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‘Women who don’t wear burqa and who remove burqa to take selfies will be thrashed’: Muslim group in Mangaluru issues threats

Author: OpIndia Staff
Publication: OpIndia.com
Date: May 5, 2022
URL:      https://www.opindia.com/2022/05/muslim-group-issues-threats-to-those-who-remove-burqa-to-take-selfies/

The Muslim Defense Force group threatened saying that whoever is found without a burqa in a mall or other public places, would be taught a lesson unless their parents teach them how to behave in public places.

A Muslim group in Mangaluru has threatened Muslim women and girls saying that those who remove the burqa and take selfies, and those who don’t wear burqa, will be thrashed. The shocking incident of moral policing came to light when messages from a group called the Muslim Defense Force, which identifies itself as the protector of Muslim rights, were circulating on social media.

Mangaluru’c Commissioner of Police Shashi Kumar informed that this group has said that women wearing the burqa in public spaces are not to remove it and take selfies. The group has threatened that those women who don’t wear the burqa in public places would be attacked.


Some messages in the name of Muslim Defence Force have been circulating on some social media platforms. We're processing the available information: Shashi Kumar, Mangaluru CP


May 5, 2020

One of the messages in Kannada issued by the group reads, “In mall basements we have seen many wearing burqa and misbehaving. Our workers have already warned them. If this is seen again, you’ll be beaten up.” They also asked the parents to monitor their children whenever they go to college and other public places.

The group said in WhatsApp messages that they are ‘monitoring’ Muslim girls in Mangalore for any ‘misbehaviour’, adding that if they are not wearing a burqa, they will be beaten up.

While speaking with Times Now, Shashi Kumar said, “Actually, some messages in the name of ‘Muslim Defense Force 24×7’ have been circulating on some Instagram pages and also on some Facebook platforms. We have got into some WhatsApp groups also, where this information is shared. There they mentioned that it is their duty to protect the Muslim women from any violation of religious practices. They say, whoever is found without a burqa in a mall or other public places, would be taught a lesson unless their parents teach them how to behave in public places. Many other issues are also there. It is found through some of the media channels. They have shared this information with us. And some of our fellows have also found this information. We are working on this information. It is very vague. The source of information and who has spread it, everything is yet unknown. Therefore, we are processing the available information and we are pursuing it.”


“Those removing hijab & taking selfies will thrashed… “, Fringe group circulates threatening messages

@dpkBopanna joins @Ankit_Tyagi01 with more details.

May 5, 2022

He further said, “We have got to know some numbers which have shared this information. We first need to establish the origin of this information. It is like the social media groups where there are 200 to 300 people. A lot of information gets randomly shared there. In that, the ‘Muslim Defense Force 24×7’ – this group is doing activities like this. As a part of information sharing, it is shared in some groups. But where is the origin of this information, that is yet to be ascertained.”

The threat comes even as the hijab controversy is raging in the state with some Muslim girls refusing to attend schools without hijab. Karnataka has also witnessed controversy over halal meat, and azaan on loudspeakers.

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Author: Alka Dhupkar
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 2, 2022
URL:      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/loudspeaker-lessons-for-india-from-a-maharashtra-village/articleshow/91259002.cms

The villagers of Barad have passed a resolution to stop the use of loudspeakers

Barad shows that strong-arm tactics are not needed to curb noise pollution; a simple matter of sitting across a table and discussing can do wonders

Barad is a biggish village in Nanded district of Maharashtra with a population of around 15,000. It is roughly 20km from Nanded city. Over time, the village has prospered and places of worship, among other buildings, have been renovated.

The village has 15 religious places — 12 Hindu temples and a place of worship each for Buddhist, Jain and Muslim communities. In some neighbourhoods, these religious places are in close proximity. No problem there.

It was only when these places started using loudspeakers to broadcast sermons, aartis and bhajans that the problem started. It became a veritable Tower of Babel — all noise and confusion.

“Since five in the morning, we used to play songs. In some places, one couldn’t hear the other’s songs or for that matter what was played in our temple,” says Suresh Deshmukh, a trustee of the local Hanuman temple.

For days on end, farmer Sharad Kawle’s 80-year-old grandmother couldn’t get a peaceful night’s sleep because of the rampant use of loudspeakers in the village.

But all this is in the past now. In charged times like these, Barad stands out as a model of communal harmony. Back in 2018, the villagers unanimously decided to remove loudspeakers from all religious places.

So, what happened in 2018?

According to deputy sarpanch Balasaheb Shankarao Deshmukh, sometime in December 2017, a Ganesh temple was using loudspeakers to broadcast maha aarti and a Buddha vihar nearby was playing religious songs. This went on till late at night.

“Groups from both sides started raising voices against each other, asking that the volume be lowered. Harmony in the village was completely disturbed,” he says. “Somehow we managed to cool tempers, but the tension simmered.”

But this wasn’t the only incident. A local school kept complaining about noise pollution to the Shiva temple trust and others in their area. The students couldn’t concentrate on studies because there was a kind of competition in using loudspeakers till late night and early mornings among all the religions.

The villagers were fed up. Some of them met after the tension escalated between Buddha and Ganpati followers. During a meeting with the local police, they discussed the proposal of removing all loudspeakers.

Thereafter, the villagers held a meeting with all the religious groups separately. Everybody accepted that the use of loudspeakers was a cause for concern and social discord. The religious trusts said if it was mandatory for all religious groups then they would also stop using loudspeakers.

After the consultations, a special gram sabha was called and a unanimous resolution was passed.

The villagers agreed to use sound boxes instead of loudspeakers. The only caveat: the volume of the sound box should be maintained at a pre-mandated level so the sound does not go beyond the walls of the holy place.

The gram panchayat has already installed around 40 small sound boxes for local announcements such as deaths, vaccination or other government programmes.

After the noise, peace

Yogesh Ratnparakhi, who runs Om Sai Coaching Classes in Barad, says, “In my centre, there are around 100 students and I can’t tell you how happy we all are that the loudspeakers have finally stopped. Earlier, students would use unending noise as an excuse not to study. Now, they properly focus on studies.”

Kiran Mahajan, a trustee of Chandra Prabhu Digambar Jain temple, says, “Ours is a private temple that is open to the public. We too had installed a loudspeaker because others installed it too. But after the removal of loudspeakers, we didn’t lose any devotees. Loudspeakers actually don’t matter.”

Sharad Kawle, the farmer, says, “Many of us in this village are followers of the Varkari bhakti movement. I believe that your religious activity should not disturb others. Keep it personal, so we all supported this proposal.”

His views are echoed by Sardar Sattar Khan Pathan of Jama Masjid in Barad. “We respect festivals of all communities. The kind of communal harmony we have maintained would not have been possible with loudspeakers at each religious place in the village.”

According to Vasant Lalme, a trustee of the Shiva temple, loudspeakers are not essential for singing bhajans or kirtans. “Devotion is a very personal feeling. It can be attained without loudspeakers. We have proved it.”

Model village

Deputy sarpanch Deshmukh, however, is disappointed that his village has not been given due recognition for the innovative solution to the menace of unchecked loudspeakers. The village doesn’t encourage the use of loudspeakers even for political rallies, weddings or other celebrations.

In other ways, too, Barad can be touted as a model village. It has received state awards for cleanliness and drinking water distribution management, open defecation-free status, success of ‘tanta mukti’ yojana (a scheme to clear local disputes at the village level) and other achievements.

The village has 20 CCTV cameras, which have helped curb theft, sexual harassment and other crimes. The village has developed a proper watershed system; a dormitory near a rural hospital is a unique feature of the village. It has also built a hostel for girl students, it has a zilla parishad school, multiple anganwadis, among other facilities.

As the noise over the use of loudspeakers at religious places grows louder and various state governments are using strong-arm tactics, perhaps it is Barad’s use of consultation that stands out more than its other achievements.