speak­ers for azaan, bring­ing forth a flood of crit­i­cism, but also some voices in sup­port

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja and Shreya Mukher­jee ■monika.rawal@htlive.com

Sonu high­lighted an im­por­tant as­pect. In­honey yeh bahut gehri baat boli hain. We can’t im­pose re­li­gion on any­one Be it azaan or Hanu­man Chal­isa jap or any other re­li­gious prac­tice, one must see that noise pol­lu­tion must be cur­tailed SHAAN, SINGER Any re­li­gion or any­body seek­ing spir­i­tual sal­va­tion doesn’t need a plea — be it Mus­lims or Hin­dus KAILASH KHER, SINGER SONA MO­HA­P­A­TRA, SINGER

So­cial me­dia erupted on Mon­day, fol­low­ing singer Sonu Nigam’s tweets on azaan (call for prayer) on loud­speak­ers. While most re­ac­tions slammed Sonu, a few voices were in his favour.

Riled at be­ing wo­ken up by the sound of azaan — the first call comes be­fore day­break from the neigh­bour­hood mosque — Sonu posted fu­ri­ous tweets in strong lan­guage. In one post, he wrote: “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.” He con­tin­ued post­ing and drew flak for be­ing “in­sen­si­tive” and “deroga­tory”.

His next tweet said: “And by the way Mo­hammed did not have elec­tric­ity when he made Is­lam. Why do I have to have this ca­coph­ony after Edi­son?” He went so far as to call the use of loud­speak­ers for azaan “gunda­gardi”.

There were mixed re­ac­tions from Bol­ly­wood. Vet­eran ac­tor Anu­pam Kher ex­pressed his sur­prise. Film­maker Ma­hesh Bhatt told us in a text mes­sage: “This is an ‘en­gi­neered’ af­fair. I refuse to be part of this silly con­flict.” Bhatt said that this is­sue was “old as the hills”.

Singer Shaan backed Sonu, say­ing, “I sup­port what he has tweeted, not be­cause he’s a friend but be­cause he’s right. The law of the land is equal [for] all. Be it azaan or Hanu­man Chal­isa jap or any other re­li­gious prac­tice, one must see that noise pol­lu­tion must be cur­tailed.”

Fel­low mu­si­cian Baba Se­h­gal said, “I think that’s [Sonu’s] per­spec­tive, but def­i­nitely, it’s not a very pos­i­tive tweet.”

A “live and let live” pol­icy was favoured by singer Sona Mo­ha­p­a­tra, who said, “Any re­li­gion or any­body seek­ing spir­i­tual sal­va­tion doesn’t need a plea — be it Mus­lims singing the azaan or Hin­dus with their bha­jans.”

Sup­port­ing the tweets, singer Kailash Kher said, “Sonu has high­lighted an im­por­tant as­pect of our life. In­honey yeh bahut gehri baat boli hain. We can’t im­pose re­li­gion on any­one. Hu­man­ity is the big­gest re­li­gion.”

We live here, in a messy sit­u­a­tion. We do cel­e­brate our re­li­gion in a loud way and we can’t com­plain about that HARD KAUR, SINGER

PHOTO: PRODIP GUHA/HT

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