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Shiv Sena leader's suggestion to hold 'Azaan' competition sparks row

Shiv Sena leader’s suggestion to hold ‘Azaan’ competition sparks row

Mumbai: A Shiv Sena chief’s feedback on Likening ‘Azaan’ (a name for Muslim prayer) with Hindu ritual of ‘aarti’ and holding an ‘Azaan’ recital competitors for Muslim youngsters have sparked a row, with the BJP on Monday accusing the Uddhav Thackeray-led celebration of adjusting its stand to stay in energy.

The Sena, NCP, and Congress are constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) authorities in Maharashtra. The Sena chief Pandurang Sakpal, who’s the vibhag pramukh (division head) of Mumbai South, made these remarks throughout an interview with an Urdu information portal.

Sakpal might be heard saying that he lives close to a Muslim cemetery in South Mumbai and finds the recital of ‘Azaan’ very good and he likes to hearken to it.

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“Competitions are held for recital of Bhagwadgita. I have asked my colleague Shakil Ahmed to hold a ‘Azaan’ competition for children. I feel it is like ‘aarti’. Late Balasaheb Thackeray (founder of Sena) was not against any religion. Even (chief minister and party president) Uddhav Thackeray takes all communities along,” Sakpal informed the portal.

When contacted, Sakpal stated his feedback have been misconstrued. “How can one see every comment through the lens of religion? 
Office-bearers of NGO ‘MY Foundation’ which works for Muslim children had visited me and discussed what can be done to keep children engaged at home during the lockdown. I suggested them to organise online ‘Azaan’ competitions so that children will remain indoors. It was just a suggestion. “One of the office-bearers of the NGO, Shakil Ahmed, is a Shiv Sainik andmy colleague,” he informed PTI.

Sena spokesman and state transport minister Anil Parab stated he wasn’t conscious of Sakpal’s feedback.

BJP MLC and Leader of Opposition within the state Legislative Council Pravin Darekar stated, “Sakpal’s comments speak volumes of the change in the party to remain in power”. 

BJP MLA Atul Bhatkalkar stated the Sena had at all times opposed holding ‘namaz’ on roads previously. “The Sena used to campaign saying voting for Congress was like voting for terror or for (Ajmal) Kasab,” he stated. 

MVA constituents NCP and Congress have welcomed Sakpal’s suggestion on ‘Azaan’ competitors. “Competitions for reciting Bhagwadgita had been held in Maharashtra in which Muslim girls had won prizes. What is wrong with an Azaan competition?” NCP minister Nawab Malik requested.

He stated actors like Dilip Kumar, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khanhave portrayed temple scenes of their motion pictures extraordinarily properly. Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant saidpeople full of hatred can not “understand the beauty of conversation between man and God”. 

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