No more sirens please, we’re Indian

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POSTED: October 8, 2021

Irma pointed me to an article in The Hindu titled Law soon on mandatory use of Indian music as vehicle horns: Gadkari. It describes a startling innovation in traffic safety.

Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday, October 4, 2021, said he was planning to bring a law under which only the sound of Indian musical instruments can be used as a horn for vehicles.

Speaking at a highway inauguration ceremony here, Mr. Gadkari said he was also studying the sirens used by ambulances and police vehicles and replace them with a more pleasant tune played on the All India Radio.

Mr. Gadkari said he put an end to red beacons. “Now I want to put an end to these sirens as well. Now I am studying the sirens (used by) ambulances and police.

“An artist composed a tune of Akashwani (All Indian Radio) and it was played early in the morning. I am thinking of using that tune for ambulances so that people feel pleasant. It is so irritating, especially after Ministers pass by, the sirens are used at full volume. This also harms the ears.

“I am studying this and soon planning to make a law that the horns of all vehicles should be in Indian musical instruments so that it is pleasant to hear. Flute, tabla, violin, mouth organ, harmonium,” Mr. Gadkari said.

Foolishly, I had the impression that someone with a peculiar expertise had designed the shifting sounds of ambulance sirens precisely so that they irritate motorists and stand out from any other sounds on the road. That, I believe, constitutes one of the key differences between ambulances and ice cream trucks.