Several Mumbaiites are upset with the cancellation of this year’s Festival of India organised in October by the Kala Ghoda Association.
The Association on Tuesday said it was cancelling this year’s October festival because the concert stage on Rampart Row fell within a silence zone.
The Association is yet to announce whether the February 2011 Kalaghoda Festival will be held.
“The Kala Ghoda festivals held in October and February have become a cultural
tradition. It is upsetting to see silence zone norms being relaxed for politicians but not for culture,” said Taha Varawala, a law student from Colaba who has attended the October festival every year since it was launched three years ago.
“We are growing more intolerant by the day. The festival appeals to young and old, so I am sure people inconvenienced in the area can compromise for a few days,” said Jayashree Baliga (54), a Churchgate resident who believes the festival adds some colour to the commercial district.
Berges Malu, the Kala Ghoda resident who had protested against the use of loudspeakers during this year’s February festival, maintains that the Association should not be given any exemption to use loudspeakers for its concerts.
“The law is for all, and if rules are relaxed for them, it would set a precedent for others, including political parties, to ask for exemptions,” said Malu, who had withdrawn his objections to the festival in February after the Kala Ghoda Association assured him that decibel levels would be kept low.
“It was a good-will gesture then, but they should not be allowed to break the law again,” he said.