India is known for its festive season, and the ‘big bang’ festival period has already started. Navratri is going on and soon about to end on Dussehra, followed by Karwa Chauth and then Deepawali. Diwali is a major Indian festival, celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm, throughout the country People leave no stone unturned when it comes to making the best preparations for such a festival.
When we used to write short essays in our schools on Deepawali, the most essential information that was included in it used to be that this festival is celebrated because Lord Ram came back to his own home, Ayodhya, after spending 14 years in the jungle and after winning the battle against Raavan. So the people of Ayodhya welcomed the arrival of their king, Lord Ram, along with his wife Sita and brother Laxman.
Present-day Deepawali celebrations include lighting our houses with diyas and candles, and I feel that is the most beautiful and traditional method. Ideally, one should go for that always because that is how it was done. But still, using artificial lighting to decorate the houses is not that bad of an option as it pleases the eyes to watch a colourful world. But, where did this concept of firecrackers arrive from?
The worldwide use of fireworks, along with their resulting detrimental effects on air quality, has been widely recognised by many studies conducted during such events with high ambient air levels of particulate matter and its many metal components and gases. Exposed individuals may be at risk after breathing in such produced pollutants. Doctors and experts have expressed concerns over the harms of smoke coming from firecrackers, and for the environment as well, and especially for COVID-19 patients and those who have recovered from the infection.
It is the prime responsibility of the people to understand that there are hundreds of thousands and lakhs of people who are struggling to live. And indeed it’s the toughest time going on right now. It is known to everyone that Coronavirus is the disease that directly affects the lungs, and the fumes and particulate matter released by burning of crackers triggers increase cough, sputum, throat irritation, breathlessness and also worsen pre-existing asthma, COPD, and increases the risk of respiratory infection.
Even if we forget the presence of the Coronavirus for some time, then also it has been recommended since long that firecrackers should be avoided and even abolished completely, but people don’t care for the lives of others over their fun and enjoyment. They’ll surely wake up when something might happen to them because of the same.
However, the present condition is entirely different and people who are already suffering and are prone to this will have to pay a lot because of those people who place their fun above humanity. Government is not going to ban the firecrackers as it adds an apple to the pie, meaning that the bumper buy and sell of the crackers will generate much revenue. But, selling death in an open market, and even buying it, giving all the money we earn after much hardships don’t seem to be a good idea.
Also, the usage of crackers increases the air pollution Disaster. Remember the 2019 Delhi smog? Many reports came that during the lockdown, just because there was no pollution created by the vehicles, people in Punjab could spot the Himalayan peaks. So imagine, without even a single strand of smoke or smog, how beautiful the country will become!
Along with the pollution-free Diwali, a decibels-free Diwali is much-needed. The Central Pollution Control Board analysed and recorded that excessive levels of noise pollution due to crackers with louder noise in recent years have impacted a lot of senior citizens. And again, a reminder that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Ram to his hometown Ayodhya after 14 years of exile.
The people of Ayodhya celebrated the occasion by lighting diyas and distributing sweets, and the bursting of crackers is mentioned in the Ramayana or any other scripture.
In fact, the gun powder used in crackers is a Chinese invention. So crackers were never part of Hinduism and should not be carried out in the name of religion. In fact, I feel bursting crackers is actually against the practice of Indian culture.
I really hope this brings a positive change to your minds and you become human beings in the true sense, thinking about others pain first.
Light candles and diyas, pray to the almighty to get all things back on track, and distribute sweets. Wish you a happy Deepawali in advance!