As promised, singer Sonu Nigam has held a press conference to address the azaan controversy that has been raging since Monday.
“People have questioned why I mentioned Mohammad. My intention was not to insult the Prophet. On Twitter, you cannot always mention everything. It is also the fault of English. In Hindi, it isn’t insulting to say Shiva or Krishna,” he said at the conference.
A Kolkata-based cleric had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anybody who can tonsure Sonu Nigam and garland him with old shoes, days after the Bollywood singer tweeted his displeasure about being woken up by the sound of azaan, the Muslim call to prayers, from a neighbouring mosque.
“If anyone can shave his hair, put a garland of old torn shoes around his neck and tour him around the country, I shall personally reward that person with Rs 10 lakh,” Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi, the vice-president of West Bengal United Minority Council, said on Tuesday.
The singer reacted to Quaderi’s call in a series of tweets on Wednesday, saying “So this is not religious Gundagardi” and that he will get his hair shaved.
At the press conference, Sonu spoke about the controversy saying that the issue that he has taken up is not religious but social. “I’m not right-wing or left-wing. I was talking on a social topic, not a religious issue. I apologise if someone thought otherwise,” he said.
“I am a secular person. It was not about Azaan, it was about the loud sound. Playing loud sound on a speaker is Gundagardi for me,” he said when asked about his tweets.
When asked why he decided to take the bold step of shaving his hair, Sonu said that he is not doing to show his agitation but to show that the one who will shave him is also a Muslim.