Loudspeaker row: MNS chief Raj Thackeray cancels 'Maha Aarti' plans on Eid
Mumbai, May 2: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray on Monday asked his party workers not to perform 'Maha Aartis' scheduled for Tuesday on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya and said the Muslim community should celebrate the Eid festival falling on the same day without any hindrance.
He said the issue of loudspeakers atop mosques being raised by him was a social matter and not religious in nature. Thackeray said Eid is being celebrated on Tuesday and the Muslim community should have no hindrance in celebrating their festival.
The MNS leader said he will announce the future course of action on the loudspeaker issue through social media. "Eid is being celebrated tomorrow. The Muslim community should also celebrate festivities without any hindrances. I have already mentioned this in the Sambhajinagar rally (on Sunday in Aurangabad). I appeal to my 'Maharashtra Sainiks' not to perform 'Maha Aartis' on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya which will also be celebrated tomorrow. We do not intend to cause hindrance or obstacles to any religion during their festivities," Thackeray tweeted.
Akshaya Tritiya, also known as Akha Teej, is an annual spring time festival considered auspicious in many regions (especially in the south and the west) for beginning new ventures, marriages, expensive investments such as in gold.
This year, Eid and Akshaya Tritiya are falling on the same day (Tuesday, May 3). The loudspeaker issue is not a religious one, but social with related inconvenience, he said. "Regarding the loudspeaker issue, I will further notify what we intend to do, via my social media," he added.
During a rally held at Thane last month, Thackeray had given an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government, saying if loudspeakers were not removed from mosques by May 3, then Hanuman Chalisa would be played outside them in a louder way.
At the Sunday rally in Aurangabad, the MNS president remained firm on the May 3 deadline for removal of loudspeakers from mosques.
Thackeray on Sunday warned that if loudspeakers are not taken down then the Hanuman Chalisa would be played with double volume compared to Azan from May 4. "Today is the first day of Maharashtra (Maharashtra Day). I won't listen from the 4th day from now. Wherever we will see a loudspeaker, we will also chant Hanuman Chalisa in front of the loudspeaker in double volume," he said while addressing a gathering at Sanskrutik Mandal Maidan in Aurangabad.
The MNS chief further said that loudspeaker is not a religious issue and it is a national issue. "This is not a religious issue. It is a national issue but if you stop us, we will also take a stand. All the loudspeaker speaker is not under the law and it is illegal. The Supreme Court already said it was illegal, it was not a matter of Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad) it was a country issue. When we take sabha they say it was an education zone, a temple zone you can't take sabha, but for them, there is an objection. Who gave you rights?" asked the MNS chief.