Mumbai: Raj Thackeray, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief whose call to remove loudspeakers from mosques sparked the entire Hanuman Chalisa controversy in the state and elsewhere, congratulated and thanked Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday for removing thousands of loudspeakers from UP religious places, ‘especially the masjids’. “Unfortunately in Maharashtra, we don’t have any yogis; what we have are ‘bhogis’ (hedonists). Here’s hoping and praying good sense prevails,” Raj Thackeray’s message read.
— Raj Thackeray (@RajThackeray) April 28, 2022
The UP administration has managed to remove around 11,000 loudspeakers from religious buildings in the last few days, while the volume of another 35,000 loudspeakers has been reduced to acceptable levels. Mathura’s Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi was one of the first to turn down its loudspeakers, deciding not to broadcast its Mangalacharan Aarti using loudspeakers at Bhagwat Bhavan on the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi grounds.
Raj Thackeray warned his party members will play Hanuman Chalisa in front of mosques if the state government does not remove loudspeakers from mosques in the state during his speech at a Gudi Padwa meeting earlier this month. Later, he gave the state administration an ultimatum to remove loudspeakers from mosques by May 3.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi administration has disregarded Raj Thackeray’s warning, with Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut dismissing him as “Maharashtra’s Owaisi.” However, when independent legislators Navneet Rana and Ravi Rana were detained in connection with a Hanuman Chalisa dispute, the situation took a severe turn. They had planned to recite Hanuman Chalisa at the bungalow of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray. Shiv Sena workers stopped the plot by barricading the Ranas’ home, and the Ranas were eventually apprehended.
Notably, in the last 72 hours, 6,031 loudspeakers were removed from religious sites throughout Uttar Pradesh in a countrywide operation to ensure compliance with government regulations on the use of loudspeakers at religious sites. In addition, the volume of 30,000 loudspeakers was reduced to meet the required decibel levels.