Intruding into personal space?

Nasreen Sattar
NSoJ Bureau
Yesterday Twitterati woke up to Sonu Nigam’s tweet on constantly being woken up to the Azaan from a loudspeaker at a mosque near his house in Mumbai .
He condemned the act of making the azaan (call to prayer) by the muezzin through the loudspeaker saying that it leads to
forced religiousness that amounted to what he called gundagardhi.
Many who trolled him online wondered why he had to pick up only on loudspeakers from mosques when there are many other events and festivals which result in sound and environmental pollution on a much larger scale. That too with India being a land of many religions and castes, the frequency is imaginable.
On the other front people also attributed to the fact that he himself is a singer whose songs which are blared on different occasions itself is a cause of severe noise pollution.
Some of these events are connected with festivals of only certain communities and castes and can be very disturbing for
many others.
Amidst this Bollywood actor Sonu Sood also got trolled as there was a case of mistaken identity on social media. Names
can be misleading too. But considering the anonymity offered to trolls reasoning or level-headed thinking is far removed
during these occasions.
I think it is one thing to condemn or go against a certain practice or tradition but to bring in the entire religion
into this and also religious leaders and saints is very distasteful. As responsible citizens, we should also believe in
the spirit of the cultural diversity in India and as Bollywood actress Pooja Bhatt says even salute it. As the world’s
biggest experiment on keeping such diversity together, India should be a living example of unity in diversity.
However Sonu Nigam is standing by his tweet and says that loudspeakers should be banned in all places of worship. He
could have perhaps mentioned the same in the beginning itself. Instead of making senseless remarks and vitiating the
atmosphere, Sonu Nigam considering his stature should also serve as a good example of a positive influence.
Needless to say that many religious places continue to use bugle horn speakers instead of box speakers despite court
orders. We should also look at how the elderly and the sick are burdened by these blaring speakers for no fault of
theirs. One can only hope that better sense prevails among people especially the twitteratti.

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