Anti-noise crusader for curbs on loudspeaker use in mosques

July 14th, 2008 - 5:19 pm ICT by IANS  


Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Anti-noise crusader Sumaira Abdulali has supported Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi’s call for restricting the use of loudspeakers during Muslim prayers, saying that curbing noise pollution went beyond religious lines. Sumaira, whose Awaaz Foundation actively campaigns against noise pollution, said Joshi’s call for restrictions on loudspeakers in mosques on the lines of the Ganpati festival was a “positive step” towards making Mumbai less noisy.

“The Supreme Court, in its landmark judgement in July and October 2005 had made it clear that religion is not a ground to violate noise rules. Despite this, police are implementing the noise rules selectively, thereby promoting communal disharmony,” Sumaira told IANS here Monday.

Calling for “uniform implementation” of the law, she said that the Awaaz Foundation recorded noise levels at Ganpati processions, Ramzan and Eid, Christmas, New Year and outside temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras.

Sumaira pointed out that organisers of the Ganesh festival have been “extremely” supportive and cooperated in implementing the loudspeaker restrictions imposed by the apex court.

She appealed to Joshi and Sena executive president Udhav Thackeray to also lend their support to protecting the marine environment by using only eco-friendly Ganesh idols during the forthcoming 10-day Ganpati festival that starts Sep 3.

Last week, Mumbai Mayor Shubha Raul, a Sena member, had also called for celebrating the festival using smaller eco-friendly Ganpati idols. This had raked up much controver4sy within the party.

Many idol manufacturers objected to Raul’s suggestions as they had already made their idols and dispatched consignments to retailers in far-flung areas.

On Sunday evening, during a meeting to plan out Ganpati celebrations, some Shiv Sena members had criticised noise pollution activists for only pointing fingers at the Hindu festival.

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