In a show of religious brotherhood and bonhomie, several members of Hindu and Muslim communities came together to register their protest against the use of loudspeakers at religious places, news agency Asian News International (ANI) reported. The incident has been reported from Bareilly, where members of both communities registered a complaint against use of loudspeakers beyond permissible volume limits by mosques for announcement of morning ‘Sehri’. As per ANI, Children and senior citizens troubled by high volume loudspeakers at night have requested local administration to take action. Speaking to the news agency, Bareilly ADM Alok Kumar said that if loudspeakers are being used beyond permissible limit, then necessary action will be taken to stop the practice. In April this year, a major controversy broke out when Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam described the use of loudspeakers to broadcast sermons and prayers by mosques, temples and gurudwaras as “gundagardi” (hooliganism).
Sonu, in a series of tweets had said that he didn’t believe that religious places should wake people up by using loudspeakers and demanded an end to “forced religiousness”. Sonu said he didn’t believe “in any temple or gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don’t follow the religion. Why then..? Honest? True? [sic]” “Gundagardi hai bus (it is hooliganism),” Nigam 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,” the singer said in another tweet. Sonu further said, “And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam. Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison? [sic]” As the controversy snowballled, Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, a Muslim cleric, announced a Rs 10 lakh reward for anyone who shaves Sonu Nigam’s head. Sonu, not taking cleric’s comment lightly, himself got his head shaved and asked for Rs 10 Lakh amount.