A few months after singer Sonu Nigam described early morning azaan or Islamic call to prayers as ‘gundagardi’, another Bollywood celebrity has re-ignited the debate by calling the use of loudspeakers as "lowlife and dumb." In a tweet put out on Sunday, singer-actress Suchitra Krishnamoorthi said she came home at "4.45 am to most aggressive/ear shattering call of azaan," saying that there is "nothing more lowlife and dumb than such extreme imposed religiosity."
came home at 4.45 am 2 most aggressive/ ear shattering call of azaan. Nothing more lowlife & dumb than such extreme imposed religiousity— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) July 23, 2017
Her tweet sparked a debate on social media with some taking the side of the actor and other slamming her for her views. When a twitter user reminded her that azaan helps people wake up at "Brahma Muhurt" (early morning), she replied, "I wake up at Brahmamuhurt of my own accord & do my prayers & riyaz & yoga. I dont need public loudspeakers to remind me of my God or my duty."
i wake up at Brahmamuhurt of my own accord & do my prayers & riyaz.& yoga. I dont need public loudspeakers to remind me of my God or my duty https://t.co/7rPSzG1EfB— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) July 23, 2017
In another tweet, she defended her remark and said, "Nobody objects to azaan or prayers during decent hours. But to be wakung up entire neighbourhood at 5 am is not civilized."
nobody objects to azaan or prayers during decent hours. But to be wakung up entire neighbourhood at 5 am is not civilized https://t.co/PBT94NtuGN— Suchitra Krishnamoorthi (@suchitrak) July 23, 2017
Talking to India TV, Krishnamoorthi said, "I had written about azaan back in 2009, I had even brought the issue to the attention of the authorities but nothing happened. Law should be followed. If law of the land says that loudspeakers are not allowed between 11 pm to 8 am, how can one community put the religious law above the law of the land?"
Her remarks, however, did not go down well with many politicians who took the opportunity to slam the actress. Reacting to her statement, Maharashtra MLA and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi said, "I don't even know who this woman is. If she had been a freedom fighter, I would've thought something of her words. If these people who sing and dance, who attend parties till 2 am, who stand with strange men waring half clothes, which is against Indian culture, comment something on azaan, there voice should be stopped. These people do such things for cheap publicity. Faith is the biggest issue in our country. Worshipping of cows or use of loudspeakers for azaan should be respected in our country.
Another SP leader Juhi Singh also criticised the actress for her remark.
“Such irresponsible comments have been made in the past also. I am unable to understand what kind of people they are. I would like to know how does azaan, which otherwise purifies you on hearing, bother her. May be her sleep is more important,” Singh told ANI.
Earlier in April, singer Sonu Nigam was involved in a similar controversy when he 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." “Gundagardi hai bus [it is hooliganism],” he had said, triggering a huge controversy.