Singer Sonu Nigam, who had attracted criticism for his remarks on mosques using loudspeakers for their morning call to prayers, on Wednesday shaved off his hair in reaction to a maulvi’s supposed call to have his head shaved for a Rs 10-lakh reward. Tweeting a DNA report titled “Rs 10 lakh to shave Sonu Nigam’s head: West Bengal maulvi issues fatwa”, Nigam said, “Today at 2 pm, an aalim will come to my place and shave my head. Keep your 10 lakh ready, maulavi. And the press is welcome to participate.”
Later in the day, a complaint was filed against Nigam before Panipat’s chief judicial magistrate, reported ANI. He has been accused of hurting religious sentiments and defamation, among other charges.
According to the report, the vice president of the West Bengal Minority United Council, one Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, had announced a Rs 10-lakh reward for anyone who can “shave his [Nigam’s] hair, put a garland of old torn shoes around his neck and tour him around the country”. Quaderi had called the singer “anti-national” and said that “people like Nigam should be driven out of the country”.
Before having his head shaved, Nigam dismissed remarks about him being “anti-Muslim”. He said it was “not his problem” that people believed he was anti-Muslim even though he considered veteran singer Mohammed Rafi his father and Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan his mentor.
On Monday, Nigam had complained on Twitter after being woken up by the azaan in the morning. “When will this forced religiousness end in India?” he had said, drawing near-immediate outrage. The next day, he had tried to clarify that he was merely criticising the use of loudspeakers, not the “azaan or aarti”.