Javed Akhtar supports Sonu Nigam on Azaan row, sparks debate

MUMBAI: After almost a year, Bollywood lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar has reignited the debate on azaan being played in a loudspeaker.

Backing singer Sonu Nigam, Javed Akhtar says ‘loudspeakers should not be used by the mosque’ or any place of worship.

Taking to his Twitter Javed Akhtar wrote, “This is to put on record that I totally agree with all those including Sonu Nigam who want that loudspeakers should not be used by the mosques and for that matter by any place of worship in residential areas”.

Several members of the social media began voicing their opinions in response to the poet’s tweet:

Akhtar, in response to many of the dissenting voices later tweeted, “Maen har galat baat Kay Khilaf awaaz uthata hoon. Mushkil yehi hai ke aap dusron ki galti to maan saktay hain Magar apni nahin (I have raised a voice against all wrong practices. The problem is that you can recognise others’ mistakes, but not your own.”

Last year, the 43-year-old singer’s controversial tweet on azaan created a storm online.

Calling it “forced religiousness”, Nigam on April 16, 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.”

“And by the way Mohammed (PBUH) did not have electricity when he made Islam. Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison? I don’t believe in any temple or Gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don’t follow the religion. Why then? Honest? True?. Gundagardi hai bus.”

The singer even got his head tonsured by a celebrity hairstylist at a press conference in Mumbai in response to a ‘fatwa’ by a Muslim cleric who took strong exception to the Bollywood playback singer’s tweets .