India: Complete ban on music in West Bengal village



Complete ban on music in West Bengal village

In the past nine months, no music has been played in the West Bengal village Kanupur. A religious leader in Murshidabad has banned listening to music at home, and playing music in public is also forbidden, reports Calcutta Telegraph and the Indian tv channel Times Now.

“Music is prohibited in this village,’’ reads a sign, written in bold on walls on both sides of the approach road to Kanupur village in Raghunathgunj. The “fatwa” against music bears the stamp of the local club and the Mazaar and Madarsa Committee.

A religious leader from Uttar Pradesh first imposed the ban in May 2006. The head maulana of the village Madarsa, Mohammad Safiullah, stated to Calcutta Telegraph: “Shariyat does not permit Muslims to enjoy music.”

“We have circulated a diktat through an open manifesto. It is to check sound pollution,” said Rutful Haq, a resident of Kanupur, to Times Now.

The diktat imposes a complete ban on music, and also prohibits concerts or dancing in public. In addition, bans have also been imposed on processions for wedding ceremonies. Violation of any of these bans results in a Rs 1,000-fine. A shop-ovner, Lutful Sheikhm has been fined this amount for playing a CD in his shop.

“What’s shocking is that the administration claims they are not aware of such a ban, but refused to say it on camera,” writes Times Now on their home page. The inspector in charge of the Raghunathgunj police station, Subhendu Banerjee, was, he said, “not aware of any such fatwa”.

Kanupur is a village with a population of six thousand people.


Times Now – 24 December 2006:
‘Taliban-like diktat in West Bengal village’

Calcutta Telegraph – 5 December 2006:

‘Music fatwa at home or out – Ok! If you are not caught’

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