Singer Sonu Nigam may find the Azaan irritating while refusing to express his annoyance for the use of loudspeakers used by other religious groups in India.
But, amidst the debate over whether the Bollywood singer may have let his bigotry out in the open, two videos of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi halting in respect for the Azaan are now going viral.
This after Janta Ka Reporter first reported how Priyanka Chopra had once described the sound of Azaan as the most beautiful thing during a shoot in Madhya Pradesh.
The Quantico girl had said that she would wait for the sound of Azaan every evening after day’s shoot because she found it incredibly soothing and comforting.
The video of Salman Khan is from 2014, when during the launch of Bigg Boss 8, he and the organisers had chosen to go silent as soon as they heard the sound of Azaan from a nearby mosque.
They resumed their press conference only after the Azaan was over
This was not an act in isolation. Several politicians in the past have chosen to show respect to the Muslims’ call for prayer. That perhaps is the reason why India has always been known as a country of unity in diversity.
Among those who chose to halt their speeches during Azaan in the past weren’t only politicians, accused of indulging in appeasement politics. One of them was no less a person than the PM, Narendra Modi, arguably the most famous face of the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP.
Modi, while campaigning for his party in the Bengal assembly elections in 2016, was addressing an election rally in Kharagpur when he heard the sound of the Azaan. Modi surprised everyone by halting his speech and said that it was wrong to interrupt any religion’s call for prayer.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee and her Delhi counterpart, Arvind Kejriwal too have stopped their speeches in the past for the Azaan.