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Sunday, July 03, 2022

Pray: But without loudspeakers

If one is so inclined to pray aloud, then one ought to do so in the designated areas of worship or within the earshot of fellow adherents.

Written by DeenDayal B. Reddy |
September 27, 2016 4:29:10 pm
prayers, pandals, pujos, durga puja, india festivals, india news How could there be silence when all the 6.5 billion god-believing devotees around the globe turn up their loudest speakers as if competing for gods’ attention?

Now that we have the technology to remotely hone in on any broadcast, I should like to propose that all godly invocations (pujas, mass, or namaz) be podcast directly to the listening devices (Bluetooth or other Apps) of the devotees thus bypassing the loudspeakers altogether.

For Your Ears Only, YEO-z-Apps, as I wish to christen them, would use the familiar livestream technology thus enable the devotees to tune-in to a particular prayer or puja without ever bothering the passersby. Our IT friends, I am sure, can work out the logistics for YEO-z-Apps.

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Unquestionably, I am not writing about or against loud pujas or prayers within the confines of a place of worship. This is only about the amplified invocations heard beyond the confines that disturb the peace of the community. Neither am I advocating when to pray nor suggesting whether or not to pray. But, only that, if one is so inclined to pray aloud, then one ought to do so in the designated areas of worship or within the earshot of fellow adherents.

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Considering that India’s population is forty times more than what it used to be at the time of Independence, it is not unreasonable to expect or experience a forty-fold increase in the invocations, amplified from loudspeakers atop the steeples of worship, every day of the week. This is more pronounced in the densely populated urbanised areas which, in turn, are Wi-Fi friendly and suitable for podcast and other applications than mofussil areas.

It is no exaggeration to say that the sum total of the external noise, amidst the cacophony of traffic is more than a nuisance: It is dumbing-down on the quality of silent invocations and of interpersonal conversations. Some have suggested that a god, (if there is one), all too familiar with the googol of invocations from all humanity, might demand absolute silence, every now and then, just to contemplate on her handiwork in the stillness of silence. Even if it is true, how could there be silence when all the 6.5 billion god-believing devotees around the globe turn up their loudest speakers as if competing for gods’ attention? I cannot say. But, Catholic fathers do offer a solemn response in their oft recited, low-keyed, invocation: The Lord is in His temple, let all the earth (zip it) keep silent before Him.

Perhaps, there is some truth in zipping it. If nothing else, for our own peace of mind. We could jumpstart the peace process by muting the external speakers during prayers or pujas; and supporting noise-free (no horn) zones near hospitals, schools, and yes even places of worship.

PS. What about sugary introductions or spicy songs Fgan, during weddings or birthday parties, that wade through the wee-hours, amplified to the Nth degree? I believe they ought to be restricted to function halls or sound-proof theatres. Perhaps a default invitation extended to area police officers might restrain the noise amplification. Then again, it might not. Possibly YEO-z-Apps would be of help here too. I do not know for sure. But of this, I am sure: There are perkier idea swe can discover if we put our hearts and minds together. Besides muting external loudspeakers, imaginably there are ways to mix it all up with a bit of sugar, some spice, and everything nice!

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