Diwali is here. So is the Green-Diwali campaign. The usual suspects and the #SayNoToCrackers brigade are out again to teach us how to celebrate our age-old festivals. All seems normal.
Last year, the Supreme Court had temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi till Diwali saying that the ban on firecrackers in Delhi would be in force until November 1st and firecrackers could be sold thereafter. It was apparent that the Ban was specific to the celebration of Diwali. Which means that crackers cause pollution only on Diwali. A decision that concerns environment, CANNOT come with an end date. Banning crackers only around Diwali made it a ridiculously provocative decision.
But that was not enough. This year, a PIL was filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on manufacturing and sale of firecrackers across the country to curb air pollution.
The Supreme Court in its verdict refused to impose a nationwide blanket ban on the sale of firecrackers. The court said only ‘low polluting green firecrackers’ within permitted decibel limits and emission norms will be allowed to be sold.
Do firecrackers pollute? Of course, it does. We all do feel a little sorry when we wake up the next morning and the fresh morning air is replaced with smoke and the smell of gunpowder.
But the question is, how polluting are the little ‘Chakris’ & ‘Anaars? Are the Diwali firecrackers the main contributors to air pollution in the national capital and adjoining areas during winter? Have we explored the facts?
Every year during winter, the air quality in Delhi worsens to alarming levels, turning the city into a gas chamber. Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, vehicular pollution and construction activities are the primary reasons for this. Diwali firecrackers ads to it, only marginally.
Since childhood, I have known bursting crackers as an integral part of Diwali celebrations. “Happy Diwali, but no fireworks” is a classic urban (diesel guzzling), secular-liberal hypocrisy after their lifestyle has caused huge pollution compared to the rural population.
Our lifestyle (including theirs) is based on 365 days usage of polluting coal power. During the everyday commute, the internal combustion causes 1000 times more pollution. 60% of India’s power is from coal that causes smog, soot, acid rain, global warming & toxic emissions 365 DAYS! Power consumed by malls, the power consumed in a stadium during the 4 hours of carnival called the Indian Premier League, causes months of pollution to village children near coal plants causing lung/liver/heart-sickness. Check out the environmental impacts of coal power here: Coal Power Pollution. But they only want a Green Diwali.
Wait, do we (including them) know what is our contribution to the environment when we watch a TV debate on global warming, sitting in the AC rooms? Using an air conditioner is among the worst things you can do to the environment. Science says so. How Bad Is Your Air-Conditioner for the Planet? But they only want a Green Diwali.
The meat produced for their kebabs and steak, science categorically says is TERRIBLY HARMFUL to the environment and a sure shot way to destroy the world. A study from the prestigious PNASc, one of the most prestigious journals in the world.
The arguments for banning Diwali firecrackers and banning beef are exactly the same. The difference is that the beef ban can actually save the world, and whoever even remotely care or even pretend to be caring for the environment, should file a PIL for a blanket ban on BEEF, immediately. But they only want a Green Diwali.
The fact is Industrial pollution is a problem, vehicular pollution is a problem, processing meat and beef creates a problem and bursting polluting crackers is also a minor problem!
Do we like fireworks? Yes!
Do we like the overuse of fireworks? No!
I am of the strong opinion that we must try to minimize the damage without eliminating the fun. It is important to get to specifics instead of empty outrage. Fight against the specific type of crackers (with Sulphur and other damaging elements) which are the worst and people will listen to those razor sharp concerned activists. Fight the overuse of crackers and it would be considered legitimate.
A ban that comes two weeks before Diwali, means that the “green crackers” that are not available in the market. The logistics from manufacturing to retail simply cannot be completed in 2 weeks. This makes it a religiously provocative decision and will be only counter-productive.
If this is not provoking, what is?
I feel a reduction in usage of polluting firecrackers could be and must be propagated in a mature way and by sensible environmentally conscious people, and not by Jhollawala-hypocrites. If you are not concerned about a range of environmental issues and just crop up two weeks before Diwali, you are a hypocrite, if not a Hinduphobe. And everyone ignores a hypocrite.
On the contrary, the Left-Liberal Cabal (Librandus) would try to project the Hindus opposing such a ban as ignorant and regressive. The fact is that Hindus inherently conserve nature, have high guilt/sense on their Eco-activities. The Hinduphobes masquerading as Librandus uses this guilt to engineer Green Diwali campaign because for them every Hindu festival is a polluting, noisy and irritating tribal affair.
Diwali is about celebration, to have fun. Once a year when the family is together, friends are around, delicious food, pretty clothes, gifts, and festive spirit, fun is guaranteed! Crackers only add some spice and are not mandated.
But our Librandu friends have the problem with one day of Diwali and a half day of Holi. They are out there to rob the children and adults their day of fun in the name of “Fireworks Free Green Diwali.” The relentless onslaught on our history, on our traditions, on our culture, on our very existence, all based on falsehood.
Dear friends, this Diwali, gift a sapling, plant a tree. Let’s ensure a safer, less polluting Diwali by using the lovely earthen Diyas and try minimizing firecrackers (NOT CRACKER FREE). And of course, resist the attempt of Courts, legally, to dictate to you how to celebrate your festivals.
The oppressor can’t ride you unless your back is bent.