Recently Allahabad High Court verdict allowed ‘AZAAN’ from mosques but said that the use of loudspeakers cannot be permitted. The court said that ‘Azaan’ is a part of Islam but using loudspeakers is not a part of the religion. High Court says no azaan on loudspeakers, only human voice allowed.
The Allahabad High Court concludes that, “Therefore, it is held that Azaan may be an essential and integral part of Islam but the recitation of Azaan 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 under Article 25 of the Constitution of India, which is even otherwise subject to public order, morality or health and to other provisions of part III of the Constitution of India.”
High court verdicts and Supreme Court of India tells that religion cannot be put public at discomfort while breaching rules. The Article 19 (1) A and Article 21 of the Constitution says noise pollution as a threat to life. Moreover, protection of the environment has been clearly mentioned in Article 51 A(G) as one of the fundamental duties of every individual.
Singer Anuradha Paudwal has expressed her opinion against the issue of amplifying Azaan on loudspeakers, saying that in many parts of the world, including Muslim nations Azaan being amplified on loudspeakers is banned. She questioned, “when Muslim countries are discouraging it, what is the need for such practices in India?”
Here in Manipur also, Azaan is being amplified everyday from mosques in different parts of the state. For Muslim communities, it might be normal affair, but what about the other communities living nearby? Why should other communities staying around Hapta, Khetrigao, Khabeisoi, Mayang Imphal, Sora etc. harassed?
The holy Quran says, “your religion and belief is for you and my religion and belief is for me”. Each stay happy with her own religion and belief. It never says to make others listen to the Azaan of your faith by using loudspeakers.
It cannot be said that a citizen should be coerced to hear anything which he does not like or which he does not require, especially in religious matters, since it amounts to taking away the fundamental right of other persons to practice what he or she believes.
It would be appropriate steps for the government to follow the Supreme Court verdict and ban using loudspeakers in Azaan before someone complaint of causing harm in the locality. Why would other communities listen to the Azaan? Afterall, why different laws for Manipur?
Manipur State Pollution Control Board (MSPCB) need to initiate action on use of amplifiers and loudspeakers in religious place like mosques in violation of laws on noise pollution and the directions issued by the Supreme Court.