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Sonu Nigam's azaan row: Has the singer displayed too much aggression by tonsuring his head?
Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam's complaint on loudspeaker use for azaan is still being fiercely debated across all media platforms. Although, Sonu Nigam, also did mention about the same misuse of loudspeakers in temples and gurudwaras, but the people took his remarks as anti-Muslim. Some even dubbed him as a communal man who was trying to spread hatred among communities.

The self-proclaimed secular brigade took his comment very aggressively, as if the secular credentials of India were under grave danger. They indirectly pointed towards the BJP government at the Centre as well as a few state governments, especially of UP, concluding that because of such governments, communal hatred is percolating out from people like Sonu Nigam.

A maulvi even issued a fatwa by declaring a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh to anyone who would shave off Nigam's head and make him wear a garland of shoes. The antillectuals softly denounced the fatwa but held Sonu Nigam as guilty. Sonu Nigam himself tonsured his head as a mark of protest and asked the maulvi to keep Rs 10 lakh ready, which the maulvi bluntly refused on the pretext that the singer had not completely fulfilled all the conditions of the fatwa. The confrontation is still going on. Some think that Sonu Nigam displayed aggression by tonsuring his head. But, is it so? Before jumping to a conclusion, let us come to the moot point.

The use of loudspeakers for any purpose can be discomforting to common people. One might argue of having the constitutional right to practice religion, celebrate occasions etc, but we have no right to disturb others who have nothing to do with these things. Breaching one's privacy is violating the constitutional right to privacy of others. Thus, all should oppose the use of loudspeakers in any place.

Courts have issued directives to stop the use of loudspeakers plenty of times but various governments haven't implemented them purely due to minority vote bank politics. But, if the government is serious about the upkeep of fundamental rights of common people, then the use of loudspeakers as part of religious routines should be banned or at least partially restricted.

The core of the problem lies with the vote-hungry political parties, who can stop Dussehra processions to pave way for a Muharram procession, which is vital for their political existence. Such blatant duality in fact creates discomfort among the majority community. Discomfort brewing in any community is never good for a country like India which is home to diverse ethnicity and cultures.

Now, coming back to the Sonu Nigam azaan row. I think by tonsuring his head, Nigam has followed the Gandhian way of protest, which is a good thing. Everybody should emulate Sonu Nigam's way of protesting against antillectuals and fatwa-khor maulanas.

On social media, people in support of Sonu Nigam have posted many interesting and innovative ideas of using a loudspeaker. One such post suggests fixing a loudspeaker on the rooftop of your house and broadcasting 'Vande Mataram' at loud volume from 4 am to 10 am and 6 pm to 10 pm. And if anybody asks you to stop using the loudspeaker, you tell that person to shut the loudspeaker of temples, mosques or gurudwaras first. This appears to be an aggressive and confrontational mode of protest but I think it could be a very effective one. Sonu Nigam didn't do such a thing as he believed in a more peaceful Gandhian mode of protest.

Thus, whosoever thinks that Sonu Nigam protested aggressively should rethink. Before blaming Sonu Nigam, one should realise the real merit of his objection and as an Indian citizen he has every right to object to whatever breaches his privacy.

Finally, I wish these religious programs, routines, social functions, celebrations etc which employ the use of loudspeakers should immediately stop as public's patience is being tested. Or else, a time will come when people will start adopting a tit-for-tat approach.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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