You know we are failing as human beings when entertainment becomes more important than breathing. A ban by the Supreme Court on firecrackers in Delhi seemed like a step towards a healthier India. But when the country is full of children who think their mommy took away the knife only to make them miserable, since the knife is such an amazing toy to play with, then can we really hope for anything good?
Every time something logical and sensible seems to be happening, the ‘gurus’ drop by to give their sacred opinion. Like, the Guru of all love story writers of India, the bestselling author of India, Chetan Bhagat, very rationally put across how bursting firecrackers on Diwali is a must, for that is the norm. After all, SC isn’t banning ‘rituals’ of other religions. Why just Diwali, he screams for justice through his tweets. Wish one of us could go and whisper in his ears, “Because pollution. A scientifically proven slow poison for all living beings.” Diwali, after all, is the festival of light. You can have light without the pollution (both air and noise!).
Not just Delhi, other cities of NCR like Ghaziabad and Noida too are struggling with their air quality. Oh, but if you are one of those optimists who believes that since Diwali was celebrated with such grandeur, God must be impressed and there is good news hidden within all that smoke, then yes, pollution levels this year are lower than the last year’s. But was it low enough to be even slightly leaning towards harmless? The many checks by different agencies answer negatively.
Survey by Delhi Pollution Control Committee tells us that pollutants have surpassed the safe limit by 10 times. What was lacking in the pollution caused by factories and automobiles that now we need firecrackers too? Is it the daze of the smog that turns us on? Why is it that even after knowing the grotesque harm that is to be caused, we don’t mend our ways?
Some intellectuals have argued that pollution control should be done 365 days a year by reducing vehicles on the road, not by putting a ban on sale of firecrackers on Diwali. What they don’t understand is that just because Diwali comes one’s a year, doesn’t mean its effect is not contributing worthily to air pollution. Also, not bursting firecrackers would not cause any kind of problem to you. Reducing vehicles on the road has lots of aspects to be considered. It is a slow process. Not watching those crackling flares light up the sky is, on the other hand, an easy change to adjust to.
So many stories have already been written on this issue. So many photographs have been shared in am attempt to put across the stark reality of what Diwali really leaves behind. But everything goes up in smoke (aah pun!) if nothing changes even next year. But then what else can we do but keep faith in our fellow beings that they are capable of change as only idiots will choose ‘tradition’ over self-preservation.