Irked by the revelry

Irked by the revelry

Public Nuisance

Irked by the revelry

Shaking a leg to the latest Kannada number Khali Quateri Bottleu Hange Liefu (‘Life is like an empty alcohol bottle’), a group of people were seen setting up loudspeakers in one of the pandals in Rajarajeshwarinagar recently.

Playing loud music and gearing up for the festival is a common sight every year during Ganesha Habba celebrations in the City.
A ritual by itself, Ganesha Habba is more often than not incomplete without playing loud music. As part of the festival, Bangaloreans have got accustomed to this tradition too.
This year isn’t an exception; organisers have set up loudspeakers at pandals across the City.

The loud music affects all in some way or the other. For instance, Sunitha Anil, a consultancy professional and a resident of Rajarajeshwarinagar, finds it a headache to get back home in the evening during Ganesha Habba celebrations.

 She complains, “After a hard day, it’s annoying to go home and listen to such loud music. In my locality, music is played till late in the night. Sometimes it goes on after 11 pm. The pandal is right in front of my house and it’s a disturbance. Even simple things like watching TV becomes difficult.”

Sunitha has more reasons to complain. She is pregnant with her first child and worries about whether the loud music will affect her in any way. “There may be no direct impact as such but due to loud music, I have experienced sleeplessness during the celebrations last year. I hope that this year, I will not be tired or experience any adverse effect due to loud music.”

She eagerly hopes that the recently issued government order that loud music cannot be played in public places after 10 pm holds good for these celebrations too.

In another interesting case, Sapna, a mother of two, says that she has come to terms with loud music during celebrations.  She elaborates, “I have lived in the City all my life and ever since I can remember, Ganesha Habba celebrations in pandals have never taken place without loud music.

Now that I have two small children, I have stopped complaining because they enjoy dancing and listening to music. I think it is okay if they play music just for a few days, but when organisers plan month-long celebrations, they should be cautious of who stays in the surroundings. I think senior citizens are the worst affected.”

While most shop owners of audio systems think of profiting from the demand for loudspeakers, Govind, owner of Sudarshan Audio Systems on Commercial Street, has a different tale.

He says, “I don’t take orders from boys organising Ganesha Habba celebrations as they create a ruckus most often. It’s a menace to other residents and I don’t support this. Sometimes, in revelry, they consume alcohol and dance in front of the idols. This is no justified way of celebrating a festival.

Hence, I politely deny when someone comes to place an order for loudspeakers during this festival.” 

Like every year, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board this year too has
issued a set of guidelines to be followed during the celebrations.

It states that use of loudspeakers is banned from 10 pm till 6 am in an attempt to curb the noise levels.