On Wednesday, a clip of reality show alum- DJ Ali Merchant hit social media, in which Merchant called off his gig as Azaan started playing in the vicinity. Merchant says this is the ‘first time’ he has done something like this. His slot started about 30 minutes before the Azaan. “It is the time of Ramzan and it is important to give respect to the azaan,” he said.
Merchant revealed that when he stopped playing the music, there were “some trollers” in the crowd. “They were shouting that I was scared and so I stopped. To this I replied that I only fear God. When I stopped the music everyone was shocked, people had no idea what was happening. From the producers to the organizers, everyone was taken by surprise. But in the end, everyone valued and respected the fact,” he recalls. While he says stopping the program during azaan is a ‘personal choice’, he urges others to do the same because ‘ It shows great respect for religion.’ “If it was in the beginning of my journey, I would have thought what people would say, what they would think. But now I am not afraid, I do whatever feels right to me.”
For his gig, Merchant says that there were about four to five thousand people who fell silent when the azaan went on.
The merchant continues to work, keeping the fast during Ramadan. He calls these events “hectic and stressful”. However, he argued, “You need to balance the two while respecting your religion and the world where you operate.” He revealed that he had his iftari and drank water on the stage itself. “I have a habit of fasting in Ramzan since childhood. These childhood habits always help me to run everything smoothly. The crowd in Pune was very understanding and mature. They respect every possible religion which is very good,” he concluded.