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Noise benefits

By Kevin Baldeosingh

Last Sunday, Hindus in Trinidad but not Tobago made a giant step towards achieving equality with Christians and Muslims. Starting from 6 a.m., the Chinmaya Mission from Calcutta in Freeport held a "peace march" complete with a music truck blasting bhajans.

Previously, only Muslims had been performing their holy duty of waking up people at 5 a.m. with their call to prayer in every part of Trinidad (and presumably Tobago) where there's a mosque. This is presumably necessary because alarm clocks are haram in Islam, or Muslims can't tell time, or both. Muslims may also have got hard of hearing in the past 1400 years, which is why the imams have to do their call with a microphone. This not only ensures that all Muslims within a five-mile radius come to pray, but also lets all non-Muslims know that they are going to Hell and should get up early to beat the rush.

Similarly, born-again Christians seem to be born again with defective hearing so, even if their garage or church has just 15 people, they have to pray and sing using amplifiers and double-woofers. Christians tend to disturb the peace once a weekday and twice on Sundays, while Muslims do so every morning. Having been woken up at 7 a.m. by the Chinmayans' music truck, I went out to the road and asked one of the police officers escorting the marchers if they were allowing this noise at that hour. "Is only once in a while, sir," he said, which shows that Hindus still have to do a lot of work to catch up with these rival religions. But Maha Sabha head Sat Maharaj has been helping greatly by making a lot of noise for many years now, saying "Blah blah blah race blah blah racism blah racial", for which he has received a National Award.

At least it won't be difficult for the Hindus or anyone else to make even more noise, though. When I called the Environment Management Agency to complain, I was told that the marchers weren't breaking any laws. This means that Hindus can have a march every weekend, perhaps starting from 5 a.m. to match the Muslims. In this way, people throughout the length and breadth of Trinidad, but not Tobago, will be forced to get up early and, as we know, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Look at Jack Warner, who has no heart condition, enough money to lose a Tobago election campaign 12-0, and is the country's leading smart man.

Nor are these the only advantages. Noise is known to increase the sex drive, especially when the woman loudly cries out to the supreme being. The babies which result will also be wakened early when they hear these religious believers calling out to God on their microphones. Thus, infants would be taking in the word of God with their mother's milk, which will help make them immune to the common cold and common sense. Youths will also find themselves falling asleep while at school, hence preparing them for a career in the Public Service, Parliament, or the Integrity Commission. Early morning prayers will also help save millions of dollars in care for the elderly, since being awoken by amplified prayers at regular intervals will probably help them die quicker.

Now, admittedly, there are some persons who object to noise: but they have no influence on anybody with influence. Such people would most likely be non-believers like myself and, since the Constitution states that T&T is a "founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God", non-believers have no rights as citizens. Nor would moral appeals work, since we are dealing here with religious believers: when I called the Chinmaya's office and asked the woman who answered if she didn't think playing loud music at that hour was inconsiderate, she said, "Nobody was disturbed." And she was right, since I am a nobody.

She probably also felt I was committing apaishunam, which means finding fault with others and correcting them unnecessarily. After all, in this place people who believe in God and are professional noise-makers actually have more rights than everybody else. This is why Machel Montano's assault case took five years to be heard and why his sentencing was put off so he could be free to fete. Any other young black man would have been sentenced the same day he appeared in court after spending a few months in jail awaiting trial. But Machel has been contributing to damaged eardrums for almost 30 years, so in this case justice is blind and, since most judges are also religious believers, deaf and dumb.

And this is how it should be, because anyone who objects to noise is clearly demonstrating that they don't appreciate the national culture of Trinidad, if not Tobago. Such people are not patriots, and should be hanged for treason.

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