Members of the Hindutva organization Sri Ram Sene on Monday played Hanuman Chalisa on temple loudspeakers in Karnataka to counter the alleged disturbance caused by azaan, or Muslim call for prayer, PTI reported.
Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik alleged that the state government had failed to act against loudspeakers in mosques.
“For the last one year we have continuously been warning about the issues caused by the loudspeakers, disturbance to society, students and patients,” he said, PTI reported. “We had also told Muslims, but nothing changed, no action was taken other than issuing notices. It was a drama.”
Muthalik on April 4 had asked the Karnataka government to remove loudspeakers from mosques, saying they lead to noise pollution. Sri Ram Sene had also threatened to protest if the government failed to act on Muthalik’s demand.
On April 5, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that he wants to implement Karnataka High Court orders banning the use of loudspeaker in mosques. The High Court had banned the use of loudspeakers in religious places last year.
In July 2005, the Supreme Court had ordered that at public places, noise levels of loudspeakers should not exceed ten decibels above the ambient sound levels for the area, or 75 decibels, whichever is lower. It had also banned the use of loudspeakers and music systems in public places between 10 pm and 6 am.
“The orders [for the ban] were issued in 2001 and 2002,” Bommai had said on April 5. “We have not issued any new order. The High Court order also clearly mentioned about the decibel level to be maintained.”
On Monday, Muthalik said that Sri Ram Sene’s campaign was against the state government and Muslims.
“Our fight has only begun today,” Muthalik said, reported PTI. “If still no action is taken, we will file a contempt petition in the High Court as it violates Supreme Court orders. This is not Taliban rule, Pakistan or Afghanistan. This is India, there is a Constitution and rule of law here.”
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra assured strict action against those who flout court orders on noise pollution, PTI reported.
“Everyone should abide by the court order,” he said. “The government will not hesitate to take strict action against those taking the law into their hands.”
On April 2, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray had also demanded that the use of loudspeakers at mosques should be stopped.
“If this is not stopped, there will be speakers outside mosques playing Hanuman Chalisa at higher volume,” he had said in Mumbai.