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I really don’t understand. In this day and age who needs….

Oh wait! You don’t have a clue what I am talking about. Right? Trust me to begin right where my thoughts were at the moment of starting to write. I will just have to go back and start from where I ought to have, at the beginning.

Elections to the local bodies in our state is just around the corner. All three candidates for our area have visited us already – separately of course – and respectfully, with folded hands, requested that our ‘valuable’ vote be cast for them. We have smiled and nodded at each of them in turn as they went into their spiel. This is a sort of choreographed dance performance done for the mutual satisfaction of the political parties, or their candidates and the citizens. Everyone knows the dance itself has no bearing on how the vote is cast by the public. That has been already decided much earlier on by each one, based on other factors. Still, the dance has to be danced. Not that I have any issue with it.

I do have an issue with another matter. The loudspeaker menace.

It becomes a sore point for me when vehicles drive past with loudspeakers blasting out songs and vote requests at volumes high enough to burst eardrums. Like really? What sort of election campaign is this? Burst Ear drums, Gain Votes. Is that it? Does shouting ‘Thamara, thamara, thamara” repeatedly through speakers get more votes for the candidate whose sign it is? Or “Kaipathi, kaipathi, kaipathi‘? Or even “Arival chuttika. arival chuttika‘? I was waiting at the physiotherapist’s today when one such vehicle drove by, the speakers unbearably loud. Everything around me seemed to vibrate. No one around turned a hair. Perhaps my ears are oversensitive? They drive through my peaceful and quiet residential colony, loudspeakers blaring, especially during the after lunch hours, disturbing people and annoying dogs. I shudder though to think of the plight of old and sick people and infants who have nowhere to take refuge at this onslaught on their auditory senses.

In this day and age, WHO needs this kind of LOUD campaigning, that too inside city limits? Isn’t it time to do away with this outdated style of influencing voters? This is not some village with fewer houses far and about, with acres of fields in between that you have to be really loud for people to hear your campaign chatter. In the city we live cheek to jowl, you can hear your neighbor across the street sneeze, or drop a spoon. Do we really need this type of high level noise pollution in the name of campaigning? How about having some debates on television instead, over issues that matter? Well, I know what I am going to tell any candidate or their representatives who visit me next. STOP THE SOUND POLLUTION! Save My Eardrums! I might just vote for you. Might. Not making any promises.

© Shail Mohan 2020