Pramod Muthalik stirs the Hanuman Chalisa vs Azaan pot

Karnataka police on high alert after Hanuman Chalisa is played from temples using loudspeakers during early morning Azaan in the state

Pramod Muthalik stirs the Hanuman Chalisa vs Azaan potImage: Deccan Herald

Karnataka Police have issued a high alert across the state in wake of chanting of Hanuman Chalisa during the early morning Azaan on Monday. Over 300 notices have also been served to various religious and non-religious establishments to comply with noise pollution rules.

Earlier this morning, Deccan Herald reported that Hanuman Chalisa was recited for about an hour using loudspeakers from the Sonya Maruti Temple in Belgavi (previously known as Belgaum) at 5 A.M today, by members of Pramod Muthalik led Sree Ram Sene (SRS). The publication said, “The volume of the public address system at the temple was more than that of the mosques in the vicinity wherein the azaan was being heard.”

Hindustan Times reported, “Srirama Bhajane, Hanuman Chalisa, Mantrapatana and Mantra were heard in temples across the state including Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya, Belgaum, Dharwad and Kalaburagi.” SRS members raised slogans like “Jai Shri Ram”, “Jai Hanuman” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, before commencing with the traditional Suprabhatam (morning prayers, reported local publication Uadyavani.  

Muthalik’s group had previously declared their intention to chant Hanuman Chalisa using loudspeakers, if the devices were not removed from mosques starting today. SRS claims similar recitals of the Hanuman Chalisa took place at nearly 1,000 temples across the state today. Muthalik had challenged the Karnataka administration to “show guts” like Yogi Adityanath on the issue, and slammed the Bommai administration for failing to act against mosques that used loudspeakers for azaan.

Police took a few Hindutva activists who had planned to do the same at a Bengaluru temple earlier today. Security has been beefed up statewide fearing communal clashes. So far, 301 notices have been served in connection with the loudspeaker issue, though oddly enough 59 were served to pubs and bars! Readers would recall that the SRS had shot to fame with the Mangalore pub attack where members of the group had physically assaulted young women and couples who were enjoying drinks and dancing at a pub. It is not clear if this was done to placate the SRS in some way.

Meanwhile, News 18 reports that other recipients of the notices include 125 mosques, 83 temples, 22 churches and 12 industrial units as well, across the state.

Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant also reportedly held a meeting with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai in connection with these developments.  Home Minister Araga Jnanendra, meanwhile, told media persons, “We won’t hesitate to take stringent action against those who take law into their hands.”


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