Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam on Monday raked up a controversy when he described the use of loudspeakers to broadcast sermons and prayers by mosques, temples and gurudwaras as “gundagardi” (hooliganism). In a series of tweets, the singer said he didn’t believe that the 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]” Sonu’s tweets went viral withing minutes they were posted on Twitter. The industry, however, seems to be divided over the remarks by the singer as many people have supported Sonu, while some disagree with him.
Here we take a look at who said what on the controversy raked up by the popular singer:
Vivek Agnihotri, Filmaker
Filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri supported Nigam, tweeting, “I am willing to sponsor a campaign against illegal blaring of Azaan and other prayers on loudspeakers. Suggest a creative hashtag.”
Apurva Asrani, writer
“Aligarh” writer Apurva Asrani posted on Twitter, “Don’t want to hear the Azaan at dawn, nor do I want to hear a Chikni Chameli tuned Ganesh Aarti at dusk. Ban ALL loudspeakering of religion [sic].”
Babul Supriyo, singer and politician
— NewsX (@NewsX) April 17, 2017
“It would be inappropriate for me to speak anything about Azaan in particular, in terms of loudspeakers being played, there are very clear guidelines by Honorable Supreme Court, everyone must follow the guidelines,” Babul Supriyo, BJP MP, said in a conversation with news channel News X.
Raza Murad, actor
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) April 17, 2017
“Sonu Nigam is undoubtedly a great singer, but the kind of words he has used, like ‘Goondagardi’, were totally uncalled for, you have the right to protest, but the kind of language he has used is particularly very depressing,” actor Raza Murad said in a conversation with news agency ANI.