Amidst the heightened controversies about noise pollution by religious institutions, 17 mosques in Vazhakkad area of Malappuram city of Kerala have unanimously decided to call only one Azaan on the loudspeaker instead of the usual 5.
Since last Sunday, single Azaan is being called from Valiya Juma Mosque, the biggest mosque in the Mahal and the other smaller mosques have only repeated that Azaan without using loudspeakers.
An agreement to make it a practice has also been signed by the mosques. In fact, apart from calling only one Azaan a day on the loudspeaker, these mosques have also stopped the use of loudspeakers for all other religious activities as an initiative to check noise pollution and therefore prevent students, hospitals and other people in the area from getting disturbed because of the noise.
The News Minute quotes TP Abdul Azeez, president of Vazhakkad mosques committee saying,
There are 7 mosques in the Vazhakkad junction alone, and 10 more in a radius of a few kilometers. It has come to our notice that the call for prayers by these mosques at different times, multiple times in the day, had caused inconvenience to educational institutions, to the public and for merchants in nearby areas. Some of the mosque committee members had convened a meeting to discuss the issue. The majority held the view that we should curb sound pollution. The decision was reached after several rounds of deliberations, but it was unanimous.
The committee has also formed a five member committee to unify the timing of Azaan of all the mosques, Azeez being one of them.
Now what remains to be seen is that whether temples will follow suit and stop, or at least lessen, the use of loudspeakers in their prayers or will they continue their practices the way they have been doing and only expect minority communities to adjust to their expectations.