Thursday, December 8th, 2022 21:48:09

Secular Vs Communal Loudspeakers

By Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal
Updated: April 21, 2022 9:17 am

Muslims use Outdoor loudspeakers, usually mounted on tall minarets, are used for the call to prayer five times a day, sometimes beginning as early as 4 a.m. Some mosques have loudspeakers that can be heard up to 5 kilometres away. Loudspeaker sounds overlap in areas where more than one mosque is present, especially early in the morning when sounds are more clearly heard. Mice are used in mosques to deliver khutbah, Azaan, and Namaaz Takbira.

Muslims’ calls to prayer are restricted in countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, Austria, Norway, and Belgium.

Some cities, including Lagos, Nigeria, and some communities in the US state of Michigan, have independently banned or limited mosques’ use of loudspeakers.

In Israel, a proposal to prohibit religious institutions from using loudspeakers during rest hours was approved in November 2016. Because of the high volumes that modern mosque loudspeakers can produce, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs issued a directive in late May 2021 limiting mosque loudspeaker volumes to “one-third of maximum.”

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, has acknowledged that the excessive use of sound amplification by its many mosques is an environmental issue. The Indonesian Ministry of Religious Affairs issued a circular on Adhan, or the Islamic call to prayer, outlining when and how mosques should broadcast it.

In India, The Supreme Court banned the use of loudspeakers and music systems in public places between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. (except in cases of public emergencies) in July 2005, citing the serious effects of noise pollution on the health of those who live in such areas. Then the Supreme Court revised the order on October 28, 2005, that loudspeakers could be used until midnight on festive occasions for 15 days a year.

The Allahabad High Court ruled on May 15, 2020, that azaan could only be recited by a muezzin (an Islamic priest) from the minarets of mosques by human voice, without the use of any amplifying device or loudspeakers.

“We are of the opinion that azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam, but its recitation through loudspeakers or other sound amplifying devices cannot be said to be an integral part of the religion warranting protection of the fundamental right enshrined in Article 25, which is even otherwise subject to public order, morality, or health, as well as other provisions in Part III of the Constitution,” the bench ruled.

However, vote bank politics has fueled the mindset of Muslims to continue the practise by disobeying court orders issued by various courts throughout the country. When the entire world recognised the negative impact on the environment and health and banned or restricted its use. The Chinese government’s action against any such practises by Muslims is heinous, but no Islamic organisation, country, or humanitarian organisation has strongly raised this issue on a global scale. However, when the issue is raised in India by a few organisations in accordance with the court order, vote bank politics portrays this as an attack on Islam and casts Hindus in a negative light on a global scale.

Why is there such hypocrisy? Every religion is required to obey a court order, so why is this politics of hatred directed at those who raise this issue? Is it simply to garner votes for political mileage?

Even if we study this aspect spiritually, no religion permits any practises that cause disruption or harm to other religious people on a physical, mental, or social level. The goal of any spiritual or religious practise is to instil peace and spread joy; however, if it is causing nuisance or noise pollution, politics should be avoided in order to maintain social harmony.

According to Newton’s third law, “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction,” when a court order is not followed, rather more noise pollution is created, so a few Hindu leaders and organisations decided to recite Hanuman Chalisa over a loudspeaker. Loudspeakers have now become communal for vote bank politicians, and they may use them to incite riots in order to malign India’s image on international platforms. When the entire world is praising India for its assistance to troubled countries and for technological solutions, commodities, services, and professionals, these dirty tricks of creating social disharmony by portraying Hindus in a negative light are a major conspiracy against the idea of Bharat’s rise in a global scenario.

Sanatan Dharma adherents never disrespect the religious practises of other religions; however, speaking out against any practise that is contrary to the practitioner’s religion and the law of the land is not to be considered hatred. Sanatan Dharma or my Bharat desh will never follow in China’s footsteps.

Rather than succumbing to vote-bank politicians, it is time to respect India’s judiciary and the sentiments of the majority in accordance with physical, mental, and social harmony, as well as environmentally friendly initiatives.

 

By Pankaj Jagannath Jayswal

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