Hindu outfits led by Rashtriya Bajrang Dal have initiated a signature campaign in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, against mosques blaring loudspeakers during Azaan. The campaign, which kickstarted on February 22, 2021, aims to garner the support of 1 lakh people in Kanpur. For this, the organisation plans to gather signatures of 1 lakh people in Kanpur and submit the memorandum to the President of India for his perusal.
Speaking to OpIndia, Rashtriya Bajrang Dal General Secretary Ramji Tiwari said that the campaign was kickstarted on February 22 from the Bharat Mata Temple, situated near the Ghanta Ghar in Kanpur, where the members of the Hindu outfit spoke on the inconvenience this practice causes to the people residing in those areas where mosques use blaring loudspeakers for the call to prayer (Azaan).
Miffed by the fact that the mosques in Kanpur are not abiding by the Allahabad High Court order that ruled against the use of loudspeakers during Azaan, Ramji Tiwari said that the mosques in different areas of the city continue to arbitrarily use loudspeakers while reciting Azaan (call for Muslims to pray), five times every day, causing inconvenience to the public. So the Hindu organisation has taken up the initiative to raise awareness and put a stop to this practice. Tiwari furthered that the outfit aims to submit a memorandum to the President of India signed by 1 lakh people from Kanpur apprising him about the issue.
Meanwhile, a Kanpur based lawyer took to Twitter to apprise that she is initiating legal proceedings to remove loudspeakers from mosques.
अवैध लाउडस्पीकर हटवा कर रहूंगी,इसके लिए कानूनी प्रक्रिया शुरू हो गई है कौन कौन साथ है…? pic.twitter.com/KpMZTUVPjL— कल्पना श्रीवास्तव (@Lawyer_Kalpana) February 22, 2021
However, a Muslim cleric said that the campaign is unnecessary and is being done to divert people’s attention and benefit a particular party. He also said that the Constitution gives them the right to play Azaan at the mosque, and “no one can stop it”. It is notable here that no group is asking to stop Azans and the Bajrang Dal’s campaign is only against the usage of loudspeakers.
In May last year, the Allahabad High Court ruled that while reciting Azaan (call for Muslims to pray) by a Muezzin from a Masjid is integral to Islam, the use of sound-amplifying devices such as loudspeakers are not. The Court held that usage of such devices for ‘Islamic call to prayer’ is not protected under Article 25 (Right to Freedom of Religion) of the Indian Constitution.
The bench had said that there was no mention on use of loudspeakers for any prayer call in any religious books adding that the top priority of the HC was to ensure that law is in place to maintain the harmony of the society. The bench observed that there is no need for evangelism in society. However, it was necessary to maintain social cohesion and harmony.