Sonu Nigam surprised everyone when he went on a religious rant on Twitter over Azaan. Many on Twitter slammed the star for his ‘insensitive’ remarks and many asked him to apologise too. Instead, he held a press conference to clarify his stand, and shaved off his head too.
Mixed reactions from Bollywood
While many people across India did not agree with his views, Bollywood was divided. Singer Mika Singh has offered his views on the situation. Mika started off by tweeting that he respects Sonu as a singer and if he’s so troubled by the sounds of Azaan, he should consider changing his house and stay somewhere else.
Big bro I respect u lot as a singer .. I think you should change your house and stay somewhere else instead of changing loud speakers. https://t.co/k83R1zftc0
— King Mika Singh (@MikaSingh) April 19, 2017
Further, Mika also pointed out that Sonu and he have many a times sung at jagrans in the past and they may have also been loud. The tweet was deleted minutes later by the singer. Ending his series of tweets, Mika stated that gurudwaras, temples, mosques and churches aren’t only meant for loud speakers and they also represent charity and other honourable things.
Singer Sona Mahapatra took a neutral stand. She said, “Any religion or anybody seeking spiritual salvation doesn’t need a plea be it Muslims singing the azan or Hindus with their bhajans.” However, Baba Sehgal was not impressed by Sonu’s remarks, as he mentioned, “I think that’s [Sonu’s] perspective, but definitely, it’s not a very positive tweet.”
Kailash Kher added, “Sonu has highlighted an important aspect of our life. Inhoney yeh bahut gehri baat boli hain (He has spoken deep thoughts). We can’t impose religion on anyone. Humanity is the biggest religion.”
Interestingly, even as some celebrities are taking neutral side and some are criticising the singer for his remarks, comedian Sunil Grover came out in support of Sonu Nigam. Sunil Grover in his latest tweet said that Sonu will never hurt anyone’s religious sentiments.
I know @sonunigam sir he won’t hurt anyone’s religious sentiments ever. He respects all.Lets not misinterpret n give it a religious tinge.
— Sunil Grover (@WhoSunilGrover) April 18, 2017
Parineeti Chopra told ANI, “I really feel everyone in the world has their own opinion and wisdom on how they want to share it- may it be behind closed doors or in public. I don’t have any opinion. I am happy in my life.”
Adding to this, her ‘Meri Pyari Bindu’ co-star Ayushmann said, “I think that’s the beauty of our nation! We are in a democracy where you can express your views openly. People might tag you negative or positive, but that can’t stop you. But of course I think being in public eye, it depends on you how you want to use that tool.”
PC video goes viral
Meanwhile, with all this going, an old video of Priyanka Chopra praising Azaan is being widely shared on the internet. In the video, which is from Bhopal promotional event for Priyanka’s 2016 film ‘Jai Gangajal’, she was asked what is her favourite time of the day is to which she replies saying that when she packs up her shoot for the day, she likes to sit on her terrace where the Azaan from as many as six nearby mosque can be heart at sunset.
How the controversy started
Singer Sonu Nigam slammed the Muslim practice of calling for prayers, Azaan after he was woken up by the use of loudspeakers. He called this act as forced religiousness and gundagardi. He also questioned the use of loudspeakers in religious places like temples and gurudwaras.