Noise pollution is no doubt a big problem for our environment just like many other forms of pollution, but since when did we become so serious about noise pollution, is a bigger question.
Major contributors to noise pollution are our transportation systems and industries. Apart from these major contributors to noise pollution, there are other smaller contributors like loudspeakers, firecrackers, machinery, on-going construction work etc.
The government has laid down certain guidelines for the use of loudspeakers and public address system through law which specify use of these systems with proper permission from the concerned authorities.
Sadly, people during most of the religious festivals in our country use such sound systems without proper authorisation and also without adhering to rules. These practices need to be checked by raising awareness among the masses to get prior approval before using such devices and that to at the defined level of sound, so that peace of other is not disturbed at any cost.
I don't know what was the motive behind such rants from Sonu Nigam regarding the early morning azaan as he mentioned very clearly that he is not a Muslim in his first tweet. Moreover, he didn't stop at just that, but also chose to bring up history in to it with his next tweet which mentioned that there were no such systems when Prophet Mohammad made Islam. His wordings were filled with disgust and rage which could be felt by any normal person as he summed it all up in his last tweet as 'Gundagardi'.
However, he was wrong on the following accounts:
· No doubt, he has the freedom of speech and he has the right to express his views but his freedom or anyone else's for that matter ceases to exist when it starts affecting the lives of others.
· Prophet Mohammad (s) did not make Islam. Instead, he was the last Prophet according to the teachings of Islam. If you don't know about something then you should keep silent rather than stoking fire of communalism in an already charged up environment.
· Yes, there were no such systems during the time of the Prophet Mohammad but that doesn't mean we should be prohibited from using new gadgets and technology with changing times. A few years back, there were no mobile phones or LCD TVs in India, so does that mean that we should abandon using all these new devices/gadgets simply because they did not exist earlier?
· It doesn't matter what our personal inclinations towards religion and spirituality are, but we need to give due respect to other religions.
· Sonu Nigam needs to understand that reciting azaan is not 'gundagardi' (hooliganism), instead it is part of namaz (prayer of Muslims) where callers call people towards the masjid so that prayers can be started.
Use of loudspeakers is as such not a necessity for any religious programme, so, why not abandon their use? A consensus is needed to be formed on this subject as there are several groups who will oppose any move of banning loudspeakers from religious places, as sound systems have become a part and parcel of our lives due to their excessive use during different festivals, political conferences, concerts etc.
I would like to end this article with one a question to Sonu Nigam, albeit I don't know whether he will ever answer it or not. But as a good citizen of this country, I also have the right to question him, just like he had raised a question.
So, I ask Sonu Nigam: 'Will you stop using sound systems in your concerts and music programmes as they also cause noise pollution?'
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