Firecracker ban on Diwali is both impractical and highly provocative.

After a year that was marred by a pandemic, Diwali is finally here. So is the ‘Green-Diwali’ campaign from the propagandists to teach us how to celebrate our age-old festivals. That is now boring. The actual cause of concern is the colossal judicial overreach and the radio silence from the spineless political quarters.


The propaganda behind:


The vile vermin left-liberals and hypocrites are pathetically disappointing and are best ignored. But the fact is, these parasites are still very much active in every institution. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) is one such institution that issued notices to states and union territories where the air quality was not satisfactory and suggested a complete ban of the sale and use of firecrackers in the National Capital Region. Interestingly, the NGT had nothing to say when stubble burning in Punjab, unchecked, for the past one month.


Polluted air concern is genuine, but ‘fear messaging’ can be counter-productive. Part of the problem in promoting awareness is that most people involved in such movements are hypocrites, and the last thing that we need to solve this crisis is the sanctimony of the worst offenders.


Our lifestyle is based on 365 days of usage of polluting coal power. During the everyday commute, the combustion causes 1000 times more pollution. To watch a TV debate on global warming, sitting in the AC rooms, we burn thousands of watts of power, causing lung/liver/heart-sickness to people near coal plants. Beef production contributes almost half of all the animal-agri-emissions. But these hypocrites never utter a word against that but are only interested in Green Diwali. It only exposes the vacuous hypocrisy of their concern.


Judicial Overreach:


In 2017, the Supreme Court banned highly polluting firecrackers to protect the right to a pollution-free environment. A year later, in 2018, the apex court held that only “green crackers” would be allowed, banning production and sale of all crackers, except ‘green crackers’ with reduced. In 2020, just a week before Diwali, seven states banned the sale and use of firecrackers.


This year many states have allowed green crackers for two hours on Diwali while the Delhi Govt. (through Delhi Pollution Control Committee) ordered a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in the national capital till January 1, 2022.


The Odisha government earlier banned firecrackers, but last Monday, the High Court allowed green crackers to be sold ahead of Diwali with a stipulated two-hour limit.


The Pollution Control Board of Assam (PCBA) shocked the firecracker cottage industry by imposing a blanket ban on firecrackers on Diwali. Only green fireworks were allowed to be burst in two hours set by the board. However, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma said the decision was taken by PCBA without discussing the government, and the issue is being reviewed afresh, keeping people’s sentiments in mind.


The Calcutta HC ordered a complete ban on firecrackers in West Bengal before festivals (Kali Puja, Diwali, Chhath, Christmas and New Year’s Eve) on the unfounded apprehension that there is no sufficient mechanism in place to ascertain whether the crackers used are green.


Such different modalities for different areas is mind-boggling. However, the Supreme Court on Monday set aside the Calcutta High Court order imposing a total ban on the use of firecrackers, terming it an “extreme order”. Huge Merci, Milords!


Economic Impact:


The Delhi Police has initiated a crackdown on the sale and distribution of firecrackers this festive season and has wreaked havoc in the lives of small firecracker manufacturers and traders.
Like 2019, the Govt. first dispensed licenses to the cracker sellers and then banned them weeks before Diwali. By this time, most traders and sellers had already purchased firecrackers worth millions of rupees to sell. Now, most of them are staring at a loss. What are the traders supposed to do with all the stock? Should the government not consider its impact on the families of the manufacturers, traders, and sellers before such sudden arbitrary impositions?


The ban spells doom for the traders in the firecracker business. It has dented the demand and has led to an uncertain future for the traders, especially in hubs like Sivakasi (Tamil Nadu), Kurali (Punjab), and Barpeta (Assam). Also, a nation recovering from financial recession after a deadly pandemic, how can it ban any business?


Only Sivakasi has a cracker business of Rs 6,000 crore plus in a year. Lakhs of people are employed in the firecracker industry. A million is associated with it in the distribution and sale business. Especially in Tamilnadu, making lakhs of these workers jobless also push them towards proselytization! If such arbitrary bans continue, there is no way the industry will survive.


The real solution lies in ensuring the fruits of economic growth while the governments figure out how to regulate the firecracker industry and move towards pollution controlled production and sale of firecrackers. Especially for a government that has been cheering the idea of ‘vocal for local’.


Convenient, spineless politics:


No political party looks interested in taking up the stubble burning issue of Punjab, Haryana and part of Uttar Pradesh. So, they all have chosen to maintain a convenient silence. While Kejriwal projects himself as the saviour of Delhi, his party keeps radio silence on stubble burning.
To attack Diwali Firecrackers in Delhi, AAP Govt also intensified the ‘Patakhe Nahi Diya Jalao’ campaign in schools, asking small kids to promise to observe firecracker-free Diwali. These kids would grow as victims of indoctrination and child abuse, NOT Climate change! That’s a blatant, self-righteous abuse of power.


However, the buck stops at the central Govt. It is committing a commercial and a cultural disaster by allowing the ban on firecrackers to sustain. Since BJP positions itself as sympathetic to Hindu interests, its stand on the firecracker ban appears brazenly hypocritical. I only hope that the party also listens to ground feedback.


The attack for being a Hindu festival:


The firecracker ban is specific to the celebration of Diwali. It tells us that only Diwali crackers cause pollution. A decision that concerns the environment, and targets attacking one festival alone, makes it ridiculously provocative and divides people into religious lines.


First, the government should not interfere with the rituals and festivals of any religion. The majority is being taken for granted; because they adhere to all such provocations every time. It is also perplexing.


What are we teaching our children? But what happens when we take firecrackers out from our celebrations? What about the fun part of the festival? As for fun, once a year when the family is together, friends are around, with delicious food and bright clothes, gifts and festive spirit, fun is guaranteed! Crackers do add spice, and children wait eagerly for that fun for months. That’s the core of any festival. These arbitrary decisions are designed to rob our children of that fun first and the eagerness for the festival next. If this goes on for a few more years, the country’s biggest festival will be diluted to the point of no return.


Hindus inherently conserve nature and have a sense of their eco-activities. The secular-liberals frauds use this sense to engineer Green Diwali because, for them, every Hindu festival is a polluting, noisy and irritating tribal affair.


Rationality, Data, and Facts:


It is essential to get to specifics instead of empty outrage. Fight against the specific type of crackers that are the worst, and people will listen to those focused, legitimate concerns. But no. The whole activism to ban firecrackers during Diwali originated from the regular smog witnessed in NCR every winter, year after year.


In 2016, IIT-Kanpur conducted a detailed study of the cause of pollution in Delhi NCR, which was submitted to the Delhi Govt. and Delhi Pollution Control Committee. While citing numerous reasons for pollution in the region, road dust, industrial stack, vehicular movement, concrete batching, hotels and restaurants were cited as leading causes of pollution. But the usual propagandists chose to attribute the pollution of the region to Diwali firecrackers alone.


Industrial pollution is a problem; vehicular pollution is a problem; processing meat and beef creates a problem, and bursting crackers is also a problem! No point in drawing a longer line to make the other line look small.


The data suggests that much of the pollution currently in NCR and surrounding regions can be attributed solely to the stubble burning that’s been going on in neighbouring states with impunity. The state governments decided not to act to stop it for their cheap vote bank politics. All the political parties are party to this criminal misconduct, the central Govt., in particular.


Conclusion:


Across the globe, millions enjoy fireworks and pyrotechnics shows without much fuss. Be it the July 4 fireworks in the US, Montreal Fireworks Festival, World Pyro Olympics, Philippines, Celebration of Light, New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney Habour or London’s Wembley Stadium. It is always a fantastic experience. Does it pollute? Of course, it does. So, does the firecrackers during Diwali.
Measures should be in place to prevent the use of toxic chemicals in firecrackers and strengthen the mechanism. Also, maturely educate people instead of imposing a blanket ban, which is impractical and highly provocative.


Dear friends, let’s ensure a safer, less polluting Diwali by using the lovely earthen Diyas and try minimizing firecrackers (not cracker free). But most importantly, resist all the attempts that dictate you how celebrate your festivals.


Happy Diwali!!

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