By Pervez Bari
Bhopal: Muslim call for prayers known as “Azaan”, which has been going on for ages in India together with all over the Islamic world, seems to disturb another mortal soul belonging to the saffron brigade with any eye on disturbing communal harmony of the country.
The mortal soul is none other but Pragya Thakur, BJP Member of Lok Sabha from Bhopal, who is often in news for wrong reasons by issuing a controversial statement. This time round she has said that early morning soon after 5 am noise from loudspeakers disturbs people’s sleep and “sadhus” sadhna. She is heard saying this in a video of an event.
Pragya was speaking at a temple in Berasia town in the Bhopal district on Tuesday night, Thakur said if Hindus use mikes and amplifiers, it troubles “vidharmis”, apparently meaning people from Islam other religions. She, however, didn’t use the word “Azaan” in her speech.
“Since 5 am, everyone’s sleep is disturbed. Patients get high blood pressure, face various problems, some patients spend sleepless nights and in the early morning hours, when they feel sleepy, then the sounds come and sleep is disrupted,” she said.
This ‘early morning noise’ clashes with meditation of Hindu sadhus, she said. “For sadhus and sanyasis, meditation starts at 4 am, or Bramha Mahurat. Our timing for the first Aarti is also Brahma Mahurat. But nobody is bothered about that,” she alleged.
Reacting to Pragaya Thakur’s statement Congress MLA from Bhopal (Central) constituency Arif Masood said, “I regret that she is the MP from Bhopal and represents people of this constituency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he belongs to the whole country and its 125 crore people. Pragya was chosen by the PM to contest from Bhopal, yet this is the opinion she has for another person’s religion. I am very pained. She is also a “sadhvi” and gives discourses to people about religion. She should not have such feelings about another religion. I think this is shameful.”
Narendra Saluja, spokesman of Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), in a rejoinder said that this is not the time for arguments on Azan and Puja. As MP of Bhopal, this is the time for her to go to Kamla Nehru Hospital, where fire broke out in paediatric ward two days back, and stand with the parents of those dead newborn babies. She should focus on Bhopal and extend her help to fire tragedy victims instead of diverting issues.
Bhupendra Gupta, MPCC media cell vice-president, said that Pragya’s statement “degrades the Indian culture of Sarv Dharm Sambhav”. “In Sanatan Dharm, the time for getting up from sleep and prayers happens during Brahma Mahurat. But the concept of Vasudevaya Kutumbakam has also given strength to it. Sanatan Dharm does not permit the use of religion for political ends,” Gupta said.
Meanwhile, Thakur is one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case. She had stirred many controversies in the past, including her comments on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse for which she later tendered an apology.
Before that, Thakur had also made controversial remarks about IPS officer Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. She had said that Karkare had died as she had “cursed” him for torturing her. She had even blamed the “black magic” of opposition parties for the death of senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.