Recently the Supreme Court passed an order that the sale of crackers in Delhi will not be allowed until the 1st of November, 2017. Even though this is being hailed as a decision against Hindus and seems to be a way to hurt our religious sentiments, here are few things which aren’t being mentioned about this order:
- This ban has been in place since 11th November 2016 i.e. it isn’t something new or directed towards a single festival.
- There is no ban on bursting crackers in Delhi by individuals.
- Anyone living in Delhi will tell you, crackers are being burst on a regular basis, be it on the occasion of festivals, marriages or even winning a cricket match.
Of course, this order does make it a little more difficult for individuals to procure firecrackers. However, if people can find them for cricket matches, they can very well get them for Diwali as well.
So at least in my view, Supreme Court hasn’t really done much to stop the bursting of crackers in Delhi and while its order might bring a slight reprieve. It is likely going to be minuscule, since some people seem to have taken this as an assault on their religion and personal freedom and thus are more likely to put on an extravagant show.
It is quite another thing that in Ramayana (which I have read a few times) nowhere it is mentioned that the firecrackers were burst to celebrate the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya (the reason for celebrating Diwali) and firecrackers are supposedly a Chinese invention, that was only made in the 7th Century.
Still, it is being argued, that this order is against Hinduism and crackers don’t contribute much to the air pollution level of Delhi, which is extremely bad on any given day. With those impassionately talking in favor of crackers, taking the argument to vehicular pollution and whatnot.
- As someone who was born and raised in Delhi, I have firsthand seen the impact of crackers on the pollution levels in Delhi.
- I have also actively contributed to it until 1995 (yes we have been celebrating cracker free Diwali for past 22 years.)
- I have also seen my late father, who used to suffer from asthma, struggle and suffer during Dussehra to Diwali period.
- I have seen dogs, whether Roxy, who was a part of our family or the ones in the streets, running helter-skelter when the loud crackers were burst.
Yet, none of this matters.
All that matters is the fact that these Chinese crackers are an integral part of Diwali Celebrations and anyone questioning them is against Hinduism and Hindus.
Supreme Court at the end of the day, has gone too far.
For it has done little to actually curb the burning of crackers and done much to make it a symbol of defiance and bravado. Something that is likely to contribute to ostentatious display of firecrackers in Delhi.