Sonu responds to fatwa by shaving off his head
Shave off his head, said a cleric, enraged by Sonu Nigam's tweet on loud sermons. So the Bollywood playback singer did just that at a press conference he had himself tonsured by a celebrity hairstylist.
He had called the press to talk about his tweets on Monday which led to an online furore and a fatwa being issued against him by the Kolkata-based cleric, Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi.
Before hairstylist Aalim Hakim got into the act, Nigam stressed that his tweets were against the use of loudspeakers in morning sermons and not aimed at any particular religion.
"I only spoke against the use of loudspeakers. Everybody has a right to his opinion. I have the right to have an opinion and it should not be misconstrued. Loudspeakers are not a necessity; they are not a part of any religion," Nigam said.
His intention, he pointed out, was not to hurt anybody's sentiments. "If I have done anything wrong, please forgive me. My intention was just to talk on a social topic and not a religious topic," he added.
The singer said it was wrong to focus on one particular tweet where he described the broadcasting of sermons on loudspeakers as 'gundagardi' (hooliganism).
"People took one tweet of mine where I mentioned 'gundagardi' and ignored other tweets where I also talked about temples and gurudwaras," he said.
"I am a secular person, a neutral person. You will rarely find people who are neutral. So, I am the minority here."
After the conference got over, he went into a room to get his head tonsured.
Nigam had hinted in a tweet earlier in the day that he planned to shave off his head.
"Today at 2 pm Aalim will come to my place and shave my head. Keep your 10 lakhs ready, Maulavi," he had tweeted, tagging a new report on the fatwa.
Cleric Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi took exception to that and announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh to anybody who would tonsure Nigam and garland him with a string of old shoes.
Nigam took the challenge up and called Hakim to the press conference a move that he also made public on Twitter.
The singer said he wanted to respond to the 'fatwa' in the language of love.
The cleric, however, is not satisfied with Nigam's gesture. "He only heard half of the fatwa. I had also mentioned a garland of old shoes," Syed Al Quaderi told a news channel.