Tuesday, July 17, 2018

000. Full Book. Loudspeakers, Elephants And Fireworks Create Hell In Kerala Temples

Loudspeakers, Elephants And Fireworks Create Hell In Kerala Temples. Full Book. P. S. Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum

Available as a book:

Apartheids suppressed by British colonial administration once are returning.

Mad things are happening in Kerala in the name of religion in temples. Race, class and gender apartheids enforced by the upper class in Hindu religion through centuries, suppressed once by the British colonial administration for a time, are returning with new vigour. Fanatics and extremists in Hinduism, armed with anti-constitutional attitudes and backed by a timid civil administration, create hell in places where people meet for worship. Reformation is now a distant dream in this religion.


Rama hunted in the forests; what do they think he hunted and ate?

Hinduism had been undergoing reformation through all centuries. Whenever it reached a stage where further reformation was unacceptable to those higher in the hierarchy, dissatisfied people formed new religions and flocked to these. Buddhism was one such example. 20th century and 21st century Hinduists tend to believe that all reformation needed in this religion, and possible in this religion, has already happened and nothing more is needed or possible. But it is never all dross will be removed from their minds and this religious body. Look how bad their convictions are on if all the needed reformation has been over! The Hinduists throughout India interested in capturing ruling power of the country kill people who eat red meat, in the name of Rama. They know Rama hunted in the forests. What do they think Rama hunted and ate? Piggish priests, who will normally love to see luscious and lusty women come to temples with nothing on if possible, forbade women coming to temples wearing the all-covering and popular dress, Churidar; they want to see at least their shoulders, neck and abdomen. Tell us; is all the needed reformation in Hinduism over?

Officers who would have been hanged in other countries for helping mass-killing people just transferred or suspended for a while.
01. Old Thali Temple Calicut Kerala PD By Unknown

Like in every other state in the country where Hinduism is in majority, loudspeakers, elephants and explosives meet in Kerala temples to create hell. Civil administration and political administration remain submissive and loyal to anti-communal and anti-democratic elements in this religion who try to run the country into an authoritarian theocracy and help them flout whichever laws they find unsuitable for their purpose. Officers who would have been hanged or decapitated in other countries for helping anarchists’ mass-murdering of people are just transferred out of their stations or merely suspended for a while from service - ridiculous punishments for betraying the constitution of the country.

Thousands suffer loss of hearing and balance after festivals and need psychiatric help for years.

Law and Order stands still, animal abuse laws, anti-loud speaker laws and anti-explosives laws are violated each day, and anti-social elements re-recognized as temple committees reign freely in streets, creating anarchy in the name of religion. Apex court rulings and constitutional regulations are minded not; they do only what their lawless minds and mindless organizations tell them to do. Indian Administrative Service personnel and Indian Police Service personnel keep back from interfering for keeping law and order, for fear of antagonizing the communal elements in society and loosing their jobs eventually. Some of them even join communal organizations and secure promotions and positions. Innocent people die in hundreds in elephant attacks during street processions, in miscarried temple fireworks explosions and from loss of hearing and loss of balance after weeks of loudspeaker and fireworks aggression. Thousands of people behave like zombies after weeks-long temple festivals and hundreds become mute after this steady onslaught of sound and need psychiatric help for months or even years to revert to some semblance of normalcy. District Administrations stand like frozen spectators and view things as if these are happening not in their country.

Without a quiet and peaceful place for worship, there is no religion.

02. Guruvayoor Temple Kerala In 1730 PD By J Pullokkaaran

Temples were not built for acting out crimes against people. In centuries when everyone had to put in back-breaking hard work from morning till night and all through night to make a living, there was no time left to be spent on rest and to find solace from daily worries. People’s houses were tiny, streets were narrow and there was not that feeling of space without which man’s mind could not survive. Human mind craved for space and the solace it provided. Human life, as it was centered on production then, could not afford the luxury of leisure and did not have the time for intermingling with others. Temples provided this much-needed space, and solace, and served as the meeting places for people. You could go to a temple at any time of the day or night: they had no surrounding walls, and they had no locks. They used mellow oil lamps for lighting: there was no harsh lighting inside. Green cool canopies of trees protected you from hot scorching sunlight and heat inside: the compounds were not treeless or marbled and tiled as of now. People came with torn hearts and tonnes of worries, stood in the space and silence of temples unloading their worries, and left with soothed hearts and tranquil minds, with enough energy to last and carry them on through weeks. When this recharged energy was exhausted, they came again. This was the simple mechanism behind the temple, then. This was the sole purpose of a temple. The belief that there was someone inside there to listen to our worries and sympathetically consider our tearful prayers and remedy things for us through divine intervention was important in human life; it was the very basis for religion. When this space and silence were lost, so also were belief and religion and the residual hulk remains as skeletal frame for a pseudo religion. Without a peaceful and quiet place for worship, there is no religion.

Temples provided feeling of space and solace and served as meeting places for people once .
03. Roadside Shiva Shrine PD By Vindheim

Though temples once provided a feeling of space and solace to people, ironically, it was not the intention of those who built them to dispense divine peace. The conquerors and kings who constructed these temples as imposing structures- as awe-inspiring behemoths- only wanted to imprint upon people’s minds the permanence of their conquest or the grandeur of their empire; it had nothing to do with the peace of mind or the spiritual upliftment of people. But except in the minds of these megalithic builders, Hindu religion- or any other religion of importance in the other parts of the world as a fact- remained impassive to splendor and gave no importance to awe-inspiring grandeur or physical pleasure, and great masses in these religions treated temples only as places for spiritual liberation. In fact there were practically no religions in the world which gave too much importance to carnal pleasures and visual delights except perhaps those rare obscenities created by people like Acharya Rajneesh fervently called Osho by his similarly deranged followers, or a few obscure cults lying in the unmentionable hinder lands of civilization. For a long time the ancient temples did provide solace and peace to torn minds and served as meeting places for people. But since when science and technology arrived, things began to change- the most wrong turn, theologically speaking.

Electric light, compound wall and loud speaker brought down the fall of Hindu religion and temple.
04. Koodal Maanikkya Temple At Iringgalakkuda Kerala By Krishnanow

First the temples were walled-in, so that the priests grabbing the breasts of women could not be seen from the outside. Then there came electric lights, replacing the mellow oil lamps and taking away the ambience of softness in the temple atmosphere, bringing in ruthless harshness instead, reflecting the perpetrators’ minds well. The chants and prayers from human lips were the next to go, to be replaced with coarse recorded instrumentalized music from cassette players, c. d. players and pen drives roaring through multi loud speakers, so that the time spent on praying also could be liberated for more breast-grabbing and if possible copulation, or the frightened horrible shrieks from girls being raped inside temples could not be heard outside as it happened in Jammu in 2018. What other benefits did walls and electric lights and loud speakers bring to Hindu temples and Hindu religion? Did worship become more ardent and pious and people, priests, temple and religion cleaner? Soon temples became no more soothing to human minds and people lost interest and confidence in this kind of temples and religion. If someone says electric lights, compound walls and loud speakers were reasons for the degeneration of Hindu temples and religion, how can one disagree?

Police officers and district collectors delegate powers to local goons during festivals.

05. Someshwari Temple At Koovery Kerala By Vaikoovery

The seasonal and annual festivals in temples are the most important events which are the litmus tests to gauge how much humane these temples and this religion are. When large crowds with the prospect of huge money are seen, organizers loose their minds and with it sanity and humaneness. Mega religious festivals in North India attract millions of devotees and go without incidents, guarded by the efficient civil set up there. But temple festivals in Kerala are accompanied by accidents and deaths; the civil set up ensures it. The civil set up in Kerala is disloyal and weak and yields to local politicians’ and local religious criminal elements’ pressures. They look the other way when vital laws meant to provide safety to people are flouted by gangs. The respect the people of Kerala had once towards Indian Administrative Service and Indian Police Service personnel is lost, and they are viewed as no more dependable for ensuring the safety of people. Investigations on incidents of mass-killing of people in temple festivals in Kerala during the previous years revealed that they were just standing ineffective as spectators instead of enforcing law sternly. These investigations brought to light their lightening their burden of keeping people safe by conferring with local goons and taking them into confidence and assigning to them the duty of law keeping. Thinking these born criminals would respect their stars, stripes and uniforms and titles, these irresponsible and lazy officers believed in those personal assurances and guarantees from criminals and entrusted law keeping to them! When these local goons got their way and mass killings happened through firework accidents, riots and elephant trampling, these officers blamed one another and filed contradictory statements and kept their job and hide safe by creating confusion in government. The dozens of reports of judicial investigations on incidents of temple mishaps in Kerala during the previous years underline this view.

Nowhere will sane administrations entrust crowd control to local muscles with record.

06. Valliyoorkkavu Bhagavathhi Temple Kerala By Challiyan

We can understand a civil administration taking into confidence a local set up of muscles to carry on things smoothly in a festival, if the latter is proven to be consisting of reliable and trustworthy persons with no criminal records. But the civil administration in Kerala already knows that most of the local organizers of temple festivals, by records, are either pucca criminals engaged once in rowdy activities or investigated previously for stealing public money. Still the civil administration trusting them and entrusting to them the safety of people in temple events is criminal negligence. Where crowd control is concerned, nowhere in this world will a clean and sane police and civil administration entrust law and order into the hands of a bunch of locals with an arm’s length of records showing no concern for human lives or having ever a conscience.


Loudspeakers the cruel face of religion, the greatest threat to children.

Mankind sees God in the faces of their children. The radiance we see in their faces is the radiance and innocence we envision of God. The language they speak in the first months of their arrival must be the language God speaks, brought from the land where they came from. Giving these little children the first priority in everything is giving God his due priority. Creating them and educating them is the only mission assigned to man by God. An intervening someone is the enemy of mankind and an enemy of the world. The evil of religion shows its cruel face in the form of the greatest threat to children- loudspeakers.

Temple committees and priests with electronic hypnosis and music mania.

A child wakes up at 4 am in the morning and begins learning her lessons. She learns until 9 am when it is time for her to go to school. In the nearby temple a priest dips into the temple pond and, clad in scanty dripping clothes to show off his sex appeal to women, enters the shrine and switches on a Tape Recorder exactly at 4.00 am. It gives him a kind of sexual discharge he craves. His two mental impairments are Electronic Hypnosis and Music Mania which he does not know he has. He continues this intercourse with sound up to 9 am and well into the day when he has to eat and the child has to go to school. Who can control this senseless brute or treat his mental disorder? When the temple loudspeakers begin to roar, the child folds its book and complaints to its father. The child curses the priest, the priest’s father, mother, grand father, grand mother and bygone ancestors, the Hindu religion and all Hindu organizations and god- the first curses from a child. But what can its father do? How can a child learn when loud speakers roar all around from temples? How can even grown-up people read books when loudspeakers roar? Cursing all the way, the child packs her bag and goes to school. There is no government, organization, establishment or political party in Kerala, in India, to know the pangs of grief in that little mind. (…A description of these four and what they do in India deleted here… Editor). She returns from school at 4 pm in the evening and resumes her studying. Exactly at that time at 4 pm the priest dips again into the pool and showing off his sex appeal to the evening women enters the shrine and switches on the Tape Recorder for its evening protocol. It continues till 9 pm at night, unquestioned by not a soul in India. Ten precious hours lost from the life of a child! Irrecoverable loss of ten hours each day from the life of a young citizen of India- an irreparable damage and irrecoverable loss continued through years- due to the insatiable lust of a brute in a shrine in a Hindu temple whose heart is brimming with poisonous vengeance, hatred and jealousy towards society!! Think about how many such children would in a neighborhood and how many such temples in a village. Blinder brutes in parliament, cabinet and government remain spineless, speechless, terrified at the thought of touching that brute, for fear of antagonizing uncivilized Hindu fanatics. It is unbelievable that not one single M.P. or M.L.A. ever raised this issue in parliament or state assembly in the history of India, or the all-listening judiciary or executive initiated action on its own. Wherever we look, we see people associated with temples are ‘less-than-sub-normal’. It is impossible to see a single sane person connected with a temple. We can now understand why people abandoned this degenerating religion en mass and flocked to Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism in the past. It is just because people are tired of religions that Hinduism is not split and a new religion formed.

The child soon learns authorities strutting like peacocks in uniforms live in constant fear of criminal temple elements. 

07. Loudspeakers: Temples Cannot Do Without This By Sebastian Rittau

That hurt child soon learns that her father is not a strong and powerful person as she thought and that he or anyone else in India cannot do anything against temple loudspeakers. From family discussions in the house following her complaint, the child learns that District Collectors, Inspector Generals and Chief Ministers are also living in constant fear of temple committees. For the first time the child learns the words ‘spineless, impotents, rogues and fanatics’ and adds them to her vocabulary and tags them for future regular use. She learns that even if her father had made a written complaint to the District Collector or the Police Chief, the police would not have registered a case against a temple and he would have been beaten by temple committee goons and made a laughing stock of the village. With rising pulses, the child learns for the first time that those high in authority strutting like peacocks in uniforms are living in constant fear of criminal elements and will piss in their pants if priests, mullahs and vicars stared at them for too long. So the child looses its confidence in its father, government, cabinet, legislature, judiciary, religion, society and police at an unbelievably young age. Actually it is not her loosing confidence in any of these; she develops none. A brutal nation succeeded in making a vampire out of an angel. What if it was a boy?

Who created that unruly youth standing there with ruffled hair and a stone in his hand?

Years later we will see that child running through the streets in fiery demonstrations- stoning shops, malls and department stores and burning buses, trains and government buildings- and eventually emerging as a naxalite, anarchist or even as a terrorist. There stands our unruly youth with ruffled hair and with a stone in his hand, who emerged from the ashes of that cherubic and angelic child who closed his books years earlier due to a lusty priest in a temple turning on a loudspeaker and is now coming with a vengeance against all the leprous priests and impotent governments of his country! The government now accuses him of his Face Book page containing spitting venom and obscenities against Chief Minister and arrests him, and society finds him standing there trying to topple everything conventional, traditional and orthodox society stands for and brands him as an anti-social abomination, and family sheds him out as a pariah outcast. Everyone likes to forget and trembles to be reminded that this whole horror process began with that priest caressing his tape recorder like a whore and cowardly authorities declining to confiscate that instrument!

Influential dignitaries wielding unlimited power in government look like sneaky weasels in the eyes of their own children.

If we rise up early and go for a walk in Trivandrum city, the Capital of Kerala, we see thousands of parents taking their children to tuition on scooters. Why they take even brilliant children to tuition is for escaping from temple loudspeakers- a fact known to every government official in Trivandrum including the Chief Minister, Police Chief and Chief Secretary. They are not ashamed even in their inner selves. Tuition centres farthest from temple loudspeakers are the choicest, and children and parents now have become skilled in identifying them. Of course these parents include police officers, political leaders and environmental scientists, and some of them may even be district collectors and government secretaries, but they know they are only nuts and bolts and screws in a totally impotent and incapable organization and cannot take initiative against temple mikes. Influential dignitaries wielding unlimited power in government and ruling Trivandrum like mighty monarchs look like timid, sly and sneaky weasels in the eyes of their own children. In the eyes of these children, there is no law, parliament, government or judiciary in this country, as regard to loudspeakers.

God-men will never tell loudspeakers, electric lights and fireworks were what went wrong in temples.

No one knows when and where loudspeakers were made part of temple rituals, or by whom. No one has an answer nor is it likely one will ever come up with one. A temple committee in the past must have asked some Gulf returnee to give something to their temple as a contribution. This illiterate rich snob must have decided it would be best to contribute a mike set to the temple. He must even have insisted his name should be printed close to Ahuja, AKG and Capitol! It must have been the beginning and this trend must have spread throughout Kerala. Hundreds of Hindu organizations which live out of temples never cared if it was right or wrong. Soon it came to that every temple should have a loud speaker. Every temple, even those under government control, regularly spends crores of rupees for conducting special poojas to detect what went wrong with a temple and what steps are to be taken in correction. God-men who conduct these poojas squeeze money from god for suggesting gold-covering a mast here, widening an entrance there or closing a gate on the back or relocating a deity to another position spending huge amounts of money but in the religious history of Kerala not one god-man has ever said new introductions like electric lights, loudspeakers and fireworks were what went wrong with god and to immediately get rid of these abominations.

If time marches back in Hinduism, let it march with everything

Loudspeakers were an invention of the modern age which never ought to have been allowed anywhere near temples, churches or mosques. But which temple, church or mosque does not use loudspeakers to announce the shop is open and ready for business? Oil lamps were once the only lighting allowed inside temples but do we not see the opulence and splendor of electricity in and outside temples everywhere now, even inside shrines? People worshipping god were once instructed to sing vocally before the deity, taking their time, utilizing that time to cleanse their souls. Now rogues masquerading as devotees delegate this duty to tape recorders and c. d. players and memory sticks and utilize the liberated time for breast grabbing, and no one looks up texts to see what punishments are ordained for pseudo believers like them. No chapter or line in holy texts instruct that priests should travel in cars, scooters or air planes, but holy men travel only in them. When fanatics in India want their government to ban pork and beef and expel Muslims and Christians from the country, the beliefs of back centuries are looked up and pronounced as more right and correct and dependable than those of present times, forgetting the fact that crossing the ocean was as unpardonable and condemnable a sin as till recently in Gandhi’s times as for him to be cast out of religion for traveling to Bilati England, and conveniently forgetting the fact that their Hindu Prime Minister is crossing the ocean many times a week and spending too much time on foreign soil. If texts dating back centuries are quoted for banning beef and pork, texts must also be quoted for banishing loudspeakers, fireworks and electric lights from Hindu temples and their leaders traveling in cars and aero planes and crossing the ocean at will. If time marches back in Hinduism, let it march back with everything, without leaving behind selected pleasures for only leaders to enjoy. Let their leaders and saints and gurus abandon million dollar suites and coats and golden lace works and wear loin clothes made of wood veneer. But the fact is the clock of history cannot be turned back to a restoration point in a distant past like a restoration point is set in a computer: the progress mankind made in science and philosophy and humanities cannot be undone. Holy books do not say anything much about killings, blood baths, bigamy, matriarchy, patriarchy, gays, lesbians, adultery, pilferage, bribery, corruption, favouritism, despotism, autocracy, democracy, communism, communalism and socialism. It is man’s duty to interpret religion to accommodate modern facts, situations, and contexts.

If you are brimming with piety, go sit before your deity and sing to the fullest of your lungs' capacity.

Religious texts do not permit artificial sounds in temples. The most ancient of religious observations, made by Plato in his Republic in the Sixth Century B.C., is that no man shall be permitted to make noises louder than what the containing capacity of his lungs and neck would allow. If you are brimming and overflowing with piety and religion, go sitting before your deity and sing to the fullest of your lungs- that is what religion permits utmost. All other sounds in temples are artificial- irreligion and an abuse of religion and a mockery of piety. Loud speakers were an abominable addition to temples by uncouth people as replacing those old oil lamps with kerosene lamps and electricity in the shrine were. People who are in that set of mind to use tape recorders and loud speakers in temples will even defecate in temples. Loud speakers are anti-temple, anti-human and anti-religion whether used for daily worship or for festivals. Kerala’s temples take it for granted that it is their privilege to use loudspeakers daily and during festivals liberally and illegally. It is sure this liberty will not continue. Someday soon the victims and the law will catch up. Once there were only dog lovers in Kerala, who reined the streets and coerced governments to ignore humans and pass laws for dogs, but following thousands of dog attacks on children and eating them, anti-dog literature multiplied in volume and spread and dog activists are now only a minority who live in constant fear of when people would react. Whether government likes it or not, it is sure temples also are going to be deprived of their much-disused loudspeaker privileges the same way.

Loudspeaker business goes across the border to Tamil Nadu operators.

08. Loudspeakers By A D Balasubramaniyan

Every temple festival in Kerala is accompanied by hundreds of loudspeakers in spite of regulations. Anti-social elements in temple committees, considering themselves above the law and immune from police, instruct mike set operators to mount as many hundreds of horn-type loudspeakers as possible. Where an operator declines, the business goes across the border to Tamil Nadu operators and they mount not hundreds but thousands of horns fearing no one. The District Administratio stand watching like a scared scare crow. Every year we see this spectacle at famous religious festivals at Beema Palli, Vettukadu, Attukal, Nedumangad and Nanniyode Pacha in Trivandrum District- known law-breakers assembling as festival committees and challenging Police, District Administration, Government and Supreme Court. They break every rule- the height of speakers from ground, distance of horns from each other, number of horns used, mandated fitting of sound limiters, day-night operational time regulations, the decibel levels of sound- everything. In addition to temple premises, every small junction within a radius of five kilometers will also have loud-speakers-based commercial advertisements for several days; authorities will eagerly help by declaring vast square kilometers of local areas as festival area. With only one festival at one place, there will be multi mike orders issued for different places, each one a flout of Supreme Court Regulations. People ask if authorities and licensees have begun to retail mike orders!

Temples squander electricity and Kerala State Electricity Board looks the other way.

The diaphragm of horn-type loudspeakers, also known as funnel-type loudspeakers, does not oscillate and focuses sound rather than dispersing it, producing ten times more decibel of sound than other types of loudspeakers, making the sound appear more like a roar to listeners and make the horn-types more disturbing than the cone-types. Using horn-type loud speakers and high power box amplifiers, making noise above regulation levels, placing horns at excessive heights, electric-connecting loud speakers to domestic connections and even to public electric lines are all illegal, and temple committees do all of these. Not one Kerala State Electricity Board official has ever inspected and detected any of these, which is not strange. They are paid. Using electricity from 4 AM to 10 AM and from 4 PM to 10 PM for announcing the shop is open and business is on is purely commercial use and temples cannot do this on a 6A tariff but they do it. To the energy-providing KSEB, all customers must be equal and all energy laws must be applicable to all; there are not special concessions to political parties or religious establishments but they look away. Using loudspeakers in temples is also a tremendous waste of electricity, especially since Kerala is an energy-deficient state importing electricity from as distant places as Nepal. The KSE Board which issued stringent measures for energy conservation looks the other way when temples squander electricity. They simply fixed a tariff plan of something like 6A and allowed temples to waste electricity @ Rs. 5.5 up to 1000 units and @ Rs. 6.30 beyond that and escaped from the responsibility of disconnecting temples which squander electricity. They say it concerns belief. What belief?

Mike set operation is family business with respect for law;
they break law only when organizers force.

Providing light and sound is a family business. No newcomers are in this field. Only those who like this technology behind light and sound would enter this field. The grandfather, father and son having been in this business, they would have developed a respect for law, a rapport with people and a decent behaviour to all. Only when organizers of events force them do they break laws. Everyone wants their sounds to be heard miles and miles away and reach the maximum number of people possible. Chief Ministers, State Legislators, Parliament Members and Political Leaders are no exemptions and they all rejoice in the use of the maximum number of loudspeakers at the highest volume. Without loudspeakers there is no public function and not one of these has ever declined to speak in a meeting where loudspeakers are used. So, organizers order the maximum number of loudspeakers with the highest volume and the mike set operators can do nothing but obey, with no opposition from police or district administration. After these ‘dignitaries’ leave, the noise levels multiply and reach crescendos. So, long after legislation and passing laws, banning of horns remains a myth, due to the country’s leading ‘dignitaries’.

Comic action in the names of Noise Control Rules, Police Act and Indian Penal Code.

What startles a citizen is the ever-repeating press conferences by great governmental institutions and higher ranking government officers cheating people by regularly giving dire warnings against noise pollution and the use of loudspeakers and when people complain taking no action. They expend considerable amounts for holding conferences, passing laws and issuing orders. Trivandrum District Collector & Additional Divisional Magistrate Mr. Biju Prabhakar I.A.S. on 1 September 2014 warned public that stringent action without warning would be taken against those found to be violating norms regarding loudspeaker use. He said: ‘Violators of loudspeaker rules will face the music. The microphone set will be confiscated and a case will be registered against the loudspeaker operator. This directive comes in the wake of several complaints that loudspeakers were left on even beyond stipulated time frame. Violations were reported even after repeated warnings circulated through the press. Those punishable include the individual or group in whose name the loudspeaker license was issued, the operator, the respective event organizer, and, if the erring loudspeaker set was found mounted on a vehicle, the driver as well. Legal action would be taken on the grounds of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, Kerala Police Act, and the Indian Penal Code 268, 290, and 291. The operator found violating the rules would not be issued a license to work in the district thereafter. Loudspeakers must not be set up within 100 meters of the vicinity of hospitals, educational institutions, court complexes, public offices, and the zoo. Loudspeakers could be used after 10 p.m. only if it is set up inside a closed auditorium or conference hall. [News reported by The Hindu on 1 Sept 2014].

No loudspeakers were confiscated, no operators, organizers and drivers booked, and no fines slapped.

In the same month of September 2014, the Trivandrum District Administration, Trivandrum City Police, City Corporation, Indian Medical Association and Kerala’s ENT Doctors’ Association joined hands and in the presence of the Kerala Chief Minister announced to people that they have taken steps for ensuring a noise-free city with the IMA supplying sound-level testing devices to the police. As usual, this venture also had great names, banners and logos like the National Initiative for Safe Sound Programme (NISSP!). Like hens announcing they are developing breasts soon, it also came to nothing. The next year, i.e. in 2016, following an overflow of students’ complaints about sound pollution from temples affecting their studies, the district administration, still headed by Mr. Biju Prabhakar I.A.S., opened a control room for people for directly filing complaints against sound pollution, and informed that violators of norms would be slapped a fine of Rs. 10,000 with seizure of equipments. After convening a meeting of religious leaders and restricting the use of loudspeakers in hospital and school areas, he said complaints could be anonymous and even zoo authorities had made complaints. [News reported by the Times of India on March 2, 2015]. This year also nothing came out of these steps, and temple authorities continued their way. No loudspeakers were ever confiscated and no operators, organizers or drivers booked. No fines were slapped. If there ever was an inspection to measure the decibel level of sounds anywhere, temple authorities promptly lowered their volume of sound for the charade of inspection and the inspection team returned to office contented. Wisely, these ‘geniuses’ in government did not equip the inspection squads with inerasable mobile phone cameras to ensure if there was a click, there was also a prosecution. In 2018 also, as usual, the District Collector (now it was a lady) met the press giving out dire warnings against loudspeakers. (Reported on 14 February 2018 by media). She said this warning was made ‘in the light of the approaching temple festivals season from February to May’. She also warned that ‘mike operators who create sound pollution will be booked’. Mike operators create noise only occasionally but temple authorities do it everyday. She was very careful to say nothing about temples, mosques and churches which use loudspeakers everyday even without a license. Climbing on the backs of mike operators is interesting and easy but climbing on the backs of priests, mullahs and reverend holy fathers is dangerous and will throw her out of her chair in the Collectorate!

Charade of loudspeaker control in
the capital of Kerala, Trivandrum, every year.

Why is this charade of issuing ‘dire warnings’ against loudspeakers each year through media but looking away when complaints pour in going on in the District Collectorate of Trivandrum? What was the end result of the District Collector’s intervention in sound pollution each year? Their warnings and proceedings were supposed to be legal, final and binding, but in effect they orally excluded temples, churches, mosques, political parties, cultural organizations and governmental functions from the purview of their actions. After excluding all these principal culprits, who were remaining there to be prosecuted? So, it has to be assumed that the involvement of these District Collectors and their warnings were part of an inter-state ploy to retrench local mike set operators and facilitate the takeover of this operation by spirit transporters from other states. After these dire warnings, the frightened mike set operators in Trivandrum Rural and Trivandrum City declined to hoist as many loudspeakers as the temple committees wanted to. So they lost this business and business went across the border to mega mike set operators from Tamil Nadu. Dozens of their Lorries piled high and overflowing with loudspeakers and amplifiers and generators above and alcoholic spirit below crossed the Tamil Nadu-Kerala border each day. Both the things, above and below, were highly profitable during festival seasons. Without fearing police, with bribed politicians’ help, they erected thousands and thousands of loudspeakers at temple, mosque and church festivals in Attukal, Beemappalli, Vettukad, Pacha-Palode, Nedumangad and quite a number of other places each year. And the spirits brought in more profit than those mikes. Illicit spirit traffic was primary and mike set operation only secondary in this operation. District Collectors stood mute and did nothing. Through their unripe and unlearnèd actions they were facilitating the smooth and uninterrupted flow of illicit spirit across the border: they were just pawns in the hands of interested and bribed politicians. This was, and is, the situation in all districts of Kerala. Everyone barks but none touches the temple tiger. Mike permissions are granted for two or three consecutive days only, for specifically mentioned functions; they are not granted for year-round loudspeaker use. Every temple which operates loudspeakers does so without a license; temple authorities do not go to police station every three days for obtaining mike permissions. So, every police officer, district collector and government secretary who sees a temple using loudspeakers perfectly well knows that they are using them illegally, at the expense and criminal negligence of at least one official in authority.   

Too many court orders ending up in too many loudspeakers.

It has been 13 years since the Supreme Court of India’s judgment on 18 July 2005 on the control of noise pollution. There has been enough time for all to know about this judgment. This judgment clearly states cone-type loudspeakers are never to be used, the sound is to be kept below the prescribed decibel level, and cases will be registered and equipment seized wherever there are incidents of deviation. The judgment observed that the existing law empowers District Administrations and Police to enforce noise control measures. When two Delhi residents filed a public interest petition in Delhi High Court requesting the court’s direction to government to immediately remove unlicensed loudspeakers used in various shrines, mosques and temples in the city which were operating at very loud volumes early in the morning and continuing till late at night, the High Court dismissed the petition, saying that ‘Delhi Police has issued various directions and orders and that the police are not relieved of the responsibility to deal with the misuse of loudspeakers as per law’. Giving warning to religious institutions and political parties continuing using corn-type loudspeakers, the Madras High Court further commented that ‘it appears that these institutions of worship of different faiths perceive that the blessings of God cannot be obtained unless there is a loud noise; cut that noise out, God listens to even silent prayers’ and ordered Tamil Nadu Police to immediately inspect all the 44 places photographically identified by the petitioner specifically where horn-type speakers were being used and prescribed decibel level crossed. The Madras High Court Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice M. M. Sundresh again in March 2016 observed that ‘Prayers in all religions had been going on from ancient time even when electricity did not exist; religious institutions have a wrong notion that the blessings of God cannot be obtained unless there is loud noise of religious songs through cone and other banned types of speakers.’ There have also been numerous warnings, orders and observations by High Courts in the other states. Even after all these judicial pronouncements, the Shankaracharyas of India, on the religious side, who supposedly go through every ancient text and interpret their relevance or irrelevance in modern day contexts, did not utter even a word on the use of loudspeakers in temples. The oldest and the biggest Hindu organization in India- the Rashtriy Swayam Sevak Samgh or R. S. S.-, on the political side, has yet to denounce the use of loudspeakers in temples. Anyway, they have already condemned the abusive use of elephants in temple processions and the uncontrolled display of fireworks in festivals, which is a good step forward. Coming from the largest Hindu organization in India, it could be taken as a warning to Hindu temple committees. They may, and are expected to, warn against the use of loudspeakers in temples too.

How can those who disobey simpler easier laws of the land obey higher and complex laws of God?

But authorities in even some of the most famous temples in India pretend there is not any Supreme Court in India or there are any laws banning the use of loudspeakers in India. A Parthasarathy Temple official in Triplicane, Tamilnadu told press, ‘nobody has ever complained to the temple authorities regarding high volume of noise!’ (Reported by News Today Net vide http://newstodaynet.com/chennai/shhhno-horn-type-loudspeakers-please). Religious authorities never like to bow to restrictions on the use of loudspeakers and they challenge the law wherever possible; on more occasions than one can remember have they displayed contempt for Indian laws. They feel ‘their right to do business is infringed upon.’ Yes, it is their business, and not piety or religion. But how can a bunch of people who disobey the easier and simpler laws of the land obey the higher and complex laws of the Almighty?


Long hours in heat and dust on tarred roads, ear-piercing noise from multi drum sets, and hundreds of loud speakers.
The use of elephants in temple processions in connection with religious festivals has long been a controversy in Kerala. Inhuman treatment of these animals, subjecting them to long hours in the heat and dust on tarred roads and ear-piercing noise from multi drum sets and hundreds of loud speakers- all in sharp contrast to the silence and coolness of their natural habitats- turn them mad and angry, killing mahouts and turning against people and destroying trees, buildings and vehicles in their path. Animal Protection Organizations like the S. P. C. A., District Collectors and the Government are silent watchers to this cruel spectacle of abuse of animals going on in temples in the name of religion.

The India Today Magazine in their article ‘Elephant turn violent in festival in Kerala, 48 killed’ in their 23 April, 2007 issue described how ‘tusker parades in Kerala temples ended up in blood and gore and death, elephants turned wild running amok and killed mahouts and bystanders and terrorized towns and villages, resulting in 10 tuskers killing 48 mahouts in 2007 alone’. According to the statistics they compiled, where 100 people were killed from pachyderm attacks during the 25 years from 1970-1995, the kill rate rose to 200 during the ten years from 1996 to 2015. They also revealed that where 10 elephants died each year in Kerala during the 1990s, 147 elephants died in Kerala in 2016 alone. News Link: https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/states/kerala/story/20070423-elephant-went-fury-and-killing-many-during-kerela-festival2007-748783-2007-04-23

700 elephants to cater to 10,000 temple processions!

09. Elephants Crossing Man's Civilization By Sabarinath JP
Religious texts never say a word insisting on the use of wild animals during temple rituals. There is no historical evidence to prove that using elephants in temple processions is a deep-rooted religious cultural practice in Kerala. And Kerala is the only state in India where elephants are extensively used for temple processions. Private elephant owners want to rent their elephants year-round and temple committees want to assemble huge audiences for making money. There are only around 700 elephants in temples and in private homes in Kerala but there are more than 10,000 temple festival processions. So anyone can guess the workload the elephants in Kerala are having during festival seasons. ‘Noisy long parades, loud firecrackers, loudspeakers, forced to standing near flames, long travels in open shabby vehicles and on tarred roads in the scorching sun for hours, denial of food, water and sleep, in addition to hobbling with spike chains on legs and brutal treatment by drunken mahouts- all in the name of religion and tourism- are what captured elephants undergo in Kerala temples. ‘Most of them die in their prime years of 20 to 40 years of age due to physiological and psychological stress.’

Indifferent attitude of government  political, for keeping sections of Hindu community as solid vote banks. 

But government remains silent about this persecution of wild animals in processions by temple committees, fearing governmental intervention will be misconstrued as intrusion into religious beliefs. The passive outlook and indifferent attitude adopted by government towards this aggressive cruelty by the rich masochists, sadists and brutes in temple committees have nothing to do with religion; it is purely political- appeasing aggressive sections of the Hindu community for keeping them as solid vote banks. The vulgar elements in government do not wish to antagonize the vulgar political elements in temple committees and tacitly allows them to collect as much money as possible by attracting as many people as possible by parading as many elephants as are there. Result: elephants turning violent in temple processions and maiming people continue unchecked, remaining a shame to Kerala.

Elephants first introduced in temple processions when there were no loudspeakers, electricity and fireworks.

10. Bathing Elephant At Vazhappalli Temple By Rajesh Unuppally

Elephants were made part of temple processions only a few decades ago in Kerala. In those times they were not marched through hot tarred roads for miles in connection with temple processions because there were no tarred roads then, and what roads there were then were lined on both sides by shade-giving trees. People were not as indifferent to kindness to animals as they are now, especially elephant owners and mahouts, who cared for their animals and gave them lavish rest and plenty of refreshments on the way. People participating in temple processions did not disturb or provoke elephants by behaving unruly and uproarious for fear of breaking propriety in front of their lords and landlords who were always present. There were no loudspeakers, electric lights or fireworks to add to the animal’s irritation. The emergence of tarred roads, disappearance of roadside trees, introduction of arc and spot lights, loudspeakers, drum sets and fireworks and change in human behaviour from kindness and discipline to unruliness and uproar changed the picture. Now it is like challenging the elephant not to go mad. Now there is no more any justification for using elephants in temple processions. The elephants do not enjoy these unnatural and cruel additions to their environment; they only tolerate them, and there is a limit to their tolerance and endurance. You read these things not in some government literature issued in an order banning the use of elephants in temple processions, but in an article written by a private citizen here. Had it been the former, there would have been no need for the latter.

Suppress Masth by raising the elephant’s body temperature through denial of water, starvation and sedative administration.

The most dreaded period in an elephant’s life is the three months during which the bull elephant undergoes Masth, a metabolic phenomenon when its testosterone levels go up making its behaviour aggressive and erratic- a period most dreadful to cow elephants and the bull’s keepers also when it has to be restrained and absolutely rested with great supplies of food and water. But money-hungry new generation owners suppress Masth from the knowledge of public for the 50,000 Rupees the beast would bring each day from parading in temple processions for which they raise its body temperature through denial of water, starvation and sedative administration. So, most often, it is a dehydrated, hungry and sedated animal that takes part in a temple procession in the midst of intense light, sound and people’s uproar: hence most of the elephant attacks and human deaths! Temples and government know this but remain impassive.

Will you piss and defecate in a temple? If you do, you will be in serious trouble and in chains within a matter of minutes. But what if an elephant does that? That is why it is stipulated that nothing which cannot control its actions voluntarily are not allowed inside temples. To avoid the beasts from relieving themselves inside temples, those who bring elephants to temple functions do not feed and water them for hours before they are brought to temples. Isn’t it another cruelty to animals?

No register, doctor, mahout, and no intimation of parade to police and forest officials.

Temple authorities do not keep the five compulsory Registers of Feeding, Work, Movement, Vaccination and Treatment. They do not have Veterinary Doctors, enough mahouts or enough space for the elephants they keep or use. Ten thousands of people and dozens of elephants are assembled in limited space without safety margins. There are no life-long mahouts in service now who understand elephants, but only those who come and go and stay for a short time. Such handlers have no rapport with elephants and the elephants are hostile to them. Temple authorities do not intimate to police and forest officials their plans for parading elephants 72 hours in advance. Banned weapons like sharp-edged iron hooks are widely used to bring elephants under control.

Smaller temples follow larger temples and increase the number of elephants in processions.

11. Miles' Long Walks On Hot Tarred Roads By Manoj K

Following the example of grand display of caparisoned elephants in large temple festivals like at Thrissur Arattupuzha Temple (60 elephants), Kollam Parippally Kodimoottil Bhagavathy Temple (50 elephants), Palakkad Palappuram Chinakkathoor Bhagavathy Temple (33 elephants), Thrissur Vadakkumnathan Temple (30 elephants) and Palakkad Kattukulam Pariyanampetta Bhagavathy Temple (21 elephants), even small temples have begun to increase the number of elephants in parades. In places where even one elephant creates a traffic-jam, they line up dozens, disrupting public life and endangering human lives.

Will mankind tolerate if expelled from cities and villages and forced to live in forests?

Temples which are supposed to be dispensing godly kindness to man and beast and bird alike do not recognize elephants as ‘a superior breed which needs an independent and undisturbed life’. Let them live in their natural habitats which are forests. If human beings or temples worry whether they are getting enough food in forests after the extensive de-forestation done by man, let them keep elephants in their premises without using them for commercial purposes. Except as charity, no one has a right to keep this magnificent beast in captivity. Will mankind tolerate if they are expelled from cities and villages and forced to live in forests?


 12. Ten Thousands Live Out Of This Dangerous Profession By Peter van der Slujis
The use of explosives for fireworks displays in Kerala started many decades ago as part of Hindu religious festivals, and Christians soon followed suit. Firecrackers used in those times were safe because only less dangerous types of pyrotechnic materials were known to man then. Handled properly, there was no danger from them. People engaged in fireworks-making in those days were well trained and thorough in their procedures and they knew what they were doing. That was why the long history of firecrackers in Kerala was devoid of accidents. Today, newer and newer pyrotechnic materials have been discovered and come into circulation. In today’s Hindu festivals, competing rival teams try to win over the other through variety, colour and sound and the height of their pyro materials’ ascension into sky. Even in intra-community rivalries, competition is now fierce and accidents too frequent to be ignored. But what would have been the fierceness of competition and the frequency of accidents had this been evolved into intra-religious competition between Hindus and Christians?

Explosives and fireworks have nothing to do with religion. Why should an all-powerful god who can sleep and rise at his will need roused from sleep by fireworks? Religions do not insist that explosives be used in customary rituals. It is the vanity, pomp and ostentation of the newly rich associated with temples that introduced and wish to continue fireworks as a temple ritual. We can see such novou rich in every temple committee, collecting and pocketing the amounts people deposit with their gods and introducing every kind of unimaginable thing considered once taboo in Hindu temples. Fireworks attract large crowds to festivals and temple committees collect large amounts. It is trade and commerce and not religion. There is no other logic behind conducting massive fireworks in temples. Some would like to say they will clear the atmosphere which has no scientific base. The noise pollution accompanying fireworks is far more calamitous to human beings, birds and animals. They are appealing to the mentally deranged only in whose grip the temple committees in Kerala are. According to police reports, quite a number of temple festival organizers are once or multi times booked for criminal offences and are still in their wanted or watch lists. Being an organizer of a temple festival is considered as a protection against police by the goons and thugs in a village.

 13. Livelihood Of Many Children By Peter van der Slujis
For decades, debates have been going on about the use of unsafe materials in fireworks. The State Government failed to implement the Supreme Court order banning the use of sound-emitting firecrackers between 10 pm and 6 am. The Department of Explosives of the Government of India failed to notify regulations on the chemical composition of all categories of materials used for making firecrackers, the failure leading to banned substances being widely used for fireworks to induce more light and sound. The District Administrations failed to ensure ample buffer zones provided between the crowds assembled and the sheds where explosives were lighted. Police failed to guarantee explosives were stored only in temporary thatched huts and failed to arrest and prevent disasters where the explosives were stored in permanent concrete buildings while they looked away. It was these concrete buildings which exploded and spewed flying debris in all directions in Paravur Temple, killing police and people even kilometers away.


The following is a list of accidents that have occurred due to fireworks in connection with festivals at places of worship in the state.

1) 1952 Sabarimala Temple: 68 dead. 2) 1978 Thrissur Pooram: 8 dead. 3) 1984 Kandassankadavu Church, Thrissur: 15 dead. 4) 1987 Sri Jagannatha Temple, Thalassery: 27 watching fireworks run over by train and dead. 5) 1988 Tripunithura temple, Kochi: 10 dead. 6) 1989 Kandassankadavu Church, Thrissur: 12 dead. 7) 1990 Duryodhana Temple, Kollam: 26 dead. 8) 1999 Chamunda temple, Aalur, Palakkad: 8 dead. 9) 2006 Production unit for Paramekkavu Temple, Thissur: 4 dead. 10) 2011 Fire-cracker unit at Athani, Thissur: 6 dead. 11) 2011 Fire cracker unit, Shoranpur: 13 dead. 12) 2013 Panniyamkurissy near Cherpalassery: 7 dead. 13) 2016 Maradu Kottaram Bhagavathy Temple, Kochi: 1 dead. 14) 2016 Paravur Devi Temple: 107 dead.

What happened at the last controversial fireworks in Kerala?

The Paravur Puttingal Devi Temple Committee requested the Kollam District Authority for permission to conduct a firework in connection with the temple’s annual Vishu festival at the beginning of the Hindu calendar year, on ……. . The District Administration had received quite a number of complaints from local people alleging that these fireworks were damaging their houses each year, competitive fireworks were comparatively more dangerous and shall not be allowed, and if allowed, be shifted to some place where local houses shall not be damaged. The District Administration called for and obtained reports from the revenue, police, fire safety and environmental authorities. All these departments pointed out that the proposed fireworks are against norms, are in violation of Supreme Court and High Court rulings and violation of Explosives Regulations and were not permissible. A local police constable reported that if conducted, this firework needed be shifted to a more spacious and safer place. The District Administration in the person of the Deputy Collector refused to grant permission and ordered the Superintendent of Police to comply with. It was the time of the state assembly election in Kerala and political parties including the ruling political party were eager to not antagonize any religious community or temple committee but to please them by all means for securing votes. None of them, including the Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India, Marxist, Kerala Congress, Muslim League or the Bharatiya Janatha Party demanded conducting the firework guaranteeing peoples’ safety. Instead, they all took the stand that if the temple committee is bold enough to go on with the firework in spite of no permission, let them. The temple committee on the day of the firework lied to the police that permission was granted at the last minute and the order was on its way. The police department with the latest of technologies in digital communications did not care to ascertain whether such permission was granted or not but stood like spectators to this disastrous firework. One of the highly explosive crackers landed in the concrete building where the firework materials of the rival group were stored and the building and the nearby building exploded leveling the buildings, huge concrete pieces and burning materials flew everywhere to even to two kilometers’ distance, killed and injured people, and severely damaging so many houses. Human bodies were torn apart in explosions and one woman even found human remains inside her house and roof. What native people complained about actually happened in spite of Police, Fire force, District Collector, Explosives Safety Department and High Court and Supreme Court orders!

Former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation of India (CBI), Mr. R K Raghavan, told Hindu National Daily that ‘these gory happenings are becoming a human rights violation. There is a near paralysis in the civil administration on such vital matters, attributable mainly to acute political interference. The situation is so bad these days that an organizer of a public function can go to a government official to either flaunt his religion or his proximity to the ruling party in order to browbeat the official concerned into permitting even the most objectionable event. Such tragedies will continue to occur if public safety policies are not delinked from religion and politics, and the greed which dictates the response of many public officials, both petty and senior.’

14. Rousing An All-Powerful God Through Fireworks By Manoj K
Most people do not know fireworks manufacturing is a field where no insurance companies have come up with insurance coverage for workers. Thousands and thousands of poor women and children make their living out of this dangerous profession. When one insurance company in Kerala did come up with a proposal for insuring all fire workers in Kerala for a reasonable premium, on the logical assumption that accidents do not happen too frequently to leave the insurance company without a handsome margin, the President and General Secretary of All Kerala Fire Workers and Licensees Association turned down the proposal for they had nothing in it. So, accidents continue to happen in this field, workers regularly get killed in explosions and licensees continue to become paupers. Temple committees, trade union and religious leaders and government authorities adopt a criminally negligent attitude towards workers in this field.

If a government promotes booze, it will promote fireworks too.

There is no excuse in saying fireworks display is an age-old tradition in temples. What will happen if we allow fireworks in temples for fear of wrecking the lives of thousands making their living out of it? It’s like government promoting booze because thousands make their living making and selling it. Ten thousands of people are engaged in smuggling, counterfeiting and terrorism. Will we make them legal too?

Soon coming as a book: