In 2007, Sonu Nigam, in a massive missive to the Times of India, introduced a new phrase or what linguists call a neologism to India’s cultural lexicon.
By presenting my case in front of you. I leave in your worthy hands the task of presenting my case in front of the world who is witnessing Sonu-spanking for last 3 months.
And then, over the years, more important things happened: Arijit Singh sung the same song a hundred times, Neil N Nikki was remade as Befuckre, the dark lord Modi and his army of Hindu savarna gaurakshak patriarchs descended from Mordor, intolerance swept the land, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Gandhi came to represent the latent talent of the country, and Kangana Ranaut took on Karan Johar and Hrithik Roshan.
Then one day, at five in the morning, Sonu Nigam woke up to some loud sound from outside, a loud persistent sound and like most people woken up at five he got mad and tweeted about it.
The sound that he heard was from a jagrata ceremony. Cranky and sleepy, he tweeted about the disturbance caused by loud singing of hymns during Hindu festivals. Then when he finally woke up in the morning, he found that he had been invited to back to back panels on NDTV and, then for good measure, to Troll Hunter and the Bane of NRI Sanghis Sardesai’s baithaak, topic of discussion being the repressiveness of Hindu festivals, environmentally unsustainable and sexist and classist, covering everything from Jallikattu to Diwali and Holi, and by the morrow being feted by the Under Wires and the Karavans of the world, only to take his place among the pantheon of media heroes like Twinkle and Diya Mirza and Shruti Seth and Kanhaiya Kumar and D J Khaleed, brave cultural voices against the cultural Hindukritz of the current government.
Actually that was not what happened.
It was not music from a jagrata, or the sound of crackers on Diwali that had disturbed the Sonu.
It was Azaan.