legitimacy of Sonu Nigam's Concern
It was the Monday morning when Sonu Nigam, the prominent Bollywood singer tweeted his displeasure for the use of loudspeakers at religious places for prayers. And as per routine we Indians jumped in and divided the discussion on religious lines. Twitter exploded, with many came in support where as many others took offence and branded him as anti-Muslim. One of the Muslim clerics from Kolkata took this controversy to the height of stupidity and announced a reward of rupee 10 lakh for anyone who shaves the head of Sonu Nigam and garlands him with old shoes. It’s a matter of serious concern that Fatwas are becoming more common than corruption in India! Sonu Nigam, master in his field gave the most epic reply, shaved his head and asked cleric to give Rs 10 lakh to his Muslim barber. The response from cleric is still to come but hope he learned his lesson. But as the drama continued, the main issue lagged behind and hypocrisies surrounded the debate. The basic question was how logical is this to disturb someone’s morning sleep on the name of religion? Be it Azaan in mosque, Ardas in gurudwara or Aarti in temples. We Indians are little lazy about acknowledging the impact of pollution. We kept on polluting Ganga until it became impossible to recognize and then launched a multi crore scheme to clean her. We kept on polluting the air and then suddenly blamed government for its inactiveness when Delhi chocked. But we are still to acknowledge the psychological impact of noise pollution. We claim to be Indian first but deep down our heart most of us are more of Hindus or Muslims or anything else but Indian. Most of us still respect our Geeta or Koran, more than we respect our constitution. You don’t believe me? So let me tell you what constitution has to say about the use of loud speakers. The Division Bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A.A. Sayed of Bombay High court on 16th of August, 2016 said, ‘Religious places could use loudspeakers only with prior permission’. The court, hearing the petitions and PILs on the rising noise pollution in the city, in its order said that Rule 5 of Noise Pollution Rule is Constitutional and state has to abide by it. The Rule says loudspeakers or public address system shall not be used except on obtaining written permission from the concerned authority. The Rule also says that except indoors; auditoria, conference rooms, community halls and banquet halls, a loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used at night i.e. from 10pm to 6am! The court further said non-compliance with these rules would attract an imprisonment of 5 years and a fine up to Rs. 1 lakh. Now, we witness such rules violated on daily basis and we choose to ignore it. But one day, out of utter frustration somebody pointed it out and calls it ‘dadagiri’ and we lost our cool! Seriously! Where is Sonu Nigam wrong? For pointing out something illegal? C’mon India, you can do better! Please go through the facts before getting divided on the ground of religion and play in the hand of few.