[Ahmed Patel with Congress President Sonia Gandhi in a file photo.]
New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and Sonia Gandhi's top aide Ahmed Patel Tuesday supported the views expressed by Sonu Nigam and said loudspeakers were not necessary for Azaan - the Muslim call to prayers.
"Azaan is an essential ingredient for Namaz. In today's day of modern technology, loudspeakers aren't", Patel tweeted.
"Today people have Azaan on their phones even have Azaan clocks; loudspeaker is not that necessary now", he said.
Patel's comments came after singer Sonu Nigam's rants against Azaan posted on Twitter created a stir on Monday.
In a series of tweetes Nigam said Azaan calls on loudspeakers especially in the morning is akin to clear gundagardi and a kind of " forced religiousness" which should end.
Nigam's comments stirred a debate with actor Ajaza Khan terming them a "direct attack on Muslims".
"Muslims in “secular India” are the only ones being specifically targeted. Muslims have not done anything wrong and they are just tolerating. Even Sikhs block roads near gurudwaras. During Ganpati festival Mumbai gets shut down for 10 days,” Actor Ajaz Khan said.
Ajaza Khan also reminded Sonu Nigam the importance of waking up early in the morning, especially for those who are singers.
"“In all religions we have been taught the benefits of ‘early to bed and early to rise'. Arijit Singh is singing most of the songs for top actors in the industry as he wakes up early and does ‘riyaaz’", Ajaz Khan said.
Sonu Nigam is not the first to protest against Azan calls in loudspeakers. In fact, a petition calling the mosque authorities to reduce volume level is pending in the Bombay High Court, and the move has also received supports from the Muslims.