Sonu Nigam at his Mumbai residence.
- Sonu Nigam had tweeted against the use of loudspeakers in temples, mosque
- A senior cleric issued a fatwa against Sonu Nigam
- "Shaving hair is no challenge or negativity," said Sonu Nigam
Singer Sonu Nigam addressed the media this afternoon on the controversy over his tweets on the morning azaan
- he had all his hair but confirmed that he was expecting the barber later. "Shaving hair is no challenge or negativity, it's a symbolic move - asking, what are you making this country? What are these fatwas?" he said of a Muslim cleric's offering of a reward of Rs 10 lakhs for anyone who would shave the singer's head and garland him with old shoes. Mr Nigam tweeted this morning that he would have his head shaved himself, adding "keep the 10 lakhs ready." Speaking to the press, he said "You have to fight the fanatics, you can't just hide and comment from Twitter."
"I consider myself secular, neither am I right wing or left wing and there are very few people like me, I am actually the minority community," Mr Nigam said, after his tweets objecting to the use of loudspeakers in the early morning call to prayer kicked up a storm of protests. "It is a social topic, not a religious one," Sonu Nigam said, appealing to the media and everyone else not to misinterpret what he said. Of his use of the term "gundagardi"
in one his tweets, Mr Nigam said that religious processions in which people dance on roads and push others out of the way is also "gundagardi."
"We live in the same country, your children will grow up here," Sonu Nigam added, calling for greater tolerance. "I don't want to be misunderstood," he said, explaining why he was addressing the press.
Read the tweets Mr Nigam posted on Monday for which he has been widely slammed:
Sonu Nigam explained in subsequent posts that his objection was to the noise and the use of loudspeakers, not to the azaan itself. His tweets have been criticized as anti-Muslim and the singer has been actively responding to those opposing him on social media. Mr Nigam has also received support from several quarters, including actress Richa Chadha, who defended his ant-loudspeaker stance, if not the terms he couched it in.
Sonu Nigam is best known for his playback singing in films like Kal Ho Naa Ho
. His body of work includes songs like Zoobi Doobi
, Abhi Mujhme Kahin
and Main Agar Kahoon
. Mr Nigam has served as a judge on the reality show Indian Idol 9
and is now helping launch cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as a singer.