On Monday, Sonu Nigam raised a storm via Twitter by tweeting about being disturbed early in the morning by the azaan from the loudspeaker of a mosque near his house. While there was a renewed debate on the use of loudspeakers in religious places, the timing and intention of Sonu Nigam’s tweets was also widely questioned.
On Wednesday, the BBC put out a report telling its readers that there was no audible sounds of the azaan anywhere near Sonu Nigam’s residence. The journalist who filed the report claimed that she was outside the singer’s apartment in Mumbai’s Versova area in Andheri at 5 am, and she waited for half an hour but could not hear any call for prayer from any loudspeaker during that time. The report also carried interviews with trustees of 3 mosques near Nigam’s residence who allege that the singer’s tweets were merely a publicity stunt.
However, the important detail that the BBC missed out is that Sonu Nigam has a second flat in Andheri’s Millat Nagar area and that is where the singer tweeted from on Monday when he complained about the sound of the azaan having disturbed him.
To just put the matter on record, I visited Nigam’s flat in Millat Nagar early this morning and got the sound of the azaan on camera.
While we can debate endlessly about the “manner” in which Sonu Nigam raised the matter on Twitter, the issue of loudspeakers being used unchecked in religious places is something that definitely needs to be discussed and resolved without being distracted by fringe issues like whether the azaan does really disturb Nigam or not.