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Mentioned temple, Gurudwara also, but azaan got highlighted: Sonu Nigam

Popular singer Sonu Nigam, who had earlier this year sparked a controversy by calling azaan on loudspeakers a “forced religiousness”, on Thursday said he had also mentioned temple and Gurudwara in his Twitter posts, but only the Azaan was highlighted.

“The issue of loudspeaker was in my office. But when I raised my voice against it, they fit one near my house also as a way to protest. It’s the right of every citizen to raise their voice against anything wrong and not tolerate it,” Sonu said at the Manthan Aaj Tak conclave here.

“In the azaan incident, religion was also added. In India, people don’t try to understand the meaning of words and try to look into it deeply. In the same post, I had mentioned temple, Gurudwara, but the only thing highlighted was azaan,” he added.

On April 16, Sonu, in a series of tweets, had lashed out at “forced religiousness” in India after being woken up by the azaan (Islamic call to prayer) from a nearby mosque.

He had 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.

“And by the way Mohammed did not have electricity when he made Islam. Why do I have to have this cacophony after Edison? I don’t believe in any temple or Gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don’t follow the religion. Why then? Honest? True?. Gundagardi hai bus.”

Sonu, 43, also said the reactions from Bollywood on his comment that time were divided.

“I am not a religious person, but I believe in God. I see God in everybody. I believe in all the religions. Even some of my close friends stood against me during that time. But not all of them were against me. Today, a lot of people praise the step that I took during that time,” he said.

Back then, Sonu had even shaved off his head in defiance of a ‘fatwa’ issued by Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi of the West Bengal Minority Council, who offered to pay Rs 10 lakh as a reward to have the singer go bald and garland him with old shoes.