India has a right to noise

green and red fireworks display

Excerpt from ‘More light, less sound: On firecrackers and a festival of light’, an editorial in The Hindu on November 7, 2023: The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 stipulate that firecrackers cannot be burst in ‘silence zones’, designated by State governments, and anywhere after 10 p.m. From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (i.e., … Read more

India’s Delhi-only air pollution problem

I woke up this morning to a PTI report telling me Delhi’s air quality had fallen to ‘very poor’ on Deepavali, the Hindu ostensible festival of lights, with many people defying the Supreme Court’s direction to burst firecrackers only between 8 pm and 10 pm. This defiance is unsurprising: the Supreme Court doesn’t apply to Delhi because, … Read more

Measuring loudness on Deepavali nights

The Indian festival of Deepavali gets its name from the Sanksrit for “display of lights”, “Deepaanaam aavali“. These days, the festival is anything but about lights, especially in urban centers where the bursting of loud firecrackers has replaced the gentler display of lamps. Sometimes, Bangalore – where I live – sounds like a warzone. People … Read more