India bans use of loudspeakers for Azaan
The governments in the various Indian States are taking action against the loudspeakers systems installed at public and religious places, including those used in mosques for Azaan (The call for prayer). They were directed to conduct a survey and submit a detailed report to the government on January 10.
The Azaan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer) for which use of loudspeaker is common in India and elsewhere. The Azaan is raised five times a day.
Opposition to Muslims’ aazan dates back to months ago when Hindu outfit called Rashtriya Hindu Andolan organized a protest in Mangalore city in the southern Indian state of Karnataka demanding a ban on morning azaan. Protesters claimed that the Muslim call to prayer at dawn disturbs people of other faiths.
Restrictions facing Muslims religious freedoms were not limited to Fajr (Dawn) call to prayer. Right wing Hindu groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena have been campaigning in central India for the last few years to stop Muslims from offering prayers in the open on Fridays and on some special occasions, when all the
Muslims can’t be accommodated in mosques due to large number of participants. Muslims’ tense relations with the Hindu nationalist started after the bloody massacre of more than 2000 Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.
Many Muslims fear that PM Narendra Modi could end several schemes meant for minority community launched by the Congress government.