Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray has urged Hindus to play the Hanuman Chalisa on loudspeakers near mosques on Wednesday if they continue to give calls for prayer through sound amplifiers.
He made the appeal on Twitter hours after he was booked by the Maharashtra Police for delivering a provocative speech and instigating his supporters in Aurangabad on May 1.
Thackeray also said that civil society groups and citizens should start a signature campaign against loudspeakers at mosques and submit representations to police stations. He also urged Hindus to complain to the police on the helpline 100 if they hear mosques broadcasting the azaan (Muslim call to prayer) on loudspeakers.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the decision by all those masjids who have made an effort to stop using the loudspeakers, keeping in mind the misuse and disturbance caused by it,” the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief said. “I also appeal to my Hindu brothers not to cause any inconvenience to those masjids.”
Thackeray said that the matter at hand was not a religious one, but a social one, and that citizens of all religions are exposed to noise pollution. He said that senior citizens, patients, children and students are disturbed by the use of loudspeakers at religious places.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief added that religious communities can use loudspeakers on festival days, and not on all days of the year. He referred to a Supreme Court judgement from July 2005 that banned loudspeakers from 10 pm to 6 am.
Thackeray noted that he had urged the state government to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 4, but said that it had taken a “very feeble” stand on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Thane district president Avinash Jadhav said that party workers will protest in the streets if the police takes any further action against Thackeray, PTI reported. “Every Hindu will also do the same and show the government its place,” he said.