After Sonu Nigam shaved off his hair in reply to a Bengal-based cleric announcing an award of Rs 10 lakh to anyone who can tonsure the singer’s head, the controversy over his azaan row is far from over. Despite Sonu reiterating that he was protesting use of loudspeakers at places of worship and not a religion, the cleric is refusing to bow out of the debate. He has also refused to pay the Rs 10 lakh reward to Sonu as he said all his demands have not been met.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, the Bengal-based cleric Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi said, “How can he say to ban loudspeakers? If he feels azaan on loudspeakers are disturbing then he should leave singing too. Loudspeaker pe hi gaa gaa kar famous hua hai.” Saying that Twitter is hardly the right platform to talk about this agenda, he said, “He want azaan to stop, prayers in temple to stop then he should go to the Supreme Court and ask them to announce a rule that nobody should use loud speakers. Then, of course, all the religions would follow the rule. But tweeting about it, who is he? Is he God? Indian Constitution allows us the freedom to practice our religion.”
About his refusal to pay Rs 10 lakh to Sonu despite him getting his head tonsured, Quaderi said the singer has not fulfilled two of the three conditions he had put. In an interview to DNA, the cleric had said he would pay the money to anyone who would shave off Sonu’s hair, make him wear a garland of old and torn shoes and parade him around India.
“He has to complete all the demands. I am ready to give all the money I had promised. I would want to clear that the statement was an opinion and not a fatwa.” When asked if this is just a way to gain publicity, Quadri said, “See, I don’t need publicity. Sonu does. And that’s why he chose to speak to religion and play with people’s religious sentiments. I am holding a press conference at 12 on Thursday and shall give all the clarification then.”