Sangeeta Srivastava, the Vice-Chancellor of Allahabad Central University, Prayagraj, has written a letter to the District Magistrate urging a ban on the use of loudspeakers for Azaan in the morning. Sangeeta said that her sleep is disrupted due to loud Azaan and it only adds to noise pollution. Sangeeta lives in the Civil Lines area of Prayagraj.
The letter said that every day at about 5:30 AM, her sleep is disrupted because of the Azaan on the mike by the Maulvi in the vicinity. The sleep once disturbed, she said, "does not resume even after trying very hard".
"This also results in a headache, throughout the day, causing losses in work hours," Sangeeta said, adding that she is not against Azaan. She suggested that "Azaan can be performed without a mike so that others are not disturbed".
"Even before Eid, Sangeeta said that Sehri is announced on the mike at 4 AM. This practice also creates a disturbance to other people. The constitution of India envisages a secular and peaceful coexistence of all communities, which needs to be practised in letter and spirit," she argued.
Notably, the controversy over the Azaan dates back to 2017 when singer Sonu Nigam shared a similar tweet. Nigam had tweeted that about his annoyance at being woken up by Azaan in the morning and termed the use of a loudspeaker for the Islamic call to prayer as 'forced religiousness' and 'gundagardi'
Earlier, the Allahabad High Court had allowed the recitation of Azaan by a single individual in Uttar Pradesh mosques without the use of any loudspeaker during the COVID-driven lockdown. The court had said that 'Azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam' but its recitation through loudspeakers cannot be said to be an integral part of the religion.