Allahabad, Mar 17: The vice-chancellor of Allahabad University, a Central university, triggered a controversy after she virtually termed the 'azaan' (a call from the mosques for prayers at prescribed times) as "noise pollution" and said it disturbed her sleep.
Professor Sangeeta Srivastava, the VC of the varsity, in a letter entitled "Noise Pollution in Civil Lines" to the district magistrate, said she was not against any religion but any religious practice must not disturb others.
"Every day in the morning at about 5.30 am, my sleep is disturbed due to loud azaan done on the mike by the maulvi in the surrounding mosque...even before the Eid, they announce Seheri (breakfast before Roza) at 4 am...the sleep so disturbed does not resume even after trying very hard...this also results in headache throughout the day," she said in the letter.
She quoted an adage that "your freedom ends where my nose begins" and said that the 'azaan' might be recited without the mikes.
Prof Srivastava also referred to some judgements of the Supreme Court regarding permissible sound levels.
According to the sources, the police have asked the mosque custodian to keep the sound levels within the permissible limits.
Sources said the mikes of the mosque facing the direction in which the house of the VC was situated has been turned off.
However, the letter triggered sharp reactions from the Muslim clerics, who referred to the 'Bhajan-Kirtans' and 'Aartis' in the temples to question the VC.