October 27 is the date for Diwali celebrations. Naturally we Indians are anxiously waiting to celebrate in a grand way. However, I would like to explain something important about how we should celebrate this Diwali.
This has nothing to do with politics, rather, it’s to do with science. Chines crackers use Potassium Chlorate which is banned in India for its serious effects on groundwater. After explosion perchlorate is produced as a by-product that contaminates soil for a long time. It then percolates to the groundwater, contaminating it seriously. That’s why Potassium Chlorate is banned even in Europe and America. China hasn’t banned it, and so, we should avoid Chinese crackers. We shouldn’t fall for the cheap price and ignore the long-term damage to our valuable resources. Indian crackers are made of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate which is three-times more expensive than potassium chlorate.
Apart from the Potassium Chloride point, Chinese crackers were also banned due to its high decibel sound (more than 140 decibels). The human ear can withstand up to 110 decibel sound (for a minute) and Indian crackers at best generate 80 decibel sound. If a Chinese cracker exploded very closely to a person, they can become permanently deaf! Apart from human, many animals and birds also affected due to such huge explosion sounds. While it is a celebration for humans, it becomes a panic day for other species.
It has been claimed that Indian-made crackers are safer than Chinese crackers. But then, scientists say that India-made crackers also have dangerous by-products that are harmful to the environment and air quality as well as groundwater. ‘Safer’ is a comparative term which means lesser effect, but then there is some effect, nonetheless. Nowadays, ‘green‘ crackers are being used. These are claimed to emit less harmful pollutants. Also, there are people who sell Chinese crackers as Indian crackers at a lower cost.
What is Diwali? It’s just a festival of lights. This day is celebrated to mark the victory of light over darkness. To celebrate this, we just require a series of Diyas (lamps), best wishes, and sweets. That’s all.
Why should we use crackers? The answer is simple. Crackers are really used to show self-ego and status. “My cracker is noisier than yours,” “I have more crackers than you,” “My rocket is better than yours.”
While one lights a cracker, they cover their ears and surprises others with the sound. They just get a beastly joy because they spread panic among others. That’s not the real sense of celebration. How can one celebrate making others panic, contaminating the soil and groundwater and polluting the environment?
Many-a-times, crackers lead to burn injuries. Not only this but there were reports of houses burning down, because of crackers, from different parts for the country. The houses belong to people from lower-income groups, who had thatched houses. Should one’s celebration make another suffer?
Diwali is the celebration of light and definitely not the celebration of crackers. Let’s stop transforming Diwali into ‘Bomab-ali‘ (series of bombs) in the interest of society, the environment, and the ecosystem.