- AIMIM leader Imtiaz Jaleel has said that his party is ready to follow the Supreme Court’s directive on loudspeakers
- The loudspeaker issue came to the fore with Raj Thackeray’s declaration of the deadline for shutting down Masjids
- After BJP government took away political momentum by implementing Court’s order, AIMIM decided to downplay the issue
Over the last few weeks, loudspeakers have become the second most hotly debated political device after bulldozers. Whether to use it or not on religious sites is soon going to decide electoral consequences. Maybe, this is the reason why Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM has begun downplaying the issue.
AIMIM is ready to follow Court’s orders
In an interview originally published in Indian Express, Imtiaz Jaleel, state president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen in Maharashtra, has claimed that by and large Muslims have no problem in removing loudspeakers from their Masjids. When asked about his party’s silence on the loudspeaker issue, Imtiaz Jaleel said that his party is ready to follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines on the issue. However, according to Jaleel, his party has a problem with a particular party enforcing the Supreme Court’s mandate. AIMIM member is interpreting states’ orders as a diktat by a political party who is ruling the particular geography.
The Lok Sabha MP from Aurangabad also tried to strike a balance between this vote bank’s interest and law and order mechanism. He said that Azan through loudspeakers is an invitation for Muslims to come and pray inside Masjids. Then, he went on to inform that a lot of Masjids are already following the Court orders and thus no longer using the loudspeakers. Imtiaz was quick to suggest law enforcing agencies to take strict actions against Masjids not following Court’s orders.
“The police and administration should visit mosques and themselves check the decibel level of loudspeakers. If they are found violating the norms, then action should be taking against them as per the law. Police should ensure that proper permission has been taken by mosques for the use of loudspeakers.” Imtiaz Jaleel was quoted by the newspaper.
NCP is creating a buffer against Shiv Sena
Imtiaz Jaleel alleged that Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is using Raj Thackeray to impose its hegemony on the MVA coalition. The AIMIM leader opined that by supporting Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), NCP is creating a buffer against its coalition partner Shiv Sena.
“The NCP is hand-in-glove with the MNS. NCP wants to cut the Shiv Sena down to size, it wants to become a bigger player. The NCP has a home minister… it could have allotted the MNS chief a separate venue for holding the rally. But NCP deliberately allotted the MNS a venue of their convenience.” said Imtiaz Jaleel.
BJP seized the day on loudspeaker issue
The loudspeaker issue started to catch heat when Raj Thackeray decided to break his political hibernation by raising the issue of sound pollution through Masjids. He called the noise pollution a social issue and challenged the MVA government to put out an order for shutting out all loudspeakers in state.
“Loudspeakers in mosques should be shut till May 3rd otherwise, we will play Hanuman Chalisa with speakers. This is a social issue, not a religious one. I want to tell the state government, we will not go back on this subject, do whatever you want to do” Raj had announced.
Thackeray had even resorted to singing praises of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for bringing down the loudspeakers from religious places. In Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath has been gaining applause for bringing down 11,000 loudspeakers from religious places. Along with this, his government has managed to bring the volume of around 35,000 loudspeakers below the permissible level.
Later, Raj did chicken out but the issue was now into the limelight. The issue had already gained political momentum and BJP had seized the day with its state governments taking a proactive stand on the lines of Supreme Court order. AIMIM is just trying to maintain its relevance in the issue.