Thursday, September 04, 2008

Religion as Noise

It's that time of the year again. The line up of Hindu festivals has begun with Ganesh Puja and will go on through Navratri and Durga Puja and Diwali (forgive me if I missed any).

I was hoping to escape the frenzy this year, living in a colony that was otherwise extremely quiet and peaceful. But as I walked to my flat today, there was a bunch of boys playing loudly on the drum in the parking space of a nearby building. I pitied the people who lived right above. Thankfully, it didn't last very long and it is as quiet as usual now.

But I found myself wondering if they have colonies for atheists or non-practising believers or even practising believers who pray inside their homes and do not force their religion down other's throats - or ears.

15 comments:

Thought Room said...

You see, the excuse was religion. The actural urge to be noisy is not a pregrorative of the religious alone. Though religion gives an excuse. It is youth that demands it loudly. :)

Unmana said...

I don't know whether youth demands noise: I never have, and I'm been young enough to remember.

And you mean the unholy din that erupts on the streets for about a month every year is not about religion?

Banno said...

We are surrounded by atleast 15 pandals (no exaggeration) blasting music throughout this period. Aug to Nov. Thankfully, the 11 pm deadline works most days. Small mercies.

simplypallu said...

I remember the line from Blood Diamond: "Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago." That is, if there was one in the first place. I believe the noise drove him/her away. I can never seem to come to a conclusion :)

Thought Room said...

No ma, let me explain. I probably should have used a better term than youth. You see Hinduism at its base does not demand loud noisy celebrations, but some people demand it, in the same chest thumping way that an adult gorilla proclaims its superiority, mirth or triumph. Sure religion provides a platform, but then so does marriages, death, party, intoxication, cricket matches or political success

Unmana said...

Banno: I feel for you. It would make me want to go away on a long vacation.

Pallu: I don't believe in a god, but surely people who do can keep it to themselves, and not insist on high decibel levels?

Thought Room: I understand where you're coming from, but this annoys me more because it lasts so long and everyone is just expected to tolerate it.

Nil said...

ThoughtRoom - Noise on the name of marriages, death, party, intoxication, cricket matches or political success is also wrong. But that does not make religious noise any less bad or less wrong, does it?

Thought Room said...

Nil- No it does not. I was merely trying to get to the source of the problem, not one of its symptoms. Symptoms are irritating but I felt the blame should rest on the disease. I have total respect and admiration for the blog, so I felt that a valid opinion would be accepted.

Unmana said...

Nil: I don't think Thought Room is taking the stand that its not wrong, but is saying that there's more to it than that.

Thought Room: Of course your opinion is respected, and I'm glad you cared enough to comment. You know, as I said above, I understand and agree to an extent, but noise on the basis of religion probably irks me more because I cannot understand or relate to it. I can understand partying and inadvertantly causing noise, but the religious aspect seems deliberate, in-your-face.

Thought Room said...

Thank you, I was not offended, but merely puzzled, and was wondering if I was sounding too boorish. Yes logical thoughts do not change the fact that some things are terribly irritable, especially when they happen so often and we cant do any thing to change it without “hurting sentiments” that the society seems to suffer a lot from. People can be blind to the fact that they are a nuisance in their eagerness to celebrate life.

Indian Home Maker said...

If we try to organise a all night dance party with loud music there would be loud protests! But from now right up to Diwali we will have noises of all kinds in the name of religion! I made enemies last Diwali trying to get some families to stop their fireworks after ten - I was well within my rights, the law does not permit noisy firecrackers after ten. AND the pollution. Must our celebration cost their health to our neighbours?
We need to have some specific places for all such PUBLIC celebrations, every street corner should not be occupied throughout he festive season, to cause inconvenience to other citizens. It's everybody\s festive seasons but a few hijack the festival to do things their noisy ways.
We need common grounds, empty plots etc allocated for all festivities - and a little more organisation.

Unmana said...

Thought Room: I wonder if they are blind or merely callous.

IHM: Indeed. I totally agree, but I am afraid I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Thought Room said...

Choosing to be blind is callous isn't it?

loving soul said...

Most of us always denied the social angle embedded in religious rituals I am not an exception. I have always believed religion is about one, the singular... in most of the cases the world proved me wrong... the drums are no religious... they can be called cultural... but at the same time cultural togetherness bind masses... its not about religion my dear … most of us try living secluded from local culture and deny mass’s right to celebrate almost without reason… when I was in Ahmedabd I used to hide away from Garba now I miss all the fun… may be its a personal choice… yet I agree that loud drumming shouldn’t be accepted… we need more patience and acceptance of each other…

Unmana said...

Thought Room: Of course. But when you said "can be blind" I didn't think you meant they are wilfully being so. We seem to be on the same side of the fence, though.

loving soul: "the drums are no religious... they can be called cultural": Cultural, definitely. Religion is part of culture, isn't it? I personally don't see any fun associated with deafening noise (well, outside of a disc or pub, that is), but I agree some people do. That doesn't give me the right to force my idea of "fun" on others. (And in case you want to point to the "disc" bit - that's a closed space that people enter voluntarily in search of the loud music.)