Proselytization by Intrusion

Intrusions into our privacy have been a way of life in India. There are countless number of attacks in a single day on our much-treasured privacy, unlike in a much-developed country where one is left alone.

But that is OK, given that in India we do depend on various intermediaries for various kinds of work.

However, what about public exhortations from religious entities ? And, various political parties ?

Though the Courts of Law have prohibited public disturbances via loudspeakers, et al, in real practice the law is more broken than followed. And, what about the public disturbance caused to a “sleeping” public at 5 AM early in the morning, using powerful loudspeakers from religious institutions ? In what manner, are they exempt from the law ? Is religion above law ?

The other day, I got up at 3:30 AM to get ready for a 6 AM flight, and I heard this exhortation from one such place not far from where I live. This is absolutely ridiculous. While there is no murmur of protest, that does not mean that everyone is happy about such noisy intrusions into one’s privacy.

Singapore avoided such problems early on, by providing FM radio frequencies to religious entities, who can use the same for inviting their respective followers to pray. That was an absolutely innovative way to get the followers to do what the religion prescribes them to do. There is no harm or disturbance to anyone else. Is this not the way to go ? Especially, in an already noisy place like India.

I am just now hearing heavy noise of crackers for another religious festival, which continues from yesterday. Apart from the noise pollution, we also have air pollution leading to various lung diseases for citizens.

We do not think. And, we support symbols more than the real religion. And, more money is wasted on such efforts rather than on feeding the poor. Are we going to change ? Not for the foreseeable future. Religions dominate our lives in India, and these will continue to do so.

Enjoy the noise, what else can you do ?


Vijay Srinivasan
12th Sep 2010


One thought on “Proselytization by Intrusion

  1. Santosh

    It is an understatement that democracies tend to be noisy. Throw in a publicly celebrated religious and/or political gathering in a ‘developing’ nation, and we have melodrama at it’s best.

    Did the ‘super-size it’ formula originate here before it was replicated in the west by the fast-food giants?

    Does a higher pitch, a larger symbol, and bigger public celebrations increase the probability of invoking the supreme and provide more solace for the soul?

    Why does my moment of joy and celebration so easily allow me to trample on other’s day-to-day lives? Why are sane voices of protest so easily drowned in the downpour of emotions ?

    More simply, why is it so difficult to comprehend the co-relation of rights and responsibilities?

    What would GOD do if he had to deal with this?

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