MANGALURU: Senior BJP leader and former minister K S Eshwarappa has stoked a controversy when he questioned if Allah can hear only when the azan is called on loudspeakers.
A couple of minutes into his speech at the BJP’s Vijay Sankalp Yatra rally at Shanti Nagar in Kavoor here on Sunday evening, the azan is heard in the background. “This is a headache for me wherever I go”, Eshwarppa said while pointing in the direction from where the azan was being recited.
“There is a Supreme Court order and sooner of later, this will end. There should be no doubt about it. Can Allah hear only if it announced through a loudspeaker? Then the question arises if he is deaf. There should be an early resolution to this issue. We too conduct pujas, bhajans and recite shlokas in our temples with more devotion, but we don’t use loudspeakers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi says all religions should be treated with respect. Bharat is the only country which can save Dharma”, he said.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, he defended his remarks saying, “Yes, I did question if Allah has ears or not, but it was not a religious insult. I only spoke about using loudspeakers for azan. Schoolchildren who are studying during exam time also get affected. The people of the state will decide on this”.
Further, he said, “I did not say we do not need Muslim votes, but I only said that we don’t need the votes of those who support organisations like PFI. As a legislator, I have helped Muslims and many Muslim women come to my house. We don’t see religion in doing public work. If Muslims believe the Congress, there is no hope for them”.