Remove loudspeakers from mosques before Eid: Raj Thackeray

Relying on communal diatribe to remain politically relevant, the MNS chief issues a blatantly communal ultimatum to mosques to prevent "division and riots"

Raj ThackrayImage:

Only 10 days after a hate-filled speech in Dadar, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray reiterated with his demand for removal of loudspeakers from masjids, this time while addressing a gathering in Thane on April 12, 2022.

Speaking in Marathi, he lashed out against the use of loudspeakers by mosques all through the year. Thackeray asked, “It is Ramzan at present. We understand. We also have Ganpati and Navratri festivals. But why are you making us listen to this [prayers] 365 days a year?” Claiming that there was no use for loudspeakers, he demanded that the Maharashtra state government ensure their removal from mosques to prevent “tedh, dangal” (Translation: division, riots).

“May 3 is Eid. I appeal to the state government and the Home Ministry, that we don’t want to create any division, riots etc. We don’t want to spoil the health of Maharahtra,” said Thackeray, the chilling threat evident in his words. He continued, “But today is April 12 and from now untill May 3, I urge you to call all Maulvis and tell them to take down all loudspeakers from mosques. (If you do so) after May 3, you will not face any trouble from us.” The gathering cheered him on.

His demand is at odds with his own argument that loudspeakers should be used on important occasions. Nonetheless, he continues saying that namaz, azan and similar prayers read inside the houses because “religion should be inside homes”.

Further, he went on to warn the Muslim community that if they do not understand “words” then “Hindus” will take “action” and play Hanuman Chalisa outside mosques in Maharashtra. Later he went on to extend this call to all of India.

“We are not ruining the environment. This is a social issue not a religious one. Students, elderly and women alike complain about this. There can be no religion that bothers the other,” he argued.

To Thackeray’s credit there have been arguments against the use of loudspeakers for namaz and other prayers. However, the contention has been equally frivolous like ‘interrupted yoga or sleep’. The party Chief too took similar cheap shots during his speech at the quality of singing that in his opinion were just noise. Claiming that people from within the Muslim community have agreed with him, he argued that the party will not back down on this, no matter what the government says. During the event, he cited previous speech on January 23, 2020, August 1, 2018 and July 28 of the same year wherein he repeatedly voiced the removal of loudspeakers. He also cited the July 2005 Supreme Court order that argued against the use of loudspeakers if it proved to be a hindrance. Thackeray claimed that the state government ignored this order for the sake of votes.

It may be noted, that ex-MNS member Pune’s Katraj Corporator Vasant More clearly rejected this call by the party Chief outrightly stating that he could not betray the Muslim community that voted for him. Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP official Mohit Kamboj has taken the call as a personal notice and promised to provide loudspeakers to temples interested in playing the Hanuman Chalisa.



Since then, his feed is ridden with images of him sitting in the middle of many loudspeakers. As for the government, the Hindustan Times reported that authorities condemned Thackeray’s remarks and asked all political parties not to make divisive comments.


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