HC directive on loud music may clean up Goa’s image, save lives

High Court directive has witnessed an instant reaction from organisers with day parties being advertised through social media
Loud music beyond makes the lives of citizens difficult.
Loud music beyond makes the lives of citizens difficult.Gomantak Times

Augusto Rodrigues

Whether the directives of the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court “to act against violators playing loud music beyond 10 pm without permission” will persist and be taken seriously in the long-term is still a question unanswered.

The indifference towards the Supreme Court judgment in July 2005 regarding the same issue does not do much to bolster expectations.

The order was initially adhered to in Goa with dances, weddings and parties on the coastal belt ending by 10 pm. Attempts were made to change night parties into day parties, but they did not work because it was difficult to replicate during the day what was done at night.

The parties in North Goa were first started for and by foreign tourists, many of whom were hippies .
The parties in North Goa were first started for and by foreign tourists, many of whom were hippies .Gomantak Times

And so, in the lull, the wheels began turning in devious minds and the night parties restarted with time posts shifting from midnight, eventually ending early in the morning.

“At least prima facie, any activities involving the playing of music outdoors after 10 pm would be illegal and unauthorized. The authorities concerned will have to take action, in accordance with the law, to prevent such illegal activities,” the High Court said.

No authority has to date given any written order to hold parties beyond 10 pm – except for relaxations given by the government to allow an extension until midnight.

The loud music is a terrible distraction to students, especially during exams.
The loud music is a terrible distraction to students, especially during exams.Gomantak Times

Any parties that were held were held illicitly with the connivance of certain authorities. The authorities in this case are the police officers in the jurisdiction where such parties were allowed to be held.

“If no permissions are granted, such shows/events must be stopped. We clarify that the events/functions, if permitted, can continue, but under no circumstances should any sound amplifying systems be used or employed after 10 pm outdoors. We further clarify that these directions are in respect of outdoor shows/events, because these restrictions will apply to the playing of music or other sounds outdoors,” reads the HC directive.

Loud music beyond makes the lives of citizens difficult.
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Tourism has flourished in North Goa because of the nightlife. The throbbing nightlife along the beach belt exists because of the parties that have been allowed to happen.

The parties in North Goa were first started for and by foreign tourists, many of whom were hippies at a time when hashish and cannabis were openly consumed until the NDPS Act came into force.

Through time, LSD and ecstasy started sharing the space with chillum smokers until a shift of tourists coming to Goa began to take place. The shift saw tourists from India coming in to first see and later experience the hard stuff.

Loud music beyond makes the lives of citizens difficult.
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Visitors to parties in the late eighties and early nineties would be greeted by a cloud of smoke where tobacco smoked smelt strangely different and faces smiled as laughter broke out around.

Parties now are bereft of any smoke because chemicals have taken their place. That is why so many deaths around party places have gone unreported or are hushed up.

The High Court restriction has come at the right time, not just for the locals who are at the receiving end of loud music, but the children of affluent parents, who have ended up either losing their lives or are suffering mentally or in other ways as a consequence of what happens during these parties.

Loud music beyond makes the lives of citizens difficult.
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Open-air parties at night have always been loud. Very loud because loud music helps perpetrators of such parties camouflage the noise that the drug trade stirs in Goa. Drugs were once synonymous with North Goa.

Sadly, they are now found in every village of Goa and that explains the crime in the state.

Loud music in North Goa has numbed citizens because constant complaints fell on the deaf ears of authorities that were supposed to ensure that the SC order is implemented. In the bargain, the elderly fell ill because of the noise; students could not study; and sleep became a luxury in these villages.

Loud music beyond makes the lives of citizens difficult.
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So rampant was the disregard for the law that party organisers began advertising parties in the open, bringing an end to days of dark parties when news of parties spread through word of mouth or flyers discreetly distributed.

But now the High Court directive has witnessed an instant reaction from organisers with day parties being advertised through social media immediately.

The maths is simple – loud music is best paired with intoxicants – whether it is drugs or alcohol. This would not work during the day. The High court directive could well help change the scenario and not only clean up the image of Goa but save lives as well.

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