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Sonu Nigam battles FIR, fatwas and trolls over 'azaan' tweet

The singer has been embroiled in quite a few battles because of his tweet against loudspeakers in religious places. 

Shriram Iyengar

Sonu Nigam has stirred up a hornet's nest, and the industry is walking on egg shells over it. The singer ruffled the troll brigade early on Tuesday morning yesterday (18 April) after he questioned the use of loudspeakers to announce the morning 'azaan' in mosques. 

To be fair to Nigam, he also raised the issue of temples and gurudwaras using similar tools to disturb the peace and quiet of common residents around. However, in the flood of tweets that followed, the issue was turned into something far more communal. 

The tweet also earned some flak from his own music community. Wajid Khan, of the composer duo, Sajid-Wajid, said that he was 'hurt' that Nigam had tweeted about not being a Muslim, and compared the loudspeaker use to gundagiri (rowdyism). 

Wajid compared the statement to the obvious, Salman Khan, asking to respect every religion. 

Defending himself, Nigam said that he simply mentioned it as an example of one of the many ways religious institutions impede peace. 

Wajid though, was not very convinced. 

Despite the singer's insistence that he was only raising a social issue, composer Wajid continued to maintain that 'irrespective of caste and creed, one must support, and love each other' to ensure progress. 

However, not everyone was against Nigam. Singer Sona Mohapatra stepped up in defense of her fellow singer tweeting:

Richa Chadha and Pooja Bhatt also stepped up to endorse the singer's opinion.  

Singer Shaan too, speaking with a daily tabloid revealed, "I support what he has tweeted, not because he’s a friend but because he’s right. The law of the land is equal (for) all. Be it azaan or Hanuman Chalisa chant or any other religious practice, one must see that noise pollution must be curtailed." 

Meanwhile, the Mumbai police has beefed up security outside Nigam's house after the singer received a number of threats for his tweets.

The West Bengal Minority United Council even went out to declare a 'fatwa' against the singer. Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, vice-president of the council said, "If anyone can shave his hair, put a garland of old torn shoes around his neck and tour him around the country I personally announce an award of Rs10 lakh for that person." 

However, the singer seems to have pulled a fast one as he announced that he is shaving his head by Hakim Alim. He even went ahead suggesting the maulvi should pay Alim the Rs10 lakh announced. 

In addition, an FIR has been filed against the singer in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. It looks like it will be a long week ahead for Nigam.