Sonu Nigam’s comment on Azaan and Late Khushwant Singh

But it’s wrong for him to say “this is forced religiousness”. This makes Sonu Nigam’s Tweet of an opportunist variety.

Late Khushwant Singh (journalist, writer) used to say : “I sometimes listen to Shabad path broadcast live form the Golden Temple, Amritsar. But some mornings, the singers go out of tune, I simply switch off the radio or TV”.

Sonu Nigam’s tweet about Azaan,

“God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the Azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India,”

And the ensuing controversy reminded me of Late Khushwant Singh.

Why?

Because anyone who’s related to music or who’s a connoisseur of fine art, sees it from its quality. He asks questions such as  — Is the piece of music or hymn or vocal recitation in tune, in rhythm. A layman may associate religious connotations to fine art, but a person who understands it, makes no such links.

Hence it’s perfectly alright for a singer or a connoisseur of music (someone with refined tastes and knowledge of a particular art form) to say he found something out of tune. But it’s wrong for him to say “this is forced religiousness”. This makes Sonu Nigam’s Tweet of an opportunist variety.

There’s another perspective to Sonu Nigam’s view. If he sees a 3 minute Azaan as a mark of forced religiousness, then what he has to say about thousands of Bhajans, most of which are a quick mishmash work on popular Bollywood songs. Many of these bhajans are out of tune and hence plain noise, still most people have to hear them for hours on end every single day.

To conclude, Sonu Nigam getting his head shaved now,will only negatively affect the soul of his art. Tell you, more than half a dozen of his songs are in my playing list too. I listen to them as I find them really exceptional. Really soothing to the senses. I may not be an expert in fine art of music or singing, but Sonu Nigam is. If I can tolerate very bad mobile rings of my family, friends and colleagues 10 times a day, then why can’t I tolerate 5 utmost three minute duration azaans from a distant minaret!

My tolerance doesn’t come from anywhere, it comes from looking at my own Hindu religion, which uses loudspeakers many more hours everyday.

Sonu Nigam must put a full stop to this controversy, by simply saying — ‘I being a worshiper of a fine art, must NOT have drawn a religious line. Sorry! I got carried away!’

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