There is no question of taking down loudspeakers from religious places: Bihar CM


Calling the controversy around use of loudspeakers at places of worship as “nonsense”, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said there is no question of taking them down from religious places and added that the Bihar government will not “interfere” with any religious practice.

The CM was in Purnea to launch the country’s first greenfield grain-based ethanol plant, where he told reporters, “Yeh fizul ki baat hai. Bihar me humlog kisi bhi dharm ke maamle mein hastakshep nahi karte hain. Sabhi ko apna dharm maanne ka pura adhikar hai (this is nonsense. In Bihar, we do not interfere in matters of anyone’s religion. One is free to profess and follow one’s religion).”

The Bihar Chief Minister’s statement comes in the wake of Yogi Adityanath government’s move in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to take down loudspeakers from religious places in a bid to “curb noise pollution”.

The BJP is also backing MNS chief Raj Thackeray and other opponents of loudspeakers in Maharashtra in an effort to embarrass the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which, under late Bal Thackeray, was one of the earliest proponents of removing loudspeakers at places of worship, especially mosques.

Some Bihar BJP leaders, including state minister Janak Ram, has backed the UP government’s move. He had said on Friday, “The UP government has taken the step of taking down loudspeakers to curb noise pollution. It has gone by rules.”

On Nitish’s remarks in Purnea, a JD(U) leader said on Saturday, “Nitish Kumar has never compromised with matters of religious harmony. He often talks about the three Cs: Crime, Corruption and Communalism. The state government also took stern action against those trying to disturb communal harmony during recent Ramnavami processions.