BOMBAY TIMES (April 19, 2017)

Sonu Nigam's recent rant on the use of loudspeakers for religious practices, which sparked a controversy on social media, has been receiving mixed reactions. The singer questioned the use of loudspeakers for prayers in mosques, temples and gurudwaras.

Yesterday, former minister Ahmed Patel commented on the issue, through his Twitter account. He said, “Azaan is an essential ingredient for Namaz. In today's day of modern technology , loudspeakers aren't.“ (sic) Sonu agreed with the politician and tweeted in response, “This is how sensible people interpret an issue. Respect Mr Ahmed Patel. It is not about Azaan or Aarti. It's about loudspeakers (sic).“

Sonu also responded to music composer Wajid Khan (of Sajid-Wajid duo), who was upset with his comments. Wajid put up a series of tweets, which read, “I'm hurt as my dearest brother @sonunigam tweeted such words about #Azaan n not being a Muslim #Gundagiri knowing U never expected ths not U. v know each other for more than 25 years n today the whole day I kept gettng calls about Ur tweets but I was speechless. I agree that everyone has thr own point of view but that can be said without hurting others sentiments. hope u'll understand whr comng frm (sic).“ To this, Sonu replied, “Dear @wajidkhan7. If for once u stop being a Muslim & simply be a citizen of India, u will see what everyone is truly talking about. Love (sic).“

Richa Chadha, in reply to Sonu's tweet, said, “People will misunderstand your tweet n give it a communal tinge, only those who know you will know you mean not to stoke a fire. Sonu, we all get a lil noisy here! I live 5 minutes from u, I'm sure u hear item songs blaring in the name of processions. Had to soundproof (sic)!“ Others who spoke out on the controversy included Pooja Bhatt, who posted, “I wake each morning to the sound of church bells & the Azaan in a quiet by-lane of Bandra. I light an aggarbatti & salute the spirit of India (sic).“

Meanwhile, Sonu stands by his views. He wrote, “Dear everyone. Your stand exposes your own IQ. I stand by my statement that loudspeakers should not be allowed in Mosques & Temples. Period (sic).“