Diwali which used to be the ‘festival of lights,’ is now nothing but smoke, dirt, filth, and pollution all around. It is a festival that is celebrated every year to celebrate the triumph of good over evil. Ironically we become evil when we light firecrackers that cause noise pollution, harm animals, and cause breathing problems due to pollution, all in the name of the festival of lights!
If we take a glance at the last year’s records, our capital city had shown a rise in particulate matter up to 11 times. Diwali usually comes around winters and as the air remains stationary, it traps more and more particles, causing more pollution and increasing the presence of a blinding smog.
Considering this as an emergency situation for the country, the Supreme Court on 9th of October 2017 asked to temporarily ban the production and distribution of firecrackers. This is an experiment to keep the level of pollution in check in the country’s capital and to note if this move makes any difference to reduce the pollution in Delhi’s unhealthy air.
But then, this step towards saving the environment is not without apprehensions. The people whose income completely depends on selling firecrackers are disappointed. To these people, it won’t be a “Happy” Diwali anymore. According to them, ban on the burning of cracker is not a permanent solution and the society needs to find other alternatives to top the pollution.
The country is engulfed by pollution for the rest of 364 and therefore banning crackers is not a good idea according to the Firecracker sellers. The shopkeepers complained that their earning will suffer disastrously and so, it shouldn’t happen.
But the monetary effects of this step will be for a group of shopkeepers and might end up helping the whole city which will suffer due to health problems especially the senior citizens and children.
The Supreme Court’s decision also came abruptly, not giving time for the sellers to adjust to the ban. There should have been a discussion beforehand and the ban should have been announced earlier.
There are people for whom it is a blow to their religious sentiments and emotions. They consider this anti-Hindu. For example, Chetan Bhagat, one of the renowned Indian writers tweeted recently, “Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate, don’t ban. Respect traditions.” But other people have argued that burning crackers is not a religious practice, Diwali is the festival of lights and not pollution. Also, a religious practice that harms so many people needs to be reconsidered.
This ban, though appreciated, is not enough to protect the environment. The pollution due to large industries that bring the air, water, and soil pollution need to be checked. They need to formulate bold and strict rules to keep the environment green and eco-friendly.
According to us, instead of fighting and politicizing the issues, we should be responsible citizens who need to make intelligent decisions.
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