It doesn’t even shock or surprise me anymore. It’s a Hindu festival after all. How can the environmentalists and social activists stay calm? So this year, much like last year and the year before, the intellectuals are calling for a cracker ban on Diwali.
In the capital city, bursting crackers can lead to imprisonment. Last year a father and son were arrested for bursting fireworks, the trend may remain the same this year, if Delhites do not abide by the laid out law.
Odisha too followed suit and put a ban on buying and selling of crackers of Diwali. In West Bengal as well, the High Court has advised against bursting of any kind of fireworks during Kali Puja, which is Diwali in rest of India. But the pioneer of the ban cracker movement was Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot who had announced the ban on the sale and purchase of firecrackers during Diwali this year, on November 2, much before the above mentioned came up with the environment-friendly idea.
Though the BJP-led government in Karnataka tried to tread this path, massive criticism from Diwali-enthusiasts compelled his to roll back the ban. The CM appeals to people to switch to green crackers.
The narrative is, all these states have decided to put a ban on firecrackers ahead of Diwali in wake of the rising cases of COVID-19. Population can lead to breathing problems worsening the already unstable situation.
As a Diwali-enthusiast Hindu, I cannot allow myself to be totally selfish and demand fire-crackers to be burst in cities that are already struggling with a poor air-quality. Hence, I am happy to make this sacrifice if that helps others and the environment. Yes, my Sanatan culture teaches me to be kind.
But, just because I belong to the ilk to which kindness comes naturally, the environmentalists, social activities, and political parties should not get in the habit of demanding sacrifices from this poor ole Hindu soul every time.
There are actors who stir our sympathy gland with their “asthma stories” right before Diwali, are seen shelving out a fortune on fireworks on their fairy-tale weddings. The newspapers that carry out how headlines on how Diwali celebrations have left the air toxic, can’t fawn enough over the cringe-worthy fake candid pictures from these over-hyped weddings. Not only weddings, celebrities from the entertainment industries are seen bursting fireworks during launch of new projects and lavish parties as well. How is that acceptable if Diwali fireworks are not?
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Political parties that form government after winning elections and sermon voters against bursting fireworks are the first ones to smoke up their city the moment their victory is announced. Does that not pollute the environment or kill the air quality?
I wonder if the environment God has presented himself in front of the intellectual cabal and complained that the environment gets polluted and the air turns unbreathable only if firework are fired on Diwali. The same fireworks don’t give these social-thinkers any headache when the sky lights up with tens of thousands of colorful fireworks on the New Year Eve. Do these fireworks start releasing oxygen during these occasions?
It is amazing, heart-warming that the think tank has put a ban on fireworks for the betterment of the Covid-19 situation and the environment. We will now wait and see if this ban will be stretched to 31st December, celeb weddings and parties, and political parties celebrating their victories given we are running through election times. In a secular democracy, the Diwali-enthusiast must not be the only one forced to give up on his phooljhadi. The onus of keeping the air clean is on every single citizen, for the Diwali enthusiast alone does not breathe it.
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