MUMBAI: Although noise pollution is an urban malaise and there are many reasons as well as sources of noise pollution but Azan on loud speakers have always triggered the loudest controversies, as if only it is responsible for creating noise pollution, disturbing the peace and health of the citizens. This shows the biased and communal attitude of a section of the Indian society.
Various studies have shown that noise pollution caused by various entities like Airports, Industrial Complexes, construction sites, sound producing commercial activities, as well as transportation services like the railways, vehicular traffic etc. But Azan on loudspeakers is singled out very often by communal elements as a target, not for their feel for environment but for satisfying their Muslim bashing psyche, it seems.
There are allegations that the perception of noise pollution by Azan on loudspeaker has highly been politicized in our country. Vote bank politics singled-out “Azan” on loudspeakers and “Friday Namaz” on roads, to pollute the minds of majority community for political gains.
Thus there is need to create awareness among the general public about noise pollution. There is also a need to counter the misinformation campaign by some elements who try to misguide non-Muslims, singling out Azan on loudspeakers as the only source of disturbance of public peace and noise pollution.
WRIT PETITION FILED IN HIGH COURT
Shri Anil K.Mittal, an engineer, filed writ petition (no.72 / 98) in the High Court. The reason was, rape of a minor girl, whose cries for help went unheard, as loudspeaker was used at blatantly high decibel in the vicinity during a religious gathering.
The petitioner was highly moved by this incident when music, bhajan, kirtan for religious purpose was played on loudspeaker at very high volume, hence the cries of the victim girl could not be heard by neighbors.
He filed a writ petition in the court praying for direction to authorities for regulation and restriction of loudspeakers for religious purposes.
MAJOR SOURCES OF NOISE POLLUTION
It must be remembered that noise means unwanted sound which can please some listeners but can be irritating to others. Industrialisation, urbanisation and modern civilisation has resulted in noise pollution as its by-product.
The major sources of serious kind of noise pollution have been identified as Road Traffic, Vehicular Horns, Airports, Aircraft Noise, Railways, Construction Activity, Industries, Consumer products, Mechanical devices etc. However the use of high-volume loudspeakers in open during various gatherings be it general, religious or political also cause Noise Pollution to a great extent.
FIRE CRACKERS AS SOURCE OF NOISE POLLUTION
It has been observed that use of fire cracker also pose threat to environment as it is a major source of noise as well as air pollution. Fire crackers are normally used during marriage ceremonies, or political rallies and other occasions. Fire crackers are used on a very large scale during some religious and national festivals as well as arrival of New Year.