My Facebook feed was flooded with people outraging and making expert comments on silly tweet made by a celebrity singer Sonu Nigam over a mosque using loudspeakers which were followed by a series of dramatic events. While going through the events, it reminded a past event where I got into an argument with a Circle Inspector Rammurthynagar police station over allowing Temple festivals and Ganesh Chathurthy processions to go long till 3 am in the night.

For restricting loud sounds and speakers, Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 has been enacted by the Government of India in the exercise of its powers conferred under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. In addition to this, Supreme court order restrict the use of speakers in the residential area after 10 pm. But the sad truth is that it’s rarely followed.
Some time back I had been writing on various issues in the neighborhood to Commissioner of Police, as part of it I also wrote on Ganesh Processions been allowed to go on till 3 am disrupting our sleep in a peaceful neighborhood which consists of old people, students, office goers.
 During this festival celebration, One night, a torrent of unbearably loud music got me up on my feet out on the road, I saw many loudspeakers that had been installed overnight, playing loud music for a loud music for as a part of the festival in a temple in the neighborhood. I texted the DCP of the area and also informed the control room. Sometime later, maybe an hour or so it came down. Every day throughout the week it continued and I continued texting the DC East.

 

Some days later, ASI summoned me to the station saying that Circle Inspector want to meet me. I went there two days later, as I was busy with work. Circle Inspector asked me that why I was texting senior officers continuously, asked me about the issue. I explained him about the use of loudspeakers in the name of festivals, for which he justified that in North Karnataka festivals go on till 5 am. I was shocked to see protector of the law justifying the violation than enforcing it.

I had a similar experience in Jeevan Bhima Nagar, It was 11.30 PM in the night, I was at a friend’s place. A torrent of loud music woke me up, and I came outside to see it’s orgin. I saw many loudspeakers that had been installed overnight all over the main road in Jeevan Bhima Nagar all along the main road. Evidently, a nearby temple had decided to celebrate ‘Annamma Devi Festival’ a borrowed tradition from a village but not out of context and place. Clearly, the noise was beyond our permissible limit and complete violation of noise pollution norms.

When I reached the police station, the policemen were busy distributing packets of food. I tried to explain the problem to them, and they, in fact, questioned me, who the hell am I? I told them that it was their duty to enforce the law when it is being violated, irrespective of who is complaining. One of the policemen tried justifying the organizers, asking me, would I not be using loudspeakers when I have a function at my home.

I demanded to know whether the organizers had obtained permission, the policemen told me to go to the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police to get an answer. So I went to the DCP East office at Halasuru. I was shown the board showing visiting hours by a constable, indicating that I can meet the DCP only between 4 pm and 6 pm. I told him I was not a visitor, and I was there to complain regarding the loudspeaker problem. He said the DCP was busy in a meeting and directed me to ACP Ulsoor.

To my relief, the ACP heard me out patiently and ordered a few of his colleagues to look into the issue. I am not talking about particular religion playing loudspeakers in the name of the festival, We should admit that religious institutions in our country take things for granted whether Ganesh processions, mass in church or a function in a mosque flowing away all rules and regulation.

The government doesn’t bother to regulate and enforce because these institutions are potential vote banks. Public functions don’t follow the norms of noise pollution are the main contributors of noise pollution, followed by insensitive people honking on the road for no reason at all.

A lot of us Urban English speaking folks decided to put up with it, as we think that it is just temporary. We carry this “Chalta hai” attitude towards all such problems, It’s time we need to get rid of this “Chalta hai” attitude. The outrage happens when really get to our nerve is just to post on facebook and tweet. We just limit our outrage to social media. We need to start getting more assertive and stop tolerating some of the crap in our society.

People live in their own safe cocoon in their concrete jungle decides to deal with short periods of temporary inconvenience are becoming a part of our daily life. It gets repeated every year without any regulation. Many people think that how can one person change this situation? Well! You can change when try to think about a solution than just outraging on social media which will not help you in any way.

Advertisements