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The whole concept about honking in India revolves around one simple fact “Honk to Warn”. An article on Forbes put it nicely:
“Honking gives every driver the belief that somehow they will mitigate the risk of a collision”
Whether honking averts collision or not is debatable, but honking does add to the noise pollution that is already a major problem in India. Nevertheless my father wants me to believe that honking is as essential as breathing when it comes to driving on the Indian roads. ‘Horn mar’ he often shouts from the passenger seat to make me go beeping on the traffic.
While I understand people honking in order to warn other vehicles coming from any side of the road, what I do not get is why do people honk in cases like these:
- Honking when you drive by a place of worship like temples, churches, mosques, etc.
- Honking as soon as the light turns Green.
- Honking at pedestrians who are crossing the road (at the pedestrian crossing) to make them cross faster.
- Having a fancy horn and showing off by honking all the time. We have a lot of annoying horn in India.
We find the need to honk so important that our trucks are carrying a warning on their backs “Horn OK please” or “Blow Horn” like in the picture below.
The good thing is that the state governments are taking notice. For instance, Maharashtra Government realised that this practice needed to be discouraged and hence issued a circular almost a year ago on May 1st, 2015 to ban these signs on the trucks.
Regular diktats are being issued by State governments to curb the noise pollution as well, one such case is from 2012, and an article on Businessline suggest that the government of Karnataka passed a diktat asking car drivers to go easy on honking.
It will probably take ages to eradicate the practice. India as a whole is a place of ‘Purposeful Chaos’ and it’s going to be this way possibly till time immemorial. I just don’t want my dad shouting ‘Horn mar‘ any more. It truly is annoying.
What part of honking annoys you? Do you have suggestions? Leave your comments below.
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