Renowned lyricist, poet and writer Javed Akhtar has invited controversy for his recent statement on Twitter. He took to the micro blogging site and said that 'azaan' on a loudspeaker was haraam in India for almost fifty years and it causes discomfort to people.
"In India for almost 50 yrs Azaan on the loudspeaker was HARAAM Then it became HaLAAL n so halaal that there is no end to it but there should be an end to it Azaan is fine but loudspeaker does cause of discomfort for others I hope that at least this time they will do it themselves," he wrote.
According to reports, mosques will be allowed to announce the 'azaan', but no other gatherings for 'namaaz' or other ceremonies during the lockdown will be allowed.
Javed’s statement is similar to the one made by singer Sonu Nigam in 2017. Sonu posted a 2-minute video, presumably from his house, in which azaan can be heard, and called the forced religiousness in India as ‘gundagardi’.
He had tweeted: “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 added, “And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam. Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison? I don’t believe in any temple or Gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don’t follow the religion. Why then? Honest? True?. Gundagardi hai bus.”
The video was allegedly a response to all those who questioned if he could even hear the sounds of the Muslim call to prayer from his home, but after his controversial opinion he received some serious backlash on the micro blogging site.
Back then, Sonu had clarified his stance and said his tweets were ‘misconstrued’. While addressing a press conference, the singer also said he never thought that such a small thing would turn into a big controversy.
“I have always considered Mohd. Rafi as my father; my Guru is a Muslim; my trainers, close friends are also Muslims.. even then if people taint me as anti-Muslim, anti-Islamic, then it’s not my problem but an issue with nation’s ideology,” Sonu said.
“Everyone has a right to their opinion and it should not be misconstrued. So, be it a temple, church, gurudwara or masjid, loudspeakers are not a necessity there.”
“I’m neither right wing nor left wing; I am in the centre. I have expressed my views on a social topic, not a religious one,” he added.