Speak up, don’t shout!

Political, religious or cultural functions, loudspeakers blare away while authorities keep silent.

I live in one of the bylanes of Indiranagar. You know the one, the reality behind the facade of the pretty houses and trees. The place where most of the domestic help that works in the pretty houses lives. I quite enjoy it, everything is really 5 minutes away. Your local butcher, local greengrocer, local general store, local stationery walah, local phone recharge, local fishmonger.

Also every political wannabe, political sycophant, political aspirant. These people who wouldn’t dare to raise their little sheds with their blaring loudspeakers on the main road will do it in the bylanes. They have no hesitation in subjecting the people to earsplitting decibels from as early as 7 am in the morning and as continuous till 11 pm in the night for three consecutive days. How does one deal with this?

Call the police? Laughable, since the emergency number is busy half the time.

Ask them to reduce the volume? Oh they do.. for about 5 minutes and then crank the volume up again.

Here’s what I dug up on the laws regarding sound pollution.

1. Timings – no loudspeakers between 10:30 pm to 6 am: Everyone knows about this one and it is relatively well enforced.

2. Noise Levels – Here’s something I didn’t know. The loudspeaker decibel level should be 10 db higher than the ambient noise or 75 db, whichever is lower. Considering that 10 db is slightly above the level of a normal conversation, I hardly think anyone adheres to this or even knows of this law to enforce it. Please quote Article 141 and 142 when you are dealing with pesky noise mongers.

Every citizen has the right to freedom of speech yes. Every citizen also has the right to live in peace and not be subjected to someone else’s speech. Here are the excerpts from the ruling (found on www.indiankanoon.com).

II. Loudspeakers
1. The noise level at the boundary of the public place, here loudspeaker or public address system or any other noise source is being used shall not exceed 10 dB(A) above the ambient noise standards for the area or 75 dB(A) whichever is lower.

2. No one shall beat a drum or tom-tom or blow a trumpet or beat or sound any instrument or use any sound amplifier at night (between 10. 00 p.m. and 6.a.m.) except in public emergencies.

3. The peripheral noise level of privately owned sound system shall not exceed by more than 5 dB(A) than the ambient air quality standard specified for the area in which it is used, at the boundary of the private place.

Link to original ruling here: http://www.indiankanoon.com/doc/1709298

There’s nothing wrong with the laws of this country. Everything is wrong with the people in power. They neither follow the laws nor do they enforce it. They abuse it with every little bone in their bodies. We are to blame as well, being apathetic and ill-informed.

As for me? I just called the police. A very nice lady at the police control room picked up. She’s sending over a cop right away. Or so I hope. No God and no religion espouses making other people’s lives a misery by creating a noisy menace, a hue and cry around festivals.

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