Loudspeakers for the Lord.

It is that time of the year again. The week when music is in the air. Literally. But in an unpleasant sense.

Ganesha Habba is here. And every self-respecting locality has a Ganesha Pandal. And they announce their presence by blaring music through loudspeakers in the name of celebration. I wonder if they think that God cannot hear if they don’t turn the volume up. Or maybe they think that all the devotees go deaf in unison this week. Whatever the reason is, the music reaches ear-splitting levels.

What is funny is that almost always, the music played is from the latest blockbusters. At least if it had been Bhajans, it would have made some sense (though that is no reason to turn up the volume either).

Even as I type this, I hear music playing simultaneously from two Pandals, one in each locality on either side of our area. The result is a cacophony which we try desperately to drown by playing loud music of our own at home.

The music goes on all day, sometimes even through the night. Yes, there is a ban on loudspeakers in place between 10 pm and 6 am (If I am not mistaken), but it apparently does not apply to these people. Last year, my parents had to telephone the police at midnight to go and make them turn off the music. When asked how those people could flout the ban, the answer was something to the effect that there was a rowdy in that organization, who had political connections. Same story.

If you are involved in an organization which is celebrating the Ganesha festival, or if you wield any kind of influence over such an organization, please spare a thought for people living around the area, and turn the volume down.

Thank you.

15 Comments so far

  1. silkboard (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 2:41 pm

    Yes Shruthi. 10 – 6 ban is a law mandated last year by Supreme Court.

    I hate religious folks (temples and mosques alike) that resort to use of loudspeakers. Its sad that we can’t ban the use, for it will involve doing truly secular things that we cant. I bet Geeta and Quran dont advocate use of these loudspeakers.

    Worse of all is, noticed this at Pune and Kolkata, some of these Ganesh/Durga pooja “pandals” play film songs on loudspeakers. Why why why?

  2. mohan (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

    Actually it was balagangadhar tilak who popularised these ganesh pandals very cleverly such that independence movement could be done without knowledge of british!!

    Now we need to fight for our personal independence from this thugs who exort money to put up those lavish pandals blaring disco numbers.

    May god bless us all


  3. Kishor Cariappa (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

    I guess Deepavali is another such occasion when people burst crackers at unearthly hours causing hardships to the young and old alike. If you have a toddler in home, then god save you. It is not the local thugs, but educated people who indulge in these kinds of senseless action.

    BTW, Lord Ganesh deserves a break from those regular bhajans/mantras in temples. This time around, Himesh Reshammiya is going to rock the lord!

  4. rubic_cube (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

    // What is funny is that almost always, the music played is from the latest blockbusters. At least if it had been Bhajans, it would have made some sense (though that is no reason to turn up the volume either). // – the most pertinent question that I used to ask my parents when I was much younger. I have failed to understand why non-devotional songs have to be blared from speakers that are nothing but hazards for public health.

    The rowdy in the organization with political connections is the most cliched response from the police. A couple of residents should gang up against such anti-social elements and teach them a lesson! Only then will such idiotic people know.

  5. usha (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

    I think the volume levels indicate a mistaken notion that it is meant to reach up to heaven.
    I agree completely with the nuisance aspect- in fact it takes away from the spirituality that silence can bring to the pooja celebrations.

  6. Rajesh Doyijode (unregistered) on August 22nd, 2006 @ 9:25 pm

    As if the noise from the traffic that we face
    everyday travelling on Bangalore’s roads was not enough ,
    at every major festival we get the
    additional bonus noise from these festival revellers.

    I think all the people affected should form groups
    in their societies and file complaints to the
    police.Even if not much action is taken it would
    atleast raise awareness in the society towards
    noise pollution and make the function organisers
    be more considerate and aware of the problems they
    cause to others in the name of God.

    Please check out my site (currently under construction) http://www.noisebusterz.com/
    on how you can protect yourself and fight
    against noise pollution in Bangalore.

  7. truth-fairy (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 3:29 am

    I hear ya! I used to feel the same. But being in the US from the past 6 years, all I want is to hear those obnoxious songs blaring on the loudspeaker. :(

  8. Shruthi (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 9:48 am

    Silkboard, that is true. And talking of banning is a sensitive issue – turns to the issue of secularism – sigh! As for film music – that is the ONLY thing they play. Religious songs – I can understand. But film songs?

    Mohan, I did not know about this Tilak connection! Interesting. :)

    Kishor, True. Deepavali brings with it another kind of noise pollution! And Himesh? :D Now that is truly frightening!

    Rc, yes, residents should get together against this. But what usually happens is that there are just a couple of families who actually do speak out – and they are always afraid of getting targetted. For example, I myself would tend to tell my parents not to get too involved in this because they stay alone, and I worry about what would happen if the “rowdy” gets to know about them and give them trouble.

    Usha, Very valid point. Silence aids spirituality like nothing else can!

    , That is an excellent initiative. Will get in touch with you for further info.

    Truth-fairy, Ha ha! :D One day here in that atmosphere, and you will change your mind :D

  9. Shruthi (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2006 @ 9:50 am

    Rajesh, That is an excellent initiative. Will get in touch with you for further info.

  10. Sri Harsha (unregistered) on August 24th, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    I completely agree with u Shruthi. I think/believe the only possible solution is that the local colony/area people need to take an active role in elminating this problem. Their collective will is the only thing tht cld stop this.

    And also….we need to look at the other major issue realted with this festival….the enormous environmental pollution caused by the by products coming out of the activities involved in this festival…..idol immerssion, plastic covers used etc.

    Hmmm…i hope the other bangaloreans won’t mind my gibberish over here….. :)

  11. Shruthi (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 12:34 am

    Sri Harsha, Anybody is welcome to air their views here :)
    You are right – idol immersion is a pressing concern!

  12. Chetan (unregistered) on August 25th, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

    Not only do the local goons play item numbers but also bring up the pandals blocking the road complately. Last year I had a fight with the local folks, the pandal came up overnight and I had no way to take out my car and I had to ground me car for a weeks time. Complaining to the cops never helped, since they told me that they cannot do anything since it might hurt sentiments. This year the cops are talking tough lets see what happens. Its high time bangloreans woke up and start asking for answers…

  13. MayilSamy (unregistered) on August 28th, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Why is it that no one seems to be talking about the noise pollution caused by loud speakers in mosques at daily 4:30 in the morning or the weekly church carols…is it because people are following Congress defined secularism which only means Hinduism bashing….

  14. Shruthi (unregistered) on August 30th, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    Chetan Yeah they block the roads without a care in the world.. and nobody does anything — and the residents are the one who should speak up but naturally they are always afraid to say anything.. a sad state of affairs.

    Mayilsamy Why do you think that way? I wrote this post because it was close to the festival. If you look in the comments, Silkboard has already spoken against people of all religions using loudspeakers..

  15. uunashe (unregistered) on September 4th, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

    eNo… varshakkeraDu habbakke galaaTe maaDidre heegaa hELOdu ? svalpa adjust maaDkO bEkappaa…:o) :o)

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