[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]S[/dropcap]inger Sonu Nigam should be lauded for his courage to attack loud religiosity and “forced religiousness.” It is nice to know that some celebrities are speaking out against public nuisances like the use of loudspeakers by religious places.
For the uninterested, high decibels are pure torture.
In a series of tweets, he expressed his annoyance with Azaan, the Islamic call to prayer, amplified by loudspeakers. “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.” That’s right: non-Muslims should not be forced to hear azaan; non-Hindus should not be compelled to listen to the music during Bhagwati Jagrans; and so on.
In fact, even the people of the same religious community should not be subjected to the tyranny of the loudspeaker: anybody wishing to participate in a, say, devotional music event can go to the venue. This is quite commonsensical, but public life in our country often lacks commonsense. If you request the organizers of religious functions to decrease the volume of amplifiers, their response would reek of insolence. They would argue on the line: ‘What’s your problem if we take the holy message to the homes of people.’ A consumerist turn to religion: free home delivery!
It is beyond the comprehension of the pious that everybody may not be interested in the message; there may be folks from other faiths, or with no faith. For the uninterested, high decibels are pure torture.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he holier-than-thou exhibitionists are not only incapable of but also unwilling to comprehend the discomfort of others. For the pious don’t just want to thrust their own religiosity down the throats of other people; they also want to tell the world at large how devout they themselves are. This is quite like the vulgar display of wealth by the nouveau riche whose every possession, statement, and action screams of ostentation. The loudspeaker-armed priests and devotees also scream about their own pieties rather than enlighten the faithful about the creed.
Evidently, liberals are condemned to tilt at windmills.
But in India no good statement or viewpoint goes unscathed, so Nigam has been the target of reproach and ridicule—especially because he dared to speak against a Muslim practice. This is despite the fact that he also disapproved of the use of loudspeakers in temples and gurdwaras.
Then there was also super-secular sanctimony. Former actress Pooja Bhatt tweeted, “I wake each morning to the sound of church bells & the azaan in a quiet by-lane of Bandra. I light an aggarbatti & salute the spirit of India.” Amar Akbar Anthony on Twitter.
The singer also faced harsher comments. An article posted on The Huffington Post conjured up a Nazi-like design to torment and traumatize Muslims: “First they came for the beef, now they are coming for the azaan.”
As if Sonu Nigam were part of the advanced guard of the Hindutva brigade, a cog in the wheel of a vast, Rightwing conspiracy. Evidently, liberals are condemned to tilt at windmills.