Sonu Nigam shaved his head on Wednesday in response to a call given by a Kolkata-based cleric, who announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anybody who tonsured the Bollywood singer and garland him with old shoes, after his complaint on Twitter about being woken up by azaans.
Earlier in the day, the singer reacted to the call by Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, the vice-president of West Bengal United Minority Council, in a series of tweets, saying “so this is not religious gundagardi” and that he will get his hair shaved.
Nigam said in a press conference he raised a social topic and not a religious one when he tweeted about being woken up by the sound of azaan, the Muslim call to prayers, and apologised “if someone thought otherwise”.
“I am a secular person. It was not about azaan, it was about the loud sound. Playing loud sound on a speaker is gundagardi for me,” Nigam told reporters.
“What is happening to the country? Anyone can lynch anyone or anyone can issue a fatwa. I’m not talking about any single religion,” he added.
The singer said he also wrote about temples and gurudwara which no one seemed to notice.
Nigam’s remarks about azaan triggered a storm on social media.
THE ‘AZAAN’ ROW
Following Indian singer Sonu Nigam’s tweets about Azaan and ‘forces religiousness’, he has come under severe criticism. The latest is a fatwa against the singer, reported Media Sources.
A senior member of Council for Minorities in India’s West Bengal, Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, has 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 Rs 10 lakh for that person.”
The cleric further mentioned that he would have come out in the same way even if Sonu had said something like this for any other religion. He was of the opinion that if everyone kept on being intolerant about other religions then India will have ‘a bunch of atheists’.
“It is a rally to send a message across to people like Nigam and RSS leaders who had recently put up a public meeting at the same place to insult our Prophet. The rally will be attended by people across all faiths,” Quaderi said.
The cleric further added that people are more disturbed by Sonu’s “cacophony from his music studio and during his concerts”
Meanwhile, countering the fatwa the singer announced that he will shave his head himself today at 2 pm Indian time.
Today at 2pm Aalim will come to my place, and shave my head. Keep your 10 lakhs ready Maulavi. https://t.co/5jyCmkt3pm
— Sonu Nigam (@sonunigam) April 19, 2017
He has even called a press conference today as security is being beefed up at his house.