Singer Sonu Nigam on Wednesday said that for him all the religions are equal. “I have right to my opinion. This is a social topic and not religious. I reitrate that there is no need of loudspeakers at religious places,” he said during a media interaction. Underlining his motive behind the controversial remark, Nigam said, “my intention was not to insult the Prophet. He also took a dig at his detractors, saying “I spoke only against use of loudspeakers, did not target any particular religion.”
A few days ago, the singer stoked a controversy by describing as hooliganism the use of loudspeakers to broadcast sermons and calls to prayers by mosques, temples and gurudwaras. “Gundagardi hai bus (it is hooliganism),” he in a series of tweets.
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The 43-year-old singer said he didn’t believe that shrines should wake people up with the use of loudspeakers and demanded an end to “forced religiousness”.
“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,” Nigam tweeted.
In another tweet he wrote, “And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam (sic). Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison?”
Nigam said that 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?”
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.”
“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).
(With agency inputs)