New Delhi: Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy has courted a fresh controversy by comparing noise created by firecrackers with azaan (the Muslim call to prayers).
“Every Diwali, fights start over noise pollution from crackers. Crackers that are burst only a few days in a year. But no fight about azaan over loudspeakers at 4.30 AM!" Roy tweeted.
The BJP leader said there is no mention of use of loudspeakers in the Quran or ‘Haadis’. “Actually this silence of the ‘secular’ crowd over noise pollution by azaan perplexes me. Loudspeakers are not prescribed in Quran or any Haadis,” he added.
Roy has been voicing his opposition to the Supreme Court ban on firecrackers. Earlier, Roy smelled a communal conspiracy that is one by one targeting all Hindu rituals.
“First Dahi Handi, now crackers. You never know, tomorrow the award wapsi brigade and those carrying out candle marches might file a litigation against the last rites ritual of Hindus, too," he had tweeted.
Speaking to CNN-News18, he said that he, as a Hindu, feels unhappy with the restrictions placed on bursting of crackers. But he defended his comments, saying that he has not “crossed his constitutional limits. I am entitled to my opinion”.
When asked if he was not concerned about the poor air quality in Delhi, he said he was aware of the situation, but argued that “Diwali happens only once a year.”
On October 9, the SC banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1 to prevent the formation of a toxic haze over the capital like last year. “We should see at least in one Diwali the impact of a cracker-free festivity,” the court said.
Many on social media, however, denounced the verdict on the grounds that it was a Diwali dampener and encroached upon their religion. Posts alleging the beginning of an “Islamic rule” trended on social media sites all day.
Every Diwali fights start over noise pollution from crackers. A few days in a year. But no fight about Azaan over loudspeakers at 4.30 AM!— Tathagata Roy (@tathagata2) October 17, 2017
Among those criticising the verdict was author Chetan Bhagat, who said the ban on firecrackers was akin to banning Christmas trees on Christmas and slaughter of goats on Bakri-Eid.
When a Twitter user pointed out to Bhagat that bursting of crackers leads to pollution, the author suggested that there were better ways to combat pollution. “It is one day of the year. Our biggest festival. Uber has saved pollution more than any ban would. Come up with innovations. Not bans," he tweeted.
Bhagat also went on to say that those wanting to reform festivals like Diwali, should "show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of blood and gore."